Rewards for Doing Boring Household Tasks

By Pam Young

spring_in_NW-2.jpgMake it fun and it will get done! Yeah right! Let’s face it, most household tasks are mindless and boring and you’d be a moron if you had fun scouring toilets and scrubbing floors or, I guess you could be a BO (Born Organized). But to have a clean, cozy peaceful home, someone has to take care of those unexciting chores. If you can’t afford to pay for help or you haven’t trained your family to help (that’s a whole other blog and a chapter in my book, The Joy of Being Disorganized), you’re stuck doing them. It does help to play your favorite upbeat music while you work, but let’s face it, boring is boring.

There is a light at the end of the mop! Today, we’re so fortunate to have wonderful ways to counter the mundane. Introducing, entertainment as a reward!

A Juicy Carrot

We’re drawn to romance novels, two-hanky movies, reality TV, trashy check stand journalism and glossy magazines that feature the latest celeb pregnancy. (The mother of quintuplets once told me that with five babies she didn’t have time to read magazines, but she got enough of a celeb fix waiting in line at the grocery check-out and reading just the headlines.

Since we’re basically curious and we all love a little drama in our “normal” lives, it’s important to get some excitement vicariously so we don’t have to be in reckless pursuit of chaos in real life. It’s fun to see what happens in the passionate lives of others without being swept away ourselves. And we can use entertainment as a reward for getting our boring stuff out of the way. 

That’s why I prescribe watching at least one movie a week, and one or two of your favorite drama series on television on your way to having a clean, cozy peaceful home. Use the entertainment as a carrot and suck up all the drama you need. Right now, we’re watching past episodes of Prison Break and Heartland on Netflix. With Netflix we don’t have to wait a whole week to watch the next episode. (How did we do it with those cliff hanger-type programs, having to wait to see if or what will happen next?)

The Zones

In order do have a clean, peaceful and cozy home you really have to be organized enough to have a routine that keeps dirt, dust and clutter at bay. If you’re not sure how my zones work it’s very simple. Divide your home into five zones and assign each zone to a week in the month (in the first and fifth weeks there will usually be fewer days depending on the month so you’ll want to put rooms with less to do in those weeks). Then, every Sunday see what week you’re in and what zone in your home will be your focus.

The zones keep you from sidetracking and also from neglecting chores that need to be done on a monthly basis.

But no matter what zone you’re in, be sure to include entertainment. Maybe that could be one of your New Year’s resolutions.

For more from Pam Young go to You’ll find many musings, videos of Pam in the kitchen preparing delicious meals, videos on how to get organized, lose weight and get your finances in order, all from a reformed SLOB’s point of view.

Kids have messy rooms? End the arguments about cleaning them. Check out my House Fairy program. This month only I am offering my Super Snuggle Bunny program for half price at