It took some time to figure out how to tackle everything — but it was worth it.
As wonderful as it would be to get everything done in a day or weekend, it probably won't happen. (Or it will, but it'll be so stressful and tedious that you won't want to clean again for a year.)
Instead, be honest with yourself. Miller suggests sorting tasks by what they require of you — like time, money, or energy. Maybe you don't have time to fully clean the bathroom all in one day, but you have the money and energy to order a new shower curtain. Every step still counts!
It's a universal joke that writers will suddenly be VERY interested in doing the dishes once they have an impending deadline. Everyone procrastinates, but sometimes, the way we procrastinate can be better for us than, say, just scrolling through Instagram.
For example, maybe you don't feel like applying to that job or doing that assignment right now, but you've also been meaning to wipe down your kitchen counter for a while. Even taking a 10-minute break to do a chore can give your brain a reset (while also giving you a slightly cleaner space.) Or, try the one-minute rule for a day. Or a week!
Sorting through your old clothes can be intimidating and take a long time. One way to get you a little more motivated? Selling your old stuff via a service like Poshmark or a local thrift store. Not only will those sweaters you never really wear no longer clutter your closet — they might make you a quick buck, too.
If you live with a partner, roommate(s), or family, some of the stuff you need to get rid of is probably theirs. And since everyone has different radars for what "clean" looks like, it's good to just ask them to tag-team on the cleaning. You can say something like "Hey, the top shelf of our closet feels really disorganized and kind of stresses me out — can we set an hour aside this weekend to go through everything together?"
Keep things like a Swiffer, Clorox wipes, and Windex in easy-access places so fast cleaning session are easier to pull off. (Because let's be real, you are NOT going to wipe down your bathroom mirror or de-scale your showerhead if your supplies are buried under 20 other things under your sink.)
It can be tough to get excited about cleaning and removing stuff from your home when you only think of it as losing things. Instead, see it as an opportunity to revamp your home in small ways. Maybe it's cleaning your room AND adding a reed diffuser, or swapping string lights with a tapestry. Whatever it is, there are always tiny (often inexpensive) touches you can add to give your space a much-needed refresh.
Personally, I swear by this robot vacuum, but there are tons of ways to minimize cleanup in the future. Could you get an extra shelving unit? A makeup organizer? The more you can confidently know where different objects belong, the easier it will be to keep from having piles of jackets on one chair (you know the one.)
Similarly, being in quarantine maybe kickstarted some habits you don't love (but that have also brought you comfort during this time.) For instance, up until now, my partner and I always ate dinner on the couch. Now that it's nicer out and we have more energy, we make an effort to actually eat at the table so we don't keep getting crumbs everywhere. It also actually feels more intentional than just spending many hours watching TV.
Maybe you got a little more lax with how often you do laundry or dishes, or started to eat breakfast in bed every morning. If there's something you know got you through some rough months but is no longer serving you, try to reconfigure!
I'm a big proponent of gratitude journaling, especially when quarantine days can really bleed into each other. One thing that helped me was writing down how much *better* I felt after cleaning up. I actually like looking at my closet now, my bathroom smells great, and I even found a necklace I thought I had lost years ago. Maybe next time, I won't wait this long to feel this good.