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happy2bretired 04-06-2007 10:12 AM

Motivation
 
When I was w*orking I had projects that needed to be done and deadlines for getting them done. No problem, I worked under pressure and found that I was much more motivated getting things done. Now...after retirement...no pressure...no motivation.... to do ANYTHING. I look at my house and think, gee, it needs to be cleaned and go back to doing NOTHING. I would much rather play with my dog than CLEAN, but, I really like a nice clean house. I suppose I could hire a cleaning crew and have thought about it but, I am interested in knowing how you all keep yourselves motivated to do things you don't want to.

bbbamI 04-06-2007 10:20 AM

Re: Motivation
 
I do things that have to be done (but I grumble). Then with the other stuff, I break the monotony by starting a new project. When I get almost done with the project, I'm tired and ready to get back to the daily chores.

Then sometimes, I just say the heck with it, I'll do it tomorrow. :)

chinaco 04-06-2007 10:28 AM

Re: Motivation
 
We haven't ER'd yet... But we intend to downsize. Part of the motivation for downsizing is to minimize work on things we do not enjoy.

We will keep the place clean, but a smaller place is easier to keep up with. We are considering a condo... maybe a lando.

Nords 04-06-2007 10:29 AM

Re: Motivation
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by happy2bretired
I suppose I could hire a cleaning crew and have thought about it but, I am interested in knowing how you all keep yourselves motivated to do things you don't want to.

The best way to deal with cleaning is to not make a mess in the first place, or to clean as you go. I've learned a lot from the book "Speed Cleaning".

One way is to look at your spouse, shake your head, ask "What are we saving it for?!?" and go buy it or hire someone to do it. But many times the hassle of finding the gizmo/maintaining it/repairing it/working with the hired help isn't worth the time/effort saved by buying it or hiring them. Sometimes I wonder how Oprah's domestic manager does it.

The other way is "20 minutes a day". This is about the max attention span of elementary school children, teens, and ERs. The idea is to screw around for an hour doing your favorite leisure activity, followed by 20 minutes devoted to that dreaded task, followed by another break. It's especially effective with our teen, who doesn't mind digging in for "just 20 minutes" but who's frequently subsequently captivated by the task, loses track of time, and works for a couple hours before finishing the job or realizing that she only had to do 20 minutes. Parenting jiujitsu at its finest.

A common remark at our parent-teacher meetings is "Oh, yeah-- you're the ones who do 20 minutes a day."

We usually end up doing a half-dozen sessions of TMAD-- one before every meal. That's an especially effective motivator.

happy2bretired 04-06-2007 10:47 AM

Re: Motivation
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Nords
The best way to deal with cleaning is to not make a mess in the first place, or to clean as you go. I've learned a lot from the book "Speed Cleaning".

I have those Speed Cleaning books and also the Fly Lady one. I think I need to get them out and read them. See, that is one thing about me...I need motivation. Books are really good motivators for me, at least for awhile. It's almost like some books are "inspirational" for me and those books MAKE me want to do things (like I said...for awhile, the effect tends to wear off after I finish the book). Take dieting....for another example. Give me a good inspirational author and I can do anything. ;)


CyclingInvestor 04-06-2007 11:37 AM

Re: Motivation
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Nords
One way is to look at your spouse, shake your head, ask "What are we saving it for?!?" and go buy it or hire someone to do it.

This could be quite an expensive habit.

retire@40 04-06-2007 12:19 PM

Re: Motivation
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by happy2bretired
...I look at my house and think, gee, it needs to be cleaned and go back to doing NOTHING...I am interested in knowing how you all keep yourselves motivated to do things you don't want to.

The key is not to think about "cleaning the [whole] house." Think of one job at a time. Wash one window or vacuum one rug or dust one piece of furniture.

