How I use a computer game to help me clean

I have never been a clean person. Oh, I have been in plenty of households over the years that made me realize I’m not so bad in the tidiness department, but I still have a long way to go to match most of the houses I’ve seen–the clean ones. I consider myself an artsy, right-brained sort of person, but I also have trouble just getting things finished.

Which is why I have used a computer game to help me clean, be it pick up or deep clean.

It began with the game “Skyrim”. When my husband was out for a Saturday, I’d spend the day cleaning, rewarding myself with Skyrim. As time passed, I found a way to both work and play.

Turn-based games. For me, it’s the “Civilization” line. Beautiful, turn-based strategy where I don’t have crazy monsters leaping at me from nowhere.


Now, this does take a long time, depending on how much I want to get done. But it works. My best cleaning happens when I am actually playing this game between sessions. I do it when my husband is working late and the girls are asleep, the perfect time to get cleaning out of the way.

I set myself a plan. I play a set number of turns–my favorite is letting it depend on what happens in the game. Civilization games have stuff happen regularly, like learning a technology or building something. Those are my go-tos for signaling it’s time to get cleaning.

Then, I clean. My two favorites are clean for five minutes, or do a certain number of tasks before I return to my game. I prefer to cycle through the rooms together as it really gets me working to find little tasks I might otherwise ignore.

It’s not speed-cleaning, but it keeps me entertained and focused. Stuff gets done.

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