Manage Your House

“I Absolutely Hate Everything About…” Your Most Detested and Avoided Household Chores

Irksome ironing. Dreaded dumpster runs. Piles of paperwork… and lousy laundry… and dastardly dishes. With so many household chores to hate, it’s hard to choose just one. But here, ADDitude readers do just that, venting about the housework, errands, or chores they detest the very most.

a woman with ADHD who is successful at work finds laundry and other household tasks stressful
overwhelmed woman sitting on floor resting her head on overflowing laundry basket

No one delights at doing dishes or gets giddy at the prospect of paperwork. But for people with ADHD brains wired to seek stimulation, a repetitive, humdrum task or errand can feel positively painful. Add in the executive dysfunction that makes individuals with ADHD master procrastinators and what you’ll find is folks going to great lengths to dodge the thing they dread.

We asked ADDitude readers to dish about the household chore or task they love to hate, and what they do to avoid it (or, occasionally, to make it better). Is there a task you wish would disappear off the face of the earth? Tell us all about your hate/hate relationship with it in the Comments below.

I absolutely hate everything about doing my tax return: having to find receipts, pay slips, expenses, deductions. It feels like no sooner have I done it, it’s time to do it again. I ignore it for a couple of years until I get a threatening letter from the tax department, then I make an appointment with the accountant to do several years at once. I feel relieved that I’m up to date and live on that feeling for the next few years.” — An ADDitude Reader

Dishes — the dastardly, evil dirty dishes. I will scrub the toilet with a tiny brush before I’ll do the dishes. Yet, every day, on my goal list, my calendar, my Alexa reminders, the task is there, desperately needing to be tackled.” — Michelle

I hate flossing my teeth! I’ve never been able to make it part of my morning or bedtime routine consistently. In my mind, flossing is a huge disruption and will take too long. When the time comes, ‘I’ll do it tomorrow’ is the mantra. I rarely do it tomorrow.”  — An ADDitude Reader

[Download: Stop Procrastinating! 18 ADHD-Friendly Ways to Get Things Done]

“Vacuuming or mopping. I will wipe the floors with a wet tea towel with my foot so that I don’t have to set up the mop or untangle the vacuum. Thankfully we have a robot vacuum now, which is a big help.” — Cam, Australia

“OMG laundry! Gah! I have bought socks and underwear to avoid doing it, and I have hundreds of shirts. I usually wait three to six months before doing any laundry. My record was 14 months during the pandemic. I had so much laundry, I had to take many, many breaks while folding. It’s a good thing my laundromat is open 24 hours, because I did not leave until morning the next day.” — Kitty, Brooklyn

Making ‘adulting’ phone calls, like calling the credit card company, and setting up appointments. Between ADHD and a language processing disorder, it’s just plain stressful. I’ve put off a phone call that took 15 minutes for multiple years because I hate it so much.” — An ADDitude Reader

“Piles and piles and piles of miscellaneous paperwork that needs to be dealt with in some way or another. Sometimes I stay in bed for hours on days I’m not working, just to avoid facing the paperwork. I’ve been doing this for as long as I can remember, and I feel a lot of shame about it.” — An ADDitude Reader

[Read: What is ADHD? Symptoms, Causes, Treatments]

“Bringing trash down to the dumpsters. I don’t notice the bin being full or, if I do, I think I’ll deal with it later and then forget. Then I either got a stinky kitchen or I feel bad because my roommate does the work for both of us. — An ADDitude Reader

Cooking meals! The bane of my life! I can’t stand the smells, the textures, the executive function that’s required to follow a recipe and the way my clothes smell after cooking food. I only cook because I have to provide food for my beloved children.”  — An ADDitude Reader

“I absolutely hate to make salads. Washing, peeling, slicing, chopping, and then throwing them together seems like a pointless activity for not enough reward.” — An ADDitude Reader

“When I was a kid, I used to help my mom iron clothes. She grew up hating the task and I hated it also. One day as a teen I finally said, “Mom, why don’t you just hang up the clothes after they come out of the dryer?” It hadn’t occurred to her because she didn’t have an electric dryer as a kid. The task has almost disappeared off the face of the earth thanks to changes in the way we do things. — An ADDitude Reader

Housework and ADHD: Next Steps

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