I’ll begin with a small correction – I’m not sure there is a ‘best’ housework task.
There are some that are more satisfying, certainly. And there are definitely some that are even more infuriating than others.
You have to be a very special sort of person to genuinely enjoy housework. Most of us struggle with it.
But not all housework tasks are created equal – some are definitely worse than others, and some are, well, tolerable. Here we rank them from worst to best.
15. Cleaning anything with a high-shine finish
Whether it’s a polished kitchen surface or tiles you can see your reflection in, they are a thankless task.
As soon as you get them clean, they immediately become dirty again. And they show up water marks, fingerprints and smudges like no-one’s business.
BAN THIS SICK FILTH.
14. Cleaning the toilet
That feeling when you put your arm in too deep and some toilet water spills over the top of your rubber glove. *Shudder*.
13. Cleaning the shower screen
A pointless, thankless task. It never ends, and the limescale never goes away.
Seriously, if someone has any tips for getting your shower screen sparkling, please let me know. Because I sort of want to smash mine.
12. Hand-washing clothes
I heard somewhere that the slimy feeling on your hands after you’ve done some hand-washing is actually your top layer of skin melting.
I suspect it’s not true. But it unnerves me nonetheless.
It’s basically an hour of feeling like you have intense allergies and sneezing all over the place. Not fun.
But it is quite pleasing to see the filth you removed from the TV screen.
10. Cleaning the bathroom
Scrubbing a bath is hell on the old knees.
But good for the muscle tone in your arms. So that’s something.
9. Washing up
Cracked skin, softened nails, an injury from a sharp knife hidden under the bubbles – washing up is a real hazard.
8. Descaling the kettle
It’s a pretty easy process, but you can guarantee you’re going to end up dying for a cuppa while the descaling process is still ongoing.
And your next few cups of tea are going to taste faintly weird, even though you rinsed the kettle out a number of times.
7. Cleaning the hob
You’re basically just moving the grease around for the first few minutes before you start to see any actual improvement.
(I would add cleaning the oven to this list, but I’ve never actually done it. The benefit of renting is that you can move when the oven is due a clean.)
6. Changing the bed sheets
By the time you’ve finished wrestling a king-size duvet into submission, you need a sit-down and a cup of tea.
But that clean bedsheets feeling is worth it.
Your lower back is killing by the time you’ve finished, but at least you feel like you’ve made a difference AND had a workout.
Similar lower back problems as Hoovering, but with the added satisfaction of watching the floor become pleasingly shiny.
3. Cleaning the kitchen
There’s nothing as satisfying as having a (temporarily) spotless kitchen.
2. Doing the laundry
I find hanging up washing weirdly therapeutic. I’ve reached many important decisions while pegging out socks.
1. Tidying up
The perfect ‘pottering around’ housework. You can have the TV on in the background while you pick things up and return them to their natural place, and your home feels twice as big when it’s tidy.
Maximum return for minimum effort.