Balancing housework and work – shortcuts rule

Just because I’m here all day doesn’t mean I’m free to cook and clean like a boss.  Really, family, feed and clean up after yourselves!  I don’t always feel this way, but on busy days, it’s the rule.

One of the more interesting things I learned when I first made the switch to telecommuting related to housework.  Regardless of what others might think, it is work and sometimes with a set schedule.  My hubby and kids thought my schedule would include gourmet meals every night and a spotless house.  Hahahahahaha!  In the beginning, I took care of the kids’ laundry and that alone could take a chunk out of my day.  Ever found half a week-old cookie or candy bar in a pair of pants?  Oy!  I knew I had to figure something out or I’d lose my mind.   

My cleaning schedule secret?  Keep up on cleaning so all the rooms need on a daily basis are minor touch ups.  It may seem like an ‘easy for you to say’ thing, but it is easy once it becomes a habit,  Let’s take it one room at a time.  

The bathroom.  Just thinking about cleaning one makes me a little scared.  A quick wipe down is all mine need most of the time thanks to after shower sprays and handy toilet brushes.  If I clean the tub once a week and  everyone remembers to hit it with the after shower spray, I’m golden.  If they forget and I remember to hit it before it dries, I’m still golden.  For quick wipe downs,  homemade wipes (lavender Castile soap, warm water, and peppermint essential oil-soaked microfiber cloths) are ready to roll.  I use them on surfaces and on the floor.

Yes, I’m one of those crunchy mamas.  I came to crunchy later in the game, but it is strong in me. 

My bathroom cleaning plan works in other rooms, too.  In the living room, a quick wipe down keeps dust at bay and I hid clutter in baskets, storage ottoman,  and a vintage hatbox.  I found the hatbox at a yard sale and found it the perfect place to hold video games.  In the kitchen, the dishwasher runs when full and the counters get a once over.    

Once I got a good cleaning schedule down (not quite a Fly Lady thing, but similar), I went to work on the daily menu. Breakfast and lunch were easy to handle because hubby and the kiddos either took lunch or ate at school and wanted the same few breakfast items.  Making a big batch of pancakes ahead of time made mornings so much easier.  And frozen waffles, cereal, leftover pizza, and even hot dogs rounded out their lists of favs.  Dinner, however, made for interesting conversations.  We ate a little late and far too much takeout in the early days. I’d work without checking the time and without planning ahead and we’d end up eating out.  Meal planning and cooking ahead help a lot.  

I don’t always make formal meal plans,but they help.  It gives the family and idea what to expect during the week and cuts back on the holy crap it’s late brain freeze.  Big batches of beans (for all) and meat (for the fam) are cooked and finished on meal day accordingly.  On bbq night, the protein gets sauce while reheating and I make slaw and reheat beans for sides.  Feeling Cajun?  I saute peppers, onions, and celery then add kidney beans, heat through, and serve over rice with greens and cornbread on the side.  And when I forget to defrost something, nothing beats a full country breakfast – grits, potatoes, biscuits, scrambles, pancakes, and fruit.  I’m just beginning to experiment with Once a Month Cooking and will let you know how it goes.   

So, have you figured out how to balance the workload and housework load?  


6 thoughts on “Balancing housework and work – shortcuts rule

    • Thanks! I cannot take credit for the wipes recipe. A friend shared the a pin with me and I ran with it, Lavender and peppermint both have antibacterial properties and I just love the combination.

      In a quart-sized mason jar, mix 1 cup of warm water, 1 ounce of liquid castile soap, and 10 or more drops of essential oil. Hope you like it.

  1. Me and my wife are still working the kinks out of this one. Occasionally, I have to remind her that cleaning the house is not making money–that I only do bouts of cleaning when I am struggling with a particularly stubborn section of the writing. As for cooking, she loathes cooking–she realizes that she has to put up with my cooking on my schedule unless she wants to take the task back (she doesn’t).

    • Hubby and I still have that conversation every once in a while. He loses track of time while on the clock himself, but for some reason the location of my office somehow makes it different. I love cooking, but the family isn’t always game for my dinner experiments.

  2. Cajun sounds good. YO had me t kidney beans and onions.
    I think I’ll take a work break and go clean the bathroom with the help of the TWO.

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