Metatalktail Hour: Chore list December 21, 2019 3:57 PM   Subscribe

This is a big week of logistics in my household; a lot of stuff needs to get done, moved, cleaned, put away, taken out, packed, wrapped, boxed, swept, etc. Minor headaches but also sort of enjoyable getting things done like that. Are there household chores you secretly enjoy or have a secret talent for?

As always this is a conversation starter, not limiter. Come on in and tell us how things are with you or just say hi.
posted by LobsterMitten to MetaFilter-Related at 3:57 PM (65 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

One of my things is sweeping loose cat litter up from the cement floor in the basement. (This is clean litter that gets kicked out of the box and skitters around the mostly empty floor.) We have a really stiff old broom that is somehow the perfect tool for this, just the exact right amount of pressure and it gets everything - so you sweep and there's a perfect clean line between the swept and unswept areas. Satisfying.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 4:06 PM on December 21, 2019 [5 favorites]


I'm that odd person who doesn't mind cleaning the cat box...*toxoplasmosis represent*.

I've had a great day off work today. I managed to get baking partially complete, visited and delivered goodies to neighbor, a friend came by to see the progress on my garden shed, and I had guacamole and wine for tonight's respite.

The entire day was accompanied by my most enjoyable jazz and blues musical selections. Now, it's a quiet night with only the seasonal lights glowing, a cat in my lap, comfortable afghan around my sholders and no need to even get up and pee.

Life at this singular moment in time seems good and peaceful and content. It's a nice solstice.
posted by mightshould at 4:15 PM on December 21, 2019 [6 favorites]


I actually like cleaning my bathroom—but I live alone and control the mess. I absolutely LOVE the feeling of having a shiny, fresh, newly cleaned bathroom!

I also really enjoy cleaning out old files, drawers, the mail basket, etc. So satisfying to get rid of unnecessary paperwork and “stuff”.

I HATE dusting with the fire of a thousand suns.
posted by bookmammal at 4:22 PM on December 21, 2019 [2 favorites]


I had a dream about how to put a little weight into my tiny painted hot sauce tree ornaments, so they would hang and not just be little empty plastic bottles. And it worked. Now some glittery red and green pepper decals and they'll be ready. Yep, gettin' it all done.

My tacomate cleaned the litter today. Satisfying.
posted by twentyfeetof tacos at 4:29 PM on December 21, 2019 [3 favorites]


Sadly, I really only excel at making the mess, not cleaning it up. Luckily, not living alone (and knowing I need to pull my own weight) forces me to try a lot harder than I ever would on my own. Still not something I enjoy.
posted by Ghidorah at 4:39 PM on December 21, 2019 [1 favorite]


No.
posted by betweenthebars at 4:40 PM on December 21, 2019 [10 favorites]


I hate every single thing to do with keeping a house and when I'm living in some tech billionaire's post-apocalyptic New Zealand compound I am going to do my best to make sure I'm assigned to running the Hunger Games because I do not want to spend my post-apocalyptic life making beds. Or cooking. Or sorting socks.
posted by betweenthebars at 4:45 PM on December 21, 2019 [3 favorites]


I like sweeping and cleaning the cat boxes. I tolerate doing dishes. After I got cats, I hired a cleaner, because I do not have the hours.
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:10 PM on December 21, 2019 [1 favorite]


I honestly really like doing the dishes...I don't have a dishwasher, and I feel meditative and nice, splashing around with soapy water, listening to an audiobook or something. I pin it on growing up in the desert, maybe, where spending time with some water is restorative even when a chore is involved.

I am however dreadful at dusting. I don't understand it, I have never been able to do it well or keep on top of it or anything at all. I even bought some microfiber cloths recommended by a fellow mefite, but they still just kind of smear it around. Alas.
posted by theatro at 5:20 PM on December 21, 2019 [1 favorite]


I like doing laundry. I love the sorting, selecting cycles, and folding. I don't bother with ironing.
posted by biggreenplant at 5:33 PM on December 21, 2019


I also like washing the dishes. I think it started practically, because I shared a kitchen with somebody who believed you didn't have to rinse, and after one dinner tasted like our dish liquid I stopped letting that person do the dishes. At some point it just became a relaxing thing I do before going to bed. My wife inadvertently reinforced it by being a less meticulous dishwasher than I am, so it's kind of easier on both of us if I just do most of the hand washing.

I don't know that I've become enlightened but I've certainly thought a lot about "now wash your bowl" over the years.
posted by fedward at 5:46 PM on December 21, 2019


I like washing dishes. Comes from growing up in cold houses with cold hands. Even now it feels lovely to have an excuse to plunge my hands into a sink of warm water. Like a bubble bath for your fingers.

