Tag Archive - chore to hobby

How To Turn a Chore Into a Hobby

How in the world could THIS possibly be a hobby?

Recently, a friend asked on facebook, “can laundry be a hobby?” I say, why not? If you like it, or if you have a lot of laundry to do, why not make it a hobby? Especially if you have a lot to do, then it might be a good idea to turn it into a hobby. It just might make it fun that way. How can you turn an everyday chore into a hobby? Well, like I’m doing, you could blog about it. You can see my website starts with the word “project.” The idea started because I had so many projects at home to work on. Never mind that I’ve only gotten through three of them. Actually, four—I just haven’t written about the fourth one yet.

I love hobbies. In fact, I refer to myself as a “professional hobbyist” because I have a broad range of interests and often find myself researching, learning and participating in a lot of different things. Right now, you could say I participate in these hobbies:
1.       Writing (specifically, blogging)
2.       Oil painting

3.       Dog rescue and dogs in general
4.       Triathlons

My triathlon hobby

5.       Marathons
6.       Weightlifting
7.       Sewing
8.       Vintage fashion
9.       Antiques
I think you get the picture. And this doesn’t even count the things I’ve had as hobbies in the past. This only lists the stuff I’m currently doing.
So, as a professional hobbyist, I need to tell you that there is one ultimate mindset that you must take on in order to turn anything into a hobby. That mindset is a decision to accept it as a valuable experience in your life. Usually, we don’t think of everyday things like chores as a valuable experience. But think about it. Laundry (or any chore) is a part of your life, it is a way to nurture and show care for others in your life, or there’s just a lot of it to do, so why not stop and think about the value that is added to your life and your loved ones’ life as you do it? So, on behalf of my friend who posted the question “can laundry be a hobby?”, I will show you six ways you can turn a chore into a hobby, and I will use laundry as an example. And remember, the foundation to your success at this, is that you make a decision to accept it as a valuable experience.
1.       Become knowledgeable about the chore:  You might think you know all there is to know about doing laundry, but, aha! There is so much more to learn. What about the history of laundry? Do you know all there is to know about who did laundry in the 1300s? How did they do it? What was “laundry day” like for these people, and for those in the 1400s, 1500s, 1800s and so on?

Detail from Tintoretto’s Jews in the Desert: Washer Women**

How do people in Ethiopia do laundry? People in Afghanistan? What about the chemistry behind the soap making? I’m sure there’s a lot to learn there. How is laundry detergent manufactured? How do your friends manage their laundry? What are some interesting quotes about laundry?
2.       Show your love through your new-found hobby: this might sound cheesy, but I am so sincere about this. If you didn’t do the laundry, your family would go to school or work smelly. Either that, or they would have to do it themselves. So what you are doing is a great sacrifice, and it’s a very loving and nurturing thing to do. Why not take the opportunity every once in a while to take it a step further? You’re gonna think I’m silly, but I’m serious here. If you have a daughter, for instance, especially a young daughter, on a special day, why not wrap a stack of clean clothes in a pink ribbon so that when they open their dresser, they look like gifts?

Tie a bow around your daughter’s clean clothes on a special day

How about including nicely scented sachets on the top stack of folded clothes inside their dresser? Have a spouse? Remind them that what you do everyday is a gift. So the next time you notice they need new underwear or socks, go out and buy them some, wrap them nicely and include a card. Let them know you put thought into it. I’m totally not kidding. How about this? Include a note in a pair of your spouse’s or child’s jeans. Let them find it later.

Slip a note in your loved ones’ jeans pocket for them to find later

3.       Experiment: in your effort to learn and become knowledgeable about the chore, you will undoubtedly run into things that you can experiment with. For instance, you will probably run into recipes for homemade laundry detergent. Experiment with them. Figure out the ones that work and the ones that don’t. See how much money you end up saving on laundry detergent. Ever tried hanging your laundry on a line? Why not try it now? It’s a great way to get a little more outdoor time and saves money on energy.

Hang your laundry on a clothesline to save money and to spend extra time outdoors; *photo by 60in3

4.       Master the activity: I’m talking about mastering the everyday activity of laundry, with none of the extra stuff included. Just plain wash, dry, fold, put away. Get on a schedule and stick to it. For myself, I organized my closet with three baskets—a white one for whites, a blue one for colors, and a black one for dark colored clothing. This makes it so I don’t have to sort anything when it’s time to wash. I also know when I have a full load of whites to wash. Master the activity so that it takes you less time. Challenge yourself to this and even turn it into a game. Week by week see if it becomes easier. You know how if you leave your clothes in the wash too long they start to smell moldy and then you have to wash them all over again? Figure out when the best times to wash are so that you know you will immediately put them in the dryer. Master the activity.
5.       Figure out how to incorporate or associate enjoyable things with the chore: do you like lists? Make a laundry list. Do you like to see how fast you can do things? Time yourself. Like music? Blast it. Dancing? Shake that booty while you load the washing machine. Like scented candles and lotions? Find scented detergents and softeners that you love. Add your own scents to a non-scented bottle of softener and let it be your “signature” scent. Like to talk? Call your grandma when you’re doing laundry. Or whoever. The more you associate other pleasant things with your new hobby, the more you won’t put off doing it.
6.       Help someone: do their laundry. For real. And now that it’s your hobby and you’re an expert at it, you’ll love to share your new skill with them. They will love you for it too. How about a new mom? She’s got a butt-load of laundry to do (no pun intended-haha!). What about a woman who’s husband is overseas for military duty? They might even just like it if you help them and talk with them while you help.
Our everyday chores are valuable experiences, if we remember to treat them that way. I wouldn’t expect someone to do all of these things (but if you do, please tell me because I want to write about you!), but I hope what I wrote will help you to think about your chore a little differently. And I hope that maybe there’s something in here that you will actually DO and in that doing it gives you a new perspective. Because our daily life is all about our perspective. I hope this has helped you.
*Laundry on clothesline photo by 60in3 on Flickr. Thank you.
**Source for Tintoretto’s Jews from the Desert: Washer Women