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Things you would use broomsticks for other than flying

If you’re going to have a Nimbus, you want to make sure you’re getting your money’s worth.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

The first thing we’d all do if we ever got our hands on a flying broomstick is – obviously – fly around, laughing maniacally.

Sadly, flying everywhere doesn’t seem to be an option. Sometimes you might be wary of breaking the International Statute of Wizarding Secrecy, and other times it’ll be raining and you just won’t feel like it. But either way, your broomstick doesn’t have to be gathering dust. (Ha, get it? Because broomsticks are usually used to gather… Oh never mind.) Enterprising minds can think up plenty of other ways in which a broomstick can be useful.

Drying your clothes

There’s no need to take up space in a small flat with a clothes horse when you can float a broomstick in the air. This method would be especially useful when drying awkward things like duvet covers, which you can never seem to find enough height for using conventional methods.

If you’re lucky enough to have a garden then you can use the broom as an easily portable post for a washing line. For anyone with a rotary washing line, a broomstick can be used to spin the line and dry your washing much faster. The danger is that the broom goes rogue and spins fast enough to send your towels flying into your neighbour’s privet hedge, but we say it’s worth the risk.

A low-impact way to play with pets

Cats are the traditional familiar of the witch or wizard, but they can require a lot of attention at inconvenient times (who hasn’t tried to finish their Arithmancy homework but been stalled by their cat sitting on it and attacking the quill?). Broomsticks offer a practical solution for distraction. By tying a cat toy, a feather, or even a bit of string to one end of your broom and sending it off around the house, your cat will be entertained until they become hungry or fall asleep, whichever comes sooner.

Brooms can also be modified to walk your dog. You can easily attach the lead to the broom, saving you from running to keep up with your eager pet. You can stroll at a leisurely pace behind while the broomstick does all the work. This is especially useful if your dog happens to be giant, or has more than the usual number of heads.

The forbidden corridor with an open door that reveals Fluffy the three-headed dog.
© JKR/Pottermore Ltd. ™ Warner Bros.

Carrying shopping

Fact: shopping bags are heavy and cut into your hands, which hurts – and is especially the case if your shopping includes any badly behaved supplies like The Monster Book of Monsters. Second fact: broomsticks can carry the weight of at least two adults, or three at a push if you’re trying to rescue an old school nemesis from a fire, as Ron and Hermione discovered during the Battle of Hogwarts. And so a broomstick is ideal for carrying your heavy shopping for you, even if you don’t feel like flying yourself.

DiagonAlley WB F1 HagridAndHarryDiagonAlley V2 Still 100615 Land
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

Seasonal decorating

With some simple modifications (which have probably already been suggested in enterprising wizarding publications like Witch Weekly), a broomstick can be used to aid in decorating your home. Just draping it in a sheet is enough to create a spooky, moving ghost for Hallowe’en, unless you want to go all out with a mannequin too. At Christmas a broomstick will be particularly helpful for hanging decorations in hard-to-reach places, especially tinsel, which has a habit of falling off things just as you’ve got it hooked up.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Cleaning

Magical or not, it’s still technically a broom, and sometimes cobwebs appear in awkward corners! You probably wouldn’t use a brand-new expensive Nimbus for this, but on the other hand if your mum is shouting at you to clean your room before you can come downstairs to dinner, she’ll definitely be checking and if it’s not done you won’t get pudding, well… you’d be tempted.

If you’re especially lazy the broom can do most of the work for you, and is great for keeping magical messes at arm’s reach. It’s also a handy way to poke around under your bed and check for any monsters – any that aren’t supposed to be there, anyway. There could be a few Puffskeins that you’ve got used to.

The Weasleys, Harry and Hermione use Doxycide in Grimmauld Place.
© JKR/Pottermore Ltd. ™ Warner Bros.