Many people find no pleasure in routine household chores — cleaning the bathroom, washing the car, paying bills, preparing meals, doing the laundry. These are activities we have to do if we want to take care of our spaces, but I’m certainly not the world’s biggest fan of doing the laundry or dishes or toilets.
However, one thing I’ve learned about myself since I’ve been living as an unclutterer is the more I know about a chore, the more eager I am to do it. If I research sponges to learn which ones are the most durable, least likely to transmit bacteria, and best at cleaning a bathtub, I’m excited to use that sponge when I do the chore. Add to that research about methods for scrubbing and the most effective and safe-for-the-environment cleaner, and I’m downright giddy when I clean the bathroom.
A few years ago while having dinner in New York’s East Village, I saw a sign hanging on the wall of the restaurant that sparked this personal revelation:
“Nothing would be more tiresome than eating and drinking if God had not made them a pleasure as well as a necessity.” — Voltaire
I realized that knowledge about food is what makes eating and preparing meals more pleasurable to me. When I understand the science, the ingredients, the style of preparation, and the choice of pairing foods and drinks together, I actually enjoy making dinner. It was at this point in my life when I started studying cooking and trying to learn as much as possible about food so that preparing the daily meals wouldn’t feel like such an awful burden. Now, I really enjoy cooking because it’s an adventure. Every day I get to put my new skills and understanding to the test.
If you learned more about the daily chores you don’t like to do, would it actually change your perspective on them? Would you appreciate sweeping the floor more if you knew the most efficient style? How about your office work — would you like to file more if you knew the history, details, and styles of filing? If learning more about something isn’t a motivator for you, what is? Discovering this about yourself can go a long way to helping you in your life as an unclutterer.