Housework 101

in , , , by sarahmfry, February 15, 2019

I'm certainly no cleaning guru...but here is a list of my currrent thoughts about housework.

1.  Create a very short, simple morning routine that includes at least a few minutes of 2 of the tasks that you usually put off.

2.  Figure out what your basic chores are.  What are the things that, if done, make your house run better.  (Ideas:  make bed, do dishes, do one load of laundry, do a 10-minute house straighten, sweep kitchen, etc...)  Choose the top 2 and do them in your morning routine.

3.  If you can't get your laundry out of the dryer before it cools, wet a clean towel or a t-shirt and put it back in with only the items that you would need to iron.  (Stay close to the dryer and pin socks or check instagram or fold something so you won't forget.  Or set a timer on your watch or phone.)  Take the hot clothes out one at a time, touch up a few spots if needed, and hang immediately.  This can save hours of ironing.

4.  Large family laundry:  Get a laundry basket for each member of the household, plus a couple more.  Label them with each person's name.    I use tall skinny ones from walmart.  When you take clothes out of the dryer, sort them quickly into each laundry basket.  Separate out the hang-up items and hang them right away.  Kids and husbands are responsible to empty their laundry baskets or go digging in their basket when they need something.

5.  Get rid of lots of clothes.

6.   Only keep the clothes you and your kids wear.

7.  Every few months, have your kids (ages 7 and up or so) go in their rooms  and get rid of 5-10 things they don't wear or don't like.  School uniforms don't count.

8. Sort through your own closet and take out the things you dread wearing or are keeping out of guilt.  Keep the stuff you always wear.  Things you cant part with but don't wear:  turn the hangars backwards and push to the back or side of the closet..  In 6 months you can safely get rid of the hangars that are still backwards.

9.  PUt a laundry basket in every bedroom.  Have a particular day when everyone brings you their laundry if that works for you.  I do laundry every day, and the laundry room is by the bedrooms, so I just grab their baskets when I am ready for a new load or hollar and have everyone bring them to me.

10.  Swiffers are cool.  If I wait to use a bucket and mop every time, I wait longer to mop.  Swiffer spray mops can keep things touched up in between bucket mops.  Plus, kids love using swiffers.

11.  Let your kids wash windows and mirrors even if they aren't perfect.

12.  Have one kid swish and swipe the bathroom every day as their daily chore (see for swish & swipe).

13.  On here, around weekends, we have what I lovingly call "hour of power."  The kids and I all work together cleaning for an hour.  I have made a list of our regular cleaning tasks.  The older kids (9, 12, 14, 16) choose what they want off the list and mark them off a they go.  They much prefer working independently in the rooms they choose to being barked at by me.  I like it, too!  The younger ones (3 & 5) still need me to give them a specific task.  They do things like carry lost items up the stairs, vacuum, wash windows, or wash the wood stairs with a wet rag.  The little ones especially enjoy doing things that require a spray bottle. The kids have done this list so many times, they can even do it when I am not there.  I try to print out some extra sheets so that they can grab one when they need to get started without me.  If daddy happens to join the hour of power, it is exponentially more effective!

14.  Watch videos while you fold laundry.
Some favorites:  Planet Earth, Life, I Love Lucy, Andy Griffith

15.  listen to podcasts and audiobooks and audio Bible while you work around the house.  (You can get a decent set of bluetooth headphoes on amazon for around $20.)
My favorite podcast app:  google apps.
Some favorite podcasts:  The Place We Find Ourselves, Read Aloud Revival, Ordinary People, Ordinary Things, Ted Talks, Wild and Free, Focus on the Family, Poem of the Day, All Things Considered
My favorite audiobook sources:  audible, hoopla (connected through library card)
Some favorite audiobooks:  The Hobbit,


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