How To Clean When You Are Overwhelmed with Housework

What to do when you have no motivation to clean.

There can be many reasons you can’t get motivated to clean your home and get overwhelmed by housework.

  • Financial stress
  • Family problems
  • Ill health
  • A busy job
  • A new baby
  • Lack of help and support
  • Busy social life
  • After school activities
  • Demanding hobbies
  • Working away
  • Disabilities
  • Illness in the family
  • Chronic pain
  • Overwhelm
  • Dislike of cleaning

Finding cleaning motivation when you are in one or more of the above situations can be very frustrating and it is easy to get overwhelmed by housework and cleaning.


How to stop being overwhelmed with housework.

The first thing to do is to recognise what is holding you back and making you procrastinate.

Take a piece of paper and write down the thoughts which spring to mind when you decide you don’t want to clean.

We all have inner voices which make us procrastinate and destroy our motivation to do housework and clean.

  • There’s so much to do
  • I don’t know where to start
  • It’s not my mess
  • I haven’t got time
  • It’ll just get messy again
  • I hate cleaning
  • I won’t get it all done
  • I’m exhausted
  • I cant put the baby down


If any of those seem familiar to you, you’re not alone.

I have no motivation to clean because there is always too much to do.

This is a common excuse and one which is destroying your motivation to clean.

Yes, there is too much to do, it didn’t get in a mess in one day and it certainly isn’t going to get clean in a day, and, it definitely won’t get any cleaner unless you start to clean, today!


I’m overwhelmed with housework and I don’t know where to start.

There’s no correct place to start cleaning but there are areas which are a higher priority to keep clean

  • Food preparation areas
  • Communal areas
  • Anywhere small children and babies play and eat


It’s not my mess I’m not cleaning it.

Sure it’s tough living with a bunch of messy people, I’m the first person to understand that with my messy lot!

However, you need to weigh up whether you’d rather prove a point and wait for whoever made the mess to tidy it up or deal with it now and enjoy relaxing in a clean environment.

Everyone has different standards of cleanliness, you included, and if their standards aren’t as high as yours, you might just have to suck it up and deal with it. I’m guessing that you would prefer your house to be tidier because you’re reading this post!

It’s always wise to start your kids tidying up after themselves, it teaches them self-respect for themselves and respect for other people in the house, it teaches them that you are all part of a team and everyone has a part to play within that team. click here for an age-appropriate chore chart for kids.

I haven’t got time for housework

We all have 24 hours in each day, its what you chose to do with those hours that really counts. There are the important hours you spend on things  like;

  • Work
  • Family commitments and family time
  • Sleeping

and there are leisure hours which you might spend on

  • Hobbies
  • Socialising
  • Social media
  • Television
  • Gaming
  • Reading

Take a pen and jot down how many hours you spend on the first three items above. If you’re committed to  30-60 hours a week at your job, you’re probably going to need to draft in some help with the cleaning chores. Ask the family to chip in with more jobs or consider hiring a cleaner if your budget allows you to.

If you’re spending all your time running around after your family there may be very  little time for you to find time to clean, sometimes swapping childcare with another mum in the same boat can help so you can each get some time to clean, but more often than not mums of small children find time when their kids are sleeping to do their cleaning routine.

After you have established how much free time you have got left you can jot down how many hours you spend doing activities on the second list.

If you have a hobby which takes up a huge amount of your time you may have to devote at least one hour a week to clean your house and establish a routine to keep on top of the daily chores which need to be done,  the same would apply if you spend a vast amount of time socialising.

If you are spending a huge amount of time on social media, gaming and TV you can read my post here about switching off and getting things done!

Social media really can be a time drain, try to limit your social media intake to a set time every day after you have done your chores you’ll be amazed at how much time you save and how much you can get done in that time.

It’ll just get messy again

That’s no excuse to procrastinate, get up and get it done!


I’m overwhelmed with housework and  I don’t like cleaning!

