How to Spend Less Time Doing Your Least Favorite Chores
When asked which chores they hate the most, most people jump straight to the same few answers — among them, laundry, dishes, bathroom cleaning and mowing the lawn. These tasks may be important, but the mindset toward doing them is very universal — chores are no fun.
To cut down on the hassle that is chore-doing, all you really need is a good plan of attack for the ones that take up the most of your time. For each chore, you need to take preemptive strikes against it, and be smart in your upkeep.
1. Dish Duty
Whether you live alone or with others, some house-wide rules need to be enforced for dish duty:
- Rule #1. Dishes must be rinsed immediately after they’re used. That way no one has to spend 20 minutes soaking and scrubbing a pan caked with sauce or bacon grease.
- Rule #2. Check the dishwasher before walking away. If it’s empty or half-filled with dirty dishes, put yours straight in. If it holds clean dishes, take a couple minutes and put the dishes away.
If the dishes in the dishwasher are clean, unload them as you’re cooking. Doing both at once cuts down time on both chores — and by having the dishwasher empty when you finish your meal, you can easily enforce Dish Rule #1. Voila! No messy, dread-worthy dish pile building up in the sink.
2. Kitchen Cleaning
With those pesky dirty dishes out of the way, you’re already making kitchen cleanup vastly easier before it begins. Another good preemptive move — keep your countertops uncluttered. That way real cleanup is just a matter of wiping down surfaces.
According to Healthy Living, kitchen countertops need to be cleaned every day — that is, of course, assuming you use them every day.
Each time you cook, go ahead and wipe down all your kitchen surfaces, and be sure to use a sanitizing spray. Kitchens — especially the areas around the sink — are bacteria magnets. They just can’t help it.
3. Bathroom Cleaning
Hopefully, everyone living in your home is already courteous enough to remove their hair from the drain after showering and wipe down the sink area if they splash toothpaste. If not, it may be time to enforce a couple bathroom rules.
Aside from those preemptive moves, you can also take simple steps like attaching an automatic toilet bowl cleaner. Be wise in your shopping, though. Some of these products can use too much bleach and be more harmful than helpful. It never hurts to read some reviews before buying.
In bathroom cleaning, sanitation is key, which means your cleaning products needs to sit for a few minutes before you get to scrubbing. Believe it or not, this can work to your advantage.
Time out your spraying, soaking and scrubbing so you’re rotating around the room. For instance, spray down your shower with whatever cleaner it is that you use. Let it soak for a few minutes while you give the bathroom mirror and sink a quick scrub.
How can you cut down on dusting? Easy. Have fewer surfaces to clean! That’s right. It’s time to reevaluate your furniture and get rid of all the outdated pieces you don’t want or barely use. Goodwill would be glad to take them.
And, if you’re thinking of replacing some of that older furniture, imagine dusting as you pick out your new pieces. For instance, you can replace that old, colossal, entertainment unit with a modern, simplistic, open-shelved TV stand. So much easier to dust.
Dust weekly. It’s as simple as that. If you wait longer, the chore just becomes worse and worse.
One of the easiest preemptive moves you can make against laundry washing is separating clothes as you toss them in the basket. For instance, invest in a three-sectioned laundry basket. As you toss in your clothes throughout the week, make sure you’re putting whites in the white section, colors in the color section and delicates in the delicate section.
Boom. You’ve just saved yourself precious sorting time on laundry day.
With your clothes already separated, it’s easy to see which ones needs to go to the washer first. As soon as you see one of your sections of laundry getting full, throw those clothes in the wash.
6. Sweeping, Mopping and Vacuuming
Whether your floors are carpet or hardwood, they’re going to get a little dirtier each day. After all, they’re the most frequently used part of your home.
Aside from cleaning them once a week, there’s really only one thing you can do to prevent floor-cleaning disaster — don’t wait until “floor day” in your chore chart to clean up that marinara sauce you just spilled on the floor.
Clean your floors once a week, right after you dust. That way, you’re truly getting rid of the dust you just knocked off your countertops rather than just moving it from the top of the bookshelf to the ground.
7. Lawn Care
If you love gardening and mowing the lawn, more power to you. If, on the other hand, you want your yard to look nice with as little effort as possible, try out some low-maintenance landscaping ideas.
For instance, you could start by choosing plants that thrive in your region rather than thirsty ones that require constant watering. You could also cut down on mowing and watering by replacing part of your lawn with a rock landscaping display — or you could even go for the fake lawn.
If you still want to have a real lawn with real grass, be ready to pay for it or be ready to dedicate an hour each week. The average mowing price for a professional lawn service to do the job is about $40 per mow. So, if you don’t want to dish out the extra $200 per month to get rid of your chore all-together. Be prepared to commit at least an hour each week to your lawn. Waiting every other week to tackle the chore just gives your grass more time to grow, creating more work to be done and actually ends up being less efficient than just setting aside an hour per week. But if you would rather go with the fake lawn, be smart about the upkeep.
If you decide to go all-out with the fake lawn, your yardwork upkeep just became pretty darn close to nonexistent.
If you have grass and/or other plants, though, there are many great time-saving tricks that may be worth your while. Among these tricks, you could try putting your sprinklers on a timer, cutting your grass high and using a rain gauge.
Making Chores Less Like Chores
If you’re like most people, chores aren’t likely on your list of favorite things to do. However, by preparing a little ahead of time, you can make your chores less intimidating — and have more time for those things you actually want to do. Make a list – you can download cleaners checklist templates – and use these tips to get a handle on all those chores you never wanted to do!