31 Days :: Change it Up

Sometimes when I lack the motivation to straighten up my house, I’ll trick myself into wanting to clean.  Usually, all it takes is for me to see a little change that I like, then I want the whole room to look nice.  Like when I brought home a few pumpkins, put them in the family room and I magically wanted to wipe off the coffee table and sweep the floor so that my pretty pumpkins would look even better.  Then, just the other day, I moved the pumpkins around and grouped them on a table, once again, I had the unnatural urge to clean up a little?!

I usually change out my pillows a few times a year,  and since we have new slipcovers this year–new pillows!  But, I didn’t want to put pretty new pillows on a dirty slipcover.  Pow! Instant slipcover washing motivation.  Instead of being a chore, washing the slipcover was fun and I looked forward to seeing my fall pillows on a clean sofa.

This is not an excuse to go purchase something new every time I want a clean house.  But, I’ve found that it doesn’t take much to motivate me.  It could be anything from moving a dish of shells from one room to another to picking some kind of branches from the yard and putting them in a big vase. Moving the chair from the dining room into the family room. Even lighting a candle can help me get motivated to clean up.

Find what works for you and use it.


  1. oh goodness….were we separated at birth?

  2. Most recent motivation for me? Thymes Frasier Fir All Purpose Cleaner. A little pricey but talk about pow! And they have fabulous scented candles too.

  3. Yup!

    I have been know to come home from yard saling and rip my house apart, start spray painting in the back yard (“step away from the can” says the Mister when he hears the familiar jingle) and clean.

    One of my other favorite motivators is hospitality and lots of it. Nothing gets me going like overnight guests!

  4. I’m with you on this one. Or. Here’s another motivator for me. Invite someone to dinner. Having company over will always get me going… ususally.

  5. Hi Nester, just wanted to say thank you for this 31 Days series – I’ve loved it! (and the others too.) Thanks!

  6. Love those pillows! Were they a recent purchase? Where?

  7. I want your pillows! So cute.

  8. If company isn’t coming over and I’m trying to get motivated….I go to a cute little shop that specializes in furniture and decorative items and gleen from their adorable ideas. I go home anxious to clean, re-arrange and craft! With 5 children, I want them to have memories of a cheerful, clean and fun home… ready for anything!

  9. Great timing on this post! I am lacking motivation to fully clean today, but I will have to take Halloween down Monday. I have really enjoyed this series. Keep up the good work!

  10. I’m glad I’m not the only one! now I feel better! ;)

  11. So funny:) I guess I never really looked at that way. But, I tend to tidy up when I make a change. I HATE cleaning! We have a big house 5 bedrooms, mu studio, my big closet, 2 bathrooms and all the usual rooms. With 5 kids it is impossible to keep it clean:/ But, now that you brought this to my attention, I think I will “make a few changes” today:)

  12. i have LOVED this series. it’s been so fun. company is also a big motivator for me. and oh my word, those pillows are yummy….WHERE did you get them? and if you say a little boutique downtown i might cry.

  13. Ca-ute pillows! Love the colour and the frill!

  14. You don’t even know how happy I was to read this post! I am the EXACT same way. I’ve been wondering if I have some sort of decorating ADD! But, it’s what works for me too, cuz I really do not enjoy cleaning {but love a clean house!} Thanks for posting this and letting me know somebody else does this too!! :)

    • We should start a club. Every now and then before some big get together that we host, my mom will come over and help me clean and I always want to start by moving furniture. I know she probably thinks I’m avoiding cleaning but that’s what gets me in the mood.

  15. P.S. Love those pillows! Did you make them?

  16. Oh, do tell the source of those fabulous pillows!

  17. I found your blog a few weeks ago, and I’ve never love reading a blog as much as I do yours! I’m doing a small changing up of my office and this post is perfect for me. I’ve covered my sofa, added a new rug, and will soon be painting a the room!

    Keep up the good work, and amazing posts!!

  18. Where do you get your slipcovers? I have never bought any before but am going to get some and don’t know where to start…

  19. I find when I keep pretty, perky flowers on my kitchen table, I feel the constant urge to keep my kitchen clean to show off the flowers. My kitchen is OK right now but it’s been messy off and on all week… I’d forgotten about that trick, time to get me some flowers. Or push this baby out so other people will buy me some… then again, I don’t know that I’ll feel like cleaning the kitchen after doing that… then again, that is the point, motivate!

  20. There is nothing like moving something to get my cleaning juices flowing – that’s why my house never changes!!! LOL *snort*

    I’m wondering about your slipcovers – hoping you made them(?) I need to slipcover my sad-sack sofa on the cheap.

