This week, I asked my followers on Twitter (@homemakerstrong) what chores are often behind for them. I mentioned that my weaknesses are dishes and laundry. I was surprised that many of my followers have the same weaknesses.
Here is a short suggestion that will change your life! It changed mine.
Let’s start with the kitchen. You are probably in the kitchen multiple times a day. I’m willing to bet that it is a source of stress when the kitchen isn’t “guest ready”. Here is my suggestion. Take one day to get the entire kitchen in perfect order (drawers organized too!) Now it is just a matter of playing keep up. From here, force yourself into routine. Instead of one long clean up in your kitchen, begin to clean as you go. After every meal, clean up, wipe up any messes you made on the counter. When a load of dishes is done in your dishwasher, don’t procrastinate. Empty the clean dishes right away. As you cook later, you can simply re-load the dishwasher, and run it right away before anything becomes a long scrubbing process. This will make clean up at the end of the night much easier. There won’t be a huge pile of dishes on the counter. There wont be dried up messes on the counter or stove because you cleaned them as they happened. It makes clean up at the end of the night much quicker and less intimidating.
Now, let’s talk about that laundry. Laundry gets behind, and the baskets get full, and sometimes there are clothing items on your or your children’s bedroom floor. You just don’t want to face it. Approach it like the kitchen. Take one day to get it done AND PUT AWAY. Do every bit of laundry in your home that needs done. Learn how long it takes for a load to get done in the wash and set a timer so that you can stay on top of it on this day. On that day don’t focus on any other big tasks. That day, your task must be laundry above all else. Maybe even do a slow cooker meal that day –low maintenance.
From here on, I would suggest one load a day, or one every other day. I would suggest instead of large laundry baskets, get a few small ones in which you can pre-sort clothing. See my article on Laundry: The Complete Guide. On average, a load takes an hour to wash, and one hour to dry (in a standard machine.) With a small basket of laundry, it makes the folding less imposing…and the putting away of it will be relatively painless too! If you commit to doing a load every day or every other day (depending on family size, age of children, etc). Keeping up on a small amount is less painful than the mountain of laundry that you did to catch up on day one.
Now, some of you had miscellaneous weaknesses such as dusting or mopping. Hey, it happens! What I would suggest for you is to set aside one day a week, your least busy/stressful day and take the time to get it done. I say to do it on an easy day because if doing that task is something easily ignored, then, you might use that stress to excuse yourself from the task at hand. In other words, you will be setting yourself up for failure. I know, I have done it.
Also, you might lapse. Its okay. We live, we learn. Maybe you keep up on the laundry perfectly for six weeks. Then all of a sudden, one week you make excuses, or maybe you get sick and don’t have the energy. That’s okay. You aren’t perfect. Just start back at your Day One routine and start over.
In the end, it is possible to take the large tasks we hate and turn them into something much smaller. It is possible to schedule the tasks we hate in order to give us the best chance of success.