O, housework. My nemesis. Kind of.
I hate the idea of doing housework. If I listen to a podcast while I’m doing it, I find it kind of enjoyable. And when it’s done, I’m super happy, so maybe it’s not completely my nemesis after all.
I do prefer it to take as little time as possible though.
I’ve got other more important fun things to do! …watching Hawaii Five O on Netflix, going for walks, eating chocolate…
How to Speed Up Housework
I’m starting to feel like this is my answer to every household problem, haha! It’s so true though.
Cleaning takes much less time when there’s less stuff to clean.
I can start vacuuming sooner if I don’t have to spend an hour tidying up before I can see the floor. There’s less to dust, less to pick up and put away… You get the idea.
If you feel like you spend way too much time on household chores, think about how having less stuff might help speed up your chores.
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2. Lower Your Standards
This is not a popular idea but it does work. I’m not saying you should live in a filthy house. You could look for ways to do a bit less, though.
If you usually vacuum once a week, could you stretch it to more like 10 days?
Or instead of cleaning certain areas regularly, try waiting until they need to be cleaned. Of course, sometimes it’s much easier to keep up with cleaning than to clean it once it’s super gross, so you have to be a little careful with this whole idea.
I’ve lowered my standards quite a bit over the years:
- I vacuum when it needs it.
- I clean the shower when we’re going to have overnight guests.
- I clean windows and mirrors when I can no longer ignore the mess. 🙂
Those little adjustments have meant that I spend less time on housework.
3. Get the Right Tools
Helpful products can make a big difference in how much time you spend doing housework.
Example: When we moved in, we didn’t have a good way to clean the laminate flooring in the kitchen. A few times, when it got really gross, I was on my hands and knees wiping the whole floor with a soapy cloth. It took a while. Then I got a mop. Now it takes me less than five minutes to clean.
Two of the most helpful housework tools we have are:
Microfiber Cloths: I use them for dishes and cleaning just about anything.
DIY Multipurpose Cleaner: Check out my simple recipe here.
4. Time Yourself
Some chores don’t take as long as I think they take.
It can feel like an ordeal to unload and reload the dishwasher. In reality, it takes about 20 minutes tops. Making the bed is a 1 minute activity, that’s it!
By timing myself, I can figure out approximately how long certain household chores will take (usually less time than I think). This way, I know that I can squeeze in a little housework while I’m waiting for water to boil.
Plus, I have started to think that certain chores I used to hate aren’t that big of a deal once I realized that they don’t take all that long to do.
5. Enlist Help
Unless you live alone, you probably shouldn’t be the only person doing housework. Enlist family members or roommates to help with cooking, cleaning, and taking the trash out.
When I wasn’t working, almost all of the housework was my responsibility, but that doesn’t mean Austin was making messes all over the place. He still hung up his coat when he walked in the door and rinsed his dinner plate.
If most of the housework is your responsibility, that doesn’t mean that everyone else is allowed to make messes for you.
Enlist help in doing housework so that it takes less time to get done.
6. Know the Priority Tasks
When you’re really short on time, make sure you think about the priorities when it comes to housework.
If you’re rushing to clean because people are coming over, organizing your closet probably shouldn’t make the cut.
My priorities are usually tidying up, doing the dishes, and wiping down the bathroom counter. After that, I move on to things like vacuuming or cleaning areas my guest probably won’t see.
7. Top to Bottom
To spend less time on housework, you obviously don’t want to have to do anything twice. That’s why it’s good to work from top to bottom in your house.
If I clean my floors first and then wipe off the kitchen counters (bottom to top), there’s a good chance I’ll make a little mess on the floor and have to clean the floor again. If I start up high with the counters, any crumbs I get on the floor will get cleaned up when I do the floors. Always clean from top to bottom.
Unless doing housework is a hobby for you, I’m guessing you’d be ok with spending less time doing chores.
I find that the more I follow these tips, the less time it requires me to keep our house clean, which means more time for my current Netflix marathon and other good things 🙂 I hope these strategies help you too!
How do you speed up your housework? What is your most dreaded chore?