  21. I do this too! I find it also works in the garden. When i have tons of tough work to do, it helps to drop by the garden center and get a new perennial flower to plant. Then I want to make everything around the new flower look nice too :-)

  22. brilliant! i guess i never thought of this before, but i totally operate this way!!! and now i can channel it towards keeping our home lovely.

    thanks for the genius tip! :)

  23. Yes, do tell, where did you get those FABULOUS pillows?!?

  24. this may not be the same as what you were suggesting, but all I have to do is watch a favorite design show on HGTV and it makes me want to clean! or of course, “Hoarders”, but I prefer HGTV. And, like everyone else, where did you find those great pillows?

  25. Those pillows are SO fab! They remind me of the ones Emily on Jonesdesigncompany did…did you make them? They are gorgeous! Company coming over is a major motivator for me to get my house in perfect shape. With a 2 year old and a 3 month old I have learned to be ok with a little clutter…or else I’d lose my mind…but when company is coming over or even just stopping by…I speed thru my house like a mad woman!!

  26. I have only been blogging for a short time, but I am finding great motivation from all the blog-sisters out there. I thought I changed things up quite a bit BB (before blogging), but I have definitely met my match time after time since I started this amazing activity. It’s really a lot of fun & now I also always grab my camera so I have before and afters of everything, just in case I want to blog about it. I’m pretty excited about all that will be involved with Christmas traditions & decorations here in blogland, but I’m savoring all the Fall right now.

  27. I couldn’t agree more.

    And when trickery fails break out the “big guns”; Caldera (for Target) olive oil scented countertop cleaner. Works every time.

    Looove your new ruffly friends :)

  28. Enjoy your blog. I love my home to feel clean and in order. I decorate in warm tones. Always looking for a bargain or a way to change up what I’ve got without spending money.

  29. I think we might be long lost twins, except you are the thinner, cuter one. ;) Sometimes I make myself wait until I have picked up/vacuumed, etc. before I will *let* myself light that new candle or put up the new decorations. I think that’s a great tip! :)

  30. Just a quick thank you for all your hard work&thoughtfulness in doing the series. Dont even remember how I tripped over you ;) but am glad I did &now you’re stuck w me. Loved the linkyparty,however spontaneous. I think it made it better! -s-

  31. We have the same gold pillows! There were actually three different styles of ruffled gold pillows at my homegoods and I purchased all three. We’re planning on a white slipcover soon and I’m so excited to see that they look fabulous on that. I mean, I knew they would, but now I really know! You, Nester, have excellent taste. : )

  32. Great advice! Of course, the opposite could be true, too– I bought a bunch of cute stuff to decorate the house for Halloween this year, but I never put it out because the house never got clean enough!

  33. love this post. i work the same way….got to have motivation.

    motivation and caffeine.

  34. This is exactly what I do! My house is a disaster right now, and I have no motivation to clean it. I’ve been thinking that I need to move the furniture again so I can have a clean house.

  35. LOVE IT! LOVE YOU! This series has been great, and the orange pillows are too cute. Changing it up each season helps me, too. I’ve been copying your white slipcover move, and now I have a few base colors in each room that I’m going to play off of year round, but switch up the accents – orange for fall, red at Christmas, then we’ll go from there in January. Can’t wait to see what’s next!!

  36. I move around furniture all the time depending on my mood. Want something new for a room? Go shopping in your house!!!

  37. My favorite thing to do is to pick up some (cheap, but pretty) cut flowers at the store when I’m feeling down. DH never thinks to get them for me so I buy them for myself. Once I’m home I find a dirty place and clean it up and add my flowers. Generally, within 15 minutes I’m in a better mood and my whole house feels prettier.

  38. I have enjoyed this month of 31 days series. THANK YOU!! :) Do you mind sharing where you found your pillows. I love them lots!

    Thank you,

  39. It must be hereditary, as i do exactly the same thing and have for years. i do as Theresa does and buy myself flowers. i have a beautiful hand turned pot my sister in law made me, and something about having it full makes me want the room it’s in to be clean. One room leaks over to another and it often spreads to the whole house.

    Having just moved, i am still unpacking, making decisions about things that will stay, things that just don’t fit, so shopping in the boxes in the garage can have the same effect.

    Even the dog being groomed can send me on a mission to put the place back together. A cute dog in a wrecked house is just a weird contradiction. Crazy? Maybe, but in a good way. ♥

  40. Jennifer Cooper says

    Nester-great series! Very doable ideas and encouraging too. Thanks for taking the time to write this blog. You and Pioneer Woman are by first blogs to visit each day.

  41. Thanks so much for this series. I have really enjoyed it and been encouraged by it.

  42. So I need to tell you that I welcomed this method while cleaning and I LOVED it! It took longer but WAS more enjoyable. My fabulous husband who helped me clean was not your biggest fan and kept saying, ” leave stuff alone and clean” Ha! Clearly -he doesn’t get it. Oh sweet man. The hizzy is clean and fab! Thanks!

    Jana Dover

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