Unless you have a household of servants tending to your every need, the chances are that chores will be a part of your life.
Now that I’ve left university and am living with my boyfriend in our very own flat, I guess I’m officially an adult. And I’ve realized, with some dismay, that adult life comes with even more chores as before.
So how do you make chores more tolerable? Here are a few things I do that help…
1) Pair up
Chores, I’ve found, are much better when shared. During university, my flatmates and I used to do a fortnightly “flat clean up” where we put on some music and all worked until the place was gleaming (or as close as you can get to that in a house of students).
The great thing about doing chores with other people is that not only is the work done in half the time but you might even start enjoying yourself when you’ve got people to keep you company and fast paced music to work to!
2) Work out a fair division of labour
If you’re living with your partner or flatmates or family, it means that you can share the chores around. If you’re lucky, the people you live with will want to do the chores you hate, and vice versa.
Let’s say that cleaning the bathroom isn’t your thing, but you’re happy to hoover the house. Or maybe your partner is happy cooking and then you clear up afterwards. As long as you’re each doing your share of the work does it really matter what tasks you’re doing?
With my boyfriend, we’ve shared the chores based on what we don’t mind doing. Sasha usually does a bit more cooking while I do more prep, I do more of the clothes washing while he does more odd jobs around the flat. All the work gets done, and we take charge of the things we prefer doing.
3) Listen to music
I think that listening to music while you do chores is one of the easiest ways to make the work more tolerable. My dad, when he does his weekly food shopping order online (a job he strongly dislikes), sits in the lounge with the lamps on, the candles lit, and some soft music playing in the background. I imagine it goes a long way in making the task feel like less of a chore.
Similarly, when I cook dinner I always put some upbeat music on and have a bit of a sing along at the same time. Suddenly what could be a mundane job is turned into a pleasurable experience.
4) Take your time
It’s so tempting to try and rush your way through your chores and I know I’m certainly guilty of this at times. The problem is, I’ve found, that the more I rush, the more stressed I get, and the less efficient I am.
Let me give you an example. During university, I decided to try and get all my food shopping for the week done in one big, heavy haul. I’d power walk to the nearest supermarket, rush around as quickly as I could, and then stand in the queue impatiently as the line moved painfully slow. Safe to say, I didn’t enjoy food shopping much at all!
Then one day I decided to stop rushing and actually do my best to enjoy what I was doing. So I took my time going up and down the aisles looking for the best bargains and even stopped to flick through some magazines that didn’t fit into my university budget. The whole experience was suddenly a lot more enjoyable and didn’t end up taking much longer anyway.
5) Set a time limit
I’ve found that setting a time limit when you’re doing chores helps to make it feel more manageable. When doing our flat clean up during university, we’d agree on a time to stop working (usually after about 30 minutes) and I found that we all ended up being more efficient knowing the end was in sight.
6) Reward yourself afterwards
If you’ve got an especially hard or time consuming chore to complete, I’ve found that rewarding yourself afterwards helps a lot to make the experience less tedious.
Growing up, we’d go on a family holiday every summer for six lovely long weeks (the benefit of having teachers as parents). To pay towards the holiday, we’d rent our house out for the time we were away. This meant packing away most of our belongings into cupboards, doing a deep clean of the house, and trying to make the garden presentable. It always felt like the most monumental, never-ending series of chores ever!
What helped, however, was going out to a special restaurant afterwards to reward ourselves. Knowing we’d get a meal at the end of a hard day’s work definitely helped get us through!
– Tiger Lily –