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Chapter 13. Dirty Dishes and Other House... > Home Economics 101 - Pg. 134

Dirty Dishes and Other Household Chores If your excuse for not cleaning or making home repairs is that you don't know how, or don't have the time, visit the very helpful Web site Tipz Time ( It has hundreds of tips for more efficient and effective cleaning and household maintenance. 134 2. 3. There are too many other demands on your time, so housework gets relegated to the bottom of your priority list. Your family, friends, or roommates have unrealistic standards for how you should maintain your home. Or you feel pressured by the standards of society-at-large for housekeeping (made worse by the glistening kitchen floors and toilet bowls in cleaning product advertisements). You feel like you can't live up to everyone's demands, so you waste your time worrying instead of doing. Recognizing the role that these factors play in household procrastination can get you three steps closer to getting your chores done. You may not ever come to love doing housework (or yard work or washing the car), but you can use some simple techniques to solve these supply and demand problems and stop putting off tasks at home. A 1999 survey by Better Homes and Gardens magazine asked readers to rank their dream amenities from a choice of 27 household problem-solving devices. Most of these gadgets exist only in our imaginations (or in the SkyPad Apartments where the Jetsons reside); others, such as no-stain countertops and self-vacuuming baseboards, are already heaven on earth in some well-equipped homes. The top ten choices, in order, were self-cleaning windows; never-paint house trim; a built- in, automatic bug zapper for yard and windows; self-cleaning fixtures; self-clearing driveways and sidewalks; no-stain countertops; cordless lamps; tile that feels warm in winter, cool in summer; a remote control module for all household lighting, electronics, locks, thermostat, and alarms; and fireplaces with self-cleaning glass doors. Until such dream amenities as self-cleaning windows and self-clearing driveways materialize, you'll have to face up to the fact that you have to take rag, rake, or shovel in hand and do it yourself. Home Economics 101 If you think you're doomed to a life of grungy stovetops, crunchy carpets, messy closets, and uncut grass, don't despair. No matter what the chore is, there are easy steps you can take to get it done. The remainder of this chapter looks at specific techniques you can use to complete chores you've been putting off. Six of the 10 techniques from Chapter 12, "The Secret Formula to Overcoming Procrastination," are especially useful for just about any kind of household chore, so they're repeated here: Quicksand! Don't assume that these techniques work only for cleaning and straightening. You can also use them to get past your blocks against doing yard work, making home repairs, and completing other home-related chores. · Organize.Cleaning, tidying up, and mainte- nance are easier when the spaces you're working on, or working in, are uncluttered and have a place for everything and when the supplies or tools you need are organized and within easy reach.