The 5 best time-saving daily chore systems for kitchen and laundry-
Minimum effort, maximum result- revitalize these chores in less than an hour a day!
I never learned the mechanics and logistics of running a household. By the time I added children to my life I was in deep trouble. I was trying to take care of my babies' daily needs while having zero skills for staying on top of laundry and dishes. I would go in cycles of boom and bust as I tried to figure out the most effