Are you always searching for a way to do household work more efficiently? Does it seem like routine tasks take forever and eat up all your free time? You’re not alone, because many working adults are haunted by the same feeling. The good news is that there’s a way out of the household chore chaos. By combining various tasks, managing your time wisely, and leveraging the power of planning, it’s possible to get everything done and enjoy the rest of your day. Here are eight of the top time-tested household management hacks that people all over the world use.
Pay Bills and Do Banking Once Per Week
If you’ve been paying bills one at a time, as they arrive in your email box or when they come due, think again. Arrange your budget so you can pay for everything in four separate monthly sessions or about one per week. Do all your banking, budgeting, and bill paying on a designated day and hour. It’s not as regimented as it sounds. Plus, once you get used to this system, you’ll likely notice that there’s more free time in your life.
Don’t Be Afraid to Outsource
If you work a day job and have regular house cleaning, meal prep, and other home-based responsibilities, don’t be reluctant to hire help. This is especially true if you have children, babysitting being the obvious choice. But, in addition to that time-honored occupation, there are many others. For instance, homeowners who have large kitchens or multiple bathrooms often pay for a regular cleaning service to deal with at least some of the labor. Home cleaners are surprisingly affordable when you schedule them at essential times once or twice a month.
It’s also possible to outsource infrequent tasks like basement, attic, or garage cleaning. Pet grooming is another job where the service providers can come to you. Busy professionals who spend long hours at the office use meal preparation companies for occasional delivery of hot, ready-to-eat dinners a couple of times per week. There’s no better way to reduce your stress level than to arrive home at the end of the day with a meal waiting, the bathrooms cleaned, and no chores left to do.
Eliminate Errands by Ordering Online
Don’t waste precious hours running errands when you can do the job online. This secret doesn’t work for everything, but it’s a great way to eliminate trips to the post office, grocery store, and elsewhere. When you stop to think how long it takes just to run a single errand downtown, you’ll love opting for the other approach. If you want to obtain a medical marijuana card in Virginia, for example, you can do it in about 15 minutes without having to hop in the car and drive, park, stand in line, and drive home. That’s because getting the card online is quick and easy, and costs you nothing unless you’re approved. Plus, there’s no need for an appointment. The entire process is a time-saver in every way imaginable, with a total card fee of just $99. Other computer commuter ideas include ordering weekly groceries via your favorite store’s website and having them delivered, buying household supplies from big-box retailers via the web, and more. The more errands you can cut out of a typical week, the better.
Clean for 15 Minutes Per Day
If you choose not to hire house cleaners, there’s a clever way to avoid the drudgery of a job that nearly everyone avoids, to it in short increments, preferably 15 minutes at a time. Some of the busiest people use this technique because it works. There’s one catch in that you have to be disciplined about it or it’s easy to get behind, fast. Set aside a daily time to attack one area on your cleaning chart. If you don’t have a chart, make one, and include a detailed breakdown of each room and what needs to be done throughout the house. Even big jobs like vacuuming can be broken up into 15-minute chunks. The same is true for dusting, mopping, garages, attics, basements, and everything else.
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Use a Giant Calendar
As the saying goes, ‘planning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing’. That might be an overstatement, but there’s a lot of truth embedded in its wacky wisdom. Instead of putting all schedules in your phone or computer, use a large, paper calendar for listing all your daily household to-do items. Keep it in a central location, like on a kitchen wall or in an entryway. When you’re in doubt about what needs to be done that day, simply glance at the calendar and see what’s what. Don’t forget to keep a very small daily chart next to, or within, the big one. On it, list the things you need to do every day, like cleaning for 15 minutes, checking the alarm, and so forth.
Cook Multiple Meals at Once
One of the oldest tricks of the household management trade is batch cooking. If you make the effort to plan menus, it’s easy to prepare a half-dozen meals in advance, freeze or refrigerate them, and save yourself the hassle of meal prep most other nights. Be careful to follow standard recommendations for how long particular items can be kept, and remember to write the preparation date on each dish when you store it.
Do a Monthly Fridge Cleaning
Refrigerators are wonderful modern conveniences but they get dirty really fast. Don’t wait until your fridge smells or you can see visible buildup of unknown substances. Choose one date on each month’s calendar to clean it out. There’s no need to spend more than an hour at the job, but be sure to unplug it, remove everything, and wipe down all interior surfaces.
Plan Four Weeks of Main Courses
Meal planning is a lost art. Few people practice it these days, but it yields many rewards. For one thing, careful planning makes it possible to prepare several meals at once, lets you take control of what you eat, and is a big help when you order groceries. In fact, meal planning, preparing, and grocery shopping are all part of one big technique for maximizing your free time.