Fitting in household chores

Photo by BHollar

I like to pretend that household chores don’t exist. The easiest way to do that is to fit them into other routines or spots of time. I rarely spend a full 30 minutes cleaning something. Here are ways to sneak in housework:

  • We have a quick 5 minute household pick up in the evening where everyone picks up their own stuff.
  • Stick 5 min jobs in a bowl to grab when you are waiting for water to boil, etc.
  • Simplify your list – does everything need to get done every week? Monthly chores can become quarterly chores.
  • As I was telling a client today, do the things that interfere with your life, not what "looks" good. So cleaning up the kitchen, keeping up with mail, picking up the clutter comes before moving the sofa to get the dust bunnies.
  • Have everyone pick a chore after dinner to get dinner clean up done right away in not much time.
  • Post a laundry schedule to the laundry wall so when you or the kids are throwing a load in before school or work, things like towels and sheets are not forgotten.
  • Wipe down the bathroom right before you wipe down your face for the night.
  • Clean what is bugging you most on the commercials or while waiting for the kids to finish getting ready.
  • Sort the mail while waiting in the car or while watching TV.
  • Take things out of the living room when you leave the room. (That works for other rooms too.)
  • Put the clothes straight into the hamper when you get undressed at the end of the day and the jewelry straight into the box. It takes less than a minute, so don’t con yourself into thinking you are too tired.
  • Pick up your desk as you wait for your computer to shut down or start up.
  • When you get a new magazine, recycle the old one or put it in the car to finish reading while you are waiting for the kids.
  • Before going grocery shopping, do a quick wipe down of the fridge when it is almost empty or have whoever is home do it while you shop.
  • If it takes you more than 3 minutes to dust a room you may have too many knickknacks out. Store some to make cleaning faster.
  • Bring things to the basement or other mindless chores when you are on the phone. When you are on hold, put your phone on speakerphone so you can get a lot of cleaning done while you wait.

What are your favorite ways to sneak in chores?

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