No one likes doing chores, but they have to be done. On a typical day, around 85% of women and 67% of men spend time doing work around the house. This time is often met with frustration and annoyance. Like many other responsibilities you have to take care of in your life, chore time can be more tolerable if you actively work toward addressing and improving the issues that make them unpleasant. With a few changes to your housework routine, you can turn a stressful experience into one that is bearable and that does not interfere with your happiness. If you dread completing chores around the house, here are some tips to help make chore time less stressful:
Make a List
Compile a list of all of the work that you need to get done. This will help prevent you from forgetting anything that you need to do, and it will give you a sense of accomplishment each time you can cross an item off of the list. People are more likely to accomplish tasks that they write down. Take some time each week and write down the chores you need to finish each day. When you make a list, it is easier to divide chores between multiple people, so it can make completing chores easier if you have family members or roommates.
Spread Out Your Chore Time
Instead of doing your housework all at one time, try breaking your chores up into manageable segments. Look at your chore list and choose a couple items to get done in the morning and a couple for the evening. By splitting your chores up, you will avoid feeling overwhelmed by trying to complete an unmanageable amount of work all at once or in a limited amount of time.
Time management methods like the Pomodoro Technique encourage people to use timers to split their work into intervals with breaks in between. Try timing yourself so that you can work on chores for a set period of time and take a break for few minutes in between working. You might find that you will have more energy for your work and that work might feel like less of a burden when you have time to rest or do an activity you enjoy in between chores.
If you see something in your house that needs to be cleaned that you can take care of in five minutes or less, do it right away. You will be surprised by how much less housework you will have to manage if you are putting items away or wiping counters down a little bit at a time. Whenever you find little gaps of time throughout the day, spend a quick five or ten minutes taking care of some work around your home and decluttering. If you clean regularly, you will minimize the amount of work that you will have to do.
Divide Your Chores
If you are completing the brunt share of the household responsibilities, you will feel overwhelmed and stressed when it is time for you to take care of your house. Divide your chore list between you and the other members of your household. Create a chore chart or a chore wheel to make sure that chores are divided up evenly and fairly, or assign each person a specific area of the house to be responsible for cleaning. Splitting your chores between multiple people will make chore time less stressful.
If you live with other people, it is important that you communicate with them about shared household responsibilities. Set clear expectations about which person needs to take care of which duty, and make sure that there are rules and boundaries in place to ensure these responsibilities are completed. Save yourself a lot of stress and trouble by making sure everyone understands their role when it comes to chores around the house.
Offering incentives for completing housework is a great way to motivate others (or yourself) to finish your chores. Reward yourself with a break, a snack, or something else you enjoy every time you cross a task off of your chore list. Offering praise or other incentives can also be beneficial for young children who have assigned housework.
Avoid Making Clutter
Set up designated places around your house for your shoes, keys, mail, and any other potential clutter. If you are holding something that will only take a couple minutes to put away, go ahead and take care of it right away when you are finished using it. This will help you avoid making a mess that you will have to clean up later. When you cook, clean as you go. The less clutter you leave around, the easier it will be for you during your chore time. Keep yourself from having a stressful chore time by preventing and eliminating messes.
For tips on how to communicate with others and manage stress, visit Oakville Wellness Center.