Organize & Clean

What to Tell Your Inner Child When It Throws Tantrums About Doing Chores

published Aug 9, 2014
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(Image credit: Jacqueline Marque)

We’ve all been there. Chores are piling up around the house. As are dishes and bills. A light bulb that burned out weeks ago mocks you from across the room. You know you need to clean your fridge but the thought of having to do so seems impossible. You just don’t want to do something that needs to be done around the house…and your inner child throws a tantrum! Here’s how to push yourself to finally tackle that home task (despite your best procrastination efforts).

When you’re screaming “I don’t wanna!” inside, when you’re faced with scrubbing a stack of dishes, washing a pile of laundry, paying the bills, repairing that thing, vacuuming the house or any other task, consider the arguments below.

(Editor’s note: Please only use these tactics on the inner children of grown adults — not on actual kids. For those kinds of tips, try this post: 5 Ways to Inspire Kids to Help Clean Up.)

Ask nicely
Speak slowly and gently to yourself. Just state calmly the task that needs to get done. Logically explain to yourself why getting this task done will help the home in the long run. Attempt to reason with your inner child.

Scare straight
Throw on an episode of Hoarders so your inner child can understand the extremes that ignoring cleaning reason can lead to. Pay no mind that the chances of going to those extremes are pretty slim.

Plain ol’ bribery
Offer that sweet inner child something it’s been wanting (within reason) if it completes the entire task. Be your own parent and not let your inner child get its reward unless the task has been completed.

Invite over a play date
Invite a friend over to suffer in cleaning misery have fun with you!

Start slow, sneaky and distract until finished
Put a little music on or a comedy album. Start with the tiniest corner of a bigger task that needs to get done, just barely working. Keep your inner child distracted as the task sneakily gets done.