Not quite so awesome in an Australian summer, but I love with people who like having the air conditioning on cooler than I would, so I still don't mind.
posted by lollusc at 6:27 PM on December 21, 2019


The only chore I do happily is washing the bathroom sink because I can sit on the pot and clean the sink. I never liked doing housework but it's even a bigger pain trying to do most of it in a wheelchair. Cleaning the catbox and sweeping around it is not too difficult but I can't say I like doing it. (don't have toxoplasmosis)
posted by a humble nudibranch at 6:28 PM on December 21, 2019 [3 favorites]


Most of my chores this week had to do with setting up new toys for the kids, but because they're teens now, that didn't mean putting bikes together or setting up a princess vanity, instead, it dealt with migrating users and setting up auto backups on new devices. Installing some new apps. Finding some fun desktop art. It has been a giant pain in the ass, but when they open their gifts on Christmas, their new machines will be all set up.

The other chore I just finished concerns work. I have a colleague who is retiring after 23 years and I wanted a way to say thanks to her. Thanks for being so generous when I first started. For putting up with all my mistakes, and for being committed to what we do. But I didn't want to make a big deal of it. So 10 days before the last day of work, I started to bring in some of my favorite things about the city we live in. So on the first day I brought in cupcakes from this delightful coffee shop and bakery down the street, and then donuts from that old skool Polish bakery in the next town, then pastries from this amazing gem of a Japanese/French bakery I discovered, and then homemade egg nog from a small family-owned dairy on the outskirts of town. Kolaches from this great Hungarian place I know. Something different and special every day. Went to lunch at a fancy restaurant on the day before our last work day, and then I brought them cruffins which are a hybrid croissant/muffin that a local baker make, filled with an eggy cream filling dusted with nutmeg. Since I did it for everyone on the staff, she didn't know I actually did it because it would be her last Christmas with us. It cost a fortune and I had to leave for work really early for two weeks, but she was so happy every day which made it totally worth it. I really hope her last few days with us feel special.
posted by Stanczyk at 6:44 PM on December 21, 2019 [16 favorites]


I have been doing lots of baking! First testing recipes and then baking cookies and gingerbread to mail to friends and now cakes and such for Christmas parties.

I'm pretty sure an alarming amount of my caloric intake the last week or so has been sugar...
posted by Zalzidrax at 6:46 PM on December 21, 2019


I find doing laundry the most ruminative chore...these clothes again? I just washed them last week/month/etc depending. How many more times will I fold these leggings/arrange these pants on a hanger/roll these socks? I have a good memory of where and when I obtained most of my clothes, and for things like sweatshirts I’ve owned since college, I get very meditative thinking back to the time and whatever memory pops up attached to it. Can I really have bought this sweater five years ago? Where did that time go? Have I made the most of it? Newer clothes too, I start thinking, was this really the best color for this shirt? Maybe I should have gotten the green. It’s like Days of Our Lives with Tide, which also just struck me as funny, because isn’t that why they’re called soap operas?

No other household chore gets me thinking, what is the point of it all? Why are we here? What could it all mean? like laundry does....
posted by Tandem Affinity at 7:43 PM on December 21, 2019 [4 favorites]


I like dishes, and let me tell you, that is the secret to being popular.
posted by blnkfrnk at 7:44 PM on December 21, 2019 [2 favorites]


I like vacuuming.
We have five different types of vacuum cleaners in house.
One of them, our trusty Rattlemops, needs to be watched, because it bumps into stuff (not screaming, though). Great for cleaning under the bed.
One doesn't need a power cord and is made of enjoyably-colored plastic. As long as the battery lasts, it's my favorite. It helps me get rid of the occasional spider-in-the-basement-explosion.
One is called Electrolux, is supposed to be "silent," yet sucks so much that it produces an godalmighty hiss: it's our most efficient one.
Then there's the old Electrolux for the workshop that tends to knock out the electricity on start-up. Trusty but noisy.
Finally I've got one in N-scale (1:160) that takes care of dust and debris on 9-mm model train track. Very interesting, to analyse the kind of stuff that accumulates on n-scale track.
posted by Namlit at 7:52 PM on December 21, 2019 [4 favorites]


I like folding fitted sheets. I’m pretty good at it. I loathe all other housework. Well, I I don’t mind doing laundry when I have a washing machine and dryer in the actual apartment but where I live I have to go down the basement of the building , so my husband does it.
posted by holborne at 8:25 PM on December 21, 2019


I enjoy feeding the kitties. And I enjoy seeing little pieces of schmutz come up when I get it with a swiffer wet wipe butttttt that's about it. Anything else I have to be standing for and that outweighs any kind of meditative pleasure I'd feel otherwise from the simple joy of putting things right.
posted by bleep at 8:28 PM on December 21, 2019


Another dishes liking person here. Solirude, see the progress, instant feedback empty sink in the end. I don't mind doing the laundry. I like to vacuum. Hate cleaning the bathroom.

I also like grocery store shopping and that is my task this week getting ready for the family gathering.

