Monday, January 18, 2010

12 ideas for making chores enjoyable

While some may like to clean, there's the rest of us who just do it because we have to. It's a necessary part of life. I'd much rather be creating.I have a few tricks that work for me for motivation or to just plain make it more enjoyable. Nothing terribly earth fact, I'm surprised I'm writing this as I'm more often sidetracked than not.

1. Make it pretty
- Doing dishes is not my favorite thing. They seem to multiply whenever I turn my head. I do love spice-scented candles though and their warm glow. I have one on my kitchen window to light and enjoy while working at the sink. Last week I also purchased a lovely new ironing board cover. Mine needed a new one and I saw a lovely black and white damask pattern one. Love damask. Now I enjoy my pretty new cover while tackling the ironing pile.

2. Enjoy the Scent - I may be a little strange but I love the smell of certain cleaning products. They just smell so "clean". Lemon scented furniture polish, Pine-sol and here's a strange one...I love the smell of Dettol. I think it's one of those childhood memory smells as my mom used to use it. One thing about it is I know everything is not only clean but disinfected when I use it. I purchase a huge bottle from the local pharmacy. They keep it behind the counter for some reason but it's much less expensive that way. Dettol may not be your "thing" but find something that is.

3. Use a Timer - Flylady has some fabulous tips. Great motivation too. I'm a lapsed flybaby at the moment but one thing that has really stuck with me is to use a timer. Setting it for 5, 10 or 15 minutes in a room really motivates me for some reason. Hubby just shakes his head but works for me so why knock it?

4. Make a List - I love lists. It's so much fun crossing them off. And they keep me on track. Are you sensing a theme here?

5. Automatic Program - There are certain things that I just automatically do so that the work doesn't pile up. Laundry is one of those for me. Every morning I throw in a load as soon as I'm up. It never piles up to insurmountable heights that way making laundry and other tasks much more enjoyable.

6. Don't Procrastinate - Everything is much harder the longer you procrastinate. I shake my head and think...why on earth didn't I just do that right away?!

7. Reward Yourself - Celebrate getting a big job done with a cup of coffee, some chocolate or some creative time. Doesn't that sound enjoyable?

8. Have company - Nothing motivates you quite like inviting some company over. It's win-win. Enjoy a clean house, some fun with friends and maybe even some leftovers.

9. Play Some Music - Put on something upbeat that you like to get you moving.

10. Declutter - Clutter is SO hard to clean around. You spend more time moving it than actually cleaning. That is not fun. Get rid of the excess and things will run much smoother. Flylady has some awesome tips on this. In an old house, I struggle with this as their are few storage options. Slowly I'm decluttering and investing in better storage options and donating the rest to someone who can use it.

11. Get help - Everything is so much better with two. My daughter was a huge help this holiday season and it was so much fun to work alongside her. I used to help my mom with big jobs too. If you have a huge home project, a friend may come help you and you can return the favor. I'm thinking those pioneer ladies were onto something with their canning and quilting bees.

12. Be Realistic - I would love my house to be perfect. Everything clean, ready for company at a moment's notice. I've had to let go of that though as right now, at this point in my life, that is just not going to happen. It's a busy house with five kids and a non-stop schedule. More often than not I find the piles of the above photo. I do my best and give myself permission to not be perfect.If I didn't I'd probably go crazy trying. As the Nester says...."It doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful." Seriously...I need to think up my own line but hers just works for me.

And now I'm feeling inspired to do a little cleaning and organizing myself. The laundry is on, timer and list in hand...

Happy cleaning!


This post links up with Thrifty Decor Chick's So Fresh So Clean Party.


  1. Thanks for sharing!!!

    Check out my tips including how to get pen off and couch!

  2. those are some great tips!! when i have a huge sink of dishes or a pile of laundry to fold i always turn some music keeps me movin'!

  3. Wonderful ideas! And I understand about the whole cleaning product smells - I love Pledge - so clean...


  4. These are really great tips Julia! I've used the timer on before many times, but I think I'm going to have to work on the making it pretty and rewarding myself ones. That should make cleaning a happier experience. :-)

  5. Those are great tips! I am giving away Citra-Solv cleaner - smells delish! Stop by!

  6. Love your tips Julia especially #12. As women we put too much stress upon ourselves. I'm a grandmother now and the best advice I can give young family is to simply enjoy your children while their small. Before you know it they will be all grown up but the chores will always be there. TFS! Sheila

  7. I so needed these tips! And the simpler the better for me. I need to be more on a regular schedule so that I know it will get done!


  8. Julia - I've never been to your "home" blog before - what a nice surprise to find it! You know I'm a big fan of your other blog! And I too share a love of the smell of Dettol!!


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