Life is short. Save precious time and energy with these clever housekeeping tips that will leave you feeling good about your life at home and allow you to spend more time doing what you enjoy most; accomplishing something great at work or hanging out with family and friends.
1. Online Groceries
Want to avoid long checkout lanes? Tired of running down every aisle to find your favorite blend of coffee? Check out your local grocery store’s website; many chains now Clever offer a convenient online shopping option. For a small fee, you can place your order online and it’ll be ready for you to pick-up at a specified time. Home delivery may also be available.
2. Snack Attack
Make a list of favorite foods that you occasionally get cravings for. Then stock up your pantry, fridge or freezer with the ingredients needed to make it. For example, fresh hummus can easily be prepared by mixing chickpeas, tahini paste, lemon, olive oil, garlic and salt. My husband likes to keep refrigerated cookie dough on hand. It feels great knowing a delicious snack is never more than a few steps away.
Sure, there are thousands of kitchen tools out there that only take up space and collect dust. It is important to identify the ones that make sense for you. My favorite kitchen tools are an easy-to-use wine bottle opener, an easy-to-clean garlic press (from IKEA), a microwave dish to make hard-boiled eggs and lots of Tupperware for storing leftovers.
4. Filter Water
Schlepping cases of water bottles or gallon jugs can be a hassle. Instead, I use a water filtering system and keep extra filters on hand. When I’m going somewhere, I use a dishwasher safe tumbler with a lid. It’s an environmentally friendly alternative to plastic bottles and I never run out.
5. Omnipresent Wipes
Let’s face it. Just because you see something dirty doesn’t mean you will clean it. But I bet the chances of cleaning an area would increase if you always had wipes on hand. I keep ready-wipes easily accessible in the bathroom, by the kitchen sink, etc. I know I am much more likely to wipe something up if I don’t have to walk into another room to get a wipe or rag.
6. Refrigerator Routine
At least twice a year, fridge trolls go from house to house leaving out-of-date grocery items in people’s refrigerators or freezers. Then one day you notice condiments that have separated or formed strange clusters, dairy products that have grown hair, or a freezer item so freezer burned that you cannot recognize what it is anymore… It pays off getting into the habit of opening the fridge/freezer before taking out the trash every once in a while and throwing old stuff out.
7. Home Sweet Home
Every item in your home should have a home. Your keys, for example, should have a designated spot, either on a key rack, in a purse or on a shelf by the door. The idea is that you should be able to straighten up your home without thinking – cell phone goes here, mail there, loose coins over there. A home where nothing lays around arbitrarily looks cleaner and is also easier to keep clean.
8. Laundry Symbols
What do those laundry symbols mean? Machine wash cold, dry clean only, tumble dry no heat, do not iron… If you could only tell by quickly glancing at the little tag – now you can. Check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laundry_symbol for a list of laundry symbols and their meaning.
9. Laundry Sorters
Folding the laundry as soon as it comes out of the dryer is obviously the most efficient method, but if you are like me, on some days folding laundry is just not an option. To avoid having to scour a mountain of clean clothes the next day just to find socks, you can quickly sort your laundry by throwing it into laundry baskets and fold it later. Make it a game by turning the baskets into ‘goals’. One goal for underwear, one goal for tops, one for pants…
10. Wrinkle Free
Do you take your nice clothes to the dry cleaner and wash your weekend clothes at home? Consider investing in a few wrinkle-free shirts or tops. They look perfect every time and you can conveniently wash them at home at any time of the day.
11. Internet TV
DVR is great, but internet TV can be a lot more fun. For example, for a few hundred bucks you can buy a Blu-ray player with WiFi that delivers Hulu, Netflix, YouTube and even Facebook right to your TV screen.
12. Small Rewards Are Big Rewards
Enjoy the little pleasures in life – they go a long way. Why not buy a fiction novel, hobby magazine, scented candle, new gadget, a CD or whatever else your guilty pleasure center comes up with? (Just shut off the ‘guilty’ part when you are enjoying yourself – fun is good for you.)
Last, but not least, the best trick I’ve found for keeping up with dishes is buying a cat. I don’t want our cat to accidentally slice his tongue on a knife, and I don’t want him to be licking dishes period because it’s unsanitary. This has become my necessary ‘motivation’ for not leaving dirty dishes out. I’m not recommending you should buy a cat, but maybe forcing yourself to clean house every once in a while is not such a bad idea after all. You could invite your in-laws for dinner…