How to do less housework

by Zena-Marie on 20 February 2012

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There was a time when all I seemed to do was washing ironing and cleaning. It seemed that no matter how long I spent tidying up the house was still always in chaos. There was a permanent pile of ironing on the chair in the bedroom and a never ending pile of washing to do. I could never find anything when I needed it and I seemed to spend half my time looking for my keys. What was most upsetting was that I did actually spend a lot of time and energy trying to keep the house in order and it always seemed out of control.

The solution came to in a flash of clarity one morning when I was trying to forcible wrestle the lid to the kid’s toy box shut.  The reason the house was always a mess was because we had too much stuff. It was as simple as that. The house would never be tidy and organised because there was simply more stuff than storage.  I decided then and there that I could only keep in the house what I could neatly fit into the available storage space.  I was so sick of the constant housework by this stage that it was easy to be ruthless. I’d empty a draw onto the floor and only put back in what was essential. I limited myself to only the number of pens that would easily fit into the pen holder and only as much paper as could fit comfortably in 1 draw file. The rubbish went straight into the bin, the good quality bits went to charity and stuff I wasn’t sure of went in a box in the loft. (I kept it for 6 months then sent it all to charity when it was clear I didn’t really need it) Next I went through my wardrobe only keeping what could fit neatly inside, then I moved on to all other areas of the house.

Getting rid of all the unnecessary items in my home was literally like lifting a weight from my shoulders. Tidying up became a quick 15min run around rather than an all-day chore. I no longer had piles of clothes all over the place and I spent a lot less time looking for things. I was freed both physically and mentally from the burden of taking care of all that stuff.

Keeping the things that I own to a minimum is an on-going process. I now regularly go through draws and cupboards to get rid of anything that we no longer need. Before Christmas and birthdays I go through the kids toys and get rid of the old and broken toys so there is room for the new ones. If I buy a new t shirt I’ll get rid of one of the more tired looking one’s  and if I pick up a new pair of shoes I get rid of an old pair. Before I buy anything I ask myself ‘Do I really need it? and ‘Where am I going to put it? When you became actively aware of wanting to bring less into the house you will find that you actually free up more time and money by shopping less.

Living with less allows you to do more. Life is less stressful, your home more appealing and crucially you will have less housework to do.

For a more detailed explanation of how to live with less see my post on decluttering

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