Do you often find yourself surrounded by mounds of housework and don’t know where to get started? Keeping on top of the housework can be challenging and hard work, especially if you are a working mum! There are a hundred little jobs that keep on accumulating as you think of a strategy to get them done. The result is, tiny jobs become a tiresome mountain of work and you end up wasting all your weekend finishing the pending chores.
In this article, we will give you ideas on how you can keep yourself on top of the housework so that it doesn’t become as tiring as you might feel it is now and you can even spare some time for yourself and your loved ones. Obviously, a little bit of ‘me’ time is what we all want at the end of a hectic workday!
We’ve put together 15 tips on how you can keep on top of the chores in record time, giving you plenty of time to relax and spend time doing things you love like being with family or having some time to yourself.
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Make a Routine
This might sound very obvious, but we often forget how important it is to have a daily routine of certain tasks and chores that need to be done. There is always something to do and there are things that need to be done daily and some can be done weekly, fortnightly and so on. Therefore, it is important to make a routine for yourself and stick to it as much as possible to make your own life easier.
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Prioritise and set Daily Tasks
Apart from making a routine of things to be done daily, you can also set a priority table for yourself at the beginning of each day. Put all those things on the list that you think need immediate attention. Get them done and out of the way first before you proceed to the less urgent things. For example, if your laundry has to be done today, that should be the first thing on your list of the day. Or if you need to change the sheets, maybe you can get them down before you go downstairs to make your kids breakfast.
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When you do certain tasks, make a habit of timing yourself on how long did it take you to finish the job. The benefit of this exercise is next time you have some spare minutes on your hand, you will not be wasting those precious minutes wondering what to do next as you would already know how much time you have and what you can accomplish in that time.
For example, when I get my daughter ready for school in the morning, most days I have a few spare minutes before we set out for the school, in that time I know I can not do something that takes longer (like washing the breakfast dishes), but I wouldn’t want to waste those minutes either so I would do something simple (like making the beds). And there, that’s one job done!
And once you have timed yourself for most of the routine chores, it will become a habit and you wouldn’t have to think of what to do next.
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Another thing that I find useful is to organise your life as much as you can. By this, I do not mean that you have an unorganised life, but what you can do to make it simpler and easier for yourself. In this regard, again it is crucial to not let the work get accumulated for the perfect time. Don’t wait for the baby to go to sleep so you can take the laundry upstairs. Take it with you whenever you are going upstairs. Empty the bathroom bin before you go down again as this will save you going back up again just for that reason and will also save you a lot of time!
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It is good to do as much of the housework by yourself as you can, but it’s also nice to ask for help when you’re struggling. Ask your partner or kids to help around whenever possible. There are a lot of jobs you can assign to your toddler as well. My 3 years old sets the dinner table while I warm the food or empty the dishwasher while I put the dishes away, hands out the washing to me while I hang them on the drying rack. These little things make an impact on your daily chores plus it gives a sense of responsibility to all the members of the household. Also, if your budget allows it you can consider hiring services of fortnightly professional cleaning services.
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Try to leave as little as possible for the weekends so you can have a relaxing time with the family. But there will be some things that you might want to leave for the weekend, for example, ironing. If you have done your washing during the week you can do the ironing at the weekend. This might not be so exhausting if you only have this one big job during the whole weekend for a few hours. You can make it more fun by watching movies while doing the ironing.
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Divide the Work
Having talked about making a routine and leaving less work for the weekends, it’s also important to divide your housework into different categories. For example, there are certain things that you do daily and cannot be avoided, for example, making the beds, washing dishes, cooking and tidying up. While certain jobs can be done weekly or fortnightly or even monthly. For example, laundry, changing the bedsheets, ironing, cleaning the whole house and gardening etc. with this kind of work, an idea is to do one at a time. So, for example, if you have gardening work to do, spend a few hours in the morning on a weekend and don’t do the house cleaning on the same day. In this way, you will not be spending all your day on the housework and will have a few hours to enjoy with family as well. In simple words, don’t try to do everything at once, take small bites one at a time!
