Domestic tasks are inevitable. No matter how much you want to, you can’t run away from them because having a clean, safe space to live is important. Unfortunately, keeping the home spic and span can take a lot of time. In fact, the average Nigerian probably spends about 14 hours a week on house chores and tasks and certainly less relaxing. From grocery shopping to laundry, house cleaning, and it is almost impossible to maintain the balance between work, play and quality time with the people you love.
Clearly, the problem lies in how much time we invest in these domestic tasks. However, doing the household chores doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom. Here are a few tips to help save time and find a balance while doing domestic tasks:
Clean as you go
No matter what part of the house you are in, try not to ignore dirt when you see it. Don’t wait for the cleaning day to clean it all at once; clean as you go. Whenever you are cooking, wash utensils as you use them, also fill the sink up with soapy water and pop in items that need to be soaked while you eat. This will make washing the dishes much easier and faster after dinner.
Also, take a few moments and spray the inside of the oven with oven cleaner, if you have used the oven This way, you can wipe dirt and grime from the oven after dinner. Again, keep a container of all-purpose wipes on the kitchen counter to do a quick clean of the surfaces after you have finished cooking. Wipe down the interior of your fridge with baking soda when you notice a smell or dirt from spoilt food or fruit maybe
Keep cleaning material handy in the bathroom to clean the mirror and sink while brushing your teeth. . Also, place a couple of paper towels at the bottom of dustbins to absorb any liquid spillages. It will only take a few minutes and will save you time having to do a thorough clean on them later.
Have a shopping list and shop online if you can
Most times you find yourself wandering in the store trying to remember what you need at home, and most times when you get home, you find that you forgot something. You then have to go back and get it. You waste so much valuable time doing the back and forth. You can save all that time by creating a shopping list before you go shopping.
Have designated days for grocery shopping and build up the list by adding items as the days roll by. Alternatively, you can just take a minute or two to check around your house and make the list before you head out to the store.
If the items are ones you can easily purchase online, save yourself the time and do it on your phone. You may only need to pay a small delivery fee, but it is worth it. Save the time you would have spent commuting, bagging, scouring the aisles and packing up your shopping bag.
Say no to hoarding; trash what you don’t need
Having so many things around the house creates room for more washing, more dusting, and more maintenance. Save yourself time by making sure you only keep possessions you absolutely need. Only keep things that give you joy or at least makes your life easier.
Less stuff lying around means less for you to dust, pick up and launder. Create a pile of items you no longer use or that are no longer necessary and give them away or discard them. Getting into the habit of recycling or tossing items that you don’t need or want helps you save a lot of time in the long run.
Have a “no shoes in the house” policy
Sure, foot mats are pretty and are useful for cleaning out shoes, but sometimes they are not enough to keep dirt out of the house. Having a no-shoe policy helps avoid the possibilities of mud, grime and dust on the floors of your house and keeps your floors cleaner for longer. And even with the no shoe policy, try to dust your shoes and clean them properly before you take them into the house or store them away.
Make a meal plan, use pre-cut/frozen food and cook for days ahead
Fresh meals are great but at what cost? Rather than spending so much time cooking every day, Cook food in large batches and refrigerate or freeze portions for later use. Again, rather than fresh vegetables which will require a lot of cleaning and sprucing, use convenient products like pre-cut veggies, frozen foods, or canned foods to cut down on preparation time.it helps to make a meal plan as well, that way you save time spent in deliberating over what to cook or what to eat. Believe it or not, these little minutes add up.
Stack your laundry and do them all at once
Forget the training you were given as a child to wash your clothes at the end of every day. Doing that takes too much of your time, even if you just throwing them in the machine. The quickest and easiest way to do your laundry at home is by doing it all at once. This will cut down the time you spend loading, unloading, drying, ironing, folding and putting away. It will even also save you electricity and water.
To further cut down time spent in sorting the clothes into fabric type or colours, you can have separate laundry bags for each colour or fabric types.
Get covers for your furniture
Besides the aesthetics, throws, tablecloths, cushion cover and more help to preserve your furniture’s cleanliness for longer. It even saves your furniture from premature wear and tear as well. Ensure you opt for table clothes that can be wiped or shaken outside for an instant clean.
Rather than spending time washing, drying and ironing your cushion covers over and over, spot clean any marks using a micro fibre cloth and gentle detergent.
Delegate and know when to outsource
Sharing household responsibilities is a great way to save everyone’s time and energy. Divide the housework amongst your family or inhabitants of the house and agree on a cleaning schedule. Establish the list of chores — sweeping the floor, cleaning the kitchen, doing laundry etc., attach a time that they are to be completed and assign one household member to “cleaning duty” each weekend.
As for laundry, you can make each person responsible for washing, drying, and putting away their own clothing.
Delegating will reduce the burden and basically, you’ll all feel better knowing time is equally spent on keeping your home clean. Again, there is no denying that some chores are worth paying someone else to do. Do a cost-benefit analysis; find out those chores and hire someone to do them.
Can you think of other creative ways to save time on domestics tasks? Tell us!
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