Staying on Top of Household Chores

Posted November 4, 2012 by Marcy Farrey in Life After Five

I always hear people complain about how difficult it is to keep up with household chores. I certainly understand this if you have children, but if you live on your own, keeping up with chores is possible — but it requires effort.

I’m the first to groan when I hear this, so don’t feel bad if you are groaning, too. I grew up with a hyper-clean, hyper-organized mother. She vacuumed and did laundry every day — she still does! And while I did rebel at first, I’ve admittedly grown to understand the importance of a clean space. I feel so much better knowing where everything is — and that everything is clean!

If you want to stay on top of your household work, I have a few ideas that might help:

  1. Make habits. Look at your week or month and designate a day and time for each of your chores. Find those rare spots of downtime — you know when they are. On Sunday, do laundry. On Wednesday, clean the bathroom. The list goes on. Then hold yourself to this. It might be hard at first, but if you get into a routine, you’ll get used to it. And don’t try to do it all in one day — it will make it seem too painful, and you’ll burn out quickly.
  2. Make it fun. If you dread the thought of cleaning the bathroom, try to make it more of a relaxing exercise. Turn on your favorite music or put the TV on in the background. And remember how much worse it feels when you step into a dirty shower — it will motivate you.
  3. Organize your mess. If you can’t get to certain chores right away, find a way to keep your mess organized in the meantime. If your laundry always piles up, find a good hamper — or two. Finding one that splits into sections is even better. That way, as you drop in your clothes, you’re already pre-sorting them! If you have a place on the floor (perhaps near the door) where you seem to toss various things, go out and buy a basket or other fashionable container and put it in that spot. Capture that mess in one place!
  4. Find tricks and products that make the work go faster. Swiffers are amazing. So are Magic Erasers. Tools like these make cleaning much, much easier. Also invest in the good products — if you buy a better vacuum, you won’t have to run over the same spot twice.
  5. Always have stain removers on hand. If you have an accidental wine spill on your carpeting, you’ll be so glad you bought that carpet cleaner. If you can attack these messes right away, you’ll save yourself a big headache later.

What tricks do you use to make cleaning on a busy schedule easier? We want to hear them!

About the Author

Marcy Farrey

Marcy Farrey is a videographer, writer, and editor. In her previous life, she worked as a broadcast news reporter and producer in Lincoln, Nebraska and as a writer and producer in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She has a Master of Arts in Writing and Publishing from DePaul University and a Bachelor of Science in Journalism from Northwestern University. Learn more about Marcy on her website


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