One of the most common complaints I hear is that there isn’t enough time in the day to get everything done. The piles mount up, and no-one helps.
But there has to be a different way to approach things…
We can’t do it all, no matter how much we wish we could, so how can you get around the fact that it still needs doing?
Who will do it if you don’t?
How can you really stop doing chores?…
Well – let me introduce you to a new acronym that may just help – and I D.A.R.E you to give it a try next time you are finding things hard.
D.A.R.E stands for: –
and they are all techniques you can use to minimise what you need to do around the house as much as possible.
So – shall we go through each one in turn and see what they’re about?….
Whether it be to your kids, your partner, someone else you know, or even to a professional if you have the cash – you don’t have to take everything on yourself.
- Delegate to the kids – think of it as teaching them to look after themselves and learn responsibility – a fantastic skill for later life
- Delegate to your partner – you are a partnership, so try and equal out the amount each of you does each week. Take into account work as well as chores in this equation as it’s fair enough to split chores less equally if one of you works more.
- Delegate to friends / family – what about looking at ways you can delegate to others that you know? You could share lifts to and from school to gain more time in your day, or if you love the gardening you could do that for them while they do your ironing, for example.
- Delegate to a professional – the best way to make this work for you is to pick the tasks that you really don’t like doing yourself (for me, it’s ironing!). If you like other tasks then they will be easier for you to do. Also you could look at tasks that you find hard or couldn’t do (outside windows on the first floor would be something that I wouldn’t get to, ever! – so a window cleaner is a sensible option for me). If you haven’t got a lot of disposable income, then decide if you could spend less on something else to make the books balance at the end of the month. You may also want to work out the minimum help you need and spend less than usual (i.e. a cleaner may charge by the hour, so if you hire them to clean the house every week this mounts up – you could either get them to clean just the bathrooms each week, or get them in once a month – both will help AND save money as well).
I am all for making things as easy as possible – and automating as much as you can makes perfect sense because it saves you time, energy AND hassle!
Of course – some of our now common household items were created to automate tasks – such as the washing machine and dishwasher – but what else could be automated? : –
- Paying bills – set up direct debits
- Cooking – Use a slow cooker to do the work of cooking while you’re doing other things!
- Technology – Stop spending time transferring photos from your phone to your computer – create a system where it downloads to dropbox immediately
- TV – record series that you want to watch on TV – you don’t have to think about being there to watch at a specific time
- Work email – you can set a holiday message to go out automatically when you are away
- Food shopping – setup a food shop and get it delivered weekly to your door – have the basics that you will need and you can then add to it if things change – but the hard works been done!
- Vacuuming – use an automatic vacuum** to do the job without you!
The first two parts of D.A.R.E (delegate and automate) concentrated on making jobs that need to be done much easier, and the last two (Reduce and eliminate) focus on whether tasks need doing at all…
Reducing a task is simply looking at how often you do it, and whether that could be lessened at all.
If you start to really see whether you are doing things out of habit or whether they REALLY need to be done, you will start to see ways to reduce what you do.
Things like polishing, hoovering, cleaning hard floors etc… can usually be lessened a little – even taking away just once a month that you do it will give you back lots of time pretty quickly…
What can you reduce right now that will save you doing too much?
It goes without saying that you can reduce what you do by taking it away altogether!
You can look at this in a variety of ways: –
- Decluttering eliminates the need to clean and maintain as much stuff – so decluttering can be your elimination
- Saying no can eliminate things because you may be doing too much with your time that’s unnecessary
- Stop doing chore that actually don’t need doing at all (for example – you could eliminate the need to cook one night by batch cooking and using the freezer to store great food for when you need it)
What can you actually completely get rid of?
I just wanted to show you that there are plenty of ways to look at what you do at home with a different perspective – so that you can stop doing chores at least partly.
You don’t want to do things out of habit, or because you’ve always done them so everyone expects that of you. Things change, life changes, and you can change along with them so that you have time to do what you want as well (or just time to breath!).
So – next time you are busy and can’t do it all – I D.A.R.E you to give some of these suggestions a try – it may make all the difference in the world!
P.S. If you want to create your own cleaning schedule so that you really do take control of what you have to do – and what you can delegate, automate, eliminate and reduce – take a look at this post that takes you through the whole process step by step…