A lot of families don’t have a house helper who can vacuum the carpets, do the laundry or tidy the children’s rooms, so the responsibility of keeping the house clean and orderly is on your shoulders. But sometimes, do you feel like you’re spending your whole life doing household chores? Yes, they seem never-ending, but there’s always something to do about that. If you feel like you’re always doing chores or spending all your free time doing them, there might be something wrong about what you’re doing. Here are some time-saving tips to help you fast-track your daily chores to get more free time and more productive life:
General house cleaning tips
Always do a quick clean and spot-cleaning
Go for a quick clean every day in your house to avoid spending hours in deep-cleaning during the weekend. Take a few minutes a day (or every other day) to clean your floors to avoid a huge build-up of dust. Make it a habit to wipe any spills on the kitchen countertops, cooktops, dining tables, couches, chairs, and floors right away to prevent them from getting hard to remove or from staining your surfaces.
Take some time to remove, dispose of, repurpose, sell or give away things you don’t need or use. Dealing with less stuff in the house and simplifying everything in the house makes cleaning easier.
Invest in good quality cleaners
Use a good quality vacuum cleaner, brooms and mops to make cleaning more efficient. Yes, it comes with a price, but it will be worth it. Settling down with lesser-quality models may not do a great job, so you will end up giving more time and effort to achieve a clean and tidy finish. The same principle applies to clean products like detergents and dishwashing soaps. Buy the best one you can afford, so you won’t end up washing your plates again because it’s still greasy or being forced to wash your shirt again because it wasn’t clean and fragrant enough.
Refuse to plan to do most of the chores during the weekend
While this seems a bit odd, it’s actually a great time-saving idea. Trying to do chores during the weekdays forces you to seize your time through the week to finish what has to be done. If you have less time, your chores would take less time. Sometimes, when you devote a whole weekend to do chores, you don’t realize but you’ll have the tendency to expand the chore to fill in the available time – since you’ve got all weekend for it. This way, your weekends could be freed to simply focus on your kids while they’re off school, spend time with them, do a hobby or have a day out.
Simplify your cleaners
Don’t use a lot of different cleaners for every cleaning task. Store all-purpose cleaners like bleach, vinegar, and baking soda and prepare one or two DIY mixes of them in spray bottles. Add in some microfiber cloths and keep them handy. Store them in a cleaning kit you can easily carry from room to room.
Always clean from top to bottom
Whenever you’re wiping surfaces or vacuuming, always clean from the top down with sweeping or cleaning the floor as your last task. This makes your cleaning system easier and helps you avoid going back to the spot that you’ve already cleaned.
Have your family members help out
Assign chores for every member of your household to simplify things for you, and to teach them how to be responsible, especially for your children. The home belongs to your family members as well, so everyone should help out.
Kitchen cleaning tips
Clean and put away your dishes as you go
Make it a habit to keep your dishes right away to clear your kitchen counters and make them easier to clean. If emptying the dishwasher seems like a monotonous job that sadly, you still have to do, try to add fun to it by making it a game. Try to beat your time in emptying a full load every time you do this to help you move faster and keep you motivated.
Soak the pots as you eat
After you cook a meal, put the pot or pan in the sink and fill it up with hot and soapy water. Let it soak while you eat. Doing this will make washing them post-meal much easier.
Sort as you load the dishwasher
As you put your dirty utensils in the dishwasher, group knives, forks, spoons together to save you time to put them back in their containers when unloading.
Clean the fridge before you go shopping
You take a trip to the market or groceries because your food is out of stock, right? Before you shop is the best time to clean out and clean up your fridge because it’s almost empty. This way you have fewer things to remove and put back in the fridge after cleaning it.
Line drawers with paper
In the bottom of your fruit and vegetable fridge drawers, line some paper towels, so that when it gets dirty, you only need to replace the towels. You can also line wax papers on your kitchen drawers to pick up crumbs and dust that will accumulate as time goes by.
Meal preparation tips
Plan your meals
Create a weekly meal plan to save time and help you develop healthy eating habits. This will help you a lot so you won’t try to come up with ideas about “What’s for lunch?” and to make your market and grocery trip more productive.