Happy holidays and New Year all!
posted by AugustWest at 8:38 PM on December 21, 2019


I don't do it much, but I love ironing. It's very soothing for me for some reason. I don't dislike cleaning or chores in general but I much prefer the end result to doing the actual things (except ironing; I like the actual process of ironing).
posted by cooker girl at 9:00 PM on December 21, 2019 [1 favorite]


I'm tolerant of a medium level of dust and clutter, and I live alone, so as Ghidorah alluded to I'm not particularly motivated to keep my abode fastidiously tidy unless I know company's coming. Horizontal surfaces in my house tend to accumulate detritus from the profusion of projects I'm always theoretically working on. I do have a sensitive nose though, with the result that potentially smell-causing issues get dealt with pretty quickly; that mostly means I'm good at staying on top of kitchen and bathroom cleaning (and if I had a cat, the litterbox) - it's a messy household, but not a trashy one!

Long story short, I don't especially enjoy any chore. But the one chore I really can't stand is being hunched over a sink washing dishes. A few years ago I made a solemn vow to myself that "dishwasher included" would absolutely be a prime required feature in any future dwelling - I'd rather live in a meager dishwasher-equipped hovel than a dishwasher-less mansion. Or if even that's not possible, I'd probably end up following loquacious' (from the Dawn dish soap post) lead, owning nothing more than a minimal mess kit just so there's no possible way to build up a big load of dirty dishes I'd dread tackling.
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:59 PM on December 21, 2019 [2 favorites]


I generally like most household tasks except for the fact that I never have the time to do them and when you’re under a time crunch that’s when they feel like chores.

I’d say the one thing I hate is ironing.

But I like having a clean tidy house (cleaning and tidying less so, but I enjoy getting to the goal). I *love* cooking and really should do it every day. I used to like doing my own car maintenance but newer cars are built to prevent amateur home mechanics from messing with them and it’s just too time consuming. But I like anything that involves hammering, drilling, sawing. One day I’ll build a wooden boat or a rustic cabin in the woods.

Lately I’ve gotten into sewing. My mom gifted me her old sewing machine and I’ve figured out how to do basic mending and alterations which is super useful. I’d like to work up to costumes at some point, but one of my favorite things is keeping old faded jeans alive with patching and repair.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 10:19 PM on December 21, 2019 [1 favorite]


Tend to hate housework, and I'm also a procrastinator. But the last week or so I've been doing some fall cleaning, like dragging stuff out of storage to toss or donate.

Of course figuring how to toss/donate is another chore. Some old electronics have been piled in a corner for years (!), can't figure out what to do with them. (I meant to post an AskMeFi re: it - don't think I ever did. Like I said, I'm a procrastinator.)

Today I just organized a bedroom shelf and a couple of bathroom vanities, putting all the little makeup & lotion items in my dollar-store baskets. There really is a sense of satisfaction to doing that, isn't there?

I used to have a friend whose parents would clean their house before the cleaning person came. May they RIP, and I hope it's nice and tidy wherever they are.
posted by NorthernLite at 10:37 PM on December 21, 2019 [1 favorite]


I am not a big fan of housework. Plus for most of this past year I was in the Job From Hell, so a lot of it has slacked off. Fortunately I am out of the JFH and in a new job, and am trying to summon the courage to finally catch back up....A holiday party I had in early December was an inspiration to do a bunch, and my roommate's planned holiday party yesterday (that got cancelled when everyone he invited called in sick the morning of) also lead to some cleaning.

I do like cooking, too. I'd made a couple things for my party that I made again for my roommate yesterday (I'd offered to help out) - some fudge, and bite-sized Canadian pork pies. He was very grateful I'd offered, and very apologetic that there was no party. He also thanked me for being willing to help in general. But I told him that "Okay, number one - I like cooking a lot, and having people to help me eat it is good because otherwise I'd be stuck having it all. And number two - there's no party, but that means that all the pork pies and fudge are for us."

I'm in the midst of a "clean out closets and take some things to the thrift shop" phase as well. I'm also finding that a lot of the clutter is actually the makings of craft projects, and I'm pushing myself to actually use some of it and make things instead of just sitting on the supplies. I got a big tub of candlemaking supplies from a friend when they moved to Colorado, and have been making myself make and actually use all the candles; I'm at the point now where about half of what she gave me has been used up, and that just means that I can store other things in the tub soon, which will create more space elsewhere.

(Speaking of which - does anyone know of any non-sewing project I can do with old jeans? I have about six pairs, all of which have a rip in the crotch so I can't use them - but the rest of the jeans are good so I want to reuse them some way.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:42 AM on December 22, 2019 [2 favorites]


Try searching for "no sew denim crafts" If you add -site:pinterest.* -site:etsy.* -ite:ebay.* you will get to some sites with actual instructions.
After you trim off the seams you can make these coasters. These instructions use a few stitches to join the lengths but you could probably get away with just glue.
posted by Botanizer at 7:08 AM on December 22, 2019 [4 favorites]


New Year's Day is a big holiday in my headcanon, and at this point in my life the ten days or so leading up to it are wide open for chores, decluttering, and home improvement stuff. (My wife goes home for Christmas, I stay here and watch the cats, everyone is happy.) I do not like housework in general, but the feeling of knocking things off a list and getting everything back to something like baseline before the year rolls over is *immensely* satisfying to me.

