How to get more organised with House Work
I recently had an email from a lady who has just returned to work after maternity leave who is struggling with managing running the house – and everything else which goes with that, along with looking after baby. So here are the tips I emailed her which I hope will help her and you to get organised with the housework.
House work Tip 1: Be business like
Running a home is like running a small organisation or business. Adopting business like routines, and working out efficiency savings, prioritising and managing your time wisely are all part of getting organised with the housework. Not to mention wearing the right clothes.
House work Tip 2: Do a time audit.
By that I mean work out how you spend your time, as accurately as you can over a week. Quite often people are unaware of how they spend their time and where they waste valuable time.
Doing a time audit is a good way to make a start on evaluating your situation. The way I would suggest you do this is by taking a notebook and noting what time you get up in the morning, how long it takes you to get dressed, sort out baby. How long does it take you to commute to work? The hand over to nanny child-minder or nursery.
At the end of your working day, again how long your commute takes, and exactly what you do in the evening and how much time it takes. Include time on the phone, Facebook, cooking, eating, and watching TV.
House work Tip 3: Include your time wasters
Include absolutely everything you do each day. Some of this may stuff you do every day and it is easy to estimate the time you spend. But to make your timings accurate, it is important to remember to add in the interruptions, the delays, and other stuff, that you may perceive as just a few minutes here and there. It is often these small amounts of time which tells you how you could be spending your time more efficiently as often these interruptions may add up to twenty minutes here and there which over a week equates to a couple of hours.
House work Tip 4: Evaluate how you use your time
Once you have recorded how your time is spent over a week you can then evaluate whether there are any slots of time that you are not using wisely. Things that you do not need to do, or do so often, do at a different time, or are just unnecessary.
House work Tip 5: Write a list of your chores
Now make a realistic list of daily chores, weekly chores and monthly chores. Either the chores that you try to do, or that you used to do pre baby. Ask yourself whether these chores need to be done as often as you currently do them. What are the pressure points in your evenings or mornings? For example your time audit may show you that you spend 2 hours in the evening cooking, eating and clearing up after dinner. Can your suppers become simpler, can you eat at lunchtime, or maybe your partner makes supper.
House work Tip 6: Recognise and make changes
The likelihood is you will need to make changes to your current routines to free up time. Once you have sorted out some realistic time slots morning or evening, I would then suggest you write a simple timetable of chores that you plan to carry out each morning or evening Set an amount of time you are going to spend doing these chores and stick to it. For example if you set yourself an hour – do those chores for one hour and one hour only. Baby may interrupt you – but interruptions from going on-line, speaking on the phone etc should be banned.
House work Tip 7: Keep Energised
Don’t do the housework on an empty stomach and make sure you have a bottle of water to hand to keep yourself hydrated. If you are feeling you are losing concentration and focus – lets face it housework can be boring. Visualise the house the way you want it to look and maybe invest in a little bit of aromatherapy keep you energised and focused
House work Tip 8: The house is there to serve you
The one thing I would like to emphasise is something someone said to me when my children were tiny and I was floundering under housework stuff. The house is there to serve you, not you to serve the house. Your baby will not be a baby for long, (although it may not seem quite that way now). Try to make time to enjoy your baby everyday, with a game and a cuddle even if it just for a few minutes. Schedule this in as a priority.
Remember getting organised and business like with the housework will make sure that you are running the house and the housework is not running you.