Thursday, June 12, 2014

Downright Motivated

I'm coming out of a season of ridiculously low motivation. We're talking put the kids in bed at 8pm and lay on the couch until bedtime while my sweet hubbs cleans up the dishes. Pregnancy, especially the first trimester, really does it to me. Extreme lethargy and nausea are my daily companions. Getting anything done besides feeding, clothing, and making sure my boys get plenty of outside play time flies out the window.

Thankfully, the nausea/lethargy combo is subsiding, and I'm slowly coming out of survival mode. All I have to say is there's a whole lot of housework that needs doing around here!

I'm pretty good at keeping the common rooms and my boys' rooms relatively liveable, but the master bedroom (aka the dumping ground) and the laundry room always give me away. If you come to our house, you are bound to find a couple of piles of laundry stashed all over the place if you look hard enough.

I'll admit it, I'm not exactly skilled when it comes to household chores. I don't enjoy cleaning, but I do enjoy the fruits of my labor. I come from a family of extremely tidy people. I guess there had to be a rebel, and I am she.

Actually starting the cleaning process is the hardest part for me. If I can resist the temptation to become completely overwhelmed by the task ahead of me, I've literally won the entire battle.

It's totally mental. When I see a mess, it just makes me want to lay down with a glass of wine in my hand. I'm learning that thinking about how much I have to do or how messy things are is 10 times more exhausting than just digging in and getting it done. There are only three things in this world that can motivate me to clean.

1. Guests
We love having people over! One of the hidden benefits of regularly hosting company is that it keeps me on my toes.  My common areas (living room, dining room, and downstairs bathroom) can be cleaned to my liking within 30 minutes. Last week, I  called one of my friends in the neighborhood to see if we could get our kids together for a playdate. She was like, "Sure, we can come over in 30 minutes. " I, of course, agreed even though my kitchen looked like a war zone, and every surface from the counters to the tabletops was covered in crumbs and other assorted food remnants.

My troops and I (armed with wet sponges) kicked it into high gear and got the place sparkling. More cleaning was done in that 30 minutes than would have probably happened all day. I need to invite people over everyday (ok maybe that's a bit extreme).

2. My Super-Duper To-Do List
Lists are another little mind game I play with myself. I love the wildly productive feeling I get from marking items off my lists. This is why I am so meticulous when I make my lists. I write down every little task that needs to be accomplished so that I can have the pleasure of striking through said tasks over and over again. It also keeps me on track and reminds me of the things I need to do instead of letting the vacuum of social media suck up all of my free moments.

3. Creating Beauty
Beauty is another strong motivator for me. I don't want to clean up all of our dirty dishes, but I do want to make my kitchen look warm and inviting. All of the dried food remnants on our dining room table are NOT calling my name, but I do want to stage our dining room so that when people walk into our home they are welcomed by the sight of pretty wildflowers and the scent of a fragrant vanilla candle. Thinking about how I can make our living areas beautiful helps me to move beyond the more grueling cleaning tasks and become engaged in making our rooms a place where we want to live. How can I make my home a delight?

What helps keep you motivated? Let me in on your tips and secrets!!


  1. Oh, this is me. I'm definitely not a Type A Personality - but I do love to live in an orderly, pretty space. Like you, I keep common areas in working order, but I get overwhelmed at the thought of deep cleaning the house.

    This week I focused on forward motion. I realized housework is a snowball - in both good ways and bad. =) So I set a few goals every day, and focused on just doing those things. I'm also trying to do the small maintenance things (unloading the dishwasher) that keep the whole day moving in a forward direction.

    I'm also bad about creating hot spots - one corner of the common area where everything gets stacked, rather than put away. So next week I'm focusing on my current hot spot (the piano in the dining room) and the kids' play closet. Little by little, forward motion - that is my goal. If I can just make sure the snowball is rolling in the right direction, we do all right.

    1. Stephanie! I'm so glad I'm not the only one who is not uber-organized. I agree with you housework is definitely a snowball... if I ignore it it piles up and and threatens to overtake me but if I do a little bit all along the way I can get it conquered...Sounds like you're getting it under control!