When you don’t know where to start, start with ChatGPT.
Many of us are beginning to realize ChatGPT as a reliable tool for starting. I regularly turn to it for the beginning stages of an email or article, an idea for journaling, or a quippy headline or title. The chatbot is fantastic at putting something on paper and helping us make immediate progress. It can concrete early ideas into something that appears polished. So, it begs the question, can it help also polish our silver and prepare our homes for relaxation? Maybe.
With the right prompts, ChatGPT can help us start cleaning. ChatGPT significantly breaks down the barrier to starting. That’s because, before being able to hit the ground and see progress made, a goal or large task can feel daunting. Having the goal to clean the downstairs is a noble one, but how long will it take? Where should you spend the most time if you have a limited amount of time to do it all in? What little details will make a place shine? Do you need to buy more cleaning products, or do you have what you need? Let’s find out, and make some progress on the cleaning plans.
In this next edition of the “Ask your AI assistant” blog series, we are going to be talking about how you can inform and create prompts to generate cleaning tips and tactics.
Creating a cleaning plan.
Note the details: the size and type of space, time you have to clean, and any constraints
Example: 1 bedroom apartment with 1 bathroom, 1.5 hours starting now, already cleaned the toilet and there is a sink full of dishes
If you have a constraint like the note about dishes in the example, be aware that if you include it in the initial prompt, the generated response will direct significant attention to it. When prompting, begin more generally and then ask the chat bot to “edit” the response. If the details are given up front, the chat bot often loses track of the bigger picture.
What to prompt:
I have [details], how should I start?
- This will produce an imprecise outline of what needs to be accomplished, such as gathering cleaning supplies, creating a playlist, and denoting where to spend the most attention.
I have [details], could you make me a minute-by-minute plan to tackle it all?
- The chatbot will respond with a schedule of tasks. It will give you a good idea of how much time to spend in each room and with certain tools.
The generated responses are a place to start – both in your interaction with ChatGPT and in the tasks and ideas you are prompting. You can refine the responses with additional details, like what cleaning tasks you have already completed or might need significant attention (eg I haven’t dusted since Thanksgiving). You can also direct the chat bot to take a different approach. For example, the minute-by-minute plan included a water break. I followed up with a request for that to be removed, so I could clean continuously.
Other detail and prompt examples you could adapt for your own use are:
- I have a 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom apartment I want to keep clean. I’m willing to clean for a half hour at the end of every week day. What should I do each of these days?
- My 8 year-old asked for a chore to make an allowance. What’s a 30-minute task they could do well to help me out?
- Could you break down the list of areas to clean by we day? I want to start and finish cleaning a room all at once.
When the produced prompt isn’t exactly what you had in mind, it can still be a great start, either for the chat bot conversation or for you to copy and paste elsewhere to start your customization of the information. For example, I got a result of some good suggestions for a daily cleaning plan, but I want to have clean sheets at the start of each week – not the end – so I moved onto another document and began shifting things around according to my preferences. It was easier to create what I ended up with having had initial copy to edit and work with from the ChatGPT conversation.
It’s all in the details.
After mapping out your plan of attack with the chat bot, it’s time to get all the dirty details. Try asking for a list of products and tools you need to gather or, ask more details to refine how you proceed with cleaning tasks.
- This is a good plan! What cleaning tools do I need? OR Could you make me a list of cleaning products I can pick up at the grocery store?
- What’s the most efficient and clean way to clean the bathroom?
- What is a good mindset for approaching cleaning so I look forward to doing it?
- I hate vacuuming. What can I do to make it more bearable?
Chat bots are also useful for getting answers to general questions. They operate by gathering data from around the internet, so the answers it creates are products of what’s talked about and accessed on the internet. This makes it convenient for grabbing answers to common questions. As you’ve likely already seen for yourself, the ChatGPT responses are regularly caveated with the suggestion to take in other information – through your own research and experiences. So, grab a quick answer here and there, and integrate your own thinking to improve the responses’ applicability in your life.
Some general questions you could ask to gather up information for your cleaning processes:
- How often should I clean my sheets?
- How much bacteria spreads by toilet seat?
- What’s more important in washing your hands, the soap or the water temperature?
Once you have some answers and see a path for perfecting the cleanliness of your space, put on some tunes or a podcast, and keep going! It starts here.