In the middle of January, spring cleaning was only a distant chore. Now the birds are chirping and the windows are open, and it’s time to dust away those cobwebs and start scrubbing.

So how do you force yourself to hunker down to work when all you want to do is go outside and play?

1. Create an Incentive.

Tell yourself that once your spring cleaning is done, you’ll host a girls’ night in to watch The Bachelor finale or take some paid time off from work, says Mary “Dr. Laundry” Gagliardi, the Clorox Company’s cleaning expert.

one woman with her eyes closed

2. Work on Inner Motivation.

Imagine your house clean and all the benefits that come with it, says Harriet Jones, a cleaning company supervisor. Then imagine the opposite, a messy house.

“This will force your mind to compare the good and the bad and understand the benefits you’ll get with spring cleaning,” says Jones.

3. Block Off Calendar Time.

Give spring cleaning a three-to-five-hour block of time on your calendar to elevate its importance and show yourself that the task is a priority, says Kristyn Ivey, a KonMari tidying consultant.

4. Declutter Before You Begin.

Clutter creates more work while cleaning and takes up more “mind space,” says Juan Carlos Daetz, a home improvement expert. Be mindful of what you choose to keep. Is it something you love? Is it important to you? If not, maybe you should toss it.

“Everything that you’re choosing to keep should be in its place before you start cleaning,” says Daetz.

Woman in plaid shirt and a red manicure pen writing

5. Make a List.

Jot down tasks to tackle before you get started, says Debra Baida, a professional organizer.

“Just write down the first few things that come to mind,” she says. “If you can keep it quick and intuitive without overthinking them, the tasks will seem doable.”

6. Break Up Large Tasks.

Write down small tasks that comprise a larger job and then cross them off your list.

“Watching items be ticked off your list can be a great motivator,” says Jamie Novak, a professional organizer.

7. Don’t Overwhelm Yourself.

If you choose to take on a number of tasks over a week or two, commit to no more than two or three. Then get those done before moving on to the next two or three things. This approach helps with focus and moves you forward step by step.

“If you can make the project less overwhelming, you’re less likely to put it off,” says Baida.

8. Time Your Tasks.

Set a timer and allow 15 to 30 minutes for each task.

“This makes the tasks more manageable, and once you’ve started, you may find it hard to stop,” says Jones.

Mature woman browsing the internet on a digital tablet

9. Go Public With Cleaning Goals.

Post your spring cleaning plans on Facebook and other social media before you get started and show off the results when finished.

“Thе social attention will definitely make you do your best in the cleaning process,” says cleaning expert Lauren Haynes.

“The results will be more satisfying because everyone will know about them,” she says.

10. Eliminate Distractions.

Before you slip on gloves and roll up your sleeves, turn off the TV, log out of social media and close that laptop so you can get to work without stopping to read or sitting down to watch a compelling Law & Order episode.

11. Add Music to the Mix.

“Play favorite upbeat songs to keep you motivated and energized” while you scrub, says Novak.

Family posing at birthday party outdoors

12. Celebrate Your Accomplishment.

Knowing you’ve got a celebration planned at the end of your spring cleaning is a big motivator.

“Plan a little get-together with friends or family, fire up the grill, and toast to a big project completed,” says Daetz.

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