I find the CREATIVITY in cleaning and organizing and all those other homemakey things in the style I decorate my home, in the colors I have in my home which invite certain feelings, and I try to organize it all with my ideal aspirations in mind. There are ideals I have in my mind that my home is nowhere near (I love stark, open, modern clean lines and bold modern art), but knowing if an item (pillow, print, toothbrush, etc) is near that ideal, or like it, makes inviting things into my home or not, a simple process.
HOW TO HATE CLEANING LESS: PART I:
Know what you like. This ideal only has to mean something to you. Close your eyes and imagine WHAT YOU WANT your home to look like and feel like with no limit of money, time, help, etc. What does your ideal home look like?
Acknowledge why this work is worth doing to you. Do you like to have a clean house? How does it make you feel when you walk into your home and it's all organized and everything's clean and in its place? How do the other inhabitants of the home feel or react to their surroundings? How much do you value this?
To me, this first part is the most exciting to think about. Over the years I have collected pictures, fabric swatches, wrapping paper, cards, and art prints that I love that somehow speak to me. I have used these little ideas (kept online or in a single binder) to help me choose wallpaper, furniture, drawer knobs, and lamps over the years. The best compliment I can get is when someone comes into my home and says it looks like me, because then I know I'm being deliberate.
This part of the hating-cleaning-less process is also a great way to save money. I like finding a bargain as much as I like having a clean house, and I used to have a tendency to buy something because it was such a great deal. Even if I liked the item, and it was a steal, and even if it only cost 2 dollars, it's money wasted if you don't need it and it won't fit into your ideal space. It has helped me pass buy the darling item (dishes, pillows, etc) at Target to wait for the perfect item.