Plus, every time Alex goes to California, I paint a room of the house, and this time it's her office. Which is currently almost exactly MeTa gray which would be fine except it goes terribly with the wood trim and the previous owners were Very Bad at painting so there are streaks on the ceiling and weird lumpy spots where... I don't even know, and I am so very much looking forward to it looking pleasant.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 7:38 AM on December 22, 2019 [4 favorites]


I wouldn't say that I like doing dishes, but I don't terribly mind it. Several times a year for field work we'll have a group of people stay in an AirBnB or large cabin for a week, and I always volunteer to be the dishwasher for the duration. Other people are great at cooking or entertaining or whatever, and I'm happy to keep the dishes moving through the sink and the general kitchen cleaning going. It's not at all stressful and lets me feel productive, plus everyone is usually hanging out in the kitchen anyway so it is social as well.

At home, I stay on top of kitchen cleaning daily (I like a clean kitchen, what can I say?) but I definitely let other areas go much longer than I should. There were 2 or 3 years where we paid professional cleaners and that was wonderful -- they were so much better at the cleaning process and the house just plain looked better all the time. I want to relook at our budget in 2020 and see if that might be possible again at some point; it was a real quality of life improvement even if it is a luxury.
posted by Dip Flash at 7:44 AM on December 22, 2019 [1 favorite]


I love to cook, and would happily putter away in the kitchen for hours at a time, glass of wine in hand and a podcast on. I also don’t mind laundry any more. I’ve gotten much better at completing it-you know, not just washing, but folding and putting away. Happily, kids all old enough to put their clothes away-two of them do all their own laundry-and also to empty the dishwasher, which is my least favorite chore.

My very favorite, though. We just finished a year long remodel including moving our kitchen. Our new kitchen is so much better than the old one, and it just makes me happy to be in it now. Dishes aren’t as bad when I can look out on my back yard, and I love the weekly scrubbing of my white farmhouse sink with barkeeper’s friend. The best, though, is the polishing of my soapstone counters. They make me so happy I actually tear up, and when I rub them with the mineral oil/beeswax mix it’s pure joy.
posted by purenitrous at 8:42 AM on December 22, 2019 [2 favorites]


My favorite job is coming home on Fridays after the cleaning ladies have been here and changed my sheets. I wash the dirty ones right away (usually) and then iron the pillowcases and tuck the clean set in its spot in the linen closet and feel immensely satisfied.
posted by HotToddy at 8:49 AM on December 22, 2019 [1 favorite]


Laundry is fun. I'm pretty simple in that department and the wash takes 30m and the dry takes 60m which makes it the perfect time to catch up on watching some anime. Wash, episode, dry/wash, episode, dry, episode, first load done, episode, second load done. bam.

And cooking just because I've made the same things for decades and can just grab the needed things, run through the procedure and end up eating with little work and just a plate and fork to wash. bam.

If I actually had to sort or fold laundry or cook for multiple people I'm pretty sure all hell would break loose and it would be a mess.
posted by zengargoyle at 9:09 AM on December 22, 2019 [1 favorite]


I have long found a Zen flow in washing dishes: some basic elemental stuff in heat and water and suds and friction. Of course, for twenty-odd years I lived alone and my dishes were almost always my own and few in number. I worked for a short time as dishwasher in a cafe when I was in my mid-twenties, and found the process neutral at best then, and tedious busywork at worst.

And of course, now I am married to someone who seems to take a tiny passive-aggressive delight in using a paper towel as a serviette, making sure the serviette is placed firmly in the remnants of whatever sauce is on the plate, and then leaving the plate long enough so that the paper towel is welded to the ceramic. Grrr. But we have a dishwasher now, so I have circled back to neutral.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:28 AM on December 22, 2019 [3 favorites]


I do a fair amount of cleaning, enough for my slobbier friends to refer to me as a clean freak, but I wouldn’t say that I like doing it. I just find my tolerance for visual clutter and yuck to be lower than my dislike of chores.

I don’t mind emptying the dishwasher, folding laundry, or ironing. All of those have a certain amount of Tetris-like satisfaction of putting things in organized arrangements.

Scrubbing pots and taking the trash out come in slightly below. I do it with reasonable alacrity and nothing is festering in my house (I’m a dish-rinser), but I will kinda let it be the second-to-last item on my to-do list.

