collaborative post // With a lot of us leading busy lives, it can feel like we never get everything done that we need to, let alone getting the amount of free time we’d like to. From working, to caring responsibilities, our time is taken up dashing from one place to another.
Whilst life is changeable and it’s unrealistic to expect yourself to run your life to an hourly schedule, creating a schedule of tasks can be one way to make sure that you know you’re getting through the tasks you need to. This way, you can rest in your free time, rather than frantically hoovering again because you can’t remember if you did it on Saturday, or if you are going to remember to do it later in the week.
Here we take you through how to create a home schedule that allows you to reclaim your free time:
Make a task list
Step one is to think about the home tasks that you need to do. Think about this carefully – it can be easy to dismiss items such as loading laundry as too small to bother making a note of, but they take up time. Some big items that you may want to include are:
- Cleaning the kitchen
- Cleaning the bathroom
- Wiping surfaces
If you’re struggling to think of all the tasks you undertake in a week, it could be a good idea to keep a tracker. Each week for a few weeks, make a note of the task, when you do it, and how often it needs to be done. If you’re feeling really organised, maybe even note down how long the task takes. You can do this in any way that works for you, whether that’s on a piece of paper, in the notes on your phone, or on a whiteboard.
Be realistic with your expectations
Step two is to set your home cleaning schedule. Take a look at your weekly schedule for other things, like work, clubs, or caring responsibilities, and write down when you’re busy with those. If you’re super busy and need to schedule your tasks down to a specific time, now is the moment to get out an hourly planner and block out your busy hours.
Take a look at the cleaning tasks you’ve got, and think about when it is realistic to schedule them. If Tuesday is a busy day for you until 9pm, it’s unrealistic to expect yourself to get in, eat and then do a full hoover of your house before going to bed, unless you’re a night owl.
However, it might be more manageable to say that you’ll wipe over the surfaces in your living room on a Tuesday evening whilst dinner is cooking, or fold some laundry. Ultimately, writing a schedule is about allowing you to organise your time in the best way for you, not about being superhuman.
Get everyone involved
If you don’t live by yourself, get your housemates or family involved. Of course, it’s a little more complicated with housemates, since it’s unlikely to go down well if you ask them to fold your laundry. However, they should definitely be helping with cleaning communal areas.
With your family, sit down and decide which tasks are best for each person, and then get everyone to schedule them around their own commitments. If you’ve got younger children, pick tasks that they can do unaided, for example putting their clothes away when they’re clean, or putting their toys away each night.
If you have older children or a partner, consider using a digital to-do list to assign tasks and tick them off when they’re done.