There are those people that seem to absolutely relish cleaning and positively glow when there’s something to organize or rearrange. Surrounding them is the world of average Janes and Johns to whom cleaning is still a veritable chore, usually standing in the way of much more fun to be had.
Chores tend to be put off for as long as possible but nonetheless always catch up with the procrastinator. Only, at this much delayed date they are far more sizable and complicated than they would’ve been in an alternate universe of regular maintenance and upkeep. The secret to making spring cleaning or any type of cleaning or chore manageable is to make it less of a chore from a psychological standpoint.
A Chore or Not – You Decide
The motivation to keep things clean is obviously not enough for many, but if the idea is propped up and associated with more desirable goals and enjoyable elements it stands a much better chance of being viewed more positively and therefore stuck with and persisted through. One such motivating factor is that the detailed and hence often lengthy nature of spring cleaning happens to make it pretty decent low-impact, moderate exercise.
Cleaning as Just Another Type of Exercise
Looking at it from this angle, dragging a heavy vacuum around and lifting it up and down the stairs approximately equates it to a weight-bearing light walk. Running around with a duster can be slightly more vigorous, especially if there’s a lot of jumping up, climbing and stretching to reach that tall piece of furniture. Sorting, folding, carrying, ironing, scrubbing and the like can also be more or less strenuous according to your desired level of intensity.
Much like any workout, there’s a pre-established structure to the type of activity performed, but it’s the way in which it is performed that really determines the end result. The choice is yours: you can make that harsh pre-soaking fluid (threatening to suffocate you and disintegrate the surface along with the crusty patch) do most of the work, or you can give your underused fine-detailing muscles their fifteen minutes of fame.
It makes for a good all around strategy to pair spring cleaning with the spring slim-down (or just a health maintaining workout for those who are already in a decent shape). And there’s no reason why all of this couldn’t be done to the energizing beat of your favorite tunes to help the focus shift to what’s pleasurable, rather than what’s daunting.
One Activity, Multiple Achievements
Instead of rushing out to the gym and leaving the mess behind it makes far more sense to just turn the dwelling to be spring cleaned into a temporary gym and invest all that energy and motivation into an activity that does double duty; chances are the workout will be long enough to be effective but not overly strenuous, and the end of it marked by the feeling of well-being that is both physiological and psychological.
The relief of a major chore taken off the to-do list can be downright exhilarating. And besides cleaning your conscience and wiping off that nagging procrastinator’s guilt you’ve also created a new precedent and a new way of looking at spring cleaning. There’s now the memory of a fairly positive experience in place of former dread of tedious and seemingly never-ending endeavor, that will make the task much more timely and far less anxiety inducing in the future.