The last item is invariably vacuuming. I don’t know why I have such a hang-up about it. I love a freshly vacuumed carpet, and I don’t actually mind DOING it, but man, I will procrastinate on vacuuming forever. I’m going to buy myself a robot vacuum in 2020 so I can let Rosie do a daily sweep in between my vacuuming intervals.
posted by Autumnheart at 9:37 AM on December 22, 2019 [1 favorite]


I am a naturally untidy person. But a friend of mine, with whom I stay from time to time, often bakes delicious no-knead bread for me in a large cast iron pot with lid. My friend was away on Friday and I decided to scrub as many of the stains as possible off the outside of this pot, which has a nonstick interior. It was very meditative work and I did not get everything off but I got a great deal off, which was deeply satisfying. I think that’s the kind of cleaning that I enjoy, because normally I don’t enjoy cleaning particularly. But being able to make a significant difference in 30 minutes or less felt kind of great.
posted by Bella Donna at 10:31 AM on December 22, 2019 [1 favorite]


Dishwashing and laundry are my two favorite chores. I don't mind spending a leisurely Sunday afternoon puttering around in the kitchen - washing and drying dishes, stocking/organizing the pantry, etc. I just slip in my Airpods, put on a podcast or two, and go to work. We're planning to get a dishwasher sometime next year (my wife has really been wanting one for a while now), but for the time being it's just me, a sink full of suds and hot water, and NPR.
posted by Roger Pittman at 12:52 PM on December 22, 2019 [1 favorite]


I can pack a dishwasher like a Tetris champion.
posted by Splunge at 2:09 PM on December 22, 2019 [6 favorites]


Got the keys to the new apartment yesterday. Moving day is this coming Saturday. For Reasons, I decided it would make everything easier if the cat and I just camped here for a week - it’s less than five minutes on foot from the old apartment - so I’ve been putting soft, light things into backpacks (sweaters, half a loaf of bread, some towels) and carrying it over. The cat moved this morning. He is coping pretty well I think. Very cautiously explored all the empty rooms, ate some food, used the litter box. And then seemed to get overwhelmed, crawled back into his carrier (which I had put away in the hall closet) and proceeded to hide for the rest of the afternoon. I brought some of his stuff over so he isn’t completely discombobulated (I hope) but I know it isn’t ideal. The new place has nice wide windowsills, though, and I didn’t even have to show him, he just found them and made himself at home. Pictures later when I have wifi.

Also the new place is like, 1000% less drafty (even with a sliding glass balcony door). I am not wearing socks right now. It is a miracle.
posted by janepanic at 4:50 PM on December 22, 2019 [7 favorites]


I'm not sure if my taste for chores is performative per se, but I am more likely to keep the house nicer looking if I have people visiting than I am for myself when I am living in it. I like chores for the most part, or I think I do, but really I enjoy: dish washing, cleaning most of the bathroom, putting away clothes, keeping plants watered, keeping the kitchen clean, taking out trash and recycling, keeping the fridge mostly clean, and keeping the beds made (though I hate changing the sheets).

However, there are chores which I basically never do? Which I mostly noticed when I got one of those SAD lamps and it lit up my office space (which includes under my desk) and I was like "GOOD LORD WHAT IS HAPPENING UNDER THERE???" because I'd never really seen it in good light before and barely ever cleaned it. Other tasks I basically never do: mopping, laundry in the winter (I have to go to a laundromat, so I either bring a few things over to friends when I go watch TV with them or I just buy more underwear), cleaning the tub, dusting or filing all the paperwork that needs filing. So it's weird.

And at my dad's house where me and my sister spend vacations, I am fastidious about my own mess because I am intolerant of others' mess beyond a certain point. I love my sister, but I think I do more of the chores there than she does. I think this is partly because she doesn't know how much goes into keeping that house clean and partly because she is an "out of sight out of mind" housekeeper (and a more relaxed person than me, let's be honest) and I am a checklist housekeeper. That said I can come into any one else's house and, if they want, make it look dazzlingly better/cleaner/tidier with a lot less time/effort than they might expect.

We don't do This Big Holiday particularly in my family, so there aren't a lot of special preparations this week but I am driving down to Massachusetts and trying to figure out a good round of movies to watch ALL DAY on the 25th. That is not_on_display's special skill and he's on it.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 6:15 PM on December 22, 2019 [3 favorites]


I am aces at flattening cardboard boxes and packing it in the recycling bin. I’ve got a little bench set up in the garage and I store my favorite box cutter on the shelf underneath, along with the roll of twine for the serious jobs.
posted by notyou at 8:52 PM on December 22, 2019 [1 favorite]


It’s not that I dislike housework, as such. With the exception of sorting socks (ugh), I like most if it.
I like playing the guitar or reading a book even more, though. That’s why nothing ever gets done around here... *shrug*
posted by The Toad at 9:00 PM on December 22, 2019 [1 favorite]


I'm a marginal housekeeper at the best of times, and same with my husband, so it doesn't take much for things to slide into ungovernable, which is what happened over the summer when I broke my ankle in a weird way and couldn't put any weight on it at all for 2 months (and then it was a walker for a while, so still not functional for a lot of cleaning stuff). So for Christmas this year, our present to ourselves was to hire someone to help us get things in shape for the holidays, and it's been the best gift ever! Clean and shiny!

