Three tips for cheerful chores

I’ve been taking a closer look at household tasks that I could outsource or simplify. Groceries, laundry, cleaning, cooking…

… but really, they don’t take that much time, and I probably get more value from doing them than I would from a few extra hours of writing or work.

Here are three tips I’ve found that help me enjoy what I’m doing. Maybe you’ll find them useful, too!

Many hands make fun work. Turn the chore into an excuse to build a relationship. For example, W- and I love cooking. Our batch-cooking marathons are an excuse to break out the knives, chopping boards, and stacks of food containers, and we have great conversations while slicing and dicing. We also enjoy the walk to the supermarket (which often involves a side-trip to the library, and you know how I enjoy that). Folding laundry is a good time to watch a movie (borrowed from the aforementioned library), which leads to more shared experiences and in-jokes, which helps cultivate a relationship. Turn chores into social bonding time, and the time will fly.

Use the time to reflect and improve. Cooking is a great time to learn new recipes or improve my skills. Tidying up reminds me where things are and gives me an opportunity to simplify. Spend a little extra time making things better for the next time you do something.

Eliminate or delegate things that really sap your energy. Speaking of cats: scooping out four litter boxes was not fun. So W- did a bit of research and ordered a Litter Robot. The spaceship-like contraption now commands a corner of the living room (next to the toolchest, actually). It’s been worth it not just for convenience, but also for entertainment value. Our cat Luke loves to watch it, but when he steps on it for a closer look, the Litter Robot stops rotating. This confuses him and always makes me laugh.

We could cut back on savings and hire some of these tasks out – but we’d probably replace them with time spent taking long walks together, learning new skills, or improving the flow of life. Which is basically what we would’ve been paying someone else to handle, so we might as well do it ourselves.

What do you do to make chores cheerful?

2011-01-12 Wed 19:38

  • http://www.tanyalloydkyi.com Tanya Kyi

    Cooking and CBC are an unbeatable combination.

    And I suppose you need preschoolers for this one, but I dump all the unmatched socks from the dryer into a basket, and pay a penny a pair. It costs me about 20 cents a week, and all my socks get matched!