Author Topic: Tips or Philosophy for Running an Efficient Household - ASKING not giving :)  (Read 2561 times)

ReP

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Hi all,
After scouring the forum, running numbers and of course thinking for ourselves, my partner and I recently decided that one of us would stay home. The thing is, now that I am home, I feel like I'm getting nothing done. I try to have a bit of a zen/Buddhist perspective about some necessary hamster wheel aspects of it, but other times I feel like I'm spending time managing STUFF and WASTE and generally not using time efficiently (which is funny bc I was very efficient at my old job).

I'm not being particularly specific bc I'm interested in any and all thoughts about this, from very detailed advice to general philosophical advice, i.e. "the less shit you have the less time you have to spent taking care of it" :)

Just one small example - one thing I realized is that I was doing laundry kind of "on demand" like whenever I saw that a hamper was full and had a moment to throw something in. Some people might like the "do it when you see it" approach but for me, that is the sort of thing that leads me to feel like I'm CONSTANTLY doing laundry. So I'm going to try assigning a specific day. Even though we're trying to get rid of (and not replace) a lot of unnecessary clothing and linens I have a feeling we'll survive a whole week without our clothes being constantly refreshed (that was sarcastic).

Anyways, thanks in advance. I always come back to this community as a place for critical thinkers to muse about living life efficiently and more meaningfully.


pegleglolita

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Have you been to Unfuck your Habitat?  https://www.unfuckyourhabitat.com/ 

There's an app too.  Lots of good advice, and schedules too if you're into that kind of thing.

Lists are great because they let you structure your day and also remember what you did at the end of it!

ReP

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Have you been to Unfuck your Habitat?  https://www.unfuckyourhabitat.com/ 

No I haven't, thanks! It looks great! Kind of like the cleaning version of Eat Like You Give a Fuck, LOL.

Chrissy

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I spend 5 months off work every Spring/Summer.  Then, the household becomes my job.  What works for me is keeping the toddler in care and keeping a schedule.  Each chore is scheduled in a 4-hr chunk, and can be moved around things like doctor's appointments, etc.  From last year:  Monday, shopping & cooking; Tuesday, cleaning; Wednesday, free day, kept my toddler in the morning so we could attend a class and then I went to Pilates after I dropped her off at care; Thursday, laundry; Friday, free day with Pilates and social engagements that could be had during the day.  Friday night and weekends were relaxed, family time.

I also did all the drop-offs and pick-ups of my toddler from care during that time.  So, for instance, Monday, which was the busiest, was out the door 8a-ish, drop her off at 8:30, grocery shop at 9:00, cook 10a-1p, lunch, gym, shower, 3-5p free time, 5p pop dinner from freezer to oven, pick up toddler, 6p family dinner, 7p start toddler bedtime routine, 8p toddler in bed, 8-10ish time with the husband or doing our own thing.  (We're up at 5:30a because of aforementioned toddler.)

sailor-bob

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maybe silly, maybe obvious advice: go back to your old job part-time to give your time some structure and also occasion to socialize with co-workers and all those other nice things of being part of a team and doing work you are really quite good at. Maybe working less time, even motivates you to be still more effective at work and come home really motivated to get things done as swiftly as well.

if this defeats the original purpose of your decision to stay at home, of course, I un-write it.

Wintergreen78

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One thing that worked for me was making sure I had a specific place for everything that was easy to remember. My place gets messy when I leave things laying around and I am really good at stacking things someplace ďjust for right now until I decide where they need to goĒ. Then the stacks stay there for months.

Iíve gotten pretty ruthless about designating a specific shelf or a specific closet for each thing, which has helped me actually put them away.

Now that I have said that, I am looking around my kitchen at the stuff sitting out on the counter for no reason...


Also: Iím a fan of little cloth buckets to toss odds and ends into. I have one for all my charging cables/batteries/little electronics that really helped tame that mess.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2018, 01:32:44 PM by Wintergreen78 »

Songbird

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I have twenty-seven years worth of experience of running a household of six (now down to household of four).

