How to make the best of doing the hoovering

I recently set myself a little blogging challenge: take a boring or frustrating situation and come up with ten creative ways to make it seem not so bad. We’ve already covered train delays and early mornings – and last week, I got a request on Twitter from Sarah:

Now, I must be honest. I live in a one-bedroom flat, so my hoovering time is pretty limited, and it’s a long time since I had to contend with stairs. But, never one to turn down a challenge, I gave it some thought, and here are my ten suggestions on how to make hoovering just a little bit more fun…

Set small goals

If hoovering the whole house at once seems like a monster task, allow yourself a small reward when you finish each room. (Personally I find chocolate’s always a good incentive to get things done.) Of course, the downside to this plan is that if you’re stopping after each room, getting the hoovering done will probably take twice as long, but hey. It’s your call.

Sing like nobody’s listening

As you know, I enjoy singing, but hate the thought of anyone listening. That’s why I like to sing in my car and in the shower – but the drone of the hoover also offers pretty good sound proofing. You could even come up with a happy working song, a la Amy Adams in Enchanted, to make the time go faster. Or a sea shanty! (Okay, I may be getting carried away…)

Get your pet involved

Because apparently they love it. Although obviously if you’ve got an automatic hoover like this one, then this whole post is redundant anyway.

Write a joke about it

It could be the start of a whole new career. This joke by Tim Vine was voted the funniest at last year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival: “I decided to sell my hoover… well, it was just collecting dust.” I’m not sure if he actually won anything, but at least we now know people like hoover jokes. Right?

Have a cleaning party

You might have a tough job convincing them… but misery loves company, so if you can persuade/bribe some friends to come round and help out, doing the hoovering might not seem like such a depressing prospect. And if there’s time, you could always recreate that Queen video and put it on YouTube – because, let’s face it, that’s a viral hit waiting to happen.

Make friends with your hoover

No joy convincing your friends to help out? You don’t need them – do a Miranda and make friends with your hoover. Just maybe don’t tell anyone; they might not understand.

Do it regularly

That might sound counterproductive, if you really hate hoovering, but often if you make something a part of your routine, it stops being something you have to psyche yourself up for, and becomes just a job that needs to be done, like the washing up or doing laundry.

Do it right before something fun

If you’ve got exciting plans for half an hour’s time, and nothing to do in the interim, take the opportunity to do the hoovering then. That way, you know the time you’ll have to spend on it is limited, and you’ve got something fun to look forward to straight after.

Practise for Strictly

If you’re singing (see above) you might as well also have a bit of a boogie. I’m pretty sure there’s been a dance routine on Strictly before involving a feather duster, so why not a hoover? And this girl seems to be enjoying herself…

Think about all the calories you’re burning

If you have to lug a heavy hoover around the house – especially if you have to carry it up the stairs – try and focus on the positives, one of which is the workout you’re getting without even realising it. Apparently 30 minutes of hoovering burns around 90 calories… although if you’re stopping to eat chocolate after every room, you might be consuming more than you’re burning.

And there we go. I’m not going to lie, it was a bit of a struggle towards the end, but we got there. Happy hoovering, everyone!

PS. I thought I’d include a picture with this post, but it turns out there is no such thing as a good photo of a hoover (oh yes – I tried. I’m that cool).

If you’ve got a suggestion for a future ‘how to make the best of’ post, email me at or tweet @happythingsblog.


6 thoughts on “How to make the best of doing the hoovering

  1. Aww Liz you’ve done it again! Made me smile! The cat as a shark….hilarious!! Great ways to make such a dull chore more appealing!

    Sarah xx

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