I can be so lazy. Just because I’m a homemaker and stay-at-home mom doesn’t mean I flit around doing homemaker-ish things all day and am thrifty all the time. Sometimes I’m just downright lazy. Keep reading to discover some of my homemaking hacks for the lazy housewife.
Why You Should Consider these Homemaking Hacks for the Lazy Housewife
Whether you are a stay-at-home mom or wife or a work-outside-the-home mom, your time is precious. Just like I discuss in homemaking skills for the modern housewife, you have to master a little bit of every profession.
I heard a quote the other day and can’t for the life of me remember where I heard it, but it goes something like this:
“Don’t give A effort to C tasks.”[Please email me at [email protected] if you know who I can give credit to!]
This quote struck me so hard. I kept repeating it to myself over and over that day. My time is valuable. It is my most precious resource. My finite, non-renewable resource. And I need to act like it by quit giving A effort to C tasks.
What does this mean?
Immediately I applied this quote to a few real life instances so I could see first-hand how I would benefit from this piece of advice.
~When I’m sweeping the alleyway in the fresh cow barn, it really isn’t going to matter that I miss a cornstalk or two. It is a C task that I was constantly giving A effort to by going back and grabbing the last few cornstalks I’d missed.
~When I’m in the garden in September harvesting, it isn’t going to matter that I pull weeds. My harvest is grown and my diligence all summer has kept the weeds under control. In June, weeding required an A effort to allow the plants a chance to grow and produce. In September, weeding is a C task because it will no longer change the outcome of my harvest.
Click here to grab your free checklist to determine your own A effort and C effort tasks.
With this new quote rattling around in my head, I am more conscious of how much of my valuable time and effort I put into a task. It helps me choose when to implement homemaking hacks for the lazy housewife.
A few things deserving of my A effort include:
- Spending time with my husband.
- Reading to my son.
- Nourishing my family for health.
- Cleaning the kitchen to keep fruit flies at bay.
- Personal prayer and Bible reading.
Sign up at the bottom of this post and get your own checklist to decipher A tasks vs C tasks.
Now on to the Homemaking Hacks for the Lazy Housewife!
My grandmother would probably not be pleased at the term “lazy housewife” or “lazy homemaker,” but in context, I think she would understand.
If you are super proper, this list isn’t for you. Take the quote above and apply it to your life and skip over the rest of this. You can jump to other posts I have about frugal homemaking skills, why homemaking is important, and how to honor your husband with your homemaking.
But if you are willing to cut a few corners that aren’t going to lessen the quality and effectiveness of your homemaking, read on.
9 Homemaking Hacks for the Lazy Housewife
(For more in-depth resources on homemaking, check out some of Erin’s books!)
1. Don’t dry dishes.
I view drying dishes as a waste of time. Most of the time I can artfully stack all the clean dishes in the drainer and let them sit. I’m in no rush to put them away. Or they can sit overnight.
Now if you don’t have a dishwasher or you have a large family – or a large pile of dishes – letting them sit in the rack is not an option.
On to the second part of the hack. Wash and rinse dishes in the hottest water you can stand. The absorbed heat will help the dishes dry lickety-split. This will make towel drying time much less if necessary at all!
You know what?
Sometimes I put dishes away wet. Things like plates, cups and bowls that get stacked really tight, I don’t because they get stuck together and don’t have a chance to dry later.
But kettles, utensils or lids are things that don’t get stacked and are stored loosely. They will dry in their own time.
Granted, I don’t put them away dripping wet. I shake off excess water over the sink before putting them away.
And if some of your days go like mine: you won’t even have to put your dishes away at all! You just grab them out of the drainer or dishwasher and prep your next meal.
2. Reuse similar leftover containers.
In our house, we eat leftovers.
Sometimes we have leftovers of the leftovers. Instead of getting a clean container for the leftover leftovers (say that 10 times fast!) I just put them back in the same container or downsize to another one sitting on the counter.
I know. This sounds gross. In my brain, I pulled all the containers out of the fridge at the same time so it won’t matter that I put food back into them an hour later.
I do this to lessen my dish load.
