Savvy time savers: housework

Make more time for family life, work and other important pleasures by getting daily chores done more quickly.

Getting started
• Assess what’s needed – list what must be done week to week and what can realistically be left to one bigger effort every few weeks.
• Change your housework timetable – focus your housework all on one day or on weekend mornings so it doesn’t creep into the rest of your life.
• Kit your home out – keep cleaning wipes handy in the kitchen and bathroom for a daily wipearound, buy freezer containers so you can cook double what you need for a meal and store half for another time, and invest in a washing machine that takes bigger loads so you need less laundry sessions.

• Make it a team effort – even smaller children can do a basic tidy with one big basket in their bedroom into which all their toys get stashed away at the end of each day.

• Make progress quickly – get the easy wins done in half an hour and you’ll feel more inspired to clean through the rest of your home. See our Headline house clean article.

• Re-organise rooms – take a good look at where mess builds up (eg on side tables etc) then rearrange furniture so these hotspots are easier to tidy in seconds at the end of each day.

• Sort laundry as you go – if you have space, have two or three baskets instead of one, so everyone can put their washing into the right basket as soon as its dirty. Then whoever is doing the laundry can just scoop one basket or bag up at a time – whites, colour wash, delicates etc.
• Give everything a good shake down before hanging to dry – this drastically reduces how much of your laundry needs to be ironed.

• Do your grocery shopping online – it takes very little time to update your order through each week, plus it’s easier to manage your spending this way.
• Simplify the menu – think about what meals take the least time and please the whole family, so you’re not cooking extra dishes. Use Sunday to get ahead – see this article on how to Make a week’s dinners in two hours.

Savvy tip

If you have something you really want to do, leave the dishes. They will get done eventually, but the fun things are too easily forgotten!

Pass it on – be quick, creative and thrifty with your meals
Check out our many articles on time and money saving recipes.