Now I know that a clean house does wonders for the psyche. Decluttering and opening up spaces… it’s like fresh air for the soul. I know this. But when the spirit is feeling low, and therefore motivation is lacking, it’s so hard to pump one’s self up to do the nitty gritty work that needs to be done.
How do you combat this? How do you create an atmosphere that uplifts energizes when there’s so much work to be done?
In the past, I’ve discovered a few tricks that really work for me. Here are some of them:
* Put on some music. In my case, I have a portable mp3 player, so I can hear it no matter where I wander, and my neighbors can’t. Depending on my mood, I put on some dance-worthy tunes like Madonna, Bjork, C&C Music Factory, etc; or if I’m in an angry cleaning mood, I put on some punk and chicks screaming into microphones and the Pixies.
* Open up the windows. Let in the light, and let in the fresh air. Even in the winter, it’ll make you feel like Spring is making an appearance.
* Make yummy smells. I like to light incense or use essential oils in an oil burner. Sometimes, I’ll mop using just vinegar and whatever essential oils I have on hand. My favorite is lavender and tea-tree, but I also like ylang-ylang and citrus. In a pinch, I’ll toss some cinnamon and apple or orange peels into the food disposal to get rid of nasty-sink smell. Or if the air in the house is dry, I’ll boil those same ingredients on the stove for a few hours.
* Focus on a specific task, however minute, and reward yourself with frequent breaks. When I look at a mess, I feel overwhelmed. I look at the time, and whatever small amount of energy I had drains right out of me. But if I tell myself, “Just pick up the toys. Don’t do anything else, just the toys. Then you can go outside for some fresh air for a few minutes and come back in again,” by the time I’m done picking up the toys, I often find that I have to *make* myself take that break before moving on to the next task. But I do make myself do it, because it prolongs that burst of energy I just conjured up out of nowhere.
I’m interested to hear what works for other people. Please, share your thoughts!