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20 Genius Ways to Make Chores More Fun

Who says that mopping and a movie are mutually exclusive?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American spends nearly 40 minutes a day cleaning, from washing dishes after dinner to making beds. However, anyone who's spent a Saturday scrubbing floors or trying to get their mirrors streak-free will tell you that cleaning isn't exactly the highlight of their week.

Luckily, that doesn't mean that budgeting in a weekly housekeeper is the only way to keep your house clean without driving yourself crazy. Implementing these easy tricks for making chores more fun will have your house looking like a million bucks in no time. And when you want every surface in your home to sparkle, This is the Safest Way to Clean Your Floors.

Crank Up Your Favorite High-School-Era Playlist

secretly hilarious things

Want to make your cleaning marathon a whole lot less dull? Put on some music. For maximum motivation, make sure you're listening to something upbeat: researchers at Texas Tech University have discovered that study participants who listened to up-tempo music while exercising worked out for longer, meaning it might just make those chores fly by, as well. And for more feel-good advice, here are the 50 Genius Tricks to Improve Your Life. 

Write Down What You Want to Accomplish First

Writing in Cafe Anti-Aging

Before you break out that broom, make sure you have a clear picture in mind of what you want to accomplish while you're cleaning. Not only will this make it easier to determine when you're done, it may actually make you more likely to complete the tasks you've set your mind to. In fact, researchers at Dominican University of California found that writing down goals made study subjects significantly more likely to achieve them. And when you want more energy to get those everyday tasks done, start with the 25 Non-Coffee Ways to Boost Your Energy Levels!

Offer Incentives

girl with dollar bill, crazy facts about dollar bills

A little incentive goes a long way when it comes to getting things done around the house. Promising yourself a fun activity, whether that's a movie on the couch or dinner out with your significant other, after a long day of cleaning, can make you a lot more inclined to pick up after yourselves. Luckily, by implementing the 40 Easy Ways to Stretch Your Paycheck, you'll have a lot more cash to reward yourself with.

Make It a Workout

woman work weight loss

Kill two birds with one stone and turn that chore marathon into a marathon workout, as well. Putting on some ankle weights, doing calf raises while you're washing dishes, or doing some lunges as you mop or vacuum can help you meet your cleaning goals and your fitness goals in one fell swoop. And for more up-to-the-minute exercise trends, Meet "Plogging:" The New Swedish Exercise Craze Everyone's Talking About.

Bring On the Competition

sports trophies in trophy case over 40 home

If you're doing chores with your kids, roommate, or significant other, add in some healthy competition to make things more fun. Offer stickers or screen time as a reward to whoever cleans up their space the fastest or make the loser buy the winner dinner to make things more enjoyable.

Get Some Cuter Cleaning Tools

Carpet cleaning

That boring old mop and broom probably don't make you eager to start whipping your house into shape. However, opting for some slightly cuter cleaning tools, whether that means a pair of ruffled kitchen gloves or an adorable dustpan set, might just make you feel happier to be polishing the place up. And for more ways to spruce up your home, Here's the Safest Way to Clean Your Oven.

Watch a Movie

Netflix, bad bosses, Everyday Energy Killers

There's no reason why you can't do your chores while doing something you enjoy a lot more. If you're folding laundry, washing a mountain of dishes, or organizing, go ahead and watch a movie while you're doing it. Before you know it, your work will be done. Don't know what to watch? Start with the 37 Movies Every Man Over 40 Should Be Able to Quote.

Automate What You Can

Husband doing dishes

There's plenty of value in hard work. There's also a lot to be said for saving yourself the stress of vacuuming your carpets every single day. Whenever possible, automate some of your more mundane tasks, whether that means having your mail picked up instead of heading to the post office, using a robot vacuum to pick up after yourself, or opting for drop-off service at your local laundromat. Having some of your tasks taken care of for you will make the ones you actually do yourself seem a lot less overwhelming. The good news? The 40 Items Every Man Over 40 Should Have in His Home will help you make your daily life a little easier.

Put On Your Cleaning-Specific Gear

Woman looking at clothes in closet

If you wouldn't hit the gym in your work clothes, why are you cleaning in them? Research suggests that having designated outfits for specific tasks may actually increase motivation, so go ahead and treat yourself to something cute to clean in.

Turn It Into a Game

Waste basket

Instead of cleaning using your usual method, try turning it into a game. See how much junk you can get into the trash can from the foul line (AKA your kitchen table), or just put on some mopping slippers and give your best figure skater impression while getting the place spic-and-span.

Create a Chore Chart

bad puns

Chore charts worked well when you were a kid, and there's no reason they can't do the same now. Keeping a chore chart in your kitchen will serve as a visible reminder of what you have to do, keeping you motivated. Better yet, when your tasks are broken down, tackling the messes throughout your living space will feel a lot more manageable. And for more great ways to keep your home sparkling, read up on Swedish Death Cleaning, Which Banishes Clutter Forever. 

And Provide Visual Reminders of What You've Finished

Star sticker

And when those chores are done, go ahead and give yourself a gold star for them. Research suggests that incentivizing tasks can significantly increase workplace performance, indicating that a few gold stars that you can cash in for something fun will keep you motivated to keep the place spotless.

Bust Out the Label Maker

Label machine

Want to make every chore easier and more fun? Buy yourself a label maker and use it to label where things go in your house. A little organization can make a major difference in the amount of time it takes you to clean up.

Do a Monthly Clean Out

Box of stuffed animals

Instead of committing yourself to a cleaning marathon each week, try doing a monthly clean out of spaces throughout your home. Going through your home and putting together piles of things to either donate or ditch will seriously expedite the cleaning process in the future.

Try to Beat the Clock

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Try making your chores a lot more fun by treating them like a race. Set a timer and go through each room, trying to get everything cleaned before the bell goes off.

Divide and Conquer

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Instead of switching off when it comes to cleaning, make it an activity you do with your partner. Not only can this turn chores into a fun bonding activity, it will also help cut down on the time it takes to get the job done, giving you more time to do actually fun instead.

Keep It Quick

Time Being Single in your thirties

Doing chores doesn't always have to be a marathon activity. In fact, making it a series of sprints can make it a lot more fun. Schedule smaller cleaning tasks throughout the day and you're less likely to feel overwhelmed by the mountain of chores you have ahead of you.

Take Scheduled Breaks

Alone Time Being Single in your thirties

And when you're doing chores, make sure to take a few minutes of time off every hour or so. Having a cup of coffee, chatting with a friend, or just relaxing for a few minutes between tasks can make your task list seem less monumental in the long run.

End Things at a Specific Time

healthy man couple exercising checking smart watches fitbits

Your job ends at a certain time, and your chores should, too. Giving yourself a specific quitting time will make it easier to get the job done without feeling like you're wasting your whole day.

Make Your Own Cleaning Supplies

Bleach and detergent

If you want to get your kids excited about cleaning, invite them to make some non-toxic home cleaners with you. Not only is this mad scientist act fun, it means you'll save a significant amount on your cleaning supplies and can avoid some of the nastier ingredients in store-bought stuff. Not sure how to start? This Is How to Make Your Own Home Dusting Spray.

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Sarah Crow
Sarah Crow is a senior editor at Eat This, Not That!, where she focuses on celebrity news and health coverage. Read more
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