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Day 13 of 30 Days of Thoughtful Giving: Don't forget the dishes.
Someone once told me the right gift is the one the recipient never thought they needed but would use all the time if they had it—or the one they know they'd use but would never buy for themselves. Even if I can't remember how the saying goes, know that gifts that make chores more delightful apply to either botched truism.
There are few sure things in life and dust and dishes are two of them. So to make everyone on your holiday list's life a little brighter, figure out their most dreaded chore and give them the corresponding set of goodies that'll make it a little better. Their expression when they unwrap a box of baking soda will probably be amusing, too.
For the one whose ikea bag "hamper" is always overflowing
1. Get them a real laundry basket that will hold large amounts of clothing, then stitch a little pocket onto the brim. Stuff it with playing cards or a flask for them to stay entertained at the laundromat.
3. Throw in some dryer balls because not only do they make drying a little more eco-friendly: They also mean you can juggle while you wait for your wash to be ready.
4. If this person really, really hates laundry, incentivize them to get clothes back into the closet with some rustic, DIY hangers.
For the One Whose Life Isn't Changed by Tidying
3. Include an edible gift—see why below.
4. In your note to them, tell them you made a fun and funky thematically-appropriate tidying playlist for them to listen to so the laborious chore is a little more enjoyable. If they finish tidying in the time the playlist is done, they get to eat the edible gift (this can be a joke, or not).
For the one who avoids the litter box
For the one who "can't find" the broom
Turn sweeping into hockey—and therefore a lot more enjoyable. Give a very lucky person a set of skates (or a coupon to pick out skates). The broom is their stick, and dryer balls are the puck. Not sure if the house will be any cleaner—I'm imagining new scuffs on the wall from roller skating inside—but I think this might be the most fun chore revival of the bunch.
For the one who lives among dust bunnies
1. One time a really long time ago, I was dusting and found a funny, googly-eyed ring in a never-dusted corner. That is when I learned that in order to dust well, you need incentives. I would like to advocate hiding treats in your friend's dust bunny lairs, but that seems difficult to pull off and maybe a little invasive. So instead, offer a list of your—or our—favorite podcasts to play while dusting. They're long enough that they can dust a whole lot of stuff during one episode.
for the once-a-week dishwasher
I am so bad at washing dishes that I am now not allowed to do them in my household. That said, these items make me want to be better at them, just so I can use these pretty things:
Big Dish Brush$39
In this dishwashing gift set, also include ingredients to simmer—maybe a bunch of eucalyptus or rosemary and citrus peels—so that the kitchen smells nice while the person is doing dishes. They'll probably be whistling with joy, thinking they got the best gift ever.
For the one who only cleans the toilet when you come over
This gift set is extra thoughtful because it makes a terrible task better (mostly through incentives and good smells), but also because each item will be made by you.
1. Prepare a jar of baking soda and a jar of distilled white vinegar: Decorate the jars if you please, and include instructions for mixing together a natural toilet bowl cleaner that sizzles! Cleaning toilets could in no way be more fun.
Large Concentric Soap DishFrom $36
2. Make them hand soap—yes, you can!—for their bathroom sink. Definitely beats the boring bar soap they might have currently.
3. To further help them associate the bathroom with good things, mix them up some bath soak—every time they clean the bathtub, they then get a bath soak.
for the one who begs not to take out the trash
Give gifts that make the trash not smell so dang bad. Then, maybe then, your gift getter won't pretend the trash doesn't exist.
1. Wrap up a box of baking soda and some essential oils. Don't make them guess what it's for! In your note, explain that sprinkling baking soda or dropletting essential oils in the trash bag will make trash duty a little less painful.
2. Make them a batch of natural air freshener to spray before they have to clean out the trash can.
What are some other gifts that will make doing the chores a little more delightful?