It doesn’t matter where you live or how big or small your home is, there are chores to do. Chores can be simple and take just a few seconds or more involved. It seems, though, that many of us tend to procrastinate when it comes to doing our household chores. No matter the size of the chore we all want to make household chores easier so that we are more likely to do them.
What is it about chores that make them so hard to do, so easy to put off?
First, let’s find out where the word ‘chore’ comes from.
According to etymology: chore is written in the New Oxford American Dictionary as “(originally dialect and U.S.): variant of obsolete char or chare (see charwoman)”, which is the same pronunciation as the modern verb char. It ultimately comes from Middle English cherre (odd job). Essentially, the word ‘chore’ is linked to doing a job. Usually, a job around the house like cleaning, taking out the garbage, making the bed, doing the laundry, dusting, vacuuming, and more.
Why are household chores hard to do?
I believe it can be hard to make ourselves do household chores because of our attitude towards the tasks. Let’s face it. While the result of cleaning can be very satisfying, doing it is time consuming and usually not fun. There’s nothing fun about cleaning the kitchen or bathroom but don’t you love the way it looks and smells?
Here are 8 Hacks to Make Household Chores Easier
- Change your attitude: When we approach a task with dread it takes longer to do and is way less fun. It takes longer because we drag our feet instead of getting straight to work. It is less fun because inside our heads we are complaining to ourselves that we must do this task.
2. Think of the task differently: Instead of thinking about the chore, imagine yourself as a slayer of dust and germs. You are removing the bacteria and making your home safe for you and your family.
3. Time your chores: Make it a game and time each chore. First, gather any supplies you need. Then set the timer. You may be surprised to find out that the chore at hand takes much less time than you thought. Use this worksheet as you go about timing your chores.
4. Make it fun: Create different playlists for the different chores you are doing. Use the Organize Your Home 10 Minutes at a Time deck of cards. Pick a card, do the task, and you’re done in 10 minutes or less. Have little competitions. How many toys can your children pick up before the music stops or the timer goes off?
5. Know your why: Intellectually you know that homes become cluttered and dirty unless they are cleaned, and things are put away. Inspect your reasons for cleaning and decluttering. Is it because you like living in a clean house? Do you or another member of your family have allergies, asthma, or sensitivities to dust? Does the clutter bother you?
6. What can you delegate? If you like dusting but dislike vacuuming, can you delegate vacuuming to someone else in the family? Maybe you can hire a cleaning crew to come in every couple of weeks to do the chores you dislike doing.
7. Give yourself rewards: Reward yourself for doing the chores. Make household chores easier to do by always having a reward to work towards.
8. Create routines: When you make doing a chore part of your daily or weekly routine it becomes less of a drag on your time and more a part of what happens on that day or at that time. Use this worksheet to track the chores you decide you will do during the week.
Household chores and children
If you share your dislike for doing chores with your children, they will also dislike doing them. Conversely, if you make doing household chores part of your daily routine your children will grow up doing chores.
I’m not saying that you have to love doing chores but if you change your attitude towards doing the task and let your children know that doing household chores is part of living then that makes doing household chores easier.
Do you wonder if your children can do some chores? Wonder no more! They can and they should. Teach them how to do chores.
Giving age-appropriate chores to children is a way to teach them responsibility. When you give children tasks to do and then show your appreciation for their effort it helps build their independence and confidence in their ability to be a contributing member of the family.
Plus, these are life skills. A parent’s ultimate goal is to empower their children to be self-sufficient adults. One way to do that is to teach your children how to do routine household chores.
Remember that when you give them a chore to do (after teaching them how to do it) let whatever they do be good enough. Praise their effort and do NOT go back after them and do it your way. The only thing that teaches them is that what they did was wrong. This is also true for partners and roommates. When you delegate tasks let the person do the chore their way.
The benefits of doing household chores regularly
When you make household chores easier the benefits are endless. Because you will be picking up, putting away, and tidying up on a regular basis there will be less clutter. This will make cleaning and doing chores even easier. With less to clean, it will take less time. You can skip doing chores from time to time because you will be confident that you will do that task the next time.
If creating a routine to make household chores easier is something you struggle with consider joining the Clear Space for You virtual clutter support group. We will guide you as you work to create routines that support you and the way you want to live your life.
Diane N. Quintana is a Certified Professional Organizer, Certified Professional Organizer in Chronic Disorganization, and ICD Master Trainer. Diane is the owner of DNQ Solutions, LLC and Co-Owner of Release Repurpose Reorganize, LLC based in Atlanta, Georgia. She specialized in working with people challenged by ADHD, Hoarding, and Chronic Disorganization.