Can't be bothered to clean? How To TRICK yourself into action!

Can't be bothered to clean? How To TRICK yourself into action!

I’ve said it before on this blog, but I’m not a huge fan of cleaning. However, I hate a dirty house even more!

My number one goal is to make cleaning as easy as possible, and sometimes that means finding ways to trick myself into starting.

So in this post I’m going to help you do that too!

The big secret to making yourself clean up, is to remove the friction to get started.

Common excuses for not cleaning up might be:

  1. I can’t find a cloth.
  2. The vacuum is at the back of the cupboard and the dust cup is full.
  3. I don’t have time.
  4. The task is too big.
  5. I will have to move a ton of clutter before I can get started.

If you can remove those barriers, you can pretty much trick your psyche to stop being lazy and get motivated.

So today, I have 10 tips to trick yourself into cleaning your house. Make sure you read to the end because number 10 is my biggest trick. It works every time I use it.

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Let’s get started!

1. See a dusty spot? - ignore it!

See a dirty or dusty spot and have no time to deal with it now? Then it is perfectly fine to ignore it.

But while you are thinking about it, you very probably have time to go and find a dusting cloth, or the correct cleaner for the task and leave it nearby.

Next time you are passing by that spot, it’s much more likely you are going to tackle it there and then since you have made it so easy for yourself to pick up the cloth you left handy, and get started.

2. Leave a handy cloth in the bathroom

In the places that need the most attention, such as the bathroom and kitchen, always leave a cleaning cloth and your chosen cleaning solution to hand. If you make your own as I do, put it in a nice sweet bottle that enhances the decor of the room

This makes it easier to get started, and you might find yourself cleaning up when you are in that room next.

For example, when you have finished your shower or even while you are showering, pick up the cloth you left handy and wipe over the shower door and around the bath etc. If you feel like it, use some cleaning spray too.

3. Keep the vacuum cleaner accessible

cordless vacuum cleaner

Make sure to keep your vacuum cleaner accessible, so it is easy for you to pick up and use. If you only have time to clean one area, leave it near the next area you want to clean.

Empty the dust bag or cup after you use it so that you have no excuses the next time.

Which brings me onto the next trick …

4. Invest in a cordless vacuum

If you are in the market for a new vacuum, make sure it is a cordless one. Cordless stick vacuums are a godsend for lazy cleaners like me! Since I got it, our floors are so much cleaner!

The great thing about them is:

  1. They are so easy to grab.
  2. You can cover a lot of ground without having to faff about with cables.
  3. They have a short battery life. This is actually a good thing, because you will never spend longer than necessary vacuuming.

If you can justify it, I thoroughly recommend having more than one vacuum in the house. It means you always have one accessible, plus two people can clean up at the same time.

5. Leave the easy jobs to last

If you are the type of person who will never go to bed with washing-up in the sink, or a mucky bathroom, use that to your advantage.

If you have another cleaning job to do, always do it before the washing-up, laundry etc. because you know that by bedtime, those jobs will be done automatically anyway.

6. Need to wash your bed?

changing the bed

It’s much easier to take bedding off the bed than put it back on. If you can’t be bothered, or you just don’t have the time to change the whole bed, just take it off right there, and dump it straight in the washing machine.

Since it’s unlikely you are going to get a good night’s sleep tonight without a new bedding set, you can be pretty sure that by bedtime you will have put clean sheets back on.

7. Never spend more than 10 minutes cleaning at a time

If you are a lazy cleaner like me, it is essential that you stop cleaning after 10 minutes.

You can get a lot of cleaning done in 10 minutes, so don’t worry about that.

The reason I don’t recommend cleaning for more than 10 minutes, is that it’s really not good for your brain to do more than that!

Because when it’s time to clean again, your brain will be saying to you:

Don’t bother. The last time I cleaned [thing] I was at it for over an hour.

If the last time you cleaned was only for 10 minutes, it is way easier to reason with yourself.

8. Always stop when it is clean ‘enough’

We are all far too self-critical, and many of us are more OCD than we are willing to admit. I certainly am!

Do you think your house guests are going inspect every corner when they visit? I don’t think so! If they do, then get some new friends ha ha!

9. Declutter your house


Keep surfaces and flooring clear of clutter. It is much easier to get motivated if you don’t have to move things around just to get started.

If you need help organizing and decluttering, I recommend following this lady for all the tips you need.

10. Don’t think about the whole task

If you know you have a cleaning job to do that you really can’t be bothered with, don’t let your brain think about the whole task in front of you.

Only think about the first small thing that needs doing. When you complete the first small task, I am willing to bet that you will find yourself doing the whole job, because the first part was so easy.

For example:

If it’s time to dust your blinds, and you can’t be bothered, challenge yourself to clean the first slat only. If that goes well for you, I bet your brain will tell you to carry on. It’s what I do, and it really works!

That little trick works with anything, not just cleaning tasks.

For example, flossing your teeth. Aim to floss one tooth. Before you realize it, you will have flossed them all.

Here’s another one:

To make myself practice my clarinet, I tell myself that I only need to play for five minutes. Since that’s pretty easy to do, I find myself playing for much longer.

I learned this trick from James Clear. I thoroughly recommend getting on his email list here for more brilliant motivational tips.

If any of these tips worked for you, or you have more to share, please comment below, or on the pin. I can’t wait to hear!

Sparkling Penny

Penny | Sparkling Penny

Penny’s expert cleaning advice has been featured repeatedly by Homes and Gardens Magazine, and also at wikiHow, The Daily Express Newspaper, and Glam Magazine to name a few! was founded in 2019 and has since helped millions of people achieve a cleaner living space.

Share your thoughts

On  March 21, 2024   Wendy Tucker (Tockman)  said:

What about using dish detergent as body wash? i.e., Dawn? Or a different brand. I'm in U.S.;I believe Dawn is called something else in U.K.

On  March 21, 2024   Penny  said:

That's interesting. I have to say I've never tried it! I think dish soap would be too harsh as a body wash. I would want something more gentle for my skin. My go to body wash is Johnson's Baby Wash, I buy the copycat version in Tesco or Lidl which is just as good. Fairy is probably the Dawn equivalent in the U.K.

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Make house cleaning quick and easy with these 10 tips for tricking your brain into action. Get a cleaner house and an easier life with these quick tips that work every time.  #lifehacks #cleaninghacks