We all have our dreaded household task. Our personal behemoth is vacuuming (followed closely by laundry and dish washing.) But as Mary Poppins pointed out, "In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun. You find the fun and snap! the job's a game," so we set out to find the snap in vacuuming...
- Music: Music can help any task go faster. For us, it's gotta be either danceable or singable. Cheesy power ballads, hip hop and dance remixes are all good. Currently on rotation: Mos Def's Quiet Dog, Endless Love, Sonny J's Can't Stop Moving (Mirwais remix), Gladys Knight and the Pips Midnight Train to Georgia and Justin Timberlake's SexyBack and yes, I take dance breaks.
- The right equipment: I prefer a stick vacuum to a canister. I find it easier to navigate, the canister's not always bumping into things and it takes up less room in the closet.
- Carpet deodorizers: I like to throw down something that I can vacuum up so I actually feel like I can see results. Plus they make my rugs smell better. Trader Joe's lavender sachets and baking soda are some of the things I use.
- Imagination: Whether you're using your light saber against Darth Vader or waging a war against summer flies, go for it. One friend thinks of vacuuming as a mini scavenger hunt.
- Time it: I put on a timer and race to finish in each room. This way I know that I'm only vacuuming for a finite time, not "forever".
- Give up the idea of perfect: Since I race to finish each room, I don't have time to get to every nook and cranny every time.
- Do it regularly: Putting it off just ups the feeling of dread.
- Think of it as time with yourself: We're not meditators of the sit and Om variety. We do out best thinking engaged in mindless tasks. Vacuuming gives us time with both our contemplative and our silly sides.
- Promise yourself a reward for finishing: sitting down and putting my feet up with a nice cup of tea, a few minutes with a new book, downloading new music off of ITunes are some of the ways I reward myself for getting the job done.
[image: gadl, from his flickr with a creative commons license]