Let's face it, in this day and age, our lives are so busy that Housework is often overlooked and put at the bottom of the list for many reasons and excuses we can come up with. It is not what the majority of us regard as glamorous or fun, certainly not after a day at work. On the other end, it is almost impossible to enjoy a well-deserved rest when we are surrender by mess. Here are some clues to tackle the dreaded housework and feel more in control.
Learning to prioritise is key here and will save you time and energy. I am a To-do-list person, I have several: on paper, on my phone and one that I carry along with me at all time: in my brain. Off course, like every To-do-list, it is full of things to remember, actions to be taken, things that I postpone regularly... Fortunately for my sanity, there is a way to curb the inner chatter by using a simple technique of prioritising.
There are 4 categories in priortising any to-do-list (and the beauty of it is that you can adapt it to any type of chores). It is called the Eisenhower Decision Matrix and it goes like this:
2- Important / Not Urgent,
3- Urgent / Not important,
4- Not Urgent / Not Important.
1: Chores that you can't delay and have to be tackled asap like changing the smelly cat litter or empty a full bin or cleaning the kids school uniforms when the pile is running low. For obvious reasons these are non negotiable and must be prioristed.
2: Chores that are important that you schedule for later. Like shopping. I personally love online shopping for this reason, it is quick and easy, time and money saving (you know exactly what you have spent and can take items out if you have overspent).
3: Those are the tasks that you can and must delegate. More on this bellow.
4: Things that don't have to be done straight away like repainting the little one's bedroom or changing the door knob for a nicer one.
* Dedicate One task per day
It is always good to make this planning after a good seasonal cleaning and decluttering as it is always much better to start in a clean slate. Starting a new routine takes time and commitment and will require some willpower at the beginning, but like any habit, once learnt they won't require an effort anymore and will actually free time in the long run.
Assign a day for each household chore. Nowadays we have forgotten to do this but it is actually a really ancient and traditional way to run a house. It can look like this and shouldn't take more that 30 minutes per day:
- Monday: change the bedlinen.
- Tuesday: Hoover the leaving areas + laundry.
- Wednesday: Hoover the sleeping areas + Iron important items (I have myself given up on bedlinen ironing when I decided that my 'me' time was more important than ironed sheets, pick your battle).
- Thursday: dusting or window cleaning.
- Friday: Laundry, clean the bathroom.
- Saturday: online shopping.
- Sunday: Laundry and checking that the school uniforms are ready for the week ahead.
This is a template, so make it your own according to your needs
All members of the household should participate participate (at the exemption of babies and animals). Even nursery children can help putting away, tell them that it is 'Tidy up time' and you will see that they will know what you are talking about! At home my son is in charge of putting on the table and my daughter of taking the recycling out. They are both in charge of putting their dirty clothes in the washing machine and tidy up their bedroom on a daily basis before bedtime. Not only it is helpful to me, but it is teaching them respect and life-skills.
Housework doesn't have to be giving you nightmares or nausea at the thought of it. It is unavoidable but totally manageable so we might as well look at it in the eye and tame it our way. With a bit of clever organisation and dedication, you will soon be feeling on top of the situation and be able to relax in a lived-in yet tidy house.
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