April 7 is No Housework Day. Finally, a holiday we can really embrace! Housework is one of those necessary evils one faces in life, like 6 month dental checkups. To have an official day to celebrate the absence of housework is truly a reason to rejoice. Joan Rivers may have said it best: “I hate housework! You make the beds, you do the dishes and six months later you have to start all over again.”
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Maybe your feelings don’t run quite that strong but you have to admit it, housework is a drag. And just when you get the house looking good, it’s time to start over again. If you can’t afford a full time housekeeper, try these methods to rethink how you do housework and make the experience more pleasant—if not downright fun!
1. Think of housework as exercise. Cleaning house gets your blood flowing, so make the most of getting moving. If you’ve got to clean the house, might as well make it aerobic as well. Wear a pedometer and see how many steps you make while mopping or dusting the living room furniture. Get really ambitious and do squats while you vacuum.
2. Put on your favorite music and play it loud. Remember Robin Williams as Mrs. Doubtfire rocking out as he vacuumed? Sing off key, dance to the music and shake what your momma gave you!
3. Catch up with old friends. Get out your hands-free device and chat with friends while you clean. You can dust the furniture and dish the dirt at the same time!
4. Get organized. Have a place for everything so clutter doesn’t build up. You don’t have to invest a lot of money to straighten up the place. Get a few boxes for the kids to throw their stuff into after school. Designate a closet for the ironing board and vacuum. Don’t just lay stuff down; put it in its place.
5. Find the right tools. They’re called labor saving devices for a reason. And they work. So whether it’s a high-powered vacuum cleaner or a duster with an extension pole to reach those tall corners, make sure you’ve got the right equipment for the job.
6. Give yourself a little treat for finishing. While the floors dry, check email or finish that article in the magazine you’ve been trying to read. Spend a half-hour soaking in that clean tub and then do your nails.
7. Do tasks like ironing in front of the TV. Make cleaning time a time to catch up on your favorite shows. Basically, tooth extraction is more exciting than ironing or folding laundry. So at least catch up on an episode of House of Cards or your favorite soap.
8. Give your house a mini makeover. Rethink your décor as you clean and rearrange the pictures, color coordinate the vases, and switch the chairs under the mirror. A little change can make a big difference.
9. Do chores as a family and make it a fun bonding time. Hey, you all live there and no one likes to take out the trash. Split up the work and give a prize to the first one finished. Tell your kids what you did as a child around the house. You’ll earn cred with your kids if you washed dishes by hand or had to hang the laundry outside. Nah, on second thought, they won’t really care!
10. Make lists. It’s so satisfying to cross chores off the list when completed. Making a list lets you break down housework tasks to a manageable number, too.
11. Appreciate the Zen of tasks like dusting and laundry. It doesn’t take a lot of concentration to dust. It’s a good time to let your mind wander to more pleasant activities.
12. Make chores part of your daily routine. Keep housework from piling up into a mountain of work. Doing a little bit of housework every day will prevent chores from looming over your weekend.
With a little planning and a little elbow grease you can keep the house clean. It’s not fun, your kids’ friends won’t notice it and your mother-in-law will still find something to criticize you about, but it’s got to be done. Our best advice is to bring the family together, assign a task to everyone based on their age and ability, set aside an hour and get it done.
But not on the April 7. On that day, let the dust bunnies breed at will under the bed and let the dust get deep enough to plant corn. It’s No Housework Day, after all!