I have to tell you, the task I used to dread the most was cleaning things off of walls. When I had two toddlers years ago—20 years ago, to be exact—the sight of Crayola or pen on a wall would make me cringe. I would stare at it and curse under my breath, thinking: Am I going to have to paint this freaking wall? Suddenly, Magic Eraser and products like it came along and I found that no, I didn’t need to do that!
Wall stick-on art became popular thanks to websites like Etsy. You simply peeled it off of its backing sheet and stuck it to the wall. It looked great! And using it around the holidays made for glossy, nice-looking material. Until you tried to remove early versions of the stickers and found that they pulled paint off if you weren’t exceptionally careful. Later, I discovered the use of a hair dryer or a heat gun at a distance.
Some household chores have never, ever improved. In our new home I no longer have a dishwasher. I hadn’t realized exactly how much I relied on this in my prior experience, but washing dishes at night has become one of those tasks I sit and grimace about, especially as someone who likes to cook frequently. Oh, I’m scrubbing and cleaning measuring cups, stirring spoons, pots, dishes, silverware, coffee cups, glasses. How quickly do I plan to get a dishwasher again? Okay, that one is moving up my priority list.
Taking out trash, vacuuming the floors, caring for the pets and animals—including a currently escaped, free-range hamster that has occupied a spot under a bed and refuses to come back out. Taking care of the lawn, trimming bushes, talking to vendors about taking out a tree, running a new electrical outlet, unclogging a drain, cleaning a pea trap, mopping the floor.
Robot vacuums? Get out of here. When you have mixed flooring, you might as well be screaming into the void with these robots that just get stuck so frequently that you find you might as well just keep picking them up and moving them or use a regular vacuum. I would offer some thoughts on name brands, but I could just say there are some supposed “wonder” vacuums I am really, really unimpressed with.
As a young kid, I had assumed robots or the cool fact of having income as an adult would make adulting the absolute best experience. Make no mistake, adulting is pretty nice. I have no problem saying to myself: I feel like making a specific recipe today and doing it. I enjoy that a lot. Some chores I enjoy as well—wielding a chainsaw is a pretty nice feeling you don’t get as a young kid.
When I look forward to 2022, I don’t imagine chores are going away for anyone anytime soon. How about you? What chore is your favorite, your least favorite? Is there a household chore that is so enjoyable for you that you never think about it as a chore—for me that’s cooking—and you love it when it pops up? Is there something you dread so significantly you wait until your partner or a child can take it on? In our household, it seems to be: “I spotted a spider, therefore, you will be the one to take care of it.”