I don't know about you but some weeks my house is crazy, I see dirt and sticky fingerprints wherever I look. Recently I have been taking the time to try and get on top of the housework so it doesn't feel overwhelming, but also because I am a better person when my house is clean! So I have written down a few ideas that if like me you love a spick and span house might just help.
Understanding where many of us (maybe just me) can go wrong with housework is key to being a pro at housework.
Let’s look at a couple of common mistakes we (I) might be making while doing housework:
“All at once” mindset: (This is me every Sunday, I need a clean house to start the week ahead, so I wake on Sunday morning and all I can think about is that I need to clean everything right now! Drives Tony crazy!)
So often it is natural to think that a good way to schedule your housework would be to dedicate half a day or so to housework on a weekend. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. By the time it’s the weekend, you’ll probably be far too tired and possibly a bit demotivated to get on top of housework. That pile of laundry you’re yet to do? Hoovering the house? Changing the sheets? Argh. Just so much to do! And because we all have so much on our plates, our mind subconsciously feels defeated right from the start. So while it may be natural to structure the housework like this, it can be a recipe for prime procrastination.
“Save it for later” mindset: This sort of goes hand-in-hand with the “All at once” mindset. We often feel that the work we are doing right now is far too important to take a break and do some quick housework. We’ve all been there – you see a small pile of clothes you need to iron and think, “hmm I don’t see a lot of clothes here now. If I iron them today, I’ll have to do some more tomorrow. I should get to it once the clothes are all done.”
Below are some of the changes I have made recently that have been lightening the mental load.
1. Make a List: The number one way to tackle the problem is to understand it first. In order to do this, you must account for your time. Open your phone's Notes app or grab a pen & paper and jot down everything you do during the day and when you do it. For example, if you wake up at 6:30am, freshen up a little, and do a light workout till 7:30am, note that down. This has honestly changed the way my days go because I don't just do this for housework I do it for all other bits of the day, work or time with my girls or even me. I am discovering that if I have a plan things go a little more smoothly! Haven't managed meal plans yet though, this feels a little overwhelming!
2. Integrate: Understand where you're spending more time than necessary or find opportunities for multi-tasking. For example, binge-watching your favourite TV show is an excellent way to end the day for many (100% guilty of this!), but how about doing a bit of laundry while watching the show? That way, you get to be productive while having fun. Maybe analyse your entire schedule to find activities like watching TV shows or movies and doing laundry. This helps you slowly get rid of the “All at once” mindset. If you can convince yourself that you have time during the day for housework, there’s one less reason to procrastinate.
3. Do as you go: This is one of the most important approaches you can adopt to get rid of the “Save it for later” mindset for good. Once you're done with lunch, resist the urge to start working right away. Instead, take five minutes out and do the dishes. And if you’re eating while working (or even watching a movie), consider taking a quick five-minute break after to do the dishes. Not only will you have a clean sink after, but the quick break from whatever you were doing will help you stay fresh and attentive for longer.
4. No zero days: Do something every single day. If you absolutely do not have the time to fit in housework in your schedule during the weekday, try ironing even one shirt. And work upwards from there. If you aren’t in the mood to hoover your whole house, just start with a room. But don’t let procrastination win over.
5. Play music: This small tip will transform how you feel while doing housework. If you want to add a bit of excitement to housework, put some great tunes on. If you have a good set of speakers pump it out nice and loud - or... I like to wear my headphones so I'm in my own space almost (this is amazing for getting in the zone and also drowning out any family drama in the background). I do love to sing & dance whilst cleaning. This might sound a tad odd, but it is very effective!
- 6. Meditate: Srictly speaking, you should only meditate when you aren't doing anything else and can be one with yourself. But as you'll find, sometimes while doing housework you move on autopilot. This is a perfect time to be alone with your thoughts and "meditate". Now, this is best suited for someone who isn't a fan of working while listening to music (or wants a break from it), so don't expect this to work for everyone. However, on days where you just want to be one with yourself, doing housework on 'autopilot' can be a very peaceful experience. I've personally had some very interesting perspectives while doing housework and come up with solutions that my cluttered mind could never come up with. It’s very therapeutic!
Hope this has been helpful! I’ve personally gone from loathing housework to looking forward to it - ok that might be a bit of a stretch but I do look forward to the house afterwards! And you know what they say, "tidy house, tidy mind", which I believe to be 100% true.