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If you have a big garden, gardening can be a hectic job. Its easier to do a weekly sweeping and picking of your garden regularly. Picking up the dead leaves and flowers and sweeping the patio once a week should keep you on top of your garden work. For more detailed work like trimming the plants and cutting the grass, it’s a job that requires more time but luckily you don’t have to do it more than once a month or maybe more in winters. If you can afford, hiring the services of a professional gardener can be very time-saving.
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Cleaning the House
House cleaning in itself is a big task which can be further divided into different categories. So, if one weekend you have decided to give your house a deep clean, start with doing the most important jobs first. If your kitchen and bathroom need more attention than the bedroom or sitting room, get them out of the way first. Plus, cleaning the sitting room and bedrooms are not as time-consuming as the former. You can quickly dust off the surfaces and hoover the carpets and its done! On the other hand, the kitchen and bathroom take longer as it involves scrubbing and spraying and brushing!
Again, the important thing is to divide the work and take little chunks at a time. If you’re planning to change the sheets on the same day, don’t! If you’re planning to clean the oven at the same time as you clean the kitchen, maybe it’s not a very good idea as oven cleaning might take most of your time and you may not get everything that you’ve planned done.
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You can organise laundry and wash in by dividing it into different steps. The first thing is to separate the colours and whites. Next, load the washing machine when you get a chance. Again, our advice is to not wait for 2 or 3 hours in a row when you can get things done. Loading a washing machine shouldn’t take more than a couple of minutes, so get it done whenever you get a chance. Next, turn the machine on, at this point do not worry about hanging them out yet. A good tip is to do one wash at night and hand them out in the morning. Or do it in the late afternoon and hand them out at night, this way you can have dry clothes in the morning.
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To start a good day, it’s nice to have a nice and clean kitchen before you start cooking. A clean and tidy kitchen gives the feel of a clean house and makes your kitchen work quicker and easier. A good tip in this regard is to leave your kitchen tidy and clean the night before. Wash all the dishes and do not let any dirty dishes stay in the sink. This shouldn’t be too hard if everyone washes up after themselves. It doesn’t take long to wash one dish or one cup but if you let them gather in or around the sink it becomes a big job and also gives the feel of an unkempt kitchen. This goes for the rest of your house too, put everything back in its place before you go to bed so that you can come down to a tidy house in the morning. Put all the toys back in their right places, put the cushions back up straight, take all the cups and glasses in the kitchen (and wash them) and take the newspaper away to where ever you keep recycling.
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Don’t forget to clean and wash your car when trying to keep on top of the housework. Once a week cleaning on the inside and outside of the car should be good enough. If the weather is nice, you can even clean the outside once in two weeks. Its surprising how much mess we tend to gather in our cars, having a regular tidying up of the car will help you keep on top of it. Take all excess things away with you before you leave the car. For example, baby toys, empty sandwich boxes and receipts etc. A regular clean is better than a big clean once a month, only to be in the same state the very next day!
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Designate a Home for Everything
Speaking of receipts, numerous things around the house do not have a proper home but are still important enough to be in the house and not thrown away. These can be receipts from your latest purchases, letters, keys and newspaper etc. Many houses do have designated hanging space for the car and house keys. But if you don’t, its time to do it now. It’s so much easier to find them in a certain spot rather than looking around the house or in the handbag and rushing around when you are short of time. Especially if you have to drop the kids to school and have to get yourself to work, these little things make a big impact and save a lot of time. Also, make a home for all extra things that are lying around the house and giving the impression of an untidy house. For example, it’s good to keep all the receipts until you are sure you wouldn’t need them. Make a box and put it in one of the kitchen cupboards where everyone can easily access it. Newspapers can go in a separate box with all other recycling bits.
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Importance of having a clean toilet and bathroom can not be stressed enough. But it is also a fact that keeping your bathroom clean in your busy routine can be very challenging. Therefore, there are a few tips that will help you to keep your bathroom clean in minimal time. For example, you can quickly clean the toilet while the little one is in the shower and wipe off the sink and shower or bathtub before you go for a shower yourself. It saves a lot of time and will give you the feeling of having a shower in a nice and clean bathroom.
