No one likes chores. The word itself implies a task that must be done but gives no pleasure. Where did this poor relationship with housework originate? For most of us, it probably began in childhood, when we had to quell our urge to run around with friends and play the day away in order to complete those whine-inducing chores. Chores became synonymous with having the fun sucked out of the day. And so the phenomenon continued into adulthood.

Does it have to be that way? Of course not! There’s no need to anticipate your evenings or weekends with dread, knowing that you have to spend some of your time cleaning, cooking or otherwise working around the house. Believe it or not, housework can be fun.

Here are a few tips to help put some energy and excitement into your daily grind.

Set the Mood

So the floor should be swept and the laundry put away … who says you need to be alone with your thoughts (generally thoughts like, “This is dumb, why can’t I afford a maid??”) in the meantime? Put on some background noise to keep you distracted!

Practically everyone has a favorite movie they know by heart or a favorite album or radio station they like to jam to. TV shows and stand up comedy routines also make great choices for background noise while you accomplish chores. Just make sure you choose a movie or TV show that you can listen to easily without feeling compelled to stop and watch the action. Staring at the TV with a mop in your hand sadly doesn’t actually help you finish mopping any faster. But listening to a show playing in the background can lift your spirits and help you concentrate on the storyline rather than the fact that you aren’t doing something more weekend-ish, like sitting on the couch or eating chocolate chip cookies.

Talk It Out

Another way to multitask chores and fun is to have a great conversation with a friend while you clean up or run errands. Invest in a Bluetooth headset so that you don’t have to hold the phone while you work. You’ll have both hands free for doing chores, but your attention will be captivated by your friend.

Calling your relatives and friends on a regular basis is a healthy habit to get into, but one that you might keep far down your to-do list. Strike two birds with one stone by calling up your parents, grandparents, siblings and friends on a rotating schedule that coincides with your weekly chores.

Reward Yourself

Chore charts with stickers and smiley faces might motivate kids, but what motivates you? Decide ahead of time what you’ll reward yourself with after you finish a particularly dreadful task, like cleaning the bathroom. Maybe you’ll dip into the ice cream waiting in your freezer, or perhaps you’ll rent a movie you’ve been dying to see. Choose whatever excites you and makes you feel motivated to do the work. Some willpower may be necessary so you actually hold off on rewarding yourself until the task is done!

Get Into the Habit

These tips will be most effective if you start to get into the habit of watching/listening to your favorite movies, shows and albums only while you do chores, or if you try to schedule your “catch up on this week’s gossip” phone calls only while you’re out shopping. With consistency, you will start to associate chores with something way more fun!

Better yet, stop using the word “chores.” It’s amazing how words can affect our minds. Choose a new term for your housework. Call it a laundry party or a sweeping marathon; whatever works for you to disassociate this work from the childhood-era feeling of having to do chores as some sort of punishment. Housework can be a great change of pace if you approach it the right way!

 

Cathy Habas is a freelance writer based in Louisville. She works full-time with clients from around the world. Cathy primarily writes for service providers like Level Pro.

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