I know there are plenty more things most of us would prefer to be doing than let's say cleaning the toilet, washing yet another load of dishes or gawd forbid..ironing *shudder* but chores and housework are a regular and expected part of day to day life as a Mom. As much as some days we try to avoid it and pretend it's not there that giant pile of laundry is just not going to do itself, laundry can be stubborn that way. I assure you though that there are a few tricks, tips and some pretty nifty products out there that can make those dreaded chores a lot more enjoyable and the process much quicker to boot. So grab your favorite pair of rubber gloves and let's get to it.
1. TUNES. Nothing is a better motivator to get off your lazy behind and get to what needs getting to than an upbeat soundtrack in your eardrums. Either pump up your favorite music or do what I do and stick one headphone in your ear cranked up high while you keep the other ear free to listen in on kiddos. Dancing your way through your chores makes the process a lot less monotonous. I've also been known to sing along very loudly and off-key and choreograph some pretty snazzy dance moves while holding my vacuum cleaner or swiffer mop. The kids think this is hysterical now..but I imagine this may be a source of embarrassment for them in later years.
2. CALL A GIRLFRIEND. No, not to do your chores for you (good luck with that, it doesn't work) but a good dishing of some juicy gossip or sharing an embarrassing Mommy moment can sure keep a girl distracted while scrubbing down stubborn pots and pans. Before you know it you'll look down and you're done!! All of my close friends and family are completely used to the sound of running water and dishes being clinked together when they get a phone call from me in the afternoon. No but really...I just called because I wanted to catch up....(thank goodness my friends are good sports).
3. MAKE IT A GROUP EFFORT. It goes without saying..the more who chip in, the quicker it will get done. Start teaching your children while they're young that keeping your home clean is a TEAM EFFORT. Even from a very young age children can be taught to pick up after themselves and tidy up their own toys at the end of the day. My 4 year old has had assigned "chores" for 2 years now and knows what his responsibilities are each day. I no longer have to make his bed, pick up cars and megablocks every night that have been strewn about and he even helps with emptying the dishwasher, watering household plants and feeding our cat. If there is a bigger task around the house that needs tackling don't hesitate to round up the troops, crank up some music and work on it together...be silly, light and have fun. No one wants to help Mommy out if you come across as a domineering cow.
4. REWARDS. Knowing something special is waiting once you finish up a round of chores helps put a little spring in your step and a smile of anticipation on your face. Rewards work great for kids too of course. Even for the smallest of household tasks a little treat for yourself can make it seem so much more worthwhile. Sometimes the reward can be a fresh fruit smoothie, or some undisturbed Mommy time chilling out in front of the tv, a long hot bath, a glass of wine, a cookie or a piece of chocolate..whatever floats your boat and works with your schedule. If you have the whole family in on some serious cleaning action then the promise of a trip out for ice cream afterwards can usually get everybody motoring and motivated.
5. FUN PRODUCTS. Cleaning is boring enough so I say if using polka dotted garbage bags and a pink broom makes the process more enjoyable for you then go for it. There are so many brightly colored, fun products available today so there really is something out there that will please everyone. And don't forget about scent - stocking up on products in a smell that does it for you will ensure you please your senses every time you reach for that laundry detergent or household cleaner.
Here are just a few of my fave picks for products that bring a little fun and whimsy into the same old same old cleaning regime.
1. Pink Giraffe Broom, $14.99 available at Casabella. 2. Novelty Goldfish Trash Bags, 12 pack of 100 % biodegradable bags, $15.99 available at perpetual kid.
3. Mini Robo Vacuum, perfect for desk and tabletop messes, $20 available at fredflare.com.
4. Infinuvo Cleanmate QQ-2 Robot Vacuum, eco-friendly vacuum contains UV light for disinfection and a deoderizer, $240.29 available at Robot Shop.
5. Iron Man Ironing Board available at I Want One of Those.
6. Scotty Dog Crumb Sweeper, $11.99 available at perpetual kid.