If you’re struggling to find the motivation to clean your home, you can turn to specific methods, inspiration, and checklists—or you can look within yourself. Well, maybe not within yourself, but at yourself. One Redditor suggests filming a time-lapse of yourself as you go, and here’s why.
“It can be very satisfying and motivational to watch the video back of all your hard work, and see your space go from messy to clean before your very eyes,” u/RealSlyGuy says. It worked for them, and considering that TikTok is brimming with videos of people taking their living spaces from messy to clean for all the world to see, you can bet it works for a lot of people.
It’s understandable that you might not want your phone away from you while you clean; you might want to chat on it, respond to messages, or listen to music. You can film with an iPad or laptop if you don’t think you can bear to have your phone far from you for however long it takes you to tidy up. Just make sure you don’t move whatever device you set up while you’re cleaning, though. A major part of this is maintaining your vantage point and seeing the space’s metamorphosis.
Set the device up somewhere it won’t be disturbed, then turn on your video function. Even just knowing it’s on might keep you motivated, since you’ll be aware that all your breaks or cheap shortcuts will be caught on camera. When you’re done spiffing up the place, stop the recording, then speed it up. On iPhones, you can do this in iMovie by importing the clip and changing the speed. Android phones allow you to change the playback speed after you press “More” while highlighting the video in your album. You can also use online tools, like Clideo, to change the speed of any clip on your computer.
The benefits of filming yourself cleaning
If you’re a visual person, it’s helpful to see not only how a space transforms from messy to clean, but how you transform it. Seeing yourself tidying up can make you feel powerful, especially if the mess is overwhelming. Plus, seeing yourself in action can help you with your time management. You might not realize how many breaks you take or how badly you phone it in on a certain task, but watching it all back can nudge you toward a little self-acknowledgement. The more videos you make, the more you can gameify it. If your last video revealed you spent 15 minutes staring at your phone while holding the broom, try to get that down to 10 next time.
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Other Reddit users said that when they tried this, “it felt incredible” and that the experience of seeing a clean room after some hard work is “very gratifying.”
You can also take things a step further and upload the video to social media. TikTok is full of these kinds of sped-up cleaning routines because sharing the clip adds a layer of accountability that is similar to the practice of “body doubling” used by some people with ADHD: Knowing someone else is consuming it, even after the fact, can help keep you focused. Whether you upload them for other people’s eyes or not, keep these videos for yourself for the next time you need motivation to clean.