Everyone has those little tasks that they know they should do straight away/regularly to avoid creating a mountain of effort down the track. Here are some of mine:
- Sweep the front porch – Less leaves and dirt tracked through the house means less effort sweeping and mopping. Bonus: it’s nice to have a tidy entrance while your guests are waiting for you to get to the front door.
- Wipe the floor under the high chair – This is a well-known one for all mums, but after a particularly tough battle against the toddler, it is easy to procrastinate. Dried Weetbix should be used as a building material – that stuff is hard to budge. Those small blobs of miscellaneous toddler food can take a mountain of effort to remove if you leave them too long.
- Wipe up spills on the stove as they occur – Similar to item 2, you have the choice of a quick wipes up now, or baked on gunk that needs to be scraped and scrubbed. Also applies to spills in the oven, on kitchen benches, on the dining table, in the fridge etc etc
- Unpack the dishwasher – It always seems like a mammoth task, but really doesn’t take more than five minutes, and makes it so much easier to keep the kitchen tidy.
- Put your clothes away – If you’re like me, and believe you can wear some clothes more than once between washes, have a system for storing partially worn clothes (eg a shelf in the wardrobe or a separate drawer) and put your clothes away neatly as soon as you take them off. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a big, wrinkled mess, that either requires more ironing, or worse, more washing and ironing, which is exactly what you were trying to avoid.
- Have a designated spot for your keys, phone and purse (and use it!) – I swear my husband and I spend at least 30 minutes a week wandering around the house looking for these items (and we have designated spots for them). I let my son play with the keys while I was bringing in the groceries, and it took me a good hour to find them (in the potty!) the next time I wanted to go out.
- Add it to the grocery list – OK, this isn’t a cleaning item, but it’s important for an organised home. When something has or is about to run out, add it to the shopping list. There is nothing worse than realising you don’t have an ingredient in the pantry when you’re in the middle of cooking something (or don’t have enough toilet paper when you’re in the middle of wiping something…). It reduces multiple trips to the supermarket where I always end up spending more than intended, and makes preparing for a planned trip to the supermarket that much easier.
Sure all these things are simple and fairly obvious. Do I always do them? No. It is worth thinking about what causes you the most grief in cleaning and what you can do in a few minutes to minimise that grief.
What small tasks do you do to avoid big problems down the track?