Save time on chores

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Chores take up an annoyingly large part of our week – yet they’re completely necessary. So here are some ways you can cut corners, so you spend more time doing things you actually like!

Cunning cleaning

  • Wash everyone’s hair after the kids’ swimming lessons, including yours; it saves time doing it another day.
  • Make wiping down kitchen cupboards and worktops part of your dishwashing routine. Blitzing the kitchen can then be done less often.
  • Jump in the bath with the kids, and wash everyone at once. It’s a lot more fun, too!
  • Clean the bathroom while the kids take a shower. Chat about their day to take your mind off the job.

Remove the junk

  • Take an evening to purge your email. Unsubscribe from out-of-date newsletters and block junk mail. Set up folders for things like: Family, Friends, School, and Pending. Clear your inbox by deleting or filing old emails – and keep it that way!
  • Don’t stack up the post to go through it later. Ditch the junk mail immediately. Decide what to action and what’s for reading. Buy a cheap shredder to blitz discarded post with addresses on.
  • Pay bills by automatic Standing Order where possible, to save the hassle of writing cheques and sorting post.
  • Clip all paperwork for school events, party invites, and medical appointments into the date page of an A4 diary. Write reminders in the diary to pay bills, change bedding, make phone calls. A system for running the home will make you more in control.

Mutual time

  • Sit with the children when they do homework. Use this opportunity to read post and newsletters, and pay bills. It’ll make them aware of parental responsibilities – and you’re still available to help.
  • Instead of constantly receiving inconvenient interruptions, arrange phone calls. Text friends and family to find mutual times to talk, and have a proper catch up.
  • Postpone hanging the washing out till the kids get home. Hang it on the line as they run around in the garden and burn off some energy. They’ll appreciate you being out to watch their handstands, too!
  • Make tomorrow’s sandwiches or prepare veg for dinner at the table when the kids have tea. You’ll get the job done, while having the chance to talk together.

Get organised

  • Get uniforms and work clothes ready every Sunday, to avoid scurrying around every morning. Choose jewellery and shoes so outfits are complete. It’ll reduce your stress levels in the week by loads.
  • Prepare drinks and imperishable foods the night before. Put yoghurts and salads in lunchboxes in the fridge, so there’s minimal stuff to do in the mornings.
  • Stick a note in the kids’ lunchboxes on the days they have something on after school. It’ll remind them to have their kit ready and be quick out of school, so it’s less of a rush at home time.
  • Join a homework club at school or the library to ease the pressure. Run through spellings when they’re dressing in the mornings. If you drive to school, let them read to you on the journey. Learning at the start of the day will be much easier because their minds are fresher.