I am one of those strange people who really loves having a clean house but can't seem to manage to do it. (What, that sounds like you, too? Go figure.) I get great satisfaction in clean, shining furniture, toys put away neatly, and upholstery with only minimal crumbs & cat hair.
I normally do just enough to keep the chaos under control & keep things sanitary. Every once in awhile, though, I'll buckle down and really CLEAN the house. I have to be in the right frame of mind to do it, and it requires a few other things as well:
1. Restraining/occupying Wendy. In my daily cleaning, I like to encourage her to help as much as possible. But when I'm in deep-clean mode, things just go better if she's happily strapped in her high chair & occupied with Play-Doh or buttons. She can still watch what I'm doing, & we still carry on conversations, but she's not going right behind me undoing everything or playing with the toilet cleaner.
2. Upbeat music. Last year for Mother's Day, James got me an iPod, and then for my birthday in June he got me an iPod speaker dock thingie for the living room. I have a playlist called "Upbeat" that I should have just named "Cleaning Music" - that's what I use it for. It's so much easier to do unpleasant tasks when the music is cranked! I vividly remember cleaning house as a child - my Mom would get out the Anne Murray & Neil Diamond records, and that's what she'd crank. (To this day, hearing Anne Murray & Neil Diamond makes me want to dust.)
3. Good-smelling products. Even though I don't have a very sensitive nose, one of my main motivators for cleaning is the fresh smell of the house. To me, a clean house smells like Lemon Endust. It's what my Mom always used when I was growing up, and the scent still says "clean" to me. I generally wash down our living room tables with soapy water (because toddlers are grubby) and then treat them liberally with Lemon Endust to restore some moisture & shine. If I ever find a candle that smells just like Lemon Endust, I'm stocking up.
4. Cookie breaks. Everybody likes cookie breaks. They're more important now that I'm pregnant & easily exhausted. I work no more than 30-45 minutes at a stretch without sitting down & having a snack or a drink of water. This helps keep me from getting too burned out and also helps keep my blood sugar under control.
These little things help keep me on track when it's time to clean. What do you do to stay motivated and get it done?
For more great tips, head over to We Are THAT Family for Works-For-Me Wednesday!