Skip to main content

10 Chores You Should Avoid at All Costs

Trust us: These challenging chores are more trouble than they’re worth. Some are Sisyphean time-wasters. Others can inflict injury or are just plain gross. But they're all honey do's that you should never have to do yourself. We suggest avoidance—in the forms of procrastination, outsourcing or just a loud "Not it!"—at all costs. If that doesn’t work, don’t say we didn’t warn you. Proceed at your own risk.

10. Mowing the Lawn

The grass: It’s mocking you, you know? Growing incessantly. And hiding rocks—or a garter snake. The only bright side? The deafening roar of the mower drowns out anyone who may be reciting the other items on that never-ending honey-do list. Raking the yard’s right up there, too, but without the noise bonus.

9. Tracking Down the Mysterious Smell in the Fridge

Pro tip: The stink typically lurks way in the back of the produce crisper. One more piece of advice: Consider converting that crisper into a wine cooler, and sticking to frozen veggies—both brilliant moves.

8. Sewing

From reattaching buttons to affixing Girl Scout patches, this is a surefire way to inflict a painful flesh wound. Leave alterations to your friendly neighborhood tailor, and drop off all other sewing at the dry cleaner.  

7. Cleaning the Gutters

Or washing the skylights, or the second-story windows. Cleaning + heights that require ladders = a recipe for disaster.

6. Scrubbing the Barbecue

Perfectly grilled hamburgers and cedar-planked salmon are to die for. But the leftovers—charcoal ash or that repulsive crusty buildup—are not so appetizing.

5. Trimming the Dog’s Nails

Are you kidding me?

4. Cleaning the Toilet

Thank goodness for toilet wands … and touch-free toilets that mean you only have to lay hands on it when you give it a wipe-down.

3. Polishing the Silver

Sure, it’s only done once or twice a year at most, but it’s still a royal pain. For some reason, kids get a kick out of this stinky, sloppy task. Let 'em have at it.

2. Cleaning the Oven

It’s a production, even for the self-cleaning kind.

1. Throwing in a Load of Stinky Laundry

Workout clothes. Anything worn by a baby—or any child under age 10, for that matter. Anything worn by a tween who’s not yet obsessed with deodorant. Socks. Damp towels left to fester. It’s all one big pile of ick. A close second is folding that gargantuan pile. Novelist and Small Victories author Anne Lamott managed to write 15 books in part, she claims, because she refused to fold laundry.