Household Time Savers So You Actually Can Do Less

In no particular order, feel free to add your own in the comments! If you haven't had the chance, be sure to read my post on being content with less!

*Pick a day or time for deep cleaning. Do not do non essential cleaning outside this time. Tim and I like to work together for about an hour on Saturday mornings to make the house look really nice and then sit back and enjoy it over the weekend before doing a second quick clean on Sunday night before bed. The only chores we do on Saturday and Sunday outside those times is cooking and dishes.

*Redefine non essential cleaning. Your sinks and toilets probably do not need to be washed daily. Dusting is not a weekly or daily job (or even monthly at my house!). You do not need floors you can eat off of, although if you have a mobile baby vacuuming may be more essential than if you don't! For me, essential cleaning is the cleaning we need to do to be clothed, fed, and room to move around comfortably. I try to keep the floors & counters clutter free, but I try not to get too wrapped up when they aren't! Accept your definition of a clean enough home and try hard(er) not to compare yourself to others.

*Sam's Club Click & Pull or Online Groceries. I use both. Most of my gluten free groceries come from Amazon with free shipping (and I subscribe and save 15% on things I need regularly) and I do a Sam's Club order roughly once/month for things like frozen veggies, shredded cheese, and a few other things that are better prices there. The service is free you just have to order before 5:00 the day before.

*Kids trained to do the job right. Yes this involves time upfront, but kids can do many MANY jobs around the house just as well as we can if we show them how. After lunch every single day we spend about 20 minutes picking up. I do the lunch clean up & the kitchen, Aidan picks up & vacuums the living room & dining room, and Caleb cleans the kid bathroom. I could not do that work in 20 minutes on my own!

*Duplicate cleaning supplies. I have a set in every bathroom and in the kitchen, with extras of everything in the laundry room. If I see a sink that REALLY needs to be wiped down (and I admit they usually have to get bad before I notice) then I can do it on the spot in under 5 minutes instead of going off to find the right equipment and hoping I make it back!

*An extension cord for your vacuum so you can do an entire level without changing outlets. I actually am lucky enough to have a centrally located plug that reaches all of the common areas.

*31 day dinner menu & 7 day breakfast rotation. Helps with meal planning & prep, grocery shopping, and pantry management. New recipes and celebration dinners can be worked in monthly to keep variety, although we find with an entire month between dinners we don't really get sick of things.

*Keep lunch and snacks simple. At our house lunch is always leftovers, sandwiches, salads, or soup. Snack is yogurt, cheese, crackers, fruit, vegetables, or dry cereal. We use coffee filters for napkins and everything is in bigger kid reach. The boys know they get one snack in the morning and one afternoon snack and they can choose when it is.

*Centralized message board. I joke that this is Mom's Brain. When I need something, think of something that needs to be done, hear about an event we want to attend, etc. it all goes on the whiteboard. I add and erase constantly throughout the day. Taking all of those lists out of my head improves my functioning 100 fold, especially on days I haven't gotten much sleep.

*Written or picture job lists for kids. No need to keep repeating something they can go read for themselves. Works for everything from morning and night routines, to cleaning instructions, to homeschool schedules ad assignments.

*Keep special activities in an easily accessible place for when you need to get something done so kids aren't hanging on your while you work. They will be happier and you will work faster!

*Egg timers are not just for cooking eggs. Challenge yourself to spend no more than a set amount on housework each day and then keep yourself accountable! You will learn that you can indeed do more with less. Challenge yourself and see if you can get household maintenance tasks to under an hour per day!


elsies7gifts said...

Great ideas that can be used in many ways.
Some of my good time savers include
-pre cook 10-20# of gr beef at a time, then drain and freeze in 1-4 cup containers. Makes dinner prep easier for things such as spag, tacos, sloppy joes, shep. pie and more. Also along the same lines, cook 2-3 roasting chickens in a crockpot or roaster over night. Then remove all the meat and freeze for use in casseroles. Strain the broth and freeze to use later too.

Set certin times for clean up - other wise you feel like you are never done.
Do 1 persons laundry a day, again it gives you a stopping place. Even though it isn't done, you are done with what needs to be.

As you are making your favorite recipes of cookies, bread etc, measure the dry ingredients for another batch or 2. Then put in container and label. Next time you make it, you won't have to get out all the measuring cups and dry ingredients.

lilpeasinmypodfromgod said...

Ah man, I suck, I clean constantly. Probably more than 50% of my day is spent deep or light cleaning, picking up or cleaning dishes from the last meal. I would say 20% of my day is prepping and serving and eating meals and then about 20% on homeschooling which leaves very little time for an errand or anything else and I feel burned out....gee I wonder why:)

lilpeasinmypodfromgod said...

Elsie, GREAT tips!

Heidi said...

Janis I used to be like that, but I vowed when I started homeschool LAST year that I would do better. Overtime I am, but its taken a long time!

Leigh said...

Kids trained to do the job right - it's wonderful when the training pays off *and* they take initiative to boot.

Last Friday, I asked Ashleigh and Eva to vaccuum their bedroom and to move the chairs where they lay out clothes for the next day. Not only did they do a thorough job vaccuuming, they also packed their dance bags (dance doesn't start until next week), put away misc. stuffed animals and toys that had taken up residence in the bedroom, cleaned off their "make-up table," straightened/organized the hooks for their jackets in the entryway, and organized/cleared off their study tables for the start of school. Amazing!