I am the first to admit that I love a tidy home but I hate cleaning it. Ok, sometimes the act of cleaning itself seems therapeutic, but generally it is a complete nuisance. And no matter how diligent you are cleaning your home, the mess will be waiting for you next week. Add children (and sometimes pets or husbands to the mix) and domestic chaos becomes unavoidable. There is nothing more frustrating than having scrubbed your kitchen floor for an hour only to have your kids spill their glass of milk while you are still wringing out the mop.
So why do we do it? Well, mostly for health and hygiene reasons, or out of necessity (you need clean dishes and clothes to get through the week). And, also because our physical environment often has an impact on our mental space. But the question remains: what is your time worth?
If you work five days a week and enjoy but two days off with your family, do you really want to spend a quarter of your weekend cleaning? I certainly do not. So how can you avoid this mess (pardon the pun)?
The vacuum is your best friend when it comes to housework – seriously! Forget the duster, use your vacuum to clean carpets, floors, window sills, curtains, frames, shelving, sofas, fabrics – basically all hard and soft surfaces in your home. It is much more efficient than dusting or trying to mop up dog hair and bread crumbs.
Break up your housework
Instead of wasting your precious weekend cleaning when you could otherwise be sipping your coffee while reading the paper, get the job done throughout the week. Once dinner is over and the kids are down, take the time to clean the bathrooms, vacuum or wash the floors. Alternate a task each night of the week to avoid wasting a whole chunk of time during the weekend. You may have to forego one hour of television, but it will prove to be a wise choice in the end.
Enlist the family
Get the entire family involved in cleaning. Someone can fold the laundry, while the other does the ironing, while the other scrubs the bathrooms and you go out to buy groceries. This way, all major chores are complete in one evening. Plus, you will successfully teach your children how to care for their things and their home, as well as function as part of a family.
Hire a cleaner
If all else fails, hire a cleaner. While generally there is a feeling of guilt associated with paying to have your house cleaned, it soon subsides. When you begin to enjoy the time you used to spend scrubbing the ring around your toilet, you will happily hand over the cash each week. Why? Because you will come to realize that your precious time is worth the wage of the hired help. Often cleaners ask that you leave the house while they clean, thereby forcing you to enjoy some quality time outside the home. Moreover, if you are self-employed, it would be arguable to compare the wage you pay the domestic to your own hourly earnings. If you earn more in an hour than you pay, why not consider it an investment in productivity?
What are your time-saving tricks when it comes to housework?