Death, taxes, and mildly boring housework – the three ubiquitous of modern life. While no one really appreciates doing the chores, there are certainly ways to make it more or less tolerable, and to maximize the hours of the day that you spend doing other things.
Here’s how to do laundry, cleaning and ironing as fast as humanly possible …Work from top to bottom
You are probably cleaning the bathroom after use it, not before, and sometimes household chores require a bit of sequencing. Do not vacuum the floor, for example, and then wipe the surfaces vigorously, as you will probably need to mop the floor again. When in doubt, go for gravity, as dust cannot rise from the floor to your cupboards.
Cleaning logically takes much less time if there is much less to clean. Most homes could benefit from an occasional purge, and it’s remarkable how simpler an empty home can seem.
Do one thing at a time
A lesson in life, not just for cleaning, jumping between different tasks is a sure-fire way to never cross anything off your to-do list. There are people who thrive in multitasking, but they are rare.
Since most of us integrate household chores with other things (more urgent or more enjoyable), strict planning is likely doomed. Expect to do little and often, and prioritize essential chores like laundry, because you never know when life will get in your way.
Upgrade your equipment
Throwing money at a problem doesn’t always make it go away, but if you toss it in the right places it can definitely help. If you’re using a cordless vacuum, make sure it has decent battery life so you don’t have to stop and charge it halfway, while a portable, corner-friendly vacuum can save time with dustpan and brush.
Make sure your washing machine has settings to match the material range in your closet, so you don’t have to spend hours dividing your laundry basket, and a good quality iron can cut down on half the time spent at the board. Time is money, and a few extra expenses could save you hours of housework in the months and years to come.
If something takes less than two minutes, do it
This is a strategy for promoting procrastination in any area of life, not just household chores, because postponing something that takes very little time is just a bad idea. It might take a minute, two minutes, or five minutes – different people have different thresholds – but if that fits your definition of “fast” then delete it and cross it out.
Doing chores in the background
Most household chores don’t take up much brain space, so they can be done in tandem with more enjoyable activities, or reduced to otherwise downtime. Hang up laundry while feeding an audiobook or do the dishes during a TV commercial break.
Enlist your cohabitants
Partners of course, children if they are old enough to be penned – anyone using your household should expect to help care for it. Use classic parenting methods to try and motivate children, with clear to-do lists and low-level rewards or praise for doing well.