How Does She Do It? Talking Household Chores

What are some of your strategies for staying on top of day to day household chores? Weigh in!

A while back, I met up with some friends for coffee and we started chatting about household chores and the monotony of it all. I think when it comes down to it, most moms would say they have a difficult time keeping up with the cleaning, grocery buying, de-cluttering, cooking, laundering, and everything else that goes along with operating a home. Am I right?

I’m always interested in finding out how other people do things. Perhaps I can learn something that makes it quicker or easier for me, or share something I’ve figured out along the way in return.

So, I thought, why not put it out there and pose a few questions…

Household Chore Strategies

1. What routines do you have in place that keep your household running smoothly?

2. What do you find is your biggest challenge when it comes to cleaning or organizing your home?

3. What is your best tip in regard to any household chore?

Let’s see what we can learn. Answer all (or any) of these questions in the comments below. Also, if you have a specific tip to someone’s biggest challenge, be sure to reply to that specific comment.

Update: Be sure to check out this follow up post where readers share some of their best household chore tips!

Thanks for stopping by!

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  1. Oh boy, this is one hot topic! I guess the one thing I do is try to keep everything on the same day. Sunday is meal planning and grocery shopping. Monday is wash bedding. Wednesday is laundry. Thursday-Saturday is general cleaning. 
    The one thing I could really use help with is figuring out how to get my kids more involved. Often I just end up doing it myself so I don’t have to hear them complain (I know that’s bad)!
    Best tip would be to meal plan for the week!

    1. Meal planning is a life saver for me as well! As far as kids go, I find it takes a lot of encouragement. My son is almost 18 now, but I tried to give him jobs that were age and time appropriate all along so he didn’t feel overwhelmed. I still had moments of frustration though (and still do)!

  2. ooh this is a good one!  my biggest challenge is keeping my motivation…. i will be all gung ho cleaning the house and with one room left totally hit a wall and just lost motivation!

    1. Isn’t that the truth. We try to bust through all the vacuuming, dusting and bathrooms on Saturday, and it often takes a good lunch and music to get to the finish line. Our treat is usually going out for dinner on Saturday nights (so at least no one has to cook after all that work).

  3. I think everyone is going to have an opinion on this! I’m good in some areas, (laundry) and fail miserably in others (meal planning, actually cooking!)  My girls are both pretty decent helpers, for their age;) and my hubby will pitch in if I ask. I do however, think that we are our worst critics!!  Some days I’m horrified by how bad I have let the house get and no one else seems to notice!

    1. I’m definitely more particular than my hubby and son, but they do a good job when they clean. I just think they’d let it go longer than I ever would. I’ve had to learn to relax over the years with having a dog, a business/blog to run, and all the other busyness of our lives. But there still is something to say about a freshly cleaned home!

  4. Great topic!

    I keep a weekly to do list and try to spread tasks out over the week.  I try to put a load of laundry in every morning while the kids are having breakfast.  I find my biggest challenge varies, but if I find I’m putting off cleaning something in particular (eg. vacuuming, cleaning the bathroom) I try to get it done as early as possible in the day so I can get it out of the way and it is not hanging over my head all day.  I also try to do a little cleaning every day so it doesn’t always end up being a BIG clean.

    1. I try to do at least one load of laundry a day too. We always try to spread the cleaning out over the course of the week, but Saturday still seems to be a BIG cleaning day. If we all pitch in, it gets done in a few hours and it’s not too bad. But, I still dream about hiring someone to help out down the road (as I’m sure a lot of people can relate to).

  5. For routines we menu plan for the coming week, I shop on Monday or Tuesday, and my husband picks up any additional items on Thursday or Friday. My daughter cleans bathrooms on the weekend, I do up the laundry between Friday and Sunday depending on what’s happening and what’s needed first, and we share the other weekly basics… vacuuming, dusting, etc.

    My biggest challenge is when we deviate from our routines – once a slide starts to creep in I find it hard to course correct.

    My biggest tip falls back to organization. I really believe in, a place for everything & everything in it’s place. It removes unnecessary obstacles for the mundane tasks – if you know where to find what you need, where to put it all away again, and when you need to stock up, you at least know how to begin. It makes the actual doing a little bit easier… maybe not more palatable, but easier.

