Aside from the normal house cleaning one has to do, I’m an animal lover and have seven indoor cats that have taken to using my house as their personal playground. I love them dearly, but I don’t like how filthy my home gets. A home that smells like animals disgusts me and it’s embarrassing to have company in my home when it reeks of pet odors. Because I was raised by a self-proclaimed neat freak, I feel compelled to ensure that the rooms are as tidy as possible… but since I also work a full time job, cleaning house is never at the top of my priority list when I get home at the end of the day. I’ve checked out maid reviews, considered hiring a housecleaner, even setting fire to the whole thing, but I have to admit; I really do like the challenge of maintaining my house myself – despite my hatred for some of the tasks required to do so.
The question is “How do I do it all and still have a life?”
Though I have many undesirable chores, one of my least favorites has to be cleaning the litter boxes. I have one litter box for every two cats that I have. And since I have seven furry felines, I have four boxes that are constantly in need of cleaning at any given time. The best way that I have found to deal with this job is to clean the boxes every single day. As humans, we are creatures of habit. So, I believe that even though it was difficult in the beginning to train myself to be diligent about the litter boxes on a daily basis, now I feel like I’m cheating on myself if I come home and don’t address the boxes.
Most people will just scoop the litter and be done with it, but I actually take the boxes and dump them out completely. After I’ve cleaned them with an environmentally friendly spray, I dry them and put them back onto the floor. I also use a little baking soda in the litter to cut back on any excess odors. I have found that this process becomes less of a chore if I do things to make it less boring. Sometimes I challenge myself to complete the tasks in record time. On other occasions I’ll purchase a new spray or find a new scent, which makes me excited to clean the litter boxes. Personalizing new litter boxes (before they get dirty!) also gives me more pride about the little box area and motivates me to keep the area in tip top condition.
And while I love my cats to death, they also enjoy sleeping on my couches and covering them in fur. What’s more, I have a brother who is allergic to cats and who likes to come over to visit every few days. If I don’t get those couches clean and fur-free, I’ll be sure to hear him sneezing and coughing. Not to mention the fact that he’ll be running for the door for some fresh air. For this particular household chore, I use special carpet powder on the fabric and vacuum them every few days. I am not as regimented with this task, since it’s largely mandated by when I’m receiving company. But the same concepts apply: doing it regularly makes it routine and purchasing products that give the chore a fun makeover increase my chances of wanting to do it. Also- researching the internet for fun tips and tricks can also make chores more exciting. Try this one: put a fabric sheet under your couch cushions to ensure that your guests get a burst of freshness each time they sit down.
Whether it’s cleaning the litter box, paying the bills, or even grocery shopping, undesirable chores are a big part of life. And while the messy jobs can become troublesome at times, I remind myself to find ways to want to do them. After all, when they’re done, I get to feel a sense of accomplishment and even happiness. When it’s a pain, it’s a chore. But when I can find some fun in it, it becomes a part of my regular, daily routine, and it’s no longer a chore.