Friday, January 14, 2011

4 household chores I hate and how I am learning to get over it....

The other day my mom and I were chatting about cleaning, and she sent me to this post over at the Inspired Room.  Something in this post really clicked with me - perhaps it is my aesthetic personality - but I am attracted to all things lovely.  Including cleaning supplies.  You should go read her post for yourself, but what it basically says is, make cleaning an enjoyable experience for yourself.  She recommends lighting candles, making some coffee, using good smelling cleaning supplies, and listening to good music.  Sounds like a plan to me.  So here's what I did.
My number 1 nemesis: LAUNDRY.
  • It stares at me while it's in the hamper 
  • It sits for a day in the washer
  • it gets wrinkly in the dryer
  • sits for a day in the basket waiting to be folded
  • gets tossed back in the dryer so I don't have to iron it
  • then sits in the basket all neatly folded until one of us needs it.  
UGH - I am terrible at it.  SO  I have 3 new strategies:
#1  Use wonderful smelling laundry detergent.  Gain is my weapon of choice lately.  It smells amazing AND the smell lingers on and on.  Yes, it may be a tad more expensive - but it's cheaper than hiring a maid right? (btw, you can use that rational for many many things....)
Strategy #2:  "A load of laundry a day keeps the laundry blues away".  To avoid the 6 days it takes me to usually take care of 1 load, I am now completing one load (washed, dried, folded, put away) every day of the work week.  So far it's working pretty well (it's been 2 weeks now), and it's not that big of a deal to just do one load.
#3  I bought that super-cute yellow kitchen timer from Anthro, and I use it as my laundry timer, because neither washer or dryer ding or beep when they are done.  This way I stay on top of it.  Even Charlotte knows that timer is for the laundry (the other day I used it to time baking cookies and when it "dinged"  she said "Oh! Time to check the laundry" :)

Onto #2:  Dishes
Again, the product is key here.  I am in love, I mean in love with Finish Powerball Tabs.  It really cuts down on the rinsing time, and leaves dishes sparkling clean.  I am also trying to run the dishwasher at least once a day.

#3:  Dusting
I use Flylady's timer method here.  I set my kitchen timer for 10 minutes, and I can dust everything important in my house during that time.  Only 10 minutes a week.  I also like rewarding myself by lighting a candle on my newly dusted mantel!

#4:  Paying the bills
Yeah this one's no fun.  No one likes to see money leaving their account to pay for things like medical bills and student loans.  BUT it is a necessity.
#1 thing that is helping me - this app on my smart phone(thanks mom and dad!) called Billski.  It sends me an alarm 2 days before each bill is due, and it has a little icon sitting at the top of my screen until I pay it.  It's really helping me.
To actually pay them, I fix myself a cup of coffee, try to wait until Charlotte is asleep so that I can think, put on some Pandora (I'm loving the Hawaiian IZ Station), and get cozy on the couch.  I also try to think of some reward - like looking at favorite blogs or something - for when I'm done.

So there you have it - one step closer (or really four steps closer) to my New Year's motto of Balance.
I want to hear from you - any tricks you have for conquering your least favorite household chores?  and remember - the more comments you leave, the more chances you have for winning that lovely little apron!


p.s. Let the record show that I actually completed all of these tasks before posting this.  Just so you know I am for real :)  OH and none of those companies pay me to say any of that - I'm just telling you like I would tell a friend.


  1. Sounds like we have a lot of the same problems! The Flylady has been extraordinarily helpful to me, and I try to have company over at least once a week because my house stays cleaner that way (and we get to build relationships with others!)
    Since having Elliott, I have severely lowered my expectations of myself, and I think it has been a good thing.
    But, yeah, I'll confess that I have laundry in my dryer that's been in there over a day. I'm trying not to stress about it.
    Oh, and I use Mrs. Meyer's cleaners. It seriously makes choretime much more manageable when I have lovely-smelling products with cool packaging. Does that make me shallow? Nah. ; )
    Whoa, sorry for the loonng comment.

  2. LOL, I just now went to the inspired room post and it looks like she uses the same Mrs. Meyer's tactic that I do!

  3. These are very helpful tips! I could use some of the same pieces of advice!
    My mom always encouraged me to turn on some fun music when I clean and lately I've been doing that more and more. I also--like you--either make myself a good cup of coffee or chai tea. So yummy!

    I need to be better about regularly doing these things, as in just incorporating them one by one in my daily routines so I don't get overloaded all at once.

    For laundry detergent, I've been using Rockin Green. They have fragrant soaps that are safe for cloth diapers or any laundry, and I just use it for everything! Cuts down on bottle waste too.

    I also use the same dishwasher detergent; makes a huge difference! I try to run a load once per day as well.

    When I fold laundry, I like to reward myself by watching something on the tube like TLC or HGTV, or a pre-recorded show (if Mia's asleep).

    I'm gonna check out your Pandora station. Good tips, Jessica!

  4. When I work on the dishes (nemisis #1, I listen to a favorite CD, or song). Also, if there is a big project (laundry out of control, or gross stuff in the sink) I reward myself with trashy gossip magazines or a round of HGTV. Clorox Greenworks laundry detergent is the best thing I have ever found, a little more expensive, but the clothes are SO clean and smell great!

  5. I like the idea of making it more pleasant! Dishes are my #1 hated chore!

  6. I've never heard of those powerball tabs; thank you for the tip, I'll look for them.

  7. I don't mind dishes or bill paying. It would be nice if I didn't have to, but I find all those neat columns of numbers to be very calming, even when they're not good news. LOL. I'm right there with you on laundry, though! Dusting? People still do that?

  8. This post made me feel better! lol Great solutions though!

  9. Tristin - I am in love with Mrs. Meyer's cleaning products as well. I love the all purpose cleaner. I add a little bit to a sink full of hot water and get to cleaning. I even let the water sit in the sink for a little while after I'm done cleaning because I like the smell so much. Basil is my #1 favorite scent, with Geranium coming in a close 2nd.

  10. I started wiping down the shower while I'm in there, like when I'm waiting those two minutes for the conditioner. I wipe down the walls with one of the girls' washcloths that I used the day before for bathtime. Then, I wipe down the tub when I'm getting ready to run their bath.

  11. The only way I will take the time to do all of the laundry all the way (complete with folding, hanging, storing) is to make sure my sheets are the last load. I only keep one set of sheets for my bed because this works so well for me. I use two softener sheets just so I can have an extra yummy smell to snuggle up to.

  12. For issues with the dishes not coming clean or having specks of food stuck on them I sprinkle salt all over the door before I close it. I have been doing this for around 3 months now and it really seems to help. I am a stay at home Mom of 3 who home schools, so I also try to load dishes after we get done eating, which is really hard at times but that is when my kitchen looks its best.

    BTW thanks for the tip it is always nice to get a new look on an old problem.


Thanks so much for commenting! If you have a question, make sure your email is in your profile or leave it in a comment so I can answer you. Otherwise email me at jessica(at)sewhomegrown(dot)com - Have a lovely day!

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