04/09/2012 05:26 EDT | Updated 06/09/2012 05:12 EDT

Quick Tips For Making Chores Suck Less


We didn't like them when we were kids and we don't like them now; after all, they don't call them chores for nothing. Unfortunately, we've all got to do them once a week (or once every few weeks, if you're into stretching things out) and we may as well make the best of it. Over the years, we've come up with a few tricks and tips for making chore day feel a little less evil. Here's how to make the weekly chore grind easier and a little more...well, we hesitate to say "fun," but you know what we mean.

Create a "Cleaning Playlist"

Everything goes down more smoothly with a killer soundtrack. (Can you even begin to imagine "Pulp Fiction" without the sultry sounds of Al Green or the raucousness of Kool & the Gang?) Just as you would make a playlist for parties, workouts or outdoor runs, take a little time to create a fun and motivational playlist for chore day. Dust to Dusty Springfield! Scrub the toilet to Nirvana's "Bleach" album! You're kind of on your own when you're vacuuming, but maybe you can create a complex dance routine? (Know who our cleaning hero is? Tony Micelli in Who's The Boss.) Music definitely makes life better in every circumstance.

Become a Product Junkie

Your shower is probably full of various nice-smelling shampoos, conditioners, exfoliators and gels. Why should your cleaning cabinet be any different? Today's cleaning products aren't the same as your grandmother's, and there's no need for you and your home to have to smell like antiseptic after the deed is done. Invest in some lovely smelling and sexy-looking cleaning products in scents like cucumber-melon, tangerine and lavender to make cleaning feel less than a chore and more like aromatherapy. Environmentally friendly cleaning products are a bonus, and also tend to smell pretty fantastic.

Use the 'One Touch Method'

When you pick something up on cleaning day, put it away in its proper place immediately. This is what is called the "one touch method." So many of us tend to pick things up, wander around with them, and then place them on a chair or something to be dealt with later. Guess what? You just doubled your workload! Also in the interests of keeping chore time to a minimum, try to keep things as tidy as possible throughout the week and there'll be way less to deal with once this dreaded day rolls around.

Treat Yo' Self!

Remember how mom would let you have dessert, but only after you finished your meat and Brussels sprouts? Reward yourself for being amazing at chore day by planning on giving yourself a special treat at the end of it all. Whether it's a manicure, a shopping trip, a favourite snack or settling down for the evening with a DVD, make sure you have something pleasant to look forward to at the end of the chore grind. And never indulge in the treat before your tasks are complete!

Compete Head-to-Head

If your partner happens to be home and willing to participate on chore day (and we hope for your relationship's sake that they are!), turn your chores into a game with a competitive edge. You start in the bathroom, s/he starts in the kitchen, and see who can wrap up first. At the end of it, grade your partner's cleaning skills out of 10. This isn't an opportunity to nitpick so much as a way of ensuring that the speediness of your cleaning does not sacrifice the quality of cleanliness. Also, you can high-five afterwards, reward one another for your efforts -- ahem -- however you see fit and (carefully) make a

splatter-free dinner together in a squeaky clean kitchen.