If it often feels as though you spend the majority of your life washing clothes, cooking meals, and running around cleaning up after the kids, you’re not alone. The average Brit spends 2175 days of their lifetime doing household chores, according to a survey from Ideal Home — that’s over five years spent doing tiring (and often tedious) housework.
But it doesn’t have to be like this…
Here, we’ve pulled together a few simple ways to get your chores finished faster, so you’ll have more time to spend with the special little ones in your life instead.
Read on to learn our four top tips for streamlining household chores.
1. Simplify dinner time with meal prepping tricks
In an ideal world, our kids would eat fresh, home-made food every night. But, when we’re too busy to make dinner from scratch, it’s all too easy to reach for processed ready meals — or worse, a takeaway menu.
If you want to serve up healthy options but find that making them from scratch takes up too much time, you can get a head start by prepping healthy options in bulk and freezing them. These salmon fish fingers from Jamie Oliver will make a great midweek meal — simply prep a few portions in advance and freeze them ahead of time. So, next time the kids are pestering you for their tea and the fridge is looking bare, you’ll still have some quick home-made goodies as a back up in the fridge.
2. Let someone else take care of the laundry
According to Ideal Home, laundry is the second most time-consuming chore after cooking, with the average person spending 102 minutes sorting, washing, hanging and folding clothing each week. That’s 173 days spent doing laundry over the course of your lifetime.
If you’d prefer to spend all that valuable time enjoying quality time with your kids (or just sleeping) then there are online services that will take care of the laundry for you. Laundry delivery service app Laundrapp will collect your dirty clothes and return them to you clean, dry, and neatly folded, so it’s perfect if your washing machine is already working overtime to wash baby clothes and you need some clean shirts for work.
3. Wash toys in the dishwasher
Kids’ toys can be magnets for dirt, grime and bacteria. And, as any parent knows, children and toddlers will often chew on their toys, meaning that they could be exposed to all sorts of harmful germs every time they play. While grimy cuddly toys can usually be popped in the washing machine, plastic toys can be trickier to wash — and scrubbing them by hand can be seriously time-consuming.
So, next time a favourite doll or toy truck has an adventure in a puddle, try putting it on the top rack of the dishwasher. This will not only get plastic toys looking and smelling fresh, but it will also help to kill off any lingering germs. As long as you don’t use a setting which is too hot, your child’s toys should come out looking as good as new. This method also works well on bath toys, which can become grotty with mould if left unwashed.
4. Stop things getting dirty in the first place
Prevention is always better than a cure, so looking for ways to stop things getting dirty will mean less time spent cleaning in the long run. Lining the bottom of your bin with a few layers of old newspaper will prevent food debris and liquids from sticking to the bottom of your bin: then, when it gets dirty, all you need to do is replace it with some fresh sheets.
Cleaning the oven can be one of the most time-consuming and mucky tasks, so take action before it gets grubby, rather than afterwards. A non-stick oven liner will catch any spills and crumbs, meaning they won’t get burnt on to the surface of your oven. This way, when they get dirty, all you need to do is remove them and give them a quick wipe down. These thick non-stick oven liners from Dunelm can be cut to size, so they’re suitable for every oven.
With a bit of clever planning, keeping on top of your household to-do list can be easy. Just incorporate these handy hacks into your cleaning routine and you’ll soon have more free time to spend with the people who matter most.