Cleaning & Organizing

5 Sneaky Tricks I Use to Make Cleaning My Apartment Less of a Chore

Cleaning tricks"
Cleaning tricks
Source: Room for Tuesday
Source: Room for Tuesday

I am not naturally a tidy person. Growing up, my room was always a full-on mess. Clothes all over the floor, books stacked high on my nightstand—it was consistently a disaster zone. It wasn’t until I became an adult that I realized living in a state of organized chaos was not in my best interest, even if I swore I knew where everything was amidst the piles of never-ending stuff. A clean, tidy space makes me breathe a little easier and helps me stay focused on whatever it is I’m doing at home, whether it’s working or relaxing.

Romanticizing my Sundays definitely helps me feel good about the week ahead, and part of my Sunday reset now includes tidying up my home. While this process isn’t always glamorous, I’ve figured out a few ways to trick myself into actually looking forward to this part of my Sunday routine by making the process a little more light-hearted and fun. Why dread pulling out the vacuum when it could actually be a cute little activity that has a reward at the end? Read on for a few cleaning tricks that will make cleaning your apartment actually enjoyable.



1. Set a timer and see how much you can get done.

Sitting around thinking about how long cleaning my apartment will take always makes me want to procrastinate even more. Luckily, it never actually takes as long as I think it will. I’ve realized you can get a lot done if you focus and keep moving! Plus, it helps if you can think about it like a game. Try this trick the next time you’re ready for a quick tidy: Set a timer on your phone and see how much cleaning you can do in 15 minutes. Spoiler alert: it’s probably more than you think. If 15 minutes still feels like a lot, blast the 10-minute version of “All Too Well” and see how much you can get done before the song ends. Singing along is highly encouraged, obviously.


2. Reward yourself.

As someone who thrives on little treats throughout the day after I accomplish literally anything, I can say with confidence that incentivizing yourself is a great way to help you tackle the chore you’ve been avoiding for weeks. Once you get that thing done, reward yourself. Did you clean the bathroom? You deserve a Starbucks. Did you fold your mountain of laundry and put it away? Buy yourself some flowers. It could also be as simple as rewarding yourself for finishing a task by vegging out on the couch for the rest of the day with a face mask. Whatever small treat or act of self-care inspires you to get some things done is perfect. At-home mani, anyone?



3. Blast music.

OK, hear me out. Listening to music or a podcast isn’t exactly groundbreaking when it comes to getting through a task like cleaning your apartment. But if you have a specific playlist that’s full of songs that hype you up—and you turn the volume up just a little bit more than usual—the vibes will be so high you may even convince yourself that cleaning your baseboards is exciting.


4. Clean with others.

The times when I have the most fun cleaning are when I do it with my husband. Not only does it take less time since it’s two of us working, but it’s also more enjoyable. We usually tidy together over the weekend, and it’s a great time to catch up on things from the week. You can do all of the tips above with a roommate or significant other, and you can get everything done while chatting and singing along to your playlist. Teamwork!



5. Take breaks when you need them.

Once in a blue moon, I find myself in a cleaning mood. If I’m in the zone, I can go for hours. But honestly, these magic cleaning vibes are totally unreliable, and forcing myself to tackle a project I don’t want to do never really works out in the end. What does work though? Starting small and taking breaks. If a larger cleaning task seems especially not fun (like a bathroom or kitchen deep-clean), break it up into smaller tasks and work in short spurts. Set the timer for 15 minutes (or turn on “All Too Well”) and focus on one small task. Then, take a five- or 10-minute break. Lay on the couch. Scroll TikTok for a few minutes. Then get back to it.

If 15 minutes doesn’t seem like enough time, try the Pomodoro method and work for 25 minutes, followed by a five-minute break. Taking breaks in between will keep you feeling refreshed and not overworked. Just be sure to keep your breaks short, and reward yourself once the task is done, of course. Happy cleaning!