Have you ever found yourself walking around the house and realizing how messy things are all of a sudden? It felt like just yesterday that you had cleaned up or organized the entire home, so how is it possible that things have gone awry this quickly? This is especially true of households with young children or very busy schedules. Time is a resource that you cannot get back once it is spent, and keeping things clean and organized can consume a lot of time if you let it.
The key is to find ways to cut back on the amount of time spent doing chores in and around the house. With so much work to do on a daily basis outside of the regular rhythms of the day with work, school, raising children, and socializing, chores can be the last straw that leaves you feeling frustrated and overwhelmed.
Fortunately, there are a few strategies that can help you cut down on the amount of time spent doing housework.
Your Standards Should Reflect Your Life Stage
Some people are used to keeping a very organized and clean home. Maybe they spent years keeping up with chores or just living minimally so that cleaning was never too difficult. Then suddenly, their family expands with children, or they get a job that requires long hours. One of the first things to go is how much time you have to dedicate to cleaning and organizing.
You may have to accept that lowering your standards for cleanliness may be necessary. Floors that used to be clutter-free may need some bins or new drawers to just toss things into, especially toys. For clutter that builds up outside, instead of constantly having to bring things inside at the end of the day, maybe you could purchase a deck storage box to make cleanup faster. Sometimes, you’ll have to leave a mess for another day rather than fixing it immediately. When life circumstances change, and available time for housework is reduced, adjusting your expectations could prevent you from becoming overwhelmed.
Get Everyone Involved
Children can learn how to do chores at a remarkably young age, especially if the chores are less complex. It even contributes to early childhood development. The key to success is remaining patient. It will take some time for the child to learn how to do the chore correctly, and at first, it may add to the amount of time you spend on housework. But soon it will start to pay dividends as the child grows up and can take on more and more household tasks.
The more people that you get involved in doing the chores, the more efficiently they will get done. This could tie in with lowering your standards a little as well, since others may not clean or organize to the level that you would. Delegate tasks to others and your load will lighten.
Outsource When You Need to
Not every chore has to be done by you and your family. There are plenty of professional services that can do some of the tasks that you are dreading or that are larger in scope. By hiring an outside firm or even having friends and other family help out, you can remove that stress from your life and let someone else handle it.
For example, maybe you have been wanting to redo your deck to make aging woodwork safer for your family, but the prospect of spending time on it is overwhelming. You can hire a contractor to do the job for you and free up your time. Or, the health of your lawn is starting to suffer and you are unhappy with how it looks. Lawn care services can treat your yard and make sure that it looks vibrant and clean while you focus on other things.
If you have the resources, or knowledgable and trustworthy friends, outsourcing some of these larger home projects can keep them off of your plate and save lots of time.
Try Tackling Housework in a New Way
Saving time for yourself while maintaining a clean and organized household can be tricky. There is work to be done, but there are also busy schedules to adhere to. Instead of dedicating hours at a time to doing chores, try to tackle them in smaller chunks. Or, if you generally do housework as the need arises but you are starting to fall behind, pick a day to get as much done as possible in one large block of time.
When chores start to pile up and you are feeling overwhelmed by the lost time, your perspective on what needs to get done and how to do it may need to shift. Whether that means lowering your standards, involving others in the process, or outsourcing to someone who can help, it is important that you don’t just accept the frustration you are feeling. Try some of these methods to gain back that precious time so you can focus on the things that you love.