I don’t know about you, but I don’t look forward to doing house chores. For me, they’re a waste of my time, which I could have spent doing something more productive (like watching Netflix).
But living alone, I know I will regret procrastinating doing chores. If I skip washing dishes after dinner or delay putting away my fresh laundry, I will never get to it, and I’ll end up being angry at myself for not doing it in the first place. This is what I think every time I catch myself being tempted to skip all that work.
In the few years that I lived alone, I have developed my time-tested ways to become efficient at doing my chores. Because I don’t particularly enjoy doing it, I try to get it all done as quickly as possible while still passing my standards of what “clean” means.
So with that, I pass on some of my knowledge and wisdom, and I hope you make good use of them in your home. Here are five hacks you can try to make you better and faster at cleaning.
1. Follow a schedule
I don’t regularly follow a schedule in my life. I don’t keep a yearly planner where I chart a week’s or a month’s worth of activity. But when it comes to cleaning my place, I religiously follow the schedule I have created for myself. I start with the dirtiest room, where it requires a lot of energy and finishes with the cleanest room that requires minimal effort for me.
So my cleaning starts with the kitchen/dining first because that’s where I spend most of my time and where it tends to get dirty naturally throughout the day. I have one bathroom in my apartment. And because I’m a tidy ‘bathroom’ person, it doesn’t require too much of a cleaning. Then I go tidy up the bedrooms, maybe changing the sheets on weekends. Then finally straighten up a few pillows and some light dusting around the living room.
2. Make it a fun activity
What I don’t like about doing chores is the boredom I feel. Yes, my body is engaged and moving, but my mind is zoned out, so I always feel like the time I spend cleaning is time wasted. But because of technology, I can use that time to multi-task.
Before, I used to listen to new albums from a favorite band while cleaning. Now, I’ve gotten into the habit of listening to an audiobook. In fact, my annual book-reading average has gone up since I started doing this. Not only am I getting things done at home, but I’m also learning new things as well.
3. Dress for comfort
Chores are going to be an intense activity. You’re going to be down on your hands and feet scrubbing or high up on the chair to change the curtains or get at those cobwebs. So with all this work and moving around, you would want to make use of your full range of motion.
When it’s cleaning day for me, I am usually on my loosest shorts or joggers, my oldest and rattiest shirt, and some gloves. I dress like I’m ready for battle, and it really helps to motivate myself to complete all tasks. Because I can move freely, I can finish tasks faster and far more efficient than when I’m in my regular, everyday clothing.
4. Tools change the game
If you go to any grocery store, you usually encounter a whole aisle dedicated to cleaning. You have your detergents, brushes, sponges, and bottles of glass cleaners and room fresheners. But if you are serious about getting your chores done quickly and efficiently, then you must invest in proper cleaning tools and products. These are specifically designed to remove stains quicker, loosen gunk faster, and ensure that all germs are eradicated in any surface.
A good brush or glass cleaner will also help to make you do things more quickly. All these gadgets and specialized tools will only cost you time and money. Time-tested tools are a far better investment than the latest gimmick common in a lot of infomercials.
5. Invest in a good light
I am not sure if this works for everyone, but I have a somewhat weird schedule. I spend most of my morning asleep and start my day around lunchtime. And so any time I have left for my chores will be done around evening.
I’ve learned over the years that good led light globes make such a massive difference in how I clean my apartment. For one, it’s easier to spot dirty spots on surfaces. Good lighting also helps me asses if the floor needs a lot more attention than normal. Good light also allows me to check if hard-to-reach spots around the house need to be cleaned, like the pantry or my closet.