The only household chore I don't mind is washing clothes. It's not that I enjoy it, but having lived for years and years without a washing machine, I'm just so grateful to have one! I never have a problem with unwashed piles of clothes because running a load of laundry feels like pure luxury! We don't even have a dryer (no room). I dry clothes on a rack inside or a line outside, or on hangers from the shower curtain rod. But I don't care! Even when the house is in its worst undusted, unwashed state, there's nary a dirty sock in sight.

We don't have a dishwasher (again, no space), so I imagine I'd be the same way about washing dishes if we did get one. But as it is, it's my least favorite thing. It must be done so often, it's just a constant non-stop demand. By the time you have a cup of tea after washing up, taaa-daaa, like magic, that's two or three new things that now need washing up! The sink is at the perfect height to make my back ache after more than a minute or two, and it's just a small single sink, so a lot of juggling things around trying to wash and rinse all in the one sink. Not fun at all. Only if we wash almost every item immediately after use can we stay on top of it.
posted by taz (staff) at 1:06 AM on December 23, 2019 [1 favorite]


I'm naturally untidy as well, but I cleaned on Saturday so a few friends could come over yesterday. I had a pot of mulled wine going for about six hours, so I imagine when I get home from work later it's gonna smell really nice.

Honestly that's the best part of any chore - my tiny apartment with just one window that opens smelling nice.
posted by wellred at 4:56 AM on December 23, 2019 [1 favorite]


I love pulling hair clogs out of drains. When you wonder who the Youtube drain unclogging videos are meant for...it's me.

I am a disaster with putting away clean laundry. I am forever working from a clean hamper and trying to not get it confused with the dirty hamper. The solution, of course, is to put it away immediately but if I start laundry too late I'm taking the clean dry clothes with me when I'm ready for bed and the bed is so nice and the laundry can wait for tomorrow, right?
posted by kimberussell at 7:27 AM on December 23, 2019 [4 favorites]


I enjoy hand washing dishes and vacuuming.

Unloading the dishwasher is an ergonomic hellscape.

Ironing is an utter mystery that I will never understand.
posted by Twicketface at 7:28 AM on December 23, 2019


I have not one but two places to tidy up before Wednesday. So naturally, I am doing what makes the most sense: sitting in a lovely warm tub and reading MetaFilter. Happy holidays, Hanukkah included!
posted by Bella Donna at 7:34 AM on December 23, 2019 [2 favorites]


As promised, here is a picture of my cat checking out the counter situation in our new kitchen.
posted by janepanic at 7:46 AM on December 23, 2019 [9 favorites]


My original answer was "no' , but after cleaning out one of my kitchen cabinets yesterday (a task that took less than half an hour, and I had been putting it off for weeks), I enjoyed doing that. I like going through and discarding items, finding lost useful things, wiping down the surfaces, and then putting everything back in a much more organized manner than it was before.

I am one of a very few people at work today (I have to work Thurs and Fri too) - I expected it to be a cakewalk, but had some very urgent and unpleasant things dropped in my lap. Blah.

I also found out this morning that my immediate family had their gift exchange without me this weekend, which stings. We had tentative plans for a gathering this upcoming weekend at my place, and it doesn't make sense for them to haul all of their gifts over to my house (my mom, dad, and brother all live together about 20 minutes away), but sheesh. You think maybe one of them may have had the thought "hey, someone's missing..." I complained to my bro, who said "we didn't open your gifts". ….. and, after I made a stink my mom said "yeah, sorry, it was spur of the moment"....

so yeah, its been a crap day so far. /rant
posted by Sparky Buttons at 8:08 AM on December 23, 2019 [3 favorites]


I just find my tolerance for visual clutter and yuck to be lower than my dislike of chores.

I find my tolerance for clutter exceeds my appetites for housework, but only mildly, so that I am perpetually mildly dissatisfied and think that the twenty books by my bedside need to go back on a shelf somewhere. Indeed, I have found the best way of managing clutter is to choke it off at the source. Not long ago on social media I saw a near-perfect encapsulation of this view in image form:

ALL THIS CLUTTER USED TO BE MONEY. ALL THAT MONEY USED TO BE TIME.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:14 AM on December 23, 2019 [13 favorites]


Tip for folks like me who don’t care to tidy: Motown makes it easier.
posted by Bella Donna at 8:16 AM on December 23, 2019 [6 favorites]


Haha, Bella Donna I specifically have a playlist called BEST which I play at high volume when I do housework. It helps!
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 8:50 AM on December 23, 2019 [3 favorites]


Another happy dishwasher here. I find it a great way to zone out while also being helpful to my household.

