Multi-task Your Housework

Multi-task Your Housework

Saving time around the house is vital, because ultimately having little or no time to do the things you enjoy, causes stress. This article provides you with effective tips to multi-task your housework and do them in a relaxed and enjoyable manner.
By Stephen Lambeth

Household chores weigh heavy on people, because they can be very time-consuming. Here are some tips that might help you curtail the time spent in cleaning and organizing the house and ultimately reducing stress at home for everyone.

Organize your mail
At the end of a long, tiring day, the last thing you want to see is a stack of unwanted mail. While you are talking on the phone with a friend or family member, organize your bills separating out the junk mail from the need-to-review items. After separating out the junk, while you're still on the phone, shred it. This will save you time when it comes to paying your bills.

Set up a filing system
If you haven't already, take about an hour out of one of your weekends, to create a filing system for your bills and paperwork. A good filing system can last for years. The best file folders to purchase line up equally on the same side of the folder. There are different schools of thought for which side (or whether the center) is more readable. Figure out which style is the best for you. Title your folders in alphabetical order (A to Z) from front to back in a file drawer. If there is mail that you can open and file away and that doesn't need your full attention (such as automatic billing statements or car payment receipts), file that mail while you're talking on the phone.

Set up individual mail bins in the foyer or kitchen for everyone in the family. When you're organizing, you can separate out each person's mail into their bin. This way, they will learn the responsibility of handling their own things.

Pay Your Bills at the Same Time, on Time
Try to pay all of your bills at the same time. Spreading out paying your bills over the course of the month will ultimately take longer. If you realize that your payment due dates are not close to each other, call the companies to reset the billing due dates to be closer across the board. That way, when you sit down to pay your bills, you will find yourself becoming more aware of your finances. Budgeting will become easier, and you will have fewer financial surprises.

Many banks nowadays offer bill management online. While it is important to maintain good record-keeping and book-keeping for your household, paying your bills online all at once will simplify your monthly bills. If you don't conduct payments online, ask if your bank offers the service. If your bank offers online bill management, chances are they will also offer seminars at the bank or online for you to learn how to use the service. You might also find other useful time-management tips.

Kitchen Ideas
During the week when you're strapped for time, try to use as few pots and pans as possible. You will have less to clean after dinner, which is a time-saver. When you're done with a pot, pan, or cutting board, stick it in the dishwasher as you're on the way to set the table.

Keep your knives sharp, and make sure the knife you use can cut up almost everything you need to prepare the meal. Cut all your vegetables at once. Your soup and your salad might need scallions or parsley. Cut all that you need for both dishes at once, reducing the overall time needed for the entire meal and saving cleaning multiple knives.

Cleaning Along the Way
Throughout the week, you will find that clutter begins to accumulate at the most trafficked areas of your home. If you're cooking soup for dinner, use the time it takes to boil the water on the stove to reduce the clutter around the house. After breakfast, take things off the table that belong in the bedroom as you're going to get dressed for work.

When you get home at night, undress close to your hamper. If that doesn't make sense, take your dirty clothes to the hamper right after changing your clothes to relax at night. These simple movements will not allow clothing piles to accumulate on your bedroom furniture or floor.

Before the kids get home, vacuum the pathways they take to the kitchen or to their bedrooms. For instance, if they usually come home, go to the kitchen for a drink of water, then go to their bedroom, vacuum those pathways; when it comes to vacuuming the entire carpet, you won't have to spend as much time on these well-paved paths around the house.

Involve Everyone
Teaching your family members to do the chores with you is important to their future households. Children learn good cleaning and organization habits from their parents. Showing them that cleaning and organizing can be fun and not a drag will help them become responsible teenagers and adults. Make games out of the organization or the cleaning process. Reward them especially when they clean on their own. Encourage children when you see them organizing their room, toys, or school books.

Work with your entire family to prepare their clothes and work or school items the night before you go to bed for the next day. Have everyone put important things for the next day in a place they won't forget them. The worst feeling is realizing that halfway to your destination you don't have everything you need - especially your books, presentation, or finished homework.

Reducing Family Stress
How much stress do you experience during the week? By everyone working together to clean along the way, organizing their separate lives, prepare for upcoming events, and keeping clutter to a minimum, the typical stress in the family will be greatly reduced.
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