Professional decluttering expert Juliet Landau-Pope offers her help to power a more peaceful home for you and your partner.
Be a ‘power couple’
Keeping up to date with technology can help ease ‘chore bores’. For example, self-reading smart meters enable people to keep on top of their energy use and also remove the need to submit meter readings – something one in ten couples argue about according to new research from E.ON.
Let go of judgement
With research also revealing that a tenth of people using the excuse ‘I’ll do it later’ to avoid chores, it’s no wonder that dodging domestic duties can cause tension in the home. When you find you or your partner making excuses the key is not to judge as this only exacerbates stress. Instead opt for a more tactful approach, perhaps highlighting the excuse with a bit of humour.
When it comes to household chores, it’s easy to fall into a trap of nagging but try to resist because it’s damaging and demoralising. Rather than criticising your partner, explain what you want to be done and why. Instead of long-winded speeches about doing the dishes, for example, keep your requests clear, simple and to the point.
Explore ways to make household chores more entertaining. Instead of wasting time arguing over who does what, try accepting the task and doing it in a way that makes it more enjoyable. Listen to music or podcasts while cleaning for instance or, if you’re a competitive couple, why not see who can complete their chores first (you could even throw in a reward for the winner).
It takes time to develop routines. The key to being organised is to create systems that suit your joint lifestyle. The research shows that those living together for many years were less likely to argue over simple jobs such as changing bed sheets compared to those who recently moved in together.
Getting started is often the hardest part but once you take the first step it’s easy to continue. Notice when you’re procrastinating. Do you really need to watch the next episode of that TV show, or are you just avoiding something you actually need to do?
Trust is an important part in any relationship. If your partner has told you that they’re going to do something, try to trust that they will without endless reminders.
Sharing is caring
Doing jobs together can help show you care. If you both get involved with a task you may find that you enjoy spending the time together – and the job is likely to get done quicker. If you’re both actively engaged and keen to get it right, you may find that working together not only gets the task done faster, but also means you bond whilst doing it.
Give up on perfection
If your partner is willing to tackle a task, give them the freedom to do it their way. Their standards may not be as high as yours but the job doesn’t need to be perfect, it just needs to be done.
If you’re so caught up with criticising your partner for what they don’t do around the house, you may not even notice the efforts they’re making. Pay attention to what they do accomplish and try to develop a more positive outlook. Our time is precious, but make sure to schedule a time that works for both of you, so you won’t resent having to do the chores.
E.ON partnered with professional decluttering expert Juliet Landau-Pope who wrote the piece.