Monday, April 21, 2014

Minimalist Living: Saving Time on Housework

Minimalist Living is all about saving your time for those things that really matter. It is sometimes overwhelming for stay at home moms as well as those moms in the workplace to get it all done, especially when there are children involved.

The sure fire way to save time on housework is to just have less stuff, but how do you keep up with the essentials like laundry, dishes, meals, etc.?

There are a lot of sayings out there about housework like, "Please Excuse the Mess, The Children Are Making Memories" or the one my hubby used to create a gift for me "Good Moms Have Sticky Floors, Dirty Ovens, Piles of Laundry and Happy Kids."




I do like the idea behind both of these sayings - we shouldn't let housework and chores and errands take precedence over spending quality time with our kids.

However......

If everyone left their dishes in the sink every day, there eventually wouldn't be any clean dishes and there would be a smell. If the laundry were left undone, you would soon hear, "Have you washed tennis clothes this week?" or "Mom, did you clean my favorite shirt? I HAVE to wear it tomorrow." 


So, how do you balance the work with spending quality time with your kids? You take care of what really has to be done and you don't sweat the other things. You go play instead or take time for a hot bath and that book you never seem to be able to finish reading!!


A Few Tips to Make Housework Faster and Easier
{Things I Do}

  1.  DELAY START feature on your appliances {Washer, Oven, Dishwasher and Dryer if your dryer has one}
         - Load the dishwasher after dinner and set it to begin washing after baths. In the morning,                 you will have clean dishes and your kitchen will be clean enough to prepare breakfast.
         - Load your washing machine at night. Set it to wash about an hour before you generally 
           wake up. When you wake up, turn on the coffee machine and put the clothes in dryer. 
         - Use your oven's COOKING TIME feature if your oven has one. I have only done this one 
           time, but you put the food in and the oven shuts off when the food is done. Of course, you 
           do need to check at this point to ensure the food is completely cooked. 

    2.  Time saving appliances for cooking {Crock Pot, Vacuum Pot, Steamer, Pressure                           Cooker, Rice Cooker   

        - You can pretty much cook anything in a crockpot - just keep it healthy! A Whole Chicken 
            is great for Sunday lunch {The Best Whole Chicken in a Crock Pot}
           {Slow Cooker Hamilton Beach}



         - Thermos Thermal Cooker {Thermos Thermal Cooker}. The one we own has two size       
           inserts and was a gift from Gary's mom from Asia. We use this mainly in the winter for                  hot soups or Asian dishes. The insert is filled with the food you are cooking along with the              (water or stock) and boiled on the stove. You then place the lid on the container and put it               in the outer insulated cooker and close the sealable lid. You can even do a search for       
            thermal cookware recipes on Pinterest. 
            Information: http://www.thechinesesouplady.com/thermal-pots/
            Recipes: {Corn and Pork Rib Soup} and {Chicken Apple Soup}



        - Rice Cooker - of course you can cook rice in this! But, if your rice cooker also has a     
           steaming tray that goes in the top, you can steam veggies or potatoes (This is great with    
           small children) You can also mix chicken, eggs, or other ingredients in with the rice. 
           {Stainless Steel Rice Cooker}  Dear Hubby - this would be a great one to replace our rice 
           cooker with :) 


   3. Weekly Meal Planning
       - Plan your shopping list and then menu based on local sales. Buy produce using the Clean 15          and Dirty Dozen lists to save money. 
      - Shop the perimeter of the store buying fresh fruits and veggies, meat and dairy to save money         and time and eat healthier. 
      -Buy only what is on your list to save money. If you are lucky, your hubby will let you go    
       alone and you can have a coffee while you casually peruse the aisles!


  4. Clean as you go
      -Rinse dishes and load the dishwasher as you cook
      -Turn clothing and socks right side out when you take them off; have laundry hampers to sort          clothes; use mesh bags for socks

The Container Store $59 {Ours Came from IKEA - much cheaper}

      -Spray stains and soak items right away {Especially kids' stains - save those expensive clothes           for the next child, donating or consigning}
      -Clear clutter at night before bed

 5. Pack away toys and other items your kids don't play with right now - this helps eliminate a lot        of extra clutter and toys around the house

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