Same for arranging things alphabetically or chronologically or (least frequent, most satisfying) in rainbow order. Rainbowtizing little pockets of our house (some bookshelves, sippy cups, sweaters, toys, markers, etc.) isn’t strictly a chore, it’s more like an adverb, it’s how we put away the things that need to get put away—but it’s basically catnip to me and my wife, and we go back and forth between jostling for the best chore (colored pencils!) and being generous & letting the other one do it this time.

Oh, and also: cleaning lint out of lint traps. I’ve loved that since I was a kid.
posted by miles per flower at 8:58 AM on December 23, 2019 [7 favorites]


OK, this has nothing to do with cleaning, although I guess it has to do with maintenance...

I've been really struggling because I feel like I've let down a couple old, dear friends. One had a destination bachelorette party a couple weeks ago that I had to back out of because it was too expensive. She also had a tragic death in the family only days before that, and all I did was go to the funeral and related events, and send a sympathy card. Our friendship has been awkward since her engagement about a year ago, and she said some really hurtful things to me last month that I also haven't been able to forgive or forget yet -- and then this tragic death and me being MIA at the bachelorette happen and...We were once extremely close, but I feel like our friendship has withered, and feel weird reaching out to her now even just to talk.

Another friend had a sorta spur-of-the-moment party on Friday, and when she brought up the idea earlier in the week I said that I'd love to go. The thing is, we never texted on Friday to confirm a time or any sort of plan (even though most days we text pretty nonstop), and I ended up feeling so bushed and having so many pet-related duties that night that I figured if the party wasn't happening that it was probably for the best. The next morning, I woke up to a text from her asking me why I'd flaked. I apologized, but we haven't spoken since (only a couple days, but still). I wish SO MUCH now that I'd been able to go to the bachelorette and to the party on Friday and feel horrible for skipping them both.

I feel like I did irreparable harm to the friendships. But I really was too broke for the bachelorette, and too exhausted for the party. So now I'm like, how can I be a better friend? How do people mend friendships? What does being a good friend look like?

And yes, I do have other close friends. I am also close with my parents. I am in a burgeoning long-distance relationship with someone who I've known for half my life and care about very deeply. I'm even in a very fulfilling "hobby" club! So I have good relationships in my life. But I also think of all the friendships that I once had with people who I've totally lost touch with, and all the new friendships that have fizzled or that I've dropped, and all the old friends who I'm letting down right now and...I feel like a bad friend, and I feel lonely.

What DOES a good friend look like? How can I be a better one?

One person said that I should lower my expectations and do less. And I think he's right, in a practical sort of way. But I also really value loving friendships, and I want to do my part to nurture them. How do people do this?
posted by rue72 at 11:10 AM on December 23, 2019 [3 favorites]


It me
posted by ominous_paws at 11:35 AM on December 23, 2019 [2 favorites]


rue72, there's an AskMe right now that might feel relevant-ish.

I made a big change in how I thought about love a couple of years ago, and it doesn't matter what kind of love as long as it's for a person (or pet I suppose). I made a decision with one friend, to start, just to love the entirety of him, even the things I don't like. I don't like that he'll go three days without replying to a text, but it's who he is and I love him so I have to love that, and now I shake my head and go "ha ha, that's so *name*" and it's fine. We have so many things happening in our lives at our age (I'm in my forties), I have just started taking people as they are, and appreciating what they can give. When you love someone fully, they do notice.

Your friend who hasn't texted you after her party might just be tired.
posted by wellred at 12:13 PM on December 23, 2019 [2 favorites]


I like tidying my kitchen and pantry. Because I have a lot of storage and am an enthusiastic cook, I have lots of once-used supplies. Yesterday, I gave away liquid food colouring (only use powder and gels now), never-used piping bags, palette knife, etc. Trashed cereals we don’t like anymore. Refilled spice jars to prep for holiday cooking — got a stack of cookbooks I’m planning to explore.

Organising and washing shelves and drawers is quite rewarding. And I found stuff I’d forgotten i’d bought. Adventures in cooking galore!
posted by lemon_icing at 12:27 PM on December 23, 2019 [4 favorites]


I push the 'go' button on the Roomba. With my toe, sock, or shoe.

No joke. Best invention yet for early 21st century.

Pro Tip: If you foolishly buy a top of the line 900 series model; with 10X suction power of the next from the top of the line; and you find it literally sucking the fibers out of your quality grade carpet; well. You can always try to keep the other adult in the household happy; but with all things; be careful of what you wish for.

