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Whether you’re looking to work on your cleaning habits or struggle getting started, these ten tips on how to use smart devices to improve your cleaning routine might help.

1. Try Timing Yourself

Using a timer can be ideal for gaining motivation for cleaning, particularly if you find yourself procrastinating, lacking the attention span, feeling overly lazy, or struggling to find the time otherwise.


Why Time Yourself While Cleaning?

Working in short increments can help reduce anxiety when it comes to cleaning or tackling more significant projects. And you can also get a surprising amount of work done by breaking down larger tasks into smaller, bite-sized pieces.

A timer can also work as a motivator since it allows you to turn cleaning into a bit of a challenge or game. For instance, you could challenge yourself to get x-amount of chores or tasks done in a specific timeframe and before the alarm sounds, regardless of whether you plan to clean for 2, 5, 10, or even 30 minutes.

Using a timer can also help you focus on the task at hand while encouraging you to pick up the pace. This allows for more efficiency and speed as opposed to not setting a timer and possibly getting distracted, moving too slowly, or going well over the amount of time you might have had in mind.

Ways to Time Yourself

  • A kitchen, oven, or microwave timer
  • Phone or other smart devices
  • Audiobook app with a timer for when to stop playing the book
  • A video or music playlist that plays for x-amount of time

Tips For Timing Yourself As You Clean

  • Know what cleaning tasks you’ll be doing before you get started
  • Have a rough idea as to how you’ll be performing those tasks
  • Try not to overload yourself
  • Move quickly/don’t dawdle
  • Treat it like a game or challenge

2. Entertain Yourself As You Clean

If you tend to struggle with finding the motivation to clean, try mixing it up with activities that you enjoy doing or listening to at the same time. As long as it won’t distract you or cause you to stop cleaning, pretty much anything goes.

One of my favorite ways to achieve this is by adding some entertainment, such as music and audiobooks, into my routine. Doing so made a huge difference in cleaning in general, and adding something I enjoyed into the mix helped change my perspective about cleaning into something more positive.

It also didn’t take long for me to switch from hating to clean to looking forward to my evening and morning cleaning routines in a way, simply because I was able to wind down for the day while listening to music, my favorite Youtube channels, or an audiobook. Best of all, I got to go to bed and wake up to a clean house, which can feel amazing.

Types of Cleaning Entertainment

  • Audiobooks
  • Podcasts
  • Music
  • Chat with someone on the phone or in-person
  • Turn it into a game
  • Videos or Movies you can listen to rather than watch

Tip: Headphones can help you zone out while cleaning and can also be a great way to escape temporarily and wind down a bit, even when cleaning. Furthermore, you’ll be less likely to get distracted by other factors, which can help make your cleaning time more efficient and faster.

3. Set Reminders

Setting reminders for yourself and other housemates can be a fantastic way to stay on top of your regular and not-so-regular household tasks—especially if you’re in the habit of forgetting about them.

Best of all, smart devices can be great for communicating with others since you can politely remind or ask someone to do something, all while having a very impartial mediator at the same time. That slight disconnect helps make it feel less personal, which can be particularly useful in situations where tension or frustration might otherwise crop up or if you often have to ask someone to do something.

  • Phone or computer reminders
  • Digital Calendar
  • To-do list or planner-based reminders
  • Fridge reminders
  • Home hub reminders
  • Analog planners, lists, or calendars (paper)

4. Use Digital To-Do Lists

Love ’em or hate ’em, keeping household to-do lists can do wonders for staying on top of home and personal day-to-day tasks. And this can be more so for people who have a hard time keeping track of tasks that need to be done.

Digital lists, such as many phone apps, can be ideal for those who want something that’s generally more accessible than old-school ink-and-paper lists. After all, paper lists often aren’t always going to be around when you need them.

Paper lists tend to become lost, damaged, coffee-stained, or forgotten about altogether if you’re anything like me. And by the time you get to your life, chances are also good that you will have forgotten all about it anyway.

Using digital lists can help you avoid these issues and allow you to stay on top of your cleaning.

Nowadays, a variety of useful digital-based to-do lists are free or, at the very least, come with a low subscription fee. Some types can also be used across multiple devices, making them more accessible on the fly when compared to paper lists.

Some apps help you to create to-do lists that can be ideal for organizing ongoing or single-use chores lists, routines, and scheduling. Many even allow you to set reminders, share or collaborate with others, or add tasks or lists to your calendar.

