One of the things that came out of reading Confessions of an Organized Homemaker was my openness to changing certain habits. I realized that it was necessary to change the way I do some of my chores for two reasons. First, because my method was inefficient, involving more steps than necessary. Second, because by changing the way in which I did my task I eliminated the procrastination factor.
Take laundry, for example. I try hard to be organized at it, but I’m not. More often than not, the laundry spills out of the hamper and takes over the bathroom. There’s laundry washing, laundry drying, laundry waiting to be put away. It’s this last bit which most often puts a crank in the wheel; sometimes there are up to four loads of laundry piled in the kids’ room waiting to be put away.
Part of the problem is the unspoken assumption that my husband is in charge of this last step in the chain. He hates all the other steps of the laundry process yet doesn’t mind folding and putting laundry away. So it piles up and piles up while I seethe about it piling up and he’s busy with other things. The other issue is that once the basket of clothes gets upstairs, I tend to ‘ignore’ it.
I’ve discovered that one simple change in the routine makes the whole cycle flow more smoothly. If, upon bringing the dry laundry inside, I fold it downstairs immediately, then, when I take it upstairs, I put it away immediately. By changing when and where I fold the laundry, I remove a source of stress, procrastination and mess from my life.
Unfortunately, while this one small change in routine does mean that the laundry process flows more smoothly, it also means that I am now doing each and every step. On the other hand, my husband is also more likely to put the laundry away unprompted if it is already folded.
What chore do you hate and avoid doing? What helps you to get it done?