Also with my leftovers, I combine foods. I don’t hesitate to put the green beans in the same container as the mashed potatoes. Or put the leftover hamburger in the same container as that morning’s leftover bacon.
3. Don’t wash dishes that only touched veggies or fruit.
Some of you are leery about coming to my house after reading this hack.
Hear me out.
If I just chopped an apple or carrot or lettuce on a cutting board, bacteria left behind aren’t going to grow into dangerous pathogens.
Especially since I wash produce before chopping it anyways.
I simply rinse the cutting board, knife, peeler and whatever else I was using under hot water and set it in the drainer to dry. Of course, making sure there are not food particles left behind.
Besides that, if you get a maple cutting board (like the ones pictured) it is naturally self-healing and will not allow harmful bacteria to grow. Maple is what the old fashioned butcher and chopping blocks are made of!
For food items that are oily or strong (like onions, garlic and olives) I make sure to wash those dishes in the usual soapy dishwater.
Cutting boards, colanders, knives and peelers are a few things I simply rinse under hot water.
4. Wipe the floor before you send rags and towels to laundry.
Now you are vowing to never come to my house!
In my mind, all the rags and towels are getting washed anyways, right? Why not dampen it and spot mop around the dishwasher before throwing it into the laundry?
You just toweled off and you see a wet puddle on the bathroom floor? Mop it up!
You just wiped down baby’s face and hands and see a mess under his chair? Wipe it up!
This hack works great as long as you don’t get sidetracked and lay down the dish cloth-turned-mop rag on the counter and use it again for supper dishes.
Also, I don’t take my dish cloth and go spot mop in the mud room or by the front door. I stick to the “clean” dirt. Ha!
Maybe this is why I don’t have to pointedly mop my floors…
5. Save up for a big trip downstairs.
If you hate clutter or have a small space, this hack may not work for you.
For me, I have a corner shelf in my pantry dedicated to things that go to the basement. Rather than make a trip to the basement every time I empty a jar, I just put it on the corner shelf.
Once I fill the space, I put it all in a laundry basket and haul it to the basement in one trip.
One thing my mother-in-law did when my husband was growing up was put a basket with each kid’s name on it on the steps going up to their bedrooms.
It was each kids responsibility then to keep their basket empty and it saved their mother countless trips upstairs.
6. Use the vacuum.
Sure, the vacuum is great for floors.
But it’s even greater for cleaning out drawers, cupboards, baskets and containers! Use a smaller attachment or just the hose and suck all the grime out of your kitchen and bathroom drawers. Then wipe everything down with a rag.
Hair is another thing that is difficult to clean up with a rag. Before I clean our bathrooms, I vacuum everything down to suck up all the hairs. This makes cleaning a breeze!
The one caveat is not to use the vacuum on wet things. So if the shower or tub are wet, just stick with a rag for cleaning. Wet could damage your vacuum and/or make it stink.
7. Wash the shower while you are in it.
Want some extra soaking time under the hot stream?
Take your wash cloth and wipe down your entire shower. The heat and steam from your shower have already loosened all the grime so why not take advantage?
Because I don’t use harsh cleaners, I’m perfectly fine sudsing up my wash rag with my body soap and scrubbing the shower with that.
8. Chase bath water down the drain.
Go ahead and use your wash cloth on the bath tub, too.
After my son’s bath, I always chase the water down the drain, scrubbing the sides of the tub as it drains.
This prevents that nasty soap scum ring. It also makes cleaning so much easier when I actually get around to officially cleaning the tub!
I know it takes an extra minute or two, but I have my son bundled in a towel drying while I’m draining the tub so it’s not really a waste of time.
Plus, I’m not super regular with my cleaning. Lazy, remember?
9. Look around before you leave.
Before you leave the basement, upstairs or any room, look around. What doesn’t belong there? What can you put away on your way to where you are going? What can be thrown away?
If you are easily distracted, maybe this isn’t a great hack for you. But if you are good at doing a 30 second task without getting sidetracked from your main task, go for it!
Just because you are a homemaker doesn’t mean you have to do everything perfectly all the time.
Make a list of C tasks you are currently giving A effort to. Switch around some of your routines and implement one or all of these homemaking hacks for the lazy housewife to help you feel less frazzled.