Chores are things that we all know we have to do, we run through the motions each day but don’t enjoy or even speak about. Being a busy, working mom, I often find myself prioritising other things above the tidiness of my house. Let’s face it, there just aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything! Yes you got me, cleaning isn’t my favourite thing to do, and that’s okay. I do, however, love being in a clean and tidy space – and yes, there is a difference between the two. What I also know to be true is that I am not the only one who feels this way. The mere fact that there are so many videos on YouTube with tens of thousands of views titled “cleaning motivation” or “clean with me” tells me one important thing; other moms are struggling too!
With that in mind, I have picked a few things that help me stay sane, keep the roaches away and ensure that there are no unidentifiable pieces of food laying around for my toddler to pop in her mouth. Let’s jump right into it!
Load the dishwasher at night, unload in the morning
Strangely enough, I don’t always have any issues with washing dishes by hand, I actually find it rather therapeutic! It just so happens that not every day is the kind of day that I have the extra fifteen to twenty minutes to spare for the suds and sponge. Ok, let’s just say I never have the time for it even. It doesn’t matter that I fit in time for series, blogging, and anything else that isn’t related to chores. That’s not the point at all. In the words of my friend who decided to buy two dishwashers for her kitchen – “it isn’t an efficient use of my time!”
A simple process that we have adopted in my house is that you use it, you shove it in the dishwasher. That way, at the end of the day you just turn it on! Simple and easy right? Clearing the dishes away immediately means that you spend less time scraping, rinsing and loading your dishwasher.
Limit the time you spend on chores by tidying up before bed
if you can spare about 10 minutes to just throw some things in place before you call it a night, it will definitely make your next day start off better. I’m not sure what it is about walking into a clean/organised room that works wonders on stress levels. Whatever it is, that’s why they recommend that you at least make your bed first thing in the morning. Imagine walking into your living room and realising that the only thing you need to do is just sit down and put your feet up? Well, that’s assuming you’re going to be home the next day.
Marinate the food when you buy it
I’m not sure if this is applicable to everyone, but having grown up in a Portuguese household, it would be an insult to serve unseasoned food. We generally season our food the day before cooking it, or at the very least first thing in the morning. Seasoning all meat and poultry immediately and letting it sit in the fridge overnight before freezing is my favourite hack. It makes meal prepping quite simple and less time consuming. All you need to do to is defrost it and cook it when you’re ready to feed your belly!
Designate play and eating zones
Growing up with my dad, I always hated the ‘off limits’ zones of the house. It made home feel like a hotel, so I vowed to never implement that rule when I got my own family. That mindset fast changed after I have found a smoothie stain on the carpet in our rental apartment, dried fruits under our couch (which were most likely fresh when they made them there) and crumbs in the bed. I still believe that a house with too many restrictions isn’t really a home, but a house where mama is mad is way worse! Establishing where the kids can throw their toys all around without any repercussions is really important. Also, establishing eating zones makes the cleaning so much easier when it needs to be done.
Use and return
This is probably the easiest one to implement but one that most people struggle with – myself included. How does this work? You literally use something and then – you guessed it – put it right back! Can you imagine how easy it would be to clean up if everything was already in its rightful place? When you have younger kids, it does become a bit more challenging. However, if you have already established play zones and are teaching them how to pack away their toys, your life will become so much easier!
As busy mom’s, sometimes we just have to admit that we can’t do everything on our own and get help where needed. For me, that means getting someone to come in and do a deep clean once or twice a week. That way I can focus on just tidying up the rest of the days.
Remember the difference I mentioned? Tidying up is just putting things in their place but cleaning is actually scrubbing. Cleaning doesn’t have to be done every day so hiring someone a few times a week is enough. It’s a great way to restore those stolen hours from your day and allow you to bond with your family. I know that many people do not condone hiring help to clean, but the way I see it, it is creating jobs for individuals and companies. Why not help the community grow and allow myself some extra time with my family?
There are more things you can do to make chores less taxing, but these simple tricks did it for me.
If there’s something I missed, do spill the tea! What are some of the tricks you use to make sure you stay on top of your chores?