In recent years, or actually in the past thirty years, which is not all that recent, “housework” has taken on an unpleasant connotation—-kind of a “dirty” one!! There are a number of reasons for this rather negative outlook three of which are time, tools and technique. This post takes a closer look at the first of these three “T’s”: Time.
There never seems to be enough time, particularly with over 70% of women working part or full time outside of the home. I single out women because, let’s face it, we have been the engineers of managing the home since time began. We always have been pretty good at it too. I personally am proud of that fact. But the reality is that most of us aren’t home that much. This is one reality I doubt will go away and maybe depending on your view you may not want it to either, so what to do?
If you are part of that 70%, start to transfer the time management skills you use so well in accomplishing all the outside work commitments to your home. There is an old saying that “time is a treasure” so be sure to treasure every minute by making it count and begin by jotting down all you need or want to do at home. Then time yourself as to how long it takes to do ordinary tasks like making a bed, emptying the dishwasher and cleaning the bathroom sink. On a daily basis each should not take more than 5 minutes. Everything really begins in the mind and once you have it fixed in your mind that these daily tasks don’t need to take that long it’s a motivator to push away that feeling of drudgery. Granted you might need to multiply the bedmaking by two or three, depending on the size of your family, but then if there are other family members at home, start sharing the care!
But what about the more time-consuming chores done on a weekly basis like caring for floors, laundry, and dusting? These are the jobs that can get you down and discouraged particularly when you only use weekends to accomplish them. Here we need to learn to pace ourselves by doing a little bit throughout the week otherwise our days off aren’t days off at all! They simply add to that negative connotation that housework is “dirty”, encroaching on everything else we’d rather be doing on the weekend.
Consider spreading out your housework so that it is less timeconsoming on any given day. For example I don’t vacuum or dust on the same day. I break it up. The clothes can be rotating in the machine while you are busy making dinner. It is the folding and putting away that takes the time so break up doing whites and colors on different days. Set a schedule for all this stuff and see how efficient you suddenly become.
“Time” is the first of the three “T’s” that can impact our perceptions of houswork. In future posts we’ll look at some tips for the other “T’s”: Tools and Techniques for streamlining home management. What are your favorite time-saving household tips? Please share them by posting a comment here.