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If you think chores aren’t worth talking about, think again! Research suggests that couples who split housework down the middle have better sex lives, happier marriages and children who perform better in school. That puts taking out the trash in a whole new light, doesn’t it? If your partner is having trouble getting motivated to share the chores, try a few of these tricks. Think of each tip as a piece of candy on a trail that leads to the chore sweet spot: a clean house!
Make it a date. If you and your partner do chores at the same time, it will feel like a shared responsibility instead of a delegated to-do list. Set aside an hour or so a week to get the big things done like laundry, vacuuming and cleaning the kitchen. Put together a playlist you both love and rock out while you clean.
Communicate. This is relationship advice 101 – if something is bothering you, let your partner know before it becomes a point of contention! You may think that they’re skirting cleaning duty, but in reality they just haven’t noticed the mold on your shower curtain. A lot of resentment can be avoided by simply mentioning it and coming up with a plan for taking care of it together.
Don’t be a control freak. As you observe your spouse’s cleaning technique, it may be tempting to point out things they’re “doing wrong.” Try to let this stuff go. Nobody likes a back-seat cleaner! Instead, praise them on a job well done. As long as the big things are accomplished, it’s better to not sweat the small stuff (like pillow placement).
Let them choose their chores. Instead of delegating a to-do list to you partner, give them some options! That way, they can choose the chores they actually want to do – and they’re more likely to actually do them. It’s a win-win. If you both like the same chore, just rotate each week.
Pick a chore a day. If you can’t settle on a larger chunk of time to do chores together, that’s okay. Each of you can pick a chore a day, and you can reward each other however you’d like for completing your chore! When you just do a little at a time, it won’t seem like such a burden.