A couple of things help, these are my steadfast rules that assist in taming the everyday chaos:

1. Don't put it down, put it away.  (Which leads to rule 2...)

2. EVERYTHING has a place.  Invest in storage totes and containers of all sizes.  It is worth it a million times over.  Label everything!  (PTouch label maker is great!)

3. Kitchen is spotless before bed every.single.night. Dishes are never allowed to be left on the sink/counter/etc.  They are immediately to be loaded into the dishwasher. No exceptions.

4. As soon as dishwasher is full, ANYONE/EVERYONE in the household is responsible for starting it.  (It's not like it is hard).

5.  As soon as dishwasher has run through it's cycle we unload it.  This first entails opening it up and pulling the racks out and turning over all glasses, storage containers, etc. to drain any residual drops of water and then letting them air dry. Usually within twenty minutes or so it's good to go (I do another chore while I wait).   Unloading takes about 2-3 minutes and then we are back in business. This eliminates the buildup of any mess in the kitchen.  In theory, the dishwasher should always have empty space in it except for the short amount of time when it is running and being emptied.  This one thing was a game changer.

6.  Clean as you go when cooking. (Larger pots etc. are handwashed immediately if they can't go in the dishwasher).   We cooked almost every meal from scratch and also did a lot of canning and freezing of our garden produce.  Keeping up on the dishes each time helped the kitchen from getting out of control.

7. Kids are responsible for various chores..they are mostly all grown up now but when younger we would assign a chore to each and they had it for a year.  The year assignments eliminated the "but it was Tommy's turn to do that this week!"  eventualities.  We tried to be fair when switching chores each year.

8. No shoes left by front door.  Come in, take them off, carry them to your room and place on rug in your room. No exceptions.  If they left them by the front door consistently then I took them hostage and they had to do a chore to get them back.  (Yes, I am mean).  :)   Same goes for leaving your stuff all around the house.  I hate tripping over personal belongings in public rooms.   

9. Food in dining room only except for special occasions.

10. Bathrooms get wiped down every day (only takes a few minutes).  Deep clean once a week.

11.  We had what I called "Plus Ones".  What those were was that in addition to their assigned chores they each had to pick a "plus one" every day, typically about a ten minute or so chore.  I didn't care what it was....it could be washing a window, mopping a floor, etc.  Usually things that fell outside the realm of everyday chores. All those plus ones put together really made an impact on a fairly neat home. 

12. Declutter, declutter, declutter.  I keep a running "donations" box going at all times.  If something new came into the house, something else had to leave.

13. Leftovers shelf in refrigerator.  (We had a second refrigerator in the basement).  All leftovers were to be labeled and dated and put on that specific shelf.  Older on the left, newer on the right side of the shelf.  They were to be eaten in order of left to right if possible.  This eliminated things getting lost in the frig/not getting eaten in time.  It also helped me know when I needed to slow down on making new food if there was a glut of leftovers (they never lasted long). :)
This was another game changer for us.  Too many people coming and going with different schedules meant that I could still cook meals and then there was homemade food available whenever they walked through the door.

************************

Our house wasn't perfectly clean all the time but this system worked fairly well.  I love things immaculate but let's face it, with 6 of us in and out it was going to get messy fast.  Obviously these mostly apply to having older children, but it is surprising how much assistance even little kids can lend when they are properly trained.  I love a well run household and pretty much can't stand housework so this system kept it manageable for me.

Hope this helps!   :)
« Last Edit: January 21, 2018, 02:30:17 PM by Songbird »

seemsright

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In the last 7 years I have gotten rid of about 70% of our crap. And I am always trying to find small things to get rid of.

I try to clean the kitchen through out the day. Hubby takes care of it after dinner.

I try to cook whole 30ish food. Batch cooking is a life saver.

Cleaning there is only 3 of us. We do about an hour or so of cleaning every weekend as a family, change sheets, wipe down bathrooms, sweep mop that type of thing.

I try to clean as I go during the week. But really it is do a load of laundry about every other day, dishes and sweep anything the 7 year old tracks in.

