Mr. LL and I are not perfect in the cleaning department, still, but I thought I'd write this post to embrace you other lazy people out there. With three hairballs running around, and both of us having lustrous locks, our house always, ALWAYS needs sweeping and dusting (anyone else get "hair spiders" in their clean laundry or is just us?). The dishes get done when they get done and the dryer is a clothing storage compartment. However, here are a few tips that I've learned and am still learning that can make cleaning a bit easier.
1. Make your bed.
Seriously, every cleaning list/blog/piece advice tells you to do this and this post is no different. After the first Baby Steps Cleaning Challenge, I discovered the magic of making the bed. It just makes the whole room look neat-at-a-glance (don't focus too hard on the socks peaking out from under the made bed or the closet with clothes on the floor because they fell from the hangers).
2. Do the god-damn dishes.
Sigh. I wish I could just get this one down, but I'm honestly trying. If Mr. LL and I could get on the same page of doing the dishes as soon as we are done with them, then we wouldn't have to spend 30 minutes or more washing them on the weekend. It's a work in progress, and honestly I think two full time working people have to give themselves some slack every now and then. We are both tired after working all day and sometimes we just want to eat and veg out. Still, even if we just wash dishes for five minutes, WITH A TIMER, it will help out in the long run.
3. Three fluffs and you're out.
So, I've given up the fight to stop storing clean clothes in our dryer. You gotta pick your battles, and this was a losing one. However, I do have a rule that if we fluff the same set of clothes three times, then it is time for them to come out of the dryer and get put away. We usually need the dryer before it gets to that point, but weekends get lazy...lazier. We have at least gotten into the habit of putting away the clothes once out of the dryer. So, ya know, small victories.
4. 5 minute pick ups are pretty great.
During the Baby Steps Challenge, I started doing a daily 15 minute pick up, but found that most days I didn't need that much time for a pick up. So I advise just setting aside 5 minutes of your day, whenever works best for you, to just go from the front to the back of your house (or however it works for you, I live in a shotgun style house, so front to back works for me) picking up trash, things that should be somewhere else (like the socks Bigby drags out of the laundry) and just doing a general straightening up (fixing the pillows on the couch, doing a quick dry wipe of the counters, etc.). I usually make the bed at the same time, though not counting it in the 5 minutes if I'm using a timer – which I do use sometimes. When I'm feeling particularly overwhelmed, I'll use a timer to get my butt in motion to do this task; it gives you permission to stop and that is a huge stress alleviator.
5. Embrace maintenance and your future-self will thank you for it.
I've really become a convert to the "think of your future-self" mindset. It basically boils down to if you stop and think about whether or not a task will be harder for your future self than it is for your present self, then you should do it and save yourself the added struggle in the future. An example I like to use is this, will washing out the sauce pan you made dinner with now be easier to do than it would be to clean tomorrow (or, let's get real, in a few days from now) after all the food has caked on to at you have spend three times as much time and energy cleaning it?
Doing maintenance work like the tasks I've talked about above will make life easier on your future-self. I think that we lazy people are pretty selfish. I mean, I'm just calling it like I see it. I know that when I don't want to do something it is because I don't want leave the comfort of the couch to put in the effort to do it even though it needs to get done and I like the outcome of having it done. So while we may try to motivate our lazy asses with thoughts of others (spouses, kids, roommates, whatever), lazy people are selfish at their core. And I don't mean in a bad way. I'd give my right arm to make sure that no one I loved ever suffered again in their lifetimes, but I don't want to take out the trash because I'm comfortable right now and that would require me to put on pants. So if we change the motivation from outward to inward, that might be the best tactic there is for us lazy souls. What's five minutes today if that means I get an extra 30 minutes of lazy time tomorrow? See? Now THAT'S motivating.