If you’re like everyone I know, when it comes to doing chores, you groan. UGH. There goes my WHOLE DAY.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know. Poor me.
So why do we get so frustrated when it comes time to fold laundry or cycle dishes to the dishwasher?
The simple answer is that we think the chore will take a lot longer than it really does.
Where Does This Belief Come From?
I think it comes from when we’d do schoolwork. Once my daughter spent 45 minutes whining and complaining about an assignment. I finally snapped that if she’d just sat down and done it, she’d be finished and could go play her video games.
My husband used to let laundry pile up. I told him the same thing. That if he just started folding laundry, he’d be done in less than half an hour. He grumbled and then did it.
It was no surprise when 25 minutes later, he found me and said, “You know, you were right.” (well, it was a surprise when he admitted it)
We Have So Little Free Time
Also, our lives are so very full. We don’t have as much time for self-pampering as we’d like. So of course we’re going to resent having to do chores.
But there are some simple ways to make doing chores easier and leave the annoyance at the door.
Breaking Up Isn’t Hard to Do
No, I’m not suggesting breaking up with chores. Instead, break up the worst offenders into smaller tasks.
I created a schedule where I broke things up. So one day I’d vacuum downstairs, another day I’d vacuum the stairs, and then I’d vacuum upstairs.
Then I did the same thing with cleaning bathrooms.
Intellectually, I know it’s probably faster to wash all 2.5 baths at the same time. But it was a big mental block for me to scrub three toilets at once. Toilets and my shower are my most unfavorite chore.
So if I do my bathroom on Monday and the downstairs one on Wednesday, then I’m more likely to do it.
What about the other bathroom, you’re asking. Well that brings us to the next point.
Is It Your Task?
I realized that I didn’t have to wash my daughter’s bathroom while she’s living with us. I got her cleaners and went over the basics. But it’s her responsibility now.
The key is to have some agreed upon standards, and then let go of the need to manage it.
They may find a better way of doing things. And you’re getting what you want. To not have to do it.
Stay On Top of the Mountain
Clutter often is what drives people crazy. It would be easier to keep things clean if only people wouldn’t leave their clutter all over the place.
I hear you.
It’s not easy to enforce rules of cleaning up clutter. But you can set aside a place where people’s stuff will go. It’s like their Inbox. If you find something where it doesn’t belong, you can put it in their place.
Then everyone agrees to sort through it regularly.
Further down, I’ll talk about making it more fun..for you.
What if you live alone?
Well, there’s a few things you could do. First, the good news is that you’re the only one who is making a mess. So you can take control of how and where the messes pile up.
And it may be easier for you to delegate.
You may find that you want to do a quick vacuum of your place every day. Or you could hire housecleaners to come once or twice a month.
There are places that will do your laundry for you. This can be useful if you don’t have a washer/dryer and don’t want to go to the laundramat.
Yes, it will cost more, but you’re saving time that can be used on more fun activities. It’s up to you to evaluate the benefit.
Find A Way to Make It Fun
Some families find it fun to have a chore jar that you randomly pull the chores from. That seems more fair to some.
But it doesn’t really remove the annoyance factor.
The earlier you start your kids cleaning, the better it will be. Trust me. I didn’t and I really get almost no help.
I make it a bit more fun by trying new cleaning products to see what works best.
One other simple way is to set a timer for 10 minutes and be amazed at how much you get done. You may set it for another 10!
One of my friends had a “jail.” If her kids left stuff out where it didn’t belong, she’d confiscate it, and make them do a chore to get it back.
I didn’t want to do that since I was afraid my kid would associate chores with something negative. It didn’t work since she does already.
What did your parents do with you?