Give yourself a to-do list. Preferably, you may want to use software that will allow you to make certain projects auto-recurring with reminders. Just do one item on the list and cross it off as soon as you are done. Above & Beyond http://www.1soft.com is a good one to use for this purpose.

happy2bretired 04-06-2007 12:41 PM

Re: Motivation
 
AKKKK! Software....I am retired...that's W*RK :laugh:

I used to use Franklin Planners but they get a little expensive for no more than I would use one now. I know that I need to get a system or routine going tho. I just don't seem to have much structure right now and sort of float from one thing to another without actually finishing anything.

I had an auction a couple of weeks ago and getting ready for that made me get my butt in gear (there was that deadline thing again). Another good motivator for me is when someone calls and says they are "coming over" to visit, "be there in a few minutes"....boy do I move then!

Dreamer 04-06-2007 01:01 PM

Re: Motivation
 
I can relate, Happy2Bretired. I get going on things when I know that someone is coming over to the house. Easter is right around the corner, so I have started getting busy!

Sandy 04-06-2007 02:24 PM

Re: Motivation
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Nords
The other way is "20 minutes a day". ....It's especially effective with our teen, who doesn't mind digging in for "just 20 minutes" but who's frequently subsequently captivated by the task, loses track of time, and works for a couple hours before finishing the job or realizing that she only had to do 20 minutes. Parenting jiujitsu at its finest.

My DH started this concept with our kids - 5 minutes to clean up their toys. They set a timer to make sure they don't go over time (heaven forbid), and then run around like crazy to get it all done. Of course, with a timer, they don't get immersed and won't ever go over time.

As for the OP's needing motivation to clean, have you considered setting some structure and scheduling a block of time for cleaning? Only accept a really good excuse to miss it.

You have to decide if (a) you are a person who really needs structure - in which case as a FIRE'd person, you have to make your own or (b) having a clean house isn't as much of a priority as you thought. If you've been FIRE'd for awhile and find you are sitting about all day doing nothing - and not happy with that then it might be (a); if you can't find the time because at the end of the day you say you had a great time, even if all you did was play with the dog, then maybe it's (b)

Achiever51 04-06-2007 02:43 PM

Re: Motivation
 
Boy, can I relate to this thread! After the initial euphoria of being free to do whatever I want -- or nothing -- during the day, now I have to force myself to do some of the regular chores. It's not that I don't like a spotless house, it's more that some days a little dust doesn't bother me enough to do anything about it!

While I swore I would not live by a schedule after retirement, I do have to schedule some of these chores just to get them done...and I'm becoming more of a "clean up as I go" person now that I'm purging more of the junk from the house.

wabmester 04-06-2007 03:35 PM

Re: Motivation
 
We use Yahoo! reminders for scheduling as well as to bug us for stuff like "ebay the crap in the garage!"

It's not an easy feature to find if you haven't used it:

link

happy2bretired 04-06-2007 04:01 PM

Re: Motivation
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Achiever51
After the initial euphoria of being free to do whatever I want -- or nothing -- during the day, now I have to force myself to do some of the regular chores. It's not that I don't like a spotless house, it's more that some days a little dust doesn't bother me enough to do anything about it!

While I swore I would not live by a schedule after retirement, I do have to schedule some of these chores just to get them done...and I'm becoming more of a "clean up as I go" person now that I'm purging more of the junk from the house.

Yep...yep...yep...I agree, exactly. I purged a bunch of stuff already and now I HAVE to be make myself start organizing the rest of my stuff. Some days I get really excited about how I'm going to get everything all spiffy and the next day, I sit all day in front of this computer reading this forum, playing with the pup or just plain nothing. I used to get spring fever about this time when I was still working and just loved to take a day off from work just to come home and clean. Not a touch of that spring cleaning fever now. I think I found a small regret about retiring...nah...

Nords 04-06-2007 07:02 PM

Re: Motivation
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by CyclingInvestor
This could be quite an expensive habit.

True, although this was an upgrade from a traditional sponge mop to a Swiffer.

