I was talking with a friend the other day and we were talking about how annoying a said few of chores are each week. It is like they are always there, and many times have to be addressed during the weekend, which absolutely takes the fun away from finally getting to be with your family and friends after a busy work week. So, today, I am giving you some of my top advice for staying on top of the biggest monotonous, most annoying to-dos on your list. They are the repeats, the time suckers, the have to-dos but hate to-dos on your list: laundry, groceries, and house keeping.
You KNOW. How annoying are those three things. Like every freaking week we gotta do them over…and over…and OVER again. They never seem to fail in coming right back around, so today we are sharing some of the best ways I have learned to navigate these. I will give you a few tips for each and please pick and choose what works best for you, but better yet, if you have a tip for one of these that I don’t share please make sure to comment below.
I share this with you because we want to enjoy our lives. We don’t want to just go through the day-to-day and look back and wonder where our life went. We want to be living, enjoying, in the right now.
First up: Laundry
So my best piece of advice on this one that my mother (a working mom of four) utilized and swears by, which is to do a load EVERY SINGLE DAY. You read that right. So on your way to work throw the load in the washing machine. Then, when you get home afterwards, throw it in the dryer. Once the kids are down, fold it up and put it away. Not only does doing a load each day make this manageable, it also makes it super fast. Because you are tackling this chore each day, the loads are fairly small and much easier to put away and tackle. Her other tip for this is to also fold and put away immediately. She explains that in doing this the actual chore itself is entirely done. This is key to knocking it out and not having to think about it.
Another method for laundry and the one I currently use, is doing the laundry the same day I clean house. I switch and fold in between various cleaning tasks and I really enjoy this method. I feel like this works for us because I typically don’t have a ton of laundry just yet at this point, but I like that it breaks up my cleaning and then I just told everything on our bed and put it all away at the end of my cleaning. With that, essentially you can choose a laundry day or group it with a day of the week that way you know on X date, you do the laundry.
Next up is: Groceries/Meal Planning and Prepping
My best tip for this one might not be a fan favorite, but it is too actually to do this during the week. I like to pick a day (typically a Tuesday or Wednesday) where I would go in the evenings and knock it out. It was definitely hard to do after a long work day, but it surprisingly has a lot of cons that actually make grocery shopping more enjoyable. First is that you avoid the crowds, which we all know is SO annoying when you are shopping. Secondly, because you aren’t shopping during a peak busy time, you will be able to find more of what you need. Thirdly, it goes way faster because you are avoiding all the people and lines. On these nights, we would just plan that my hubby was in charge of dinner, OR it was the night we would eat out because that way I had one thing off my plate and didn’t have to stress about it. In order to make this work a little easier, he knew he was in charge of bed time and pick up, so that I could do all the grocery shopping. This takes some coordination, but it made it so much better than going over the weekend.
In regards to menu planning, you can always refer to my highlights on my Instagram where I save our weekly menu plan, but another idea that has worked well for me is making a list (I have 100) of meal ideas. That way when I am really in a rut I pull out my list and I pick and choose off of that. Another option for inspiration is always Pinterest too. On my Pinterest I actually have a board that has pins of recipes I have personally tried and vetted, so you can definitely feel free to check that out HERE.
If you have the financial means, getting your groceries delivered or planning a pick up is always a great option too. Sometimes, if I am having a really rough week or if I can’t leave the house for some reason, I will use this. I don’t rely on it all the time (maybe 3-4 times a year), but sometimes there are times when the delivery cost is worth your sanity, and I think that is something you should always keep in mind.
Lastly: House Keeping
I think for me, this is the hardest one. I also feel like if you are working Monday through Friday this is a very difficult one to adjust in order to give you back more of your time, but I do have a few suggestions that might help.
For me, having a different schedule from the M-F group, I plan a cleaning day on my calendar each week. This works for me, I pick up my groceries after I drop my daughter off, come home put those away, start my laundry, and get to it. It always ends up being a jammed packed day, but getting it all done this way always feels good for me. So, this is always an option, but what if this ISN’T an option for you?
Tip one, to choose either Saturday morning or Sunday morning for your house keeping. Nothing gets planned during that time and knock it out. This means nothing until about 11 or noon, but once it is done, it is done and you can go about enjoying. Growing up, this is the method my mom used and all us kids had to help too. In our house, when we used this method and had little, my hubby knew he had to watch our daughter for that time. He would help when he could too, but essentially his responsibility was her, so that I could focus on getting the house done.
For me, cleaning my home takes a good 4-6 hours if I do the whole thing in one fail swoop, but many times, I do not have that amount of time, and maybe you don’t either. That is okay, because another option I use is doing only part of the house one week and the other part the following week. A few things always need to be done, right? Like vacuuming, or wiping out the sinks, but other factors can be left for a little longer, so this is always an option to make it a bit easier and more manageable. This method also takes less time which is always a positive.
Speaking of time, another tip is to set a timer. Now, you can use this and do something a little each day (I like the Motivated Moms app to help streamline this) or you can set a time for your “cleaning day.” You will be amazed as to how much stuff you can get done in 30 minutes, not gunna lie. In addition, the same goes for a 2 hour timer or a 3 hour one. Something about racing the clock seems to help get the job done.
In thinking of doing something each day, you can also take this in the sense of doing one area of the home or room a day if that is easier too. Sometimes, taking it in bite size, more manageable pieces makes it easier on the brain.
Another idea, if you have the financial means to do so, is getting a cleaning group. Some people have someone come in as often as once a week, but for others, once a month or quarterly, makes the world of difference. I like to always take this in reference of mental space versus money. What amount of money would I give or how much more would I have to work, to have the mental peace of removing this task from my plate? Is it worth it for me and my family? For some of us, this isn’t even an option. Period. For others, maybe getting someone quarterly (to get all the nitty grittys) makes a big difference. This might also change dependent upon the season we are, but it is an option to consider, especially given what it gives back. Time equals more joy, so if by hiring a cleaning group, you get to spend the morning with your kids…maybe that is worth it? Maybe it is worth the sacrifice of your daily Starbucks or your monthly nails? Obviously, I can’t answer that for you (you need to look at what your current priorities are), but you need to ask yourself what will give you the most joy and peace and weigh your pros and cons from there.
As I mentioned before, I would love to know how you streamline your workweek and whether or not that is making you joyful or more stressed? What tips can you give us?
I also want to remind you that while these things do need to get done each week, there will be seasons and times in your life where they don’t and where they ARE NOT THE PRIORITY. Cleaning, laundry, groceries…many times those things can wait and that is 100% okay. That is the beauty of repeat to-dos…they are always there right where you left them.
Happy Friday, friends and have a beautiful weekend!