  • Google Keep
  • Microsoft To-Do
  • Notion
  • Anydo
  • Todoist
  • Habitica.
  • nTask
  • ToodleDo

Other Benefits to Using Apps for Cleaning

When using to-do apps for your cleaning practices, you can often see how much progress you’ve made with your habits and routines over time, assuming you archive or hold onto them for later referencing. You can also get a better feel for what works best for your household and what doesn’t.

To-do apps can also give you the benefit of being able to interact and gain the satisfaction of checking things off your list, just like with paper lists. Whether you use paper lists or go digital, there’s a sense of accomplishment and even a little burst of happy hormones that you can gain by checking things off your daily, weekly, or even monthly to-do lists.

5. Consider Using Cleaning-Themed Apps

Cleaning apps can be an excellent way to boost your cleaning game and overall cleaning habits and are usually specifically designed for cleaning.

Certain cleaning apps may even be able to assist you with scheduling tasks based on need rather than having to do it by a specific deadline. Others may work similarly to a traditional list, to-do list, or schedule.

Some cleaning apps will allow you to focus more on certain zones or areas of your home.

  • Tody
  • Cleaning Schedule (PikaPika)
  • Home Routines

6. Gain Some Inspiration and Know-How

When it comes to using smart devices to improve your cleaning routine, finding the right motivation, knowledge, or incentive can play a big role. Fortunately, you can find plenty of motivation from cleaning channels on Youtube, Netflix, and other programs, even as you do nothing more than sit, watch, and eat some popcorn.

Don’t know how to clean something, or hope to find a better way to go about it? Luckily, there’s a good chance someone else online–whether through text or video format–will know the right tricks, or will even just have a better solution you haven’t thought of yet.

“Immerse yourself in a life that moves you, because what you surround yourself with is what becomes your life.”

– Topaz, The Art of a Beautiful Life

Where to Find Inspiration

  • Youtube cleaning channels
  • Cleaning blogs
  • How-to Books
  • Cleaning and organizing shows
    • Netflix
    • Amazon Prime

Good for ADHD or the Motivationally Challenged

As someone with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), I found that immersing myself with videos of people cleaning and how-to guides, videos, and books helped me learn how to clean more efficiently. And chances are good that if it can help someone like me, who’s pretty much hated cleaning for almost forty years, then it can pretty much help anyone.

By immersing myself a bit in the world of cleaning, I was also able to work around my procrastination and anxiety when it came to getting things done around the house since I was able to see what others did and gained a new perspective on it.

Even watching people living out more minimalist lifestyles can be somewhat motivational. In fact, this was something I tried and benefited from when it came to living a healthier and more balanced lifestyle as well, both through physical fitness and diet.

So, if you find yourself struggling to get motivated, consider taking some time to gain inspiration or tips from other people, whether they’re professional or just tidy and well-organized individuals who you might be able to learn a thing or two.

Popular Books and Audiobooks

7. Try a Clean-Along Marathon

While you can gain a lot from seasoned or professional cleaners, watching and even cleaning alongside what we sometimes call “clean-along” channels can be an awesome way to get motivated, too, even if you plan to clean later in the week and/or have a lot to do.

What Are Clean-Along Channels?

People with clean-along channels typically record themselves doing a cleaning marathon, a cleaning power hour, zone cleaning, a power half-hour, a major Koni-Mari-styled decluttering, or even a short speed-cleaning while also running often busy and cluttered homes.

Some channels even incorporate a more lifestyle vlog element into their content, and others may simply be single, young, or disorganized people who are still learning to Adult.

While clean-along channels don’t necessarily discuss how to clean, they may offer a few tips along the way. You can also learn a lot just from watching others and seeing how they handle various tasks, and sometimes even learn what doesn’t work.

Clean-along also helped me a great deal, personally, and you can often learn a lot of tips, tricks, or ways to do something, even if your lifestyle may not be exactly like the other person’s.

  • Til Vacuum Do Us Part
  • Love Meg
  • This Crazy Life
  • How Jen Does It — no longer active but still has great video content
  • Jamie’s Journey
  • AtHomeWithNikki (organizing and decor)
  • Jessica Tull
  • Inspirational and Relaxing Lifestyle Vlogs, with some cleaning
    • Ahn Lin (Lifestyle, Healthy Living, Mental Health, Religion, some cleaning, decorating and organizing)
    • Meghan Livingston
    • Ashley Eaton

8. Coordinate with Others

You can use apps on your phone, smart appliances, or home hubs to coordinate with other members of your household. This can essentially be done over your phone, computer, home hub (e.g., Google, Amazon Echo, etc.), or even smart appliances.