She still expects me to rinse out the Swiffer pads (and pick the hairballs off them) so that she can re-use them...

REWahoo 04-06-2007 07:07 PM

Re: Motivation
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Nords

She still expects me to rinse out the Swiffer pads (and pick the hairballs off them) so that she can re-use them...

I'm a one-time user - but do admit to reversing them to get more mileage. And BTW, two or three layers of a good quality paper towel makes a decent Swiffer pad substitute...


Nords 04-06-2007 10:47 PM

Re: Motivation
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by REWahoo!
And BTW, two or three layers of a good quality paper towel makes a decent Swiffer pad substitute...

$5 for 18 cheap white washcloths at Wal-Mart... bleach to disinfect and throw them in with the tae kwon do laundry!

happy2bretired 04-07-2007 07:15 AM

Re: Motivation
 
I do the washcloth thing too with my Clorox Ready mop 'cept I use a micro fiber cloth. I always used to hate cleaning the bathtub, so I bought one of those bathtub mops. It was another one of my worthless purchases that used up some of my retirement money. It's so much easier to clean the tub while you are still in it or as you are getting out of it using your bathwater. I didn't say it was sanitary but it it sure makes the tub look better....and it's EASY.

I think I will just have to hire a cleaning service maybe once or twice a year and have them do the furniture moving, deep cleaning things. I'll continue doing my hit & miss cleaning, 20 minutes at a time, in between my nothing spells. I need to go find those cleaning books now for some inspiration.

Nords 04-07-2007 11:11 AM

Re: Motivation
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by happy2bretired
I think I will just have to hire a cleaning service maybe once or twice a year and have them do the furniture moving, deep cleaning things. I'll continue doing my hit & miss cleaning, 20 minutes at a time, in between my nothing spells. I need to go find those cleaning books now for some inspiration.

I learned a little about this from a housecleaner-- you want a service that specializes in cleaning vacant apartments (after the tenant has moved out) for landlords & realtors.

Our best cleaning investment has been a water conditioner. No iron, no minerals = no rust, no stains, no buildup...

happy2bretired 04-07-2007 11:52 AM

Re: Motivation
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Nords

Our best cleaning investment has been a water conditioner. No iron, no minerals = no rust, no stains, no buildup...

Thanks!!! I have GOT to do something with that dust collecting soft water softener in my basement! I wanted one when we built this house and my husband reluctanly had the builder install probably the cheapest thing they could find. My husband wasn't interested in really understanding how it worked and I just sorta meekly kinda forgot about wanting to use one. :-[

After my husband died I looked at that thing and thought - hmmmm I wonder if I could figure it out. I dug out my instruction manual and lo and behold it's not the right manual that goes with the unit that's installed. Gotta get me a plumber, I think...who installs soft water softeners? Plumbers?

That might even take care of those little rust dots that keep showing up on my light colored clothing!


Nords 04-07-2007 12:15 PM

Re: Motivation
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by happy2bretired
Thanks!!! I have GOT to do something with that dust collecting soft water softener in my basement! I wanted one when we built this house and my husband reluctanly had the builder install probably the cheapest thing they could find. My husband wasn't interested in really understanding how it worked and I just sorta meekly kinda forgot about wanting to use one. :-[
After my husband died I looked at that thing and thought - hmmmm I wonder if I could figure it out. I dug out my instruction manual and lo and behold it's not the right manual that goes with the unit that's installed. Gotta get me a plumber, I think...who installs soft water softeners? Plumbers?
That might even take care of those little rust dots that keep showing up on my light colored clothing!

If it's actually connected to the water piping then you may be able to find the manual online or from the parent company.

If it's not connected to the water piping and it's over five years old then you might just want to go to Lowes or Home Depot, fork over about $500, and have one of their contract plumbers do the installation. Who knows what condition a water conditioner is in if it's dried out for a few years...


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