How To Keep On Top Of Housework When You Have Zero Time!

So, you think you’ve got no time for housework? You’re struggling to find time for housework on top of everything else you have to do during your busy week. You think you’re too busy to fold the washing which has been staring at you all afternoon. You’ve lost your mojo because you feel household chores take too long. You don’t know how to fit in housework, well, think again, because I’ve made it super easy for you. I’ve timed all the everyday jobs that we like to procrastinate over and I’m here to tell you they don’t take that long! You’re going to be amazed at how little time each of these jobs takes! In this post, I’ll show, you how to keep on top of housework no matter how busy your life is!

How to keep on top of housework

Very tidy white  minimalist kitchen , how to keep on top of housework.

Knowing how to keep on top of housework, run a household and work full time can be a struggle, daily jobs can easily get neglected, and things can soon become a mess.

Trying to follow a housework schedule and keep a clean house when you have small kids at home can seem impossible, as you battle lack of time and sheer exhaustion can make you feel that you can’t keep up with housework as much as you’d like to. Following a cleaning routine is all well and good, but how do you know what jobs to do first when you’ve got a few minutes to spare?

Well, guess what?

I’ve timed all the most essential jobs, for you to pick from when you’ve got a few seconds spare so you can get cleaning! All these jobs are great for when you want a quick straighten up without having to go for a full blown cleaning session, and they are all high impact tasks which will keep your house clean and tidy.

I have listed the chores from the quickest to the most time consuming, so you can pick a job that perfectly fits the time you’ve got spare!

This list of timed chores is a great motivational tool to show you how to keep on top of housework quickly, easily and without getting bogged down.

You can choose one thing at a time to clean knowing exactly how long it’s going to take you.

If you feel you can’t keep up with housework and you’re looking for a good housework routine to follow, start here.

What you’re doing wrong

Most people devote a full afternoon or day to doing the weekly chores; this can be disastrous to someone who has very little time to spare. When you are short of time, try doing some super quick jobs regularly, as this is much more effective than trying to schedule substantial chunks of time devoted solely to cleaning. Often plans can change and before you know it you’ve lost the whole day.

Forget trying to schedule big pieces of time and concentrate on getting the small jobs done more often and see how it works for you. Keep the weekends for having fun!

How to stay on top of chores.

  1. Prioritise

    If you’re prone to procrastinating check the list for a job you can do quickly, try to pick one which will make the biggest impact on your list of chores. So, for instance, if you’re drowning in laundry try to nail that job first! This housework to do list is housework made easy!

  2. Choose time appropriate chores

    If you have a super busy schedule, can’t keep on top of housework and have very little time for the household chores, choose the jobs which only take a few seconds, such as cleaning the bathroom mirror, do it next time you visit the loo or during the adverts when you’re watching tv. There are many jobs that take under a minute to complete.

  3. Make it fun

    You might decide to see how many jobs you can get done during the adverts on TV, or while you’re waiting for the pasta to cook.

  4. Delegate!

    Print off the free checklist and pin it up somewhere, it’s a great way to get the kids to help out with the chores as they can see exactly how long each one will take!

If your child can use an iPad, they can learn how to use a washing machine!

If you’re looking for a housework to do list or a simple daily house cleaning schedule, check out my ultimate housekeeping checklist here!

How I timed these jobs. 

I used the stopwatch on my apple watch and timed myself doing each job. I compleated each task at my usual pace and didn’t rush anything. To make it fair I timed some of the chores at my home and other chores I timed at clients homes, this enabled me to get an average time for each job in different sized houses. Some of my clients have huge homes, some are small but very cluttered.

My house is only three bedroomed, but I do have two small kids, a partner and two cats, so there is usually stuff to pick up all over the floor and on top of the beds, so this may make some of the jobs slightly longer than if you live on your own! It is a rough guide only to help you get motivated to do the household chores!

This method is not a race against the clock to see how fast we can do each chore; it’s just an anti-procrastination tool to help you understand which jobs are super quick to get done and which tasks you can fit into your busy day.

If you’re looking for tips on how to catch up on housework and tips on becoming a speed cleaner read this post!

keep on top of housework , drill scubber set.

If you want to know how to make your house look and smell clean before unexpected guests read this post!

Chores you can do in under 1 minute

15 seconds: Clean the bathroom mirror.

34 seconds: Clean a small window with glass cleaner and glass cloth.

37 seconds: Strip a toddler bed

Chores to choose under 2 minutes

1 minute 10 seconds: Put one load of laundry in the machine and switch it on.

1 minute 14 seconds: Clean a medium sized window.

1 min 16 seconds: Take clothes from the washer to the dryer. This includes removing fluff from the filter and emptying the water from the condenser drawer.

1 minute 19 seconds: Strip a double bed.

Chores which take less than 3 minutes

2 minutes 4 seconds: Vacuum the stairs using Shark Duo Pet Cordless

2 mins 12 seconds: Remake toddler bed with fresh linen: this was including the full-size single duvet and cover.

2 mins 26 seconds: Iron a long-sleeved, men’s work shirt.

2 minutes 48 seconds: Polish the living room.

2 minutes 53 seconds: Mop all high traffic areas, kitchen, lounge and dining room floor, using a flat mop.

Chores under 4 minutes

3 mins 6 seconds: Fold a basket of laundry, including kid’s uniforms, pairing socks, underwear etc.

3 minutes 7 seconds: Clean the shower doors inside and out using glass cleaner and an E-cloth.

