You can associate laundry with happiness.

Before you can get happy housekeeping, you have to want to do it. I think the best way is to bracket housekeeping chores with pleasurable activities. Recently, I devised the idea of the Laundry Spa, which helps me do laundry and get in all those beauty chores that experts say I must do. It’s a game, and there are many ways to play it. You can fold laundry, then do your beauty chores on the commercial breaks. Or you can fold five items, then do a beauty chore. By the way, a beauty chore might consist of head-to-toe moisturizing, whitening your teeth, or putting on a facial mask.  Make your own list, and check off items as you accomplish them. As crazy as it’ll sound, I always feel pampered while I’m folding! I do about an hour of laundry a day, so that’s lots of pampering.

I also always start the day by lighting a candle–saying a prayer while I do–which tells the world, “Mama is in the office.”

There’s also the carrot on a stick approach. If you’re facing a torrent of housekeeping–mountains of laundry, grime on every surface–tell yourself you’ll buy a housekeeping treat when you finish. A cute apron, luxurious chocolate–it doesn’t have to be expensive. A Yankee Candle votive would do. So might a sample-size bag of coffee. If I get a magazine in the mail, I’ll hang onto it as my treat.

Plus, I like doing the laundry because, for some reason, the kids leave me alone.

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