It is not that hard really. The secret is to get rid of the crap.

MaybeBabyMustache

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A lot of what Songbird says. A schedule, a list, shared chores between myself, DH & the kids. We all work full time, but I also know when I'm most productive & get the most out of myself (so to speak) from 8-4 pm. By 4 pm on weekends, I'm ready to chill.

soccerluvof4

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I have twenty-seven years worth of experience of running a household of six (now down to household of four).

A couple of things help, these are my steadfast rules that assist in taming the everyday chaos:

1. Don't put it down, put it away.  (Which leads to rule 2...)

2. EVERYTHING has a place.  Invest in storage totes and containers of all sizes.  It is worth it a million times over.  Label everything!  (PTouch label maker is great!)

3. Kitchen is spotless before bed every.single.night. Dishes are never allowed to be left on the sink/counter/etc.  They are immediately to be loaded into the dishwasher. No exceptions.

4. As soon as dishwasher is full, ANYONE/EVERYONE in the household is responsible for starting it.  (It's not like it is hard).

5.  As soon as dishwasher has run through it's cycle we unload it.  This first entails opening it up and pulling the racks out and turning over all glasses, storage containers, etc. to drain any residual drops of water and then letting them air dry. Usually within twenty minutes or so it's good to go (I do another chore while I wait).   Unloading takes about 2-3 minutes and then we are back in business. This eliminates the buildup of any mess in the kitchen.  In theory, the dishwasher should always have empty space in it except for the short amount of time when it is running and being emptied.  This one thing was a game changer.

6.  Clean as you go when cooking. (Larger pots etc. are handwashed immediately if they can't go in the dishwasher).   We cooked almost every meal from scratch and also did a lot of canning and freezing of our garden produce.  Keeping up on the dishes each time helped the kitchen from getting out of control.

7. Kids are responsible for various chores..they are mostly all grown up now but when younger we would assign a chore to each and they had it for a year.  The year assignments eliminated the "but it was Tommy's turn to do that this week!"  eventualities.  We tried to be fair when switching chores each year.

8. No shoes left by front door.  Come in, take them off, carry them to your room and place on rug in your room. No exceptions.  If they left them by the front door consistently then I took them hostage and they had to do a chore to get them back.  (Yes, I am mean).  :)   Same goes for leaving your stuff all around the house.  I hate tripping over personal belongings in public rooms.   

9. Food in dining room only except for special occasions.

10. Bathrooms get wiped down every day (only takes a few minutes).  Deep clean once a week.

11.  We had what I called "Plus Ones".  What those were was that in addition to their assigned chores they each had to pick a "plus one" every day, typically about a ten minute or so chore.  I didn't care what it was....it could be washing a window, mopping a floor, etc.  Usually things that fell outside the realm of everyday chores. All those plus ones put together really made an impact on a fairly neat home. 

12. Declutter, declutter, declutter.  I keep a running "donations" box going at all times.  If something new came into the house, something else had to leave.

13. Leftovers shelf in refrigerator.  (We had a second refrigerator in the basement).  All leftovers were to be labeled and dated and put on that specific shelf.  Older on the left, newer on the right side of the shelf.  They were to be eaten in order of left to right if possible.  This eliminated things getting lost in the frig/not getting eaten in time.  It also helped me know when I needed to slow down on making new food if there was a glut of leftovers (they never lasted long). :)
This was another game changer for us.  Too many people coming and going with different schedules meant that I could still cook meals and then there was homemade food available whenever they walked through the door.

************************

Our house wasn't perfectly clean all the time but this system worked fairly well.  I love things immaculate but let's face it, with 6 of us in and out it was going to get messy fast.  Obviously these mostly apply to having older children, but it is surprising how much assistance even little kids can lend when they are properly trained.  I love a well run household and pretty much can't stand housework so this system kept it manageable for me.

Hope this helps!   :)



Oh i so could of used this list years ago! :-)  I hate mess and clutter so most of the time its get out of my way so I can just get it done but it gets exhausting! Another rule is when in the kitchen cooking stay out!