3 minutes 34 seconds: Feather dust cluttered bedroom, moving all items and dusting underneath. Dusting door frames, wardrobe doors, ceilings and skirtings.

3 minutes 43 seconds: Quick hoover of all high traffic areas covering the lounge, hall, dining room and kitchen. All floors are hardwood, and I vacuumed using a Shark Duo Pet Cordless.

3 minutes 45 second: Quick feather dust of a very cluttered living room. Including doors, pictures, skirting boards, ceilings, light fittings, and moving all objects.

 How keep on top of housework, gleaming shower head and shower.

Chores for under 6 minutes

5 mins 46 seconds. Remake the double bed with fresh linen. I’m very slow at this job and continually get tangled in the duvet cover, so you might find that you are quicker than me!

Chores for under 7 minutes

6 minutes 46 seconds: Wash lunch dishes, dry and put away.

Chores under 9 minutes

8 minutes 34 seconds: Quick Vacuum, master bedroom, son’s room, landing and bathroom including picking up dirty laundry, and Lego from each area!

Chores under 12 minutes

11 mins 42 seconds: Iron a single duvet cover, fitted sheet and two pillowcases.

Chores over 30 minutes

26 minutes 30 seconds: Full clean of bathroom.

1 hour: Mow the lawn, This was for a medium sized lawn front and back, I also managed to cut the neighbours grass whilst timing too!

To see how much time was devoted to housework in years gone by, check out my 1950’s daily cleaning schedule here!

Wondering how to get a sparkling loo? Check out my bathroom cleaning checklist here!

A great way to stay on top of housework is to get help from the rest of the family, even toddlers can help you to tidy up and put stuff away.

Check out our family chore chart in this post!

FAQ

How to keep on top of housework when working full time

The struggle is real for working mums and time is very limited. Definitely enlist help from other members of the family and try to share as many jobs as you can. Teenagers should be responsible for their rooms and their laundry.
Younger kids can be responsible for emptying dishwashers, doing the recycling and emptying bins. If your budget will allow it you could always consider employing a cleaner to do the deep cleaning each week.

How to keep on top of housework with a baby

A newborn baby really does turn your weekly house cleaning schedule upside down. Now is a good time to draft in help from family and friends. If you are struggling to get help try to focus on the quickest jobs from the list and get as many of them done as you can rather than focusing on one time-consuming job. If you are struggling with time try to focus on jobs that matter, like keeping the kitchen and bathroom clean rather than ironing duvets!

I don’t know how to keep up with housework even though I am at home all day.

Once you start tackling a few jobs which only take a few minutes every day you’ll soon see what a huge difference it makes to your home. Start today by just doing the first couple of jobs on the list, then the next day try choosing three jobs and slowly increase the amount of chores you do each day.

How can we reduce housework?

1) We can reduce housework by putting things away after using them.
2) Wiping the bottoms of bottles and jars before placing them back in the cupboard or fridge.
3) Hanging up clothes after wearing.
4) Keeping floors free from clutter.
5) Taking something with us when leaving a room.
6) Leave a room better than we find it.
7) Keep tidy and clutter free

Do women expect their husbands to help with housework?

Looking after the home is everybody’s job, everyone should want to help to keep their home a clean and safe place to live in, it is not just one person’s responsibility to do housework.

Do you think children should learn to do housework?

Yes, I do! Kids should learn the basic skills of tidying up after themselves from a very young age. They should be able to put their clothes in the laundry basket, put their toys away after playing and make their own beds. If they can use an iPad they can learn how to work a washing machine!

How do you get your husband to do housework?

This is the question I get asked most of the time. Some people like housework and some people avoid it at all costs. Try to give your husband the jobs he likes most like washing the car, emptying bins, food shopping, decorating and DIY. It can be helpful for him to take the kids out for the day etc. There are many ways to get him to help around the house without it actually be cleaning.

How do you share housework when one of you is unemployed?

When one person is at home more than the other it would be fair to assume that they take on more of the responsibility for the household chores.

What housekeeping chores do you dislike the most, and how do you get them done?

I hate changing beds! I try to get them changed at least once a week. I also dislike yard work and gardening especially when its freezing cold in January! In the summer I try to do outdoor work at least once a week on a set day, this helps me keep on top of the jobs I dislike!

How do I make housework less boring?

I like to listen to podcasts or audiobooks when I’m cleaning. I usually catch up on all the soaps when ironing to relieve the boredom!

Should working couples share housework equally?

Each household runs differently, however it is fair to assume that if you both work similar hours then you would share the distribution of chores equally.

Does housework keep you healthy?

One hour of light cleaning burns off approx 175 calories. (who needs the gym?)
Cleaning and disinfecting regularly also helps stop the spread of the sickness bug and other illnesses.

If it’s all too much for you and you want to consider getting a cleaning lady to help you, read how to organise house cleaning and learn what to expect from a cleaning lady here!

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How to stay on top of housework

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Which housework tips do you use to end procrastination? We’d love to hear them!

For some cleaning inspiration and tips read these cleaning proverbs and quotes

2 Comments

  1. Jayne Norsworthy June 8, 2019 at 10:26 pm

    Very helpful and will put these tips into practice. Breaking the large jobs onto smaller ones doesn’t sound so daunting (like eating an elephant – one bite at a time)

    1. Clare Davison June 8, 2019 at 10:32 pm

      Thank you 😊 I’m hoping to add to the list as I go along , I was surprised how quick some jobs were , it’s easy to get bogged down with what you think you should do rather than what you can do! 😊

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