WORK SMART (WITH THE RIGHT TOOLS)
I mentioned the single-use laundry pods above; I also use those for the dishwasher. It’s amazing how just not having to deal with measuring and scooping and powder making a mess can help! They are super-duper handy, especially if you live in an apartment and have to cart your stuff to the laundromat, or have older kids and want them to help with your household tasks, or just need ONE THING made easier when it comes to your long list of chores. (Can I get an AMEN?)
Aly Walansky, a freelance lifestyles writer and editor from Brooklyn (check her out at alittlealytude.com), had a brilliant solution to keeping up with the bathroom: “I like to take my Mr. Clean Magic Eraser in the shower with me, and scrub whileIi’m in there anyway — saves time!” Aly also recommends investing in a really cute laundry bag: “That way, even if you are two weeks overdue in doing laundry, you don’t have an eye sore of bags and piles.” Smart!
My NYC friend Diana Heather, mom of two toddler girls, spokesperson, video hostess, and Chief Mom at Totsy.com, recommends setting a timer for just 10 or 15 minutes. “Do that thing you dread, knowing that when the timer goes off you’re done for today! Move on to something else; you can do more of that chore the next day if need be.” Such great advice! “A little bit everyday is better than trying to hike the mountain all in one day!”
For the record, Diana’s household pet peeve is putting clean sheets back on the bed. “The worst thing of all time that can happen to me is to be tired and toward the end of the day — or worse at bedtime — realize that I washed the sheets, but haven’t put them back on the bed yet.” I feel your pain, Diana!
My friend Holly Korus-Jenkins, an artist, mom of two in NJ and blogger for BaristaNetKids.com, has some super smart advice for taming the laundry beast: “One of my tips for laundry is to first have a super organized laundry room or area,” she says. “This just makes the task so much easier. People hate putting laundry away but if you have clean, organized closets it should be easy. Every winter I take out all the things out of my closet that I have not been wearing and put them on a chair. I force myself to wear one piece everyday. If I don’t love it, time to donate it.” Tough love!
Courtney Cachet, one of my chicest design friends (and BettyConfidential contributor!), says one of her least favorite chores is ironing. “I am hopeless,” she says. “But, the messy/rumpled school boy look isn’t my thing. I got a Rowenta Steamer and it’s fabulous. It steams your clothes like a pro. I discovered it when I was backstage at New York Fashion Week.”
Heather Taylor, a social media manager and freelance writer (check her out at heather-in-heels.tumblr.com!) in Los Angeles, says her dreaded chore is cleaning the toilet. “It’s always gross no matter what,” she says, “but if you wear cute or brightly colored gloves up to your elbows it’s not so bad!” It’s all about accessories!
I was not surprised that I got a ton of replies like … “hire a maid!” Alas, we can’t all afford to do that, but that doesn’t mean we can enlist help, or farm out some of our chores. My friend Karen H. from California says, “Do everything else and tell your husband your least fav task is his job!”
Kids can also get in on the action. When I mentioned in the Facebook comment thread that my 9-year-old daughter is in charge of the cat’s litter box, my friend Ethan, a father of two, (who, by the way, was one of only four guys to comment out of 26 comments on the Facebook thread!), said gleefully, “Just had laundry folding boot camp with my 7-year-old. It’s on!”
Sorry, kiddo! (Mwahahahaha!)
MAKE IT FUN (WITH WINE, PARTNERS, ‘80s MOVIES AND MORE)
As Diana also told me: “Wine makes everything better.” Too true! “Partners make everything better too, so get someone to do it with you, like your kids or your hubby,” she also points out. “Even if they’re not really helping it feels better to not be alone,” she says.
Sarah Beston, the managing editor of Yahoo! Shine agrees on both accounts. “Luckily, my husband is a great cleaner and really enjoys doing it!” she says. (Lucky her!) “Mostly, he does the cleaning and I do the organizing, but when I have to actually roll up my sleeves and get dirty, pots and pans are typically my biggest pet peeve. I usually ‘let them soak’ for a bit in the sink with warm water and soap secretly hoping they will go away. When they don’t, I put on some tunes, pour a glass of wine, and once all the icky stuff is good and loose, scrub away! The wine definitely helps.”
Erin P., a mom of two in Brooklyn NY, says her dreaded chore is cleaning the bathroom shower. Her solution? “LOUD music.” She wasn’t the only person who mentioned music; my friend Stephanie says she and her daughters do their “deep cleaning” (bedroom, bathrooms, dusting, kitchen floors, laundry, etc.) once a week, usually on Saturday. “We make it fast and fun by putting on music (today’s hits) and work it off while having a dance party. The more silly we can be the better!”
Amber Katz, the mastermind behind BeautyBloggingJunkie.com, says, “I absolutely loathe cleaning my closet and switching out clothes for the new season a couple times a year.” Ug, too true. Her solution? “My closet’s actually in my living room (bless Manhattan apartments and their randomness), so I put on a good ’80s movie and challenge myself to be finished by the end of the movie. I’m always finished by the end if I don’t allow myself to get sidetracked.”
And sometimes having fun is about having the right mindset. Did you happen to read about that study that came out recently, surmising that women are heavier today because we do less housework?! To that end, my pal Melissa Chapman, a mom of two (four two kids and two dogs!) and writer at marriedmysugardaddy.com, says, “I am ALWAYS cleaning up SOMEONE’s PEE!!! But … every time I have to clean the toilets I think … I am getting skinnier!”
Ding, ding, ding … Melissa for the win!
Tell me: What household chore do you most dread? Do you any tips or tricks for making it not to dreadful?