None of us like the thought of living in a dirty home, but the effort of cleaning from top to bottom isn't something many of us like doing, either.
No matter how many 'life-changing' sprays, cloths and devices we have, scrubbing away is such a drag, and the appeal of a 'house that cleans itself' is something we can all relate to.
But as self-cleaning homes don't appear to be on the horizon anytime soon, looks like we'll have to take matters into our own hands. There are in fact ways to make cleaning much easier, and -dare I say it - more fun! Here are 17 of my personal favourites:
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1. Turn the music up loud
Despite what the 50s housewife posters may tell you, cleaning doesn't actually have to be a sophisticated affair. Load your favourite Spotify playlist, turn it up loud and get cleaning. You can even throw in a few glow bangles and the odd bum wiggle for good measure!
Having some great, mood-boosting music on in the background will distract you from the task, and add a hefty dosing of that three letter word we all love: FUN.
2. Get into a cleaning routine
I know what you're thinking: routines = regimental, but far from being restrictive, they can actually help you to use your time much more efficiently.
Plan your weekly cleans in regularly so you can programme yourself to be 'emotionally prepared' for the task in hand. You'll spend less time dilly dallying, and will get through your jobs much faster - this means less time spent scrubbing, and more time for clubbing - result!
3. Turn the house into a 'home-gym'
If you're looking to lose a few pounds, cleaning the house from top to bottom is definitely a friend rather than a foe. It's one of 30 ways I found to easily burn 100 calories from the comfort of your home.
With one hour of cleaning burning an easy-peasy, 130-ish calories, it may just become your new favourite workout. In the knowledge that you're killing two stones in one, you'll find getting your home spick and span seems a much better use of time than before.
4. Have a chin wag
It can be difficult to find time to stay in touch with friends and family these days with our hectic lifestyles. Why not schedule in a well-needed catch-up on cleaning day?
You can either chose to pick up the phone, or even better, go hands-free on Skype or loudspeaker. This way you'll be able to have such a good old gossip with your nearest and dearest that you'll forget the unpleasantness of the task in hand completely. You may even start looking forward to your chats with friends, I mean, cleaning!
5. Move everything out of the way
There's nothing more frustrating than having to stop and start the hoover every five seconds to move chairs, dirty socks and whatever else the kids/husband have left lying around out of the way. Make life easier for yourself and do this beforehand.
While it may take more effort initially, you'll save time and energy in the long run, and will be able to whizz around the living room at bionic speed - #superwoman
6. Get playful
There's no need to tackle cleaning the whole house alone. Get the family involved and gain some well-needed help and a side-serving of laughs to go with it.
Cleaning is actually a great bonding activity as you can teach your little ones a lot as you go along. Set them various tasks which they gain points for on completion and reward the winner at the end. Where cleaning is concerned, the more the merrier!
7. Time yourself
If you don't have any little hands to hand, no big deal - even more reason to let the inner child in you run riot.
Get out your timer and set yourself the challenge of completing certain tasks in the shortest period possible. You'll be so rushed off your feet racing yourself that you won't have time to stop for a cuppa, let alone get bored.
8. Clean more often
What? I thought this post was about making cleaning easier! Well, exactly: cleaning more often means that when you do get to it, there will be much less hardcore cleaning to do, meaning an easier, quicker clean for you.
Increasing the regularity of your cleaning will mean that you can get everything spick and span in a short, hour burst, rather than it becoming a dreaded, three-hour, scrub-until-your-hands-are-sore job. If you some speed-cleaning advice to really get things done quickly, Anushka's 30-minute guide will definitely help!
9. Practice your singing
Fancy yourself as a bit of an Adele? Or perhaps you're more of a Beyoncé? No matter which pop star you aspire to, grab your feather duster and let your alto-ego rip.
This cleaning add-on may arguably increase the time it takes you to get everything clean - especially if you do your famous counterpart justice - but you'll definitely have a blast whilst doing so. If anyone at home has a bone to pick with you over the noise, you can always suggest they take over cleaning duties instead!
10. Buy into the cleaning gimmicks
Now, we all know that the gimmicky product isles in discount supermarkets should be avoided, but the reality is that they can make cleaning so much more entertaining.
My absolute favourites are these rather ridiculous 'slipper-dusters' which allow you to acceptably slip and slide around your wooden-floor like an infant, all whilst shining up your floor to polished-wood perfection. It's a categoric 'yes' to gimmicks from me.
11. Make your own cleaning products
Here's something different for you: why not play scientist and mix up your own cleaning potions? There are so many great tutorials out there showing you how easy and effective they can be.
Turn your cleaning routine into an experiment to see which products work best. Make a chart to compare them against shop-bought products, and see how much money you can save. Adding this element of fun is bound to bring a different aspect to your cleaning routine.
12. Quarterly deep-cleans
If you thought you could get away with quick, 'spring cleans' alone, this may come as disappointing news. But the truth of the matter is, in order to be able to clean your house in a short amount of time to a good standard, you will need to do all the deep, grimy cleaning every few months or so to keep on top of things.
Schedule these 'deep-cleans' in every quarter and get the whole household involved. Get every inch, nook and cranny spotless and it'll make your cleaning all year round much easier, quicker and less daunting.
13. Be prepared
Preparation? Where's the fun in that? Well, the rushing to and fro to your cleaning cupboard and back for products and tools isn't much fun, either.
Take some time to get things sorted before you start your clean and you'll be able to get on with the job in hand fuss-free. I recommend a cleaning box, with a handle for ease of carrying from room to room. Make sure all your products are inside to begin with, and you'll be able to clean much more efficiently.
14. Focus on the end-results
So we've established that cleaning isn't much fun, but none of us can argue that the outcome isn't worth it in the end.
Sparkly silverware, shiny shelves, shimmering surfaces...a beautifully clean home definitely gives us satisfaction, and if you're struggling to find motivation to get cleaning, focussing on the end-results is a quick fire way to forget the effort required to yield the results.
15. Turn on your favourite TV show
TV time is super relaxing, but few of us have time to really sit back and relax over our favourite shows during the week. The answer? Turn cleaning time into TV time!
Pop your favourite show on and turn the volume up. Whilst you may not catch every second of action, it'll give you something to concentrate and focus on other than limescale, dust and streaky windows.
16. Reward yourself
Who says rewards are reserved for pets and children? A hard cleaning session definitely deserves some recognition, and if your family won't give it to you, give it to yourself!
Whether it's a glass of wine, a bar of chocolate or a girly chick-flick, allow yourself a treat on your cleaning-completion and you'll have something to look forward to whilst rushing about. If that isn't a good incentive, I don't know what is.
What do you do to stay motivated when cleaning? Let us know in the comments below!