Let’s face it: Chores suck.
I know there are so many things to do around the house (like that fridge I haven’t cleaned in… ever? Oops.) but there are so many things I’d rather do. Like read, or play with A, or heck, even get ahead on some work.
I’ve tried lots of ways to make them better. Giving myself a reward afterward sometimes helps, but I have no discipline apparently, and sometimes say “well, I did my best,” and take my reward anyway. Same with “prewarding” myself with the intention of doing the thing I don’t want to do later: it’s just not happening.
What I’ve really needed to find is a way to make chores more enjoyable in the moment. So if you’re feeling the same way and need a way to make chores a little more enticing, here are my methods:
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This is pretty much my standard. I have a lot of different stations on Pandora and switch between them, sometimes out of boredom, sometimes depending on the chore. Like, if I’m gardening, it somehow feels more “effective” if I listen to one of my country stations (like Patriotic Country… It totally works when you’re planting/harvesting vegetables.)
Sometimes music is just not engaging enough to take the mind-numbingness out of my chores and I need to switch it up. Enter audiobooks.
I started listening to the Serial podcast on Pandora, and I found that I liked doing dishes a lot more when I had that to listen to. I lost interest in Season 2, so I had to find something new. Luckily, our local library has a ton of audiobooks to choose from, so I picked up The Litigators by John Grisham and that’s currently what I listen to when I do the dishes 🙂
Our library also offers e-audiobooks that you can download straight to your device, but I haven’t used it yet. I have a book “on hold” that I’ll apparently get a notification for when it’s available? I don’t know how it works.
Eventually, I may sign up for Audible for the convenience/ability to listen to the same book over and over, but I haven’t jumped at it yet. Nonetheless, if it’s something you’re interested in, click here to try Audible and get two free audiobooks. It’s a 30-day free trial, and if you decide you don’t like it, you can cancel and still keep the audiobooks. But if you like it, then you’ve had the opportunity to try and find that out, so win-win!
The only downside to audiobooks for me is that I’m an incredibly visual person. I like seeing words in print. So I think I’ll probably start sticking to audiobook versions of books I’ve already read and enjoy (like one of my favorites, The Help)
This is easy for me to do, since we have a tiny apartment, and we pretty much do everything in the living room. So I can turn something mindless on (like Friends or Gilmore Girls) and clean up my son’s toys.
It even makes cleaning my desk less painful… even though it’s usually always messy and I typically end up working at the dining table more often than I care to admit.
This method of making unpleasant things pleasant is so not just for kids. I mean, heck, I’ve walked/run 3+ miles a day for the past few weeks just because of the Zombies, Run! app. I know where the credit belongs if I manage to get back to pre-pregnancy weight.
Needless to say, games for stuff you don’t want to do are incredibly effective.
Sometimes I’ll set a timer for a short amount of time (say, 30 seconds or a minute) and challenge myself to clean the toilet top-to-bottom in that time. It usually works. And if I don’t finish cleaning by the timer goes off, I’m still too far in to turn back, so the toilet gets cleaned no matter what.
I’m only half-kidding here. The hands-down best way to make chores more enjoyable is to NOT have to do them at all. So if you can afford to pay someone to clean your house, this is a total no-judgment zone.
Of course, if you have older kids who can be put to work and can save yourself the money, do that! I mean, why else did you have kids, right? 😉
So hopefully these things will help make the chores you have to do today a little less painful.
I’m a twenty-something LEO wife and stay-at-home mom to a one-year-old little boy. I enjoy writing, reading, taking my son for walks and runs in the stroller, and crafting. My goal is for Love and Blues to be a resource for first responders and their families. I write about marriage and family topics, as well as about the quirks that come with being married to a man in law enforcement, firefighting, or emergency medical services.