Tips for the busy homemaker

There are days when it seems like we’ve worked ourselves to the point of exhaustion and yet so many things remain undone: the laundry is unfinished, there are still dirty dishes in the sink, the workout is skipped (again), the bathrooms are in need of cleaning, and so on.

On those days we can’t help but wonder how other homemakers do it, on top of keeping a job and taking care of children. Other people’s homes are always cleaner, tidier, and more Instagram-worthy. 

If you’re in this situation, here are a couple of tips to try:

Revisit the 15-minute rule. The 15-minute rule is an exercise in focus. How many times have you found yourself doing something and stopping midway because you remember you hadn’t done something else? Distractions abound and if you are not careful, you will get very little done at the end of your day.

So, how does it work? Divide your tasks into 15-minute segments and make sure you do each task until you finish it. For instance, resolve to finish washing the dishes in 15 minutes and do that alone until the alarm bell rings. Allow yourself to get distracted only if there is an emergency.

You can use this rule when relaxing or spending time with your children. This way, you are able to give your full attention to whatever it is you’re doing, whether it’s reading a book, having tea, reading to your child, or helping your toddler with schoolwork.

Find hidden opportunities to squeeze new tasks in. While focus is the first lesson, no one said you can’t insert additional tasks when there is a chance for you to do so. For example, while you’re waiting for the water to boil, you can wash a few plates or peel the veggies; or listen to an audiobook while you’re on the treadmill; and so on.

If you don’t have a full hour to spend cleaning, but you have shorter periods of free time, you can divide the space into sections and tackle each smaller section during the available time. For example, clean surfaces on Monday, vacuum on Tuesday, change sheets and covers on Wednesday, and so on.

Don’t burn yourself out. It’s very important to make sure you don’t overschedule yourself. Leave time in between tasks to breathe and recharge, no matter how busy you are. Otherwise, you’ll feel the stress and everything will seem counterproductive.