I consistently have about four hours each weekday when I’m not working or sleeping. Subtract an hour out of that for dinner, and I’m left with just a few hours a day of free time. If you’re like me, the last thing you want to do with those three hours is chores.
I’ve mentioned before that in our house we do about 30 minutes of chores a night, and we try to focus at least 15 of those minutes on one specific room doing more intensive activities. (Monday=living room, Tuesday=bedroom/laundry, Wednesday=kitchen/dining room, etc.) This routine keeps us from having to spend our weekend cleaning the house and also means that our house is usually clean enough to have people over without worries.
I’m always looking for time saving tips, though, because if I spend more than 30 minutes in an evening doing chores I get cranky. I’m constantly asking people I meet what they do to save time on chores. How do they get everything they need to do, well, done?
Most everyone agrees on a few basic principles:
- The less stuff you have to get messy, the less time you have to spend picking up messes.
- If you can afford to have a cleaning service come in once or twice a month to do the intense toilet and floor scrubbing, it can help immensely. (I don’t currently have a cleaning service, but I’m seriously considering it.)
- If you get something out, put it back when you’re done.
I’ve discovered some other great advice from the people I’ve asked and I wanted to share some of it with you. Please, if you have valuable advice of your own, add it to the comments! I think all of us could benefit from learning about what you do to save time.
- Sort your laundry when you take off your clothes instead of in your laundry room. I have a light bin, a dark bin, mesh bags for delicates, and a bag for my dry cleaning all next to my closet.
- When you swap out towels in your bathroom, use one to quickly wipe down the strange dust that collects on the edge of the bathtub. (Where does that dust come from, by the way??)
- Water house plants with the stray ice cubes that tumble out of the ice maker and onto the floor.
- Reader Mike suggests when loading silverware into the dishwasher, group like items together. When the dishes are dry, you can grab all of the forks, spoons, etc, and put them away at once.
- Have a shredder and a trash can where you process mail so that junk mail never has to be corralled out of your home.