10 Ways to Make Cleaning More Fun (Yes, Really)

Here's how to stop procrastinating and make your cleaning time count.

For some, cleaning is cathartic (decluttering a physical space can help with decluttering the mind). For many others? It's just another set of line items on a never-ending to-do list, compounding as the time goes by.

But the dirty dishes in the sink and the laundry pile in the bedroom aren't going anywhere. As for that closet-cleaning project you've been putting off for months, there's probably no way around it. The good news? With creativity (and some technological assists), you can make cleaning into more of a...dare we say...good time.

At the very least, you could turn your next cleaning session into a multi-tasking bonanza. What if, by the end of it, you've accomplished two tasks—like fitting in your daily workout or learning something new? Here are some of our favorite ideas for making the most of your next cleaning session.

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Approach it like a pro.

Give your home the star treatment by trying the techniques of well-known organizing aficionados, such as Marie Kondo or the clear container-obsessed duo behind The Home Edit. Your space and wallet will benefit from the self-guided pro tour, and you'll become an expert at tidying up (not to mention assessing what does and does not spark joy) in the process. Here are a few more clutter-conscious TV shows to check out.

02 of 10

Make money.

Need a little help parting with beloved, yet oft-overlooked goods? View it as a way to bring in some extra cash by selling in-demand fashion, tech, and memorabilia pieces to a consignment or second-hand store. Online services like eBay and Poshmark allow you to set your own price and send items with ease.

03 of 10

Embrace your inner philanthropist.

Even better, view surplus and unused items as an outlet to give back. Many shelters will accept new and gently used clothing, unopened canned foods, appliances, and personal care products. Google "donation centers near me" to get a better sense of their needs, restrictions, and drop-off guidelines.

04 of 10

Connect with loved ones.

If a busy schedule is getting in the way of your relationships, turn your next cleaning session into a virtual catch-up with family and friends. Particularly ideal for quieter and more straightforward tasks (such as folding laundry), you'll pass the time and strengthen bonds in the process.

05 of 10

Engage in mindful meditation.

In addition to connecting with others, cleaning can provide an opportunity to reconnect with yourself. Elevate the experience—and your mood—by embracing the principles of mindful meditation, either on your own or with the help of guided meditation apps. (Or try Real Simple Relax, which offers easy-to-follow, voice-activated meditations that can be accessed any time using Amazon Echo and Alexa devices.)

06 of 10

Listen to a podcast.

Dust and polish away while catching up on the latest, trendy podcast series. Scores of podcasts (from Apple, Spotify, Pocket Casts, etc.) offer content on every topic imaginable and can be selected based on date, subject matter, and running times. (We suggest pairing unnerving true crime podcasts with morning or midday tasks!)

07 of 10

Read a new book.

Behind in book club? Use your next closet clean-out as an excuse to indulge in a new page-turner (sans having to actually turn a page) with the help of an audio streaming service like Audible that allows you to purchase and listen to books at your own pace. Most public libraries lend audio titles, too.

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Have a dance party.

Create a playlist with songs from your favorite artists or new ones you've been meaning to check out. Working with a crew of friends or family members? Take song requests or engage in a few rounds of karaoke to boost participation and morale.

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Make it a game.

Speaking of teamwork, there's nothing like a little friendly competition to help stoke productivity. Challenge housemates to see who can complete the most tasks in a certain period, or play a trivia game while you work.

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Reward yourself.

For larger projects, create fun incentives for yourself and others to get the job done. The payoff could be anything from uninterrupted TV time to a favorite meal (or may we suggest one of these home gifts that keep on giving?).

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