Still the best green spent for some time.
posted by buzzman at 4:37 PM on December 23, 2019 [1 favorite]


I have a love/hate relationship with dishwashing.
posted by grumpybear69 at 4:41 PM on December 23, 2019 [2 favorites]


Wow, I had seriously thought I was this special snowflake for enjoying washing dishes! I volunteer to wash dishes at most family gatherings. It's my happy quiet time and sometimes people visit in the kitchen so I get to have quiet one-on-one conversations.

I like putting things away on Saturday mornings. Just tidying. The rest of the week, I drop everything wherever telling myself that I am just too exhausted to put anything away where it belongs. On Saturdays, my place transforms from terribly messy to respectable, so I can mess it up again starting Monday evening.

I like wiping counters. Growing up in Eastern Europe in the 80s and 90s, we (and almost everyone else I knew) had ants. They would congregate around a single crumb on the table, spilled milk, anything. The ants magically vanished after the transformation (Soviet ants, maybe?) but I still loathe crumbs and will wipe counters down ferociously (including under and behind appliances) while ignoring stuff like dirty socks on the floor. I also keep all open food containers in the fridge, even the sugar bowl. It's been two decades with no ants but I still can't.
posted by M. at 1:13 AM on December 24, 2019 [8 favorites]


I enjoy and excel at untangling things: chains, thread or yarn, Christmas tree lights, whatever. I find it so satisfying and weirdly relaxing. Hand it over and let me go to town! I'll be in heaven.
posted by carmicha at 7:07 PM on December 24, 2019 [2 favorites]


I've been ignoring a HUGE pile of unpacking, de-cluttering, and organizing for the past several months. Today I finally made a big dent in it. Yay!
posted by KleenexMakesaVeryGoodHat at 6:08 PM on December 25, 2019 [4 favorites]


I dislike washing dishes in my own home but will frequently wash dishes in another person's home. I like to keep my hands busy, I like to feel helpful (like my visit tangibly improved their life). At parties in particular I'll get overwhelmed with the noise/crowd of people and slip off to get a head start on the dishes for the host. I'm not sure why I am this way but I'm 90% sure it's Studio Ghibli's fault.

Good chores: laundry. Vacuuming (I enjoy using the Dyson, it feels very scifi). Unloading the dishwasher. Decluttering and organizing. Wiping down horizontal surfaces. Cleaning the toilet bowl using those disposable toilet wand thingies. It's such a lift to my mind that I don't have a nasty toilet brush sitting around. Dusting.

Bad chores: mopping. Bathroom scrubbing (sink or bathtub). Washing dishes by hand. Stovetop scrubbing. Litterbox duty / keeping stray litter at bay.

I received a pinafore apron for xmas and I fully expect it to ratchet up my "excited about cleaning" game. All over coverage, and while I'm wearing it I know I'm on the job and won't wander off to do something else. Also, feeling cute.

I'm alone at snerson hall until the New Year, so I'm planning to welcome my snousemate (snake housemate) back from her holiday with a shining kitchen and fresh carpets. I don't always love chores but it is such a pleasure to come home to a well-kept house, and snousemate is worth it.
posted by snerson at 7:35 AM on December 27, 2019 [2 favorites]


Now we're down at this end of the thread, I will brag that I successfully cleaned my kitchen to such a point that I'm still going in there occasionally to admire it. I cleaned all the junk drawers and junk bowls, de-webbed, washed and polished all things on top of things, sorted out my herbs and spices and the lazy mary that was full of all kinds of sauce and oil and excess herby things in plastic bags and string etc, wiped away all evidence of gecko poo and ancient moths and crumbs from 5 years ago still lurking beneath the marble board and above my crappy collection of knives. Put a picture of my Grandma, whose house I'm living in, in a photo frame so she watched me through the whole endeavour. The top of my fridge is immaculate.

The lounge room is markedly better after I removed the computer/gaming device/cords/anykindofcomputerdetritus horror that was at the end of my couch for a good 8 months or more. Still need to do some dusting, particularly the things on top of things.

The bathroom is hygienic except for the floor which is disgusting.

The verandah is habitable again.

It's a small house so this is all making a massive difference. The Great Bedroom Swap will take care of the other rooms.

That's my tale of housework at the very end of this decade of the teens. Whatever, fuckya.
posted by h00py at 4:48 AM on December 31, 2019 [2 favorites]


That was me being a teen, btw, just for the cringe factor when my kids finally decide to read through my comments on here.
posted by h00py at 4:49 AM on December 31, 2019


I like Putting Things Back Where They Belong. I've spent the last couple of years doing a major declutter, and now my drawers are tessellated miracles, and I know where (almost) everything lives. After a lifetime of disorganisation, I'm amazed at how much I enjoy putting things away when it is easy to do. Also, how much happier I am with less things.

2019 was also the year of making my bed. Not sure why, I think it just stared making sense when the rest of my bedroom was tidy for more than 5 minutes at a time.

I also quite like washing dishes, and scritching gunk off things and making them clean and smooth again.
posted by kjs4 at 7:25 PM on January 1 [1 favorite]


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