Are you currently working from home? Find yourself doing more housework than before? You’re not alone.
A study conducted by Dr Tan Poh Lin, an assistant professor at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore, and her co-authors found that both women and men were spending more time on housework during and after circuit breaker. Because people spent more time at home, there was more housework to be done as well.
For those who dread this activity, good news! There are ways to optimise doing housework. Read on to learn how to do less housework with these tips.
Tips to do less housework
1. Keep surfaces clear
It’s convenient to leave your items on the floor or countertops because you’ll need them again pretty soon. But this creates clutter and makes it harder to clean. You’d have to move your stuff around when cleaning the floor or countertops and that would take up more time.
For instance, placing storage solutions on your kitchen countertop would leave less space for food prep and you’d have to move them away when you want to clean the countertop. Instead, make use of wall space by using S-hooks or magnetic strips. That way, you’ll have a clear countertop that’s easy to clean.
As for keeping the floor clear so it’s easier to clean, try to put away your items once you get home. If not, leave them on a chair or table instead of the floor.
2. Clean as you use
Even though you might feel like you’re always cleaning, you’re not actually doing more work by cleaning up as you use. In fact, it’s less work compared to if you let everything accumulate and let your home become a giant mess before you start cleaning.
If you cook regularly, you would know that cleaning up after cooking can take up a significant portion of time. So, clean up as you cook. If you make a mess, clean it up immediately instead of leaving it till after. Crumbs can solidify and stains can become semi-permanent, making it harder to clean. Another tip is to wash the dishes while waiting for your food to cook.
You can also expand this clean-as-you-use habit to other parts of your home. The washroom, for example, is one place that wouldn’t be your favourite place to clean, especially if it hasn’t been cleaned for a week.
But if you consistently clean as you use by giving the toilet bowl a quick scrub after you use it, or wiping the bathroom sink after you brush your teeth, it won’t be as dirty even if it hasn’t been cleaned for a week. This means it’ll take less time to clean!
3. Allocate 10 minutes a day for simple cleaning
Rather than spending an entire day cleaning over the weekend, break it down into shorter periods of time. One tip is to allocate just 10-15 minutes a day to do a simple clean. Do a quick sweep or vacuum of the floor, wipe your clear countertops (see tip #1), and put away any mess that you see.
You can do this at any time of the day, since it’s only 10-15 minutes. Whether it’s in the morning before you start work, in the evening after you end work, in between meetings, or after lunch. The important thing is cultivating a habit of allocating a portion of time every day to cleaning.
4. Use the right cleaning tools
We all know that a toothbrush shouldn’t be used to clean the toilet bowl. So, evidently there are different cleaning tools for different purposes and surfaces. Using the right cleaning tools will help you be more efficient and effective in your cleaning.
For instance, you could invest in a robot vacuum cleaner or a hand held cordless one so that it’s convenient to do a quick clean of your home. Alternatively, instead of using a regular cloth to clean your windows, use a microfiber cloth or newspaper to prevent streaks and get it clear in a single stroke.
5. Make cleaning enjoyable
When you think of cleaning as a chore, it will feel like a chore. So try to make cleaning enjoyable! Put on your favourite podcast, audiobook, or some energizing music while cleaning. Another way is to reward yourself after cleaning your home.
Rather than focusing on how tiring cleaning can be, focus on the outcome – a clean home that you can be proud of. You might not get appreciated for doing the chores, but it’s alright, enjoy the result and be glad that you managed to burn some extra calories.
6. Set up a cleaning schedule
One way to organise the housework is to set up a cleaning schedule. For example, dedicate Saturday mornings to cleaning the home thoroughly and Sunday mornings for laundry. Unless you live alone, those living with you should be a part of this plan as well. Cleaning isn’t just an individual duty, it should be a team effort.
If you’ve been practicing tip #3, you should be able to complete a thorough weekly clean of your home in less than 2 hours.
7. Outsource effectively
Still don’t want to deal with housework? Hire someone to do it for you!
Having a live-in helper might not always be possible because of budgets and privacy concerns, but there are many part-time helper options available in the market, such as Helpling. Outsource the things that you hate doing the most or the things that take up the most time. That way, cleaning will be much more manageable and enjoyable for you.
This article first appeared on Helpling. Helpling is a digital home concierge service with a vision to provide quality living for everyone through their tech-enabled platform and dedicated home advisors. They take care of the time-consuming and dreadful household tasks for you so that you can spend time on other things that matter.