Hate cleaning? You’re not alone. While a clean home is something pretty much everyone aspires to, many of us often put off cleaning our home until dirt and mess build up. This is especially true if you are busy, have kids or pets or are ill, stressed or depressed, although, ironically, many of these conditions can actually be made worse by living in a dirty home. Clutter and mess can make even a bright, spacious apartment seem cramped, dark and depressing. If you’re physically ill, they can also worsen your symptoms, making recovery even slower. It’s a vicious cycle that is difficult to get out of once the mess gets too much. The best way, of course, is never to get there in the first place, keeping your home relatively neat and tidy to begin with. We’ve collected a few tips to help you get into the habit of cleaning your home regularly. They’re based on things we’ve learned the hard way, so hopefully they can help you have an easier life!

Make cleaning part of your routine

If you watch people whose houses are always super clean, you’ll see that they often have one thing in common – they clean as they go along. They wash the dishes after every meal, they clean every spill as it happens and they sweep the floor every morning, evening, or both. If you hate cleaning, this may seem like an annoying process – why not clean once in a while and get it over with? But while it’s true that cleaning thoroughly once a week or even once a month can appear to save you some effort psychologically, cleaning as you go along helps keep your home clean constantly. On top of that, it only takes a few minutes each time, so is actually not very demanding.

Make it fun

Put some music on, open the windows and make cleaning into something you may actually enjoy. If you’re a part of a couple or a family, make it a family event where everyone is working together. You can reward kids for participating in a clean-up to make it something they associate with something fun. But why not reward yourself as well? Make a date with yourself to go out somewhere nice when you’re done or buy yourself a present every time you do a big clean-up. Maybe you’ll learn to associate cleaning with something fun too!

Use the right tools for the job

Cleaning with poor cleaning products or tools can be a drag. You want to use effective stuff that will make the job easier and, more importantly, quicker. Good products, tools like mops and brooms, as well as appliances such as hoovers, floor cleaners, etc. are among the main factors that affect your cleaning experience. Investing in a good hoover or steam cleaner, for example, can save you a lot of time and effort when cleaning the house and make the job look professional. A strong all-purpose cleaner can make cleaning kitchen worktops and bathroom surfaces a breeze. Make sure you research or try a few brands to see which ones work best for you and your home.

If all else fails – get help

If all else fails and you can afford it – get a cleaner. Many people have a problem with the concept of someone else cleaning for them, but cleaning is a job like any other and there is no shame in giving someone work. If you are too busy to clean your own space but still want it cleaned, this is the best way to go. Getting a cleaner needn’t be expensive. While it’s true that cleaners do charge an impressive hourly rate (depending on where you are), you don’t necessarily have to have someone clean your home every day or even every week. Getting into a routine of cleaning as you go along is much easier when you’re starting from an already relatively clean home. So why not get a cleaner every two weeks or once a month, then do the rest of the cleaning yourself? Having a cleaner come over once a month may not seem like a lot, but unless you have a particularly messy home, it could be more than enough.