Cook food in larger batches
Every time you cook, make twice as much as you’ll need for a meal. This way, you can refrigerate or freeze the extras and reheat or thaw them for the next meal so you don’t have to cook again.
Use convenient products
Buy some frozen foods, chopped veggies, canned goods, and ready-made mixes and sauces to save you some preparation time.
Make mixes in advance
If you still prefer making your own mixes, prepare them in advance. When you have time to spare, make your own pancake mix, cake mix, marinades, sauces, and others ahead of time and store them temporarily in appropriate storage containers. This way, you can easily make a meal and you’d just need to add some remaining ingredients.
Use fewer pots as much as possible
The fewer pots you use, the fewer you have to clean. For instance, when more than food needs to be boiled, use the same pan rather than two to lessen your dishwashing load.
Grocery shopping tips
Prepare a grocery list before shopping
Using your meal plan as a guide, create a shopping list before going to the groceries. Also, check in what you already have in your fridge, freezer, pantry, and cupboards to see what’s out of stock and needs to be bought. This will save you time when doing the groceries, and will also spare you of another trip to the grocery because you forgot something.
Don’t do groceries after work
Why? Because that’s when everyone else does their grocery shopping. Usually, the after-work hours are when the lines are longer and it’s harder to get clerks’ attention when you need help. If you don’t want to spend some precious time waiting on the cashier lines, it’s best to shop after 9 PM (or maybe after the kids are already in bed and your spouse is home), if your grocery store is open on those hours. You can enjoy a quick drive to the store and you’ll be able to get in and out in a matter of a few minutes.
Do grocery shopping online
If your schedule is too packed to go grocery shopping, order them online instead. Make a list of things you want to buy then order them at once. This way, you can also have your stuff delivered to your home, so you won’t have to spend time scouring the aisles, bagging and driving to and fro the grocery store. Saves you not just time, but also effort and fuel. And if the online store offers a recurring shopping list service, it’s even better. This can keep track of your frequently purchased items and previous shopping lists, so you can use them again and adapt them as necessary.
Laundry and clothing tips
Cut down on the amount of laundry
The less laundry you have to deal with, the less time the task will take. We’re not advocating bad hygiene, but some pieces of clothing can be re-worn and reused. Jeans, jackets, and pajamas can be worn again, towels can be re-used and your kids can wear sandals (without socks) in the summer. Your clothes for exercising can even be reused; just air dry them after use and you can wear them again for two to three times. Ask yourself what items you can wear again without causing a social faux pas.
Sort your laundry as you go
To avoid spending a lot of time sorting all your clothes before doing the laundry, provide separate laundry baskets for each color. Whenever your partner or children have dirty laundry, tell them to put it in the appropriate hamper.
Ask family members to help with folding
Folding the laundry is a simple task to do, but still time-consuming. Have your kids help you with it, so they can learn as well.
Reduce your ironing load
For less wrinkly clothes that still look like they need some pressing, just use a spray solution of lavender and water. Lavender can relax wrinkles so your clothes will look like they’ve just been pressed. Then, you’ll only need to deal with extremely wrinkled clothes.
Put socks in a mesh bag
If you have children with a gazillion dirty socks, put them all in a mesh bag before throwing them in the wash. This way, they won’t get mixed with the other larger items of clothing and you won’t have to spend a lot of time looking for the other pair of sock.
Furniture cleaning and maintenance tips
Spot clean any marks or stains immediately
If a child is eating spaghetti on your couch when watching TV and some accidentally spilled on the couch, spot clean it right away to prevent making stains. Use a microfiber cloth dipped in water and detergent solution. This works for most kinds of particles that would land on your furniture, cushions or upholstery. Stains are more time-consuming to deal with than fresh ones.
To keep your couches, chairs and sofas cleaner for longer, cover them with throws or cozy blankets or rugs.
Use a vacuum to suck up dirt in couches
The crevices and hard-to-reach corners of your couch need to be cleaned since they can be housing a lot of dust, dirt, crumbs and pet hair. Use a vacuum cleaner and its attachments to make it easier.
Keep pets away from furniture
Keep your sofas, beds and cushioned chairs clean by keeping your pets off it as far as possible. But if you like them sitting on the furniture with you, make sure they are bathed, de-fleaed, and de-wormed regularly.