9. Nerd Out


While they’re certainly not a must-have, cleaning gadgets and techie cleaning tools can be a great way to up one’s cleaning game while adding a world of convenience in most cases.

These types of gadgets might be self-cleaning, self-operating, and full-on nerdfest. And some types may be more simplistic, even while still adding a little more oomph to whatever cleaning efforts you might put into a certain task.

They can also make cleaning a little more fun—or, at the very least, a little more interesting and, more importantly, less hands-on.

Best of all, you can use many of these cleaning devices through your phone, tablet, or computer to schedule them to do a lot of the cleaning for you, which can even be helpful when it comes to scheduling the rest of your cleaning routine or life in general.

  • Robot vacuums
  • Robot mops
  • Nerdy stick vacuums
  • WiFi scheduling and operating capabilities on washers and dishwashers
  • Prep the night before and use the delay function on clothes washers and dishwashers

Lately, we’ve been having an increased appreciation for self-operating and self-cleaning vacuums–especially since we can’t stand emptying them, much less running them. While not perfect, self-cleaning and operating units are great for those with severe cleaning motivation deficiency, which I’m sure is a psychological condition somewhere in the world, particularly ones that self-clean. I mean, how cool is that?!

10. Get Stepping

Need more incentive to start cleaning? Try to treat your cleaning events as your daily warmup or exercise routine, whether it’s for just a few minutes or for a solid hour.

Cleaning can be a wonderful way to incorporate physical movement into your day, all while giving you the opportunity to multitask by getting things tidied around the home. Cleaning your home can also burn a good amount of calories, particularly if you’ll be moving at a steady pace, lifting items, and/or plan on using the stairs.

And as extra motivation, you can try to use fitness tracker devices, your phone, or other fitness-related gadgets to keep an eye on your progress. For instance, people often use devices like a FitBit, Google Watch, or Apple Watch to track steps, stairs, burn, time, and/or heart rate.


Step Into It

If you’re into counting steps, you can get a considerable amount of steps in during a single cleaning session, regardless if it’s for 10 minutes, 30 minutes, an hour, or longer.

Otherwise, you can easily get in a good 2,000 or more steps simply by spending 10 minutes or so walking around the house and working on tidying or cleaning up as you go.

And if you feel like you want to use cleaning as a way to get in steps on a daily basis, try adding morning and evening cleaning routines to your schedule.

I once was able to get in a good 18,000 steps—plus plenty of stairs—during a rather large and last-minute cleaning session, back when the then-owner of my previous house, a general contractor, asked to show it to prospective buyers who were interested in another house just like it.

A brief morning or night routine would land me between 2,000 to 5,000 steps, even though it would usually take me no more than 10-15 minutes.

Get Some Cardio In

Walking isn’t the only benefit you can gain from cleaning when it comes to exercise. You can also increase your heart rate and boost your overall cardio by moving at a relatively quick pace, which is where using a timer or timed challenge can come in handy. You can even do it while waiting for a commercial break to finish or while credits roll during your favorite Netflix marathon.

Throw In Some Muscle Strengthening

If there’s one thing I actually like working on when it comes to exercise, it’s strength and weight training. Not only is it a way to invest in your body as you get older or want to stay in shape, but your body becomes even more efficient at losing or maintaining weight as you gain muscle and increase the functionality of those muscles.

Luckily, you can easily work on your muscles as you clean, whether that means doing some intentional squats as you pick toys up off the floor, clean the kitchen counters, or taking a few extra trips up the stairs.

I sometimes will even add a little extra weight and move about normally, simply by wearing a weighted vest or by adding ankle or wrist weights. Either way, just get creative!


In this post, we covered 10 tips on how to use smart devices to improve your cleaning routine and habits, such as with your phone, tablet, smart fridge, smartwatch, cleaning gadgets, and home hub gadgets. We also discussed plenty of ways to enhance the benefits of those tips, such as adding in some weights or a fitness tracker if you decide to use cleaning as a form of exercise.

Regardless of what device you choose to use, the possibilities are nearly endless when it comes to maximizing your cleaning routine with household gadgets and ensuring that your routines and household work around you and your schedule rather than the other way around.

Looking for other cleaning tips? Check out our related articles down below. And what are your favorite ways to use personal smart devices for cleaning? We’d love to hear about it, so let us know down in the comments!

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