How do those of you who don’t find cleaning relaxing/cathartic/etc motivate yourself to actually clean & tidy around the house?

I have an ongoing problem with this: I just can’t find the get-go to do housework. I look around the place, and I see little tufts of cat-fur, or dust, or what-have-you, and it bothers me, but that never stops me from doing anything but cleaning up. It’s somewhat like making the bed for me. I love slipping into a bed that’s been made, but everymorning when I get up, I look at the crumpled sheets & duvet and I think to myself: “Why should I make the bed? I’m just going to wreck it the night”. With housework, I often find myself asking “why should I [insert cleaning verb here]? It’s just going to get dirty all over again.” After a while, which is definitely slightly too long, it gets to be so gross that I have to clean. At this point, however, it always seems like far too much work, and so I let it sit for a couple of days more. If it wasn’t for Leah a)doing far more than her share of the housework b)kicking my butt to do some housework, I really worry what my place would look like.

When Leah was away, I did a big cleanup of the office/hall, bedroom and livingroom, and afterwards, the place looked great, I felt better about it, and I was happy that Leah would be coming home to a clean house. However, over the course of the next 5 days, it of course got a little dirtier. I had plans to mop & scrub the kitchen floor, do to dusting and tidying of everything in general. I, however, found innumerable other things to do in the interim, and it didn’t get done. This weekend now, I’m busy tonight. Saturday, I’ll be out from around 11:00 am until the evening, so I won’t want to clean. Saturday night I’ll be out again, so no cleaning then. Which leaves Sunday. I’m going to have to do some work on Sunday, which means I need to set aside most of the afternoon. If I get up late-ish, it’ll take me a while to get going, and then the weekend will be over and I still won’t have cleaned. It seems like virtually every weekend is like this. Somehow, the entire weekend slips past without me finding time to clean. Of course, I could possibly schedule some cleaning time, but I rebel horribly against scheduled things in my private life.

Maybe this is just a getting older thing? A being responsible thing? Am I displaying my clinging-to-my-last-vestiges-of-childhood by not cleaning? How sad would that be? If I liked where I lived more would I clean more? Is it a culturally inbred reaction to housework (the whole men don’t do any)? How lame an excuse is that!? Certainly my parents share pretty equally in the housework (now, I can’t remember how that worked when I was young, although they do have a housekeeper, and have had one for as long as I can recall, so the housework was mostly tidying so she could clean. And come to think of it, I’m a pretty good tidyer, but a piss-poor cleaner. Could be a connection there).

Does anyone have any solutions for how I could possibly motivate myself? Stories on how you motivate yourselves? Comiseration (sp?) because you can’t bring yourself to clean up either? etc?