3 Tips for Creatives Who Detest Housework
Creativity coach Alice Brock provides top tips on the creative life.
Posted April 24, 2021 | Reviewed by Matt Huston
Would you rather work on your painting or mop the floor? Edit your film or clean out the closet? Finish composing your symphony or clean the toilet? Are you actually on the side of mess and chaos and prefer some disorder to too much order? In today’s post, creativity coach Alice Brock explores this theme.
I like a clean and tidy house, but an afternoon of housecleaning makes me want to chew off my own arm. And to have to do it all over again in a few days or next week? Forget it. If this sounds like you, here are three tips that I find make housework a little more bearable for a creative person.
1. Do Your Creative Work First
Before you even think about doing housework, be sure you have worked on your current creative project for 10 to 30 minutes. Creating gives meaning to your life and meaning gives you energy.
If you do housework before your creative project, you are likely to go into a deeper and deeper funk with each swipe of the microfibre cloth. But if you work on your creative project first, you will be energized by it. Then you can use some of that extra energy (but not all of it!) to swish out a toilet or dust the bedroom blinds.
2. Clean It When You See It
If a spill or a dirty spot randomly catches your attention—say, a sticky spot on a refrigerator shelf—clean it right now. No really. Stop what you are doing and give the refrigerator shelf a quick wipe.
Here’s how: You grab the nearest cloth. You wet it and rub a little soap on it and then scrub the sticky spot on the refrigerator shelf. Bam! You’re done. See? Easy-peasy. Probably took less than two minutes. Now you are a genius instead of a slob.
3. The 10-Minute Clean
This tip requires a daily commitment, but don’t let that scare you. All you do is clean one thing a day. This could be as simple as wiping down the inside of that food-encrusted microwave, dusting your desk, or wiping the toilet seat with rubbing alcohol.
You are not doing all these things in one day (and if you are, you don't need this article). You do one small task that takes 10 minutes or less, and then go about your day. If you think, by golly, why stop at cleaning the toilet seat, let's have a go at the whole bathroom, you are teaching your creative self that housework can pop up at any moment and wreck a perfectly good day. Instead, do one small job and feel good that, for today, your toilet seat is no longer a health hazard.
If you are like me, you may find that, after a few weeks of daily 10-minute cleaning and clean-it-when-you-see-it jobs, you start to feel pleased about your cleaner home. You may even clean a little more often because it turns out that 10 minutes out of your day is no big deal. And you may find, like I have, that it’s a nicer way to live.
I invite you to try one of these tips and see for yourself. Which one will you start with?