    1. I don’t know about you, but I don’t wear dresses to clean in! (more like sweat pants or even pj’s). Mind you, she is wearing an apron! Great tips about organizing, otherwise it will always look messy and make it more difficult to clean if you have to move stuff as well. Sounds like the 3 of you share responsibilities like we do making it a whole lot more tolerable!

  6. Since I have started working full time for the first time in 18 years the household cleaning schedule and standards have fallen! Saturdays are chore days. My kids vacumm the house and clean the bathrooms. It takesa load off of me. Plus we all live in the house together, so we all make a mess together and we all clean the house together.

    1. I remember when I was teaching everyday and our bathroom would go a couple weeks without a good clean- gross! But, it’s just the way it was with hockey and jobs. Back then we couldn’t afford the extra help, but I can understand why many of my busy friends hire some of it out now. Good thing your kids are old enough to pitch in!

  7. I love reading everyone’s comments! I meal plan. Also, I try to use the same staples in most of my meals. That way I have my pantry and freezer stocked with those staples, and I only need to buy a few fresh ingredients (and milk, fruits, and veggies) each week. For example, I use a lot of frozen chicken, salmon, and shrimp, and ground turkey and I also have lots of extras from Costco frozen (mozzerella, goat cheese, mexican cheese, lunch meat, loaves of bread, tortillas, pizza crust, corn, green beans, broccoli). We have an extra fridge in the basement and that helps. Canned goods consists of a chicken and veggie stock, tomatoes and tomato sauce, and lot of beans. I also pre-make spice blends that I use often (for my veggies, chili, tacos, chicken, burrito bowls). It makes dinner so easy. Wow, that was long. Also, not going to lie. We JUST gave in and hired a cleaning lady to come every two weeks. It has been AMAZING.

    1. I think you could give us all a lesson on meal planning! Love your idea of pre-mixing spices for meals you prepare regularly. I like to keep a bunch of stuff on hand, too. That way I can at least throw together a rice pasta dish or some kind of soup at a moments notice. I’ve heard that once you hire someone to clean your house you wonder why you didn’t do it sooner, and doing it every couple weeks makes sense. I just need to let my control freak ways fall by the wayside and do it!

  8. I can’t wait to come back and read all the responses to this because this is a big issue for me! The biggest tip I have is to touch up floors and bathrooms daily so it never gets really dirty. I don’t spend a lot of time though. I touch up the bathrooms with lysol wipes and it takes 10 minutes or less to do all three. I touch up the floors with my swiffer vac. This is also something I can delegate to the kids. I only mop when something is spilled, too. Laundry is my nemesis! I can’t figure out a good way to get laundry done and put up on a regular basis. There’s just too much of it!

    1. I have a little swiffer vac that works great for touch ups, and they’re so easy to pull out and quickly go over everything. I remember staying at my sister’s and her 4 year old son whipping that thing out and going to town on the floor. I think he thought it was fun, and my sister got her floors cleaned (well a bit anyway!). I actually don’t mind doing laundry, except for sweaters. I have a huge basket full of them at the moment because I’ve been putting it off for so long and they’re pretty expensive to get done professionally. I guess the tip I have for regular laundry is to try and do a load everyday so it never gets to be too much.

  9. We broke down and hired a cleaning service and it is the best thing we ever did. Working from home with little kids it takes all the time I have just to tidy up and do laundry. Two people come in for an hour and a half every two weeks which means I know the deep cleaning will be done and I just have to maintain and tidy. This also makes me tidy the house every other wednesday so that things are put away including laundry (the thing I am the worst at is putting away clean laundry). I also wash bedding either that day or the next so I know it’s done every two weeks as well. This has really helped my marriage as well as it takes alot of stress off everyone. At first it seems expensive however I would give up many of my indulgences before I would give up my cleaning service. Once its worked into your budget it doesn’t seem too bad. As for a cleaning tip, I use magic erasers to clean my ceramic stove top, it works wonders (I won’t use them anywhere else in my house though). I find nothing does a better or faster job on those stuck on black spots! 

    1. I think the lessening stress thing would be totally worth hiring some of it out. I have a friend who gets a cleaning company in every spring and fall to do a really deep clean of everything, including windows. I think that would be pretty fantastic! I just got a glass cooktop this week and I’m hoping it doesn’t mark up and scratch. My mom has one and hasn’t had any problems. Thanks for the tip on the magic eraser. I’ll have to see if that’s okay to use on mine (I know they’re all a little different).

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