Do you prefer cleaning or living in a dirty house? I know which I prefer, so pull on your big girl pants and get on with it!


I don’t know how to tackle a messy house

Nobody ever gets it all done, because as your clearing up one mess someone else is probably making another one somewhere else! Establishing a solid routine which you can follow every day will be better than expecting to clean it all at once.  Be realistic about the size of your house and the amount of free time you have,  be kind to yourself and stop beating yourself up about getting it done in one go.  Remember that even a professional cleaning company would have to send in a crew of cleaners to get it clean before the end of the day!


I’m too tired to clean the house.

If you’re suffering from ill health, are working long hours or are looking after loved ones with no time to yourself this will be a reality for you. Just do what you can, concentrate on self-care first, make sure you’re looking after yourself and try to create a basic routine to keep on top of the important jobs.

If you are suffering from postnatal depression or have been diagnosed with depression please seek help from a medical professional before following any advice in this post

If you’re a stay at home parent and your kids are all at school, use that time to assume that looking after the house is your job, commit to working in your house for a few hours a day, getting organised and on top of the household chores before you spend time on any social media activities.


I can’t put the baby down to get cleaning

Having a new baby or toddlers in the house is a huge challenge, spare time can be non-existent. Concentrate on creating a routine that will cover all the essential jobs first and don’t stress if you’re not getting as much done as you need to, it’s just temporary!


How to get some motivation to do housework.


  •  Get organised and establish routines, having a good routine is the foundation to keeping your house clean, I have  written a few posts about how to create a good routine, to get you started you can  read how here, then you can have a go at creating your own routines to fit in with your schedule and commitments.


  • Write a list and start. I find that having a list allows me to prioritise the jobs I need to get done, I use my list as my personal motivator to end procrastination and get some cleaning motivation!


  • Set a timer, there really is nothing better than a timer to give you the motivation to clean your house. the beauty of setting a timer is that you can set it for as short or as long a  time as you can spare, you can set it as many times as you like for as many jobs as you’d like. I usually set mine for 15 minutes as I find that this gives me enough time to make a difference to the task I’ve chosen without giving me burnout and overwhelm. If I want to carry on after the timer has ended I just set it for another 15 minutes.


  • Listen to music. You can really get motivated when listening to your favourite tunes, put on the earphones and get cleaning!
  • Listen to an audiobook this is one of my favourite things to do whilst cleaning, as I don’t have any time to read anymore since the kids have come along, so I like to listen to self-help, motivational and classic books whilst I’m working and cleaning, learning while working kills two birds with one stone an makes for a productive couple of hours!


  • Listen to a podcast. Podcasts are another fabulous way to pass the time when you’re cleaning, just search for your favourite subjects and listen to the hundreds of free podcasts waiting for you.


  • Make your own cleaning products. Often the cleaning products we use can be full of chemicals and can be bad for our health when used over a long period of time. I like to make my own cleaning products using essential oils, this allows me to chose my favourite scent such as peppermint or lavender to make beautiful cleaning products at a fraction of the cost of shop bought products. To download our free cleaning recipes click here to sign up for our updates and access to our soap scum remover, and peppermint glass cleaner recipes.


  • Use the best tools. If you want to cut down on your cleaning time you need to get savvy with cleaning techniques. Using the correct tools for each job will help you whizz through the dirt in a fraction of the time, read which tools I keep in my cleaning kit here. I  talk you through the tools and products I use to cut through the crud in a whizz!


I hope you’ve now learnt how to get some motivation to clean and are ready to get stuck in!

Do you struggle with procrastination? Leave us a comment below!


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  1. Taima

    July 9, 2018 at 4:32 am

    Love this post. I’m that person that never feels like there is enough time to clean. Between working full time, blogging full time and just life in general it gets tough. Thanks for the tips.


    1. Clare Davison

      July 9, 2018 at 9:21 pm

      Blogging – it takes over your life! 😊

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