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Grocery It is perhaps the most important part of the housework and keeping on top of your grocery shopping is of utmost importance so that you have enough food to cook when you get home after a busy day at work and don’t have to worry about doing shopping on the way. Thankfully, most people don’t mind this particular housework and especially ladies who enjoy shopping, be it any kind of shopping. Keeping on top of your grocery shopping can be easy if you buy the perishable items on the go. For example, you can buy milk and bread when you pick your little one from school. Shopping for long life items can be done twice a month and you can stock up on your food supplies in your freezer or kitchen storage. If you have any pets at home, don’t forget to buy their food too.
10 Reasons Why You Should Keep Your Home Clean
We’ve all been there and we understand that sometimes, it’s so much easier to leave your house for ‘tomorrow’ and clean it then when you can get your feet up today. Unfortunately, that usually transpires into tomorrow not formalising for a while, so we’ve put together some reasons why having a clean house is good for you and why you should put the effort in!
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You’ll Become More Productive
When your house is messy, we as humans tend to bury our head in the sand and avoid confronting the mess directly. This usually involves distracting ourselves with something else, such as watching TV or doing something we’d much prefer to do than cleaning. With a clean house, you’ll be sharper and your focus won’t be pushed to one side, meaning you’ll be able to get more things done and overall become more productive.
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You’ll Save Yourself Money
You’ll naturally save money by having a clean home because you’ll have plenty of items where they should be. A great example (and one from our personal experience!) is measuring tapes. These are lost in the shed or garage so easily that it’s often easier to buy a new one than it is to clean out the mess and make sure everything is where it should be.
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Have Friends and Family Over Whenever You Like
Gone will be the days when you worry about having to clean the house before people come round. You can invite your friends and family over on a whim, safe in the knowledge that your house is already nice and clean.
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You’ll Be Much Happier
Everyone loves that feeling of walking in from work or a long day and seeing a clean house. It truly makes you feel better inside, rather than seeing your house being messy and feeling like you’ve got even more on your plate.
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You’ll Be Safer
This is a crucial one, especially if you have a garage or a shed. These are often used as storage and things like tools are put in here out of the way, which is great if they’re safely stacked. If not, it could risk serious damage which could be a serious problem. By having everything safely stored you’ll find that you’re much safer at home and there’s much less risk of any rare accidents occurring.
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There’s Less Chance of Getting Ill
Bacteria and germs that make you ill can hide anywhere, and often live on dust. When your house is messy, the dust will settle on the mess, giving the bacteria a new home temporarily. If your house is clean and tidy, you’ll capture all the dust and prevent germs from being able to live as easily, helping to give you and your family less chance of becoming ill.
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You’ll Be Less Stressed
Mess brings stress, so prevent yourself from coming home from a long day at work and feeling more stressed about your home. If you’re finding life particularly stressful at the moment it can be easy to let your house get messier, but it works wonders for your mental state by giving your home a good clean. If you’re in this position yourself, definitely give it a go and see how much better you’ll feel.
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It Helps Clear Your Mind
A good clean helps you to keep focussed and give yourself time to think. If you’ve had a bad week at work, give yourself some time to think things over and how you can make the next week better for you. At the same time, you’ll get your house looking nice and tidy so it’s a win-win! In the end, you’ll feel better yourself and you’ll have a nice tidy house.
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You’ll Keep The Pests Away
It’s a fantastic way to keep the pests away and out of your home. You’ll be able to prevent any critters like mice trying to find a home in your home, as there’s no intention for them to come and try and move in.
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You’ll Save Money On Your Gym Membership
Cleaning is a physical task and can involve doing some lifting, stretching and all sorts of good activities that are good for your body. You’ll save yourself the time, money and hassle of going to the gym in the form of cleaning, all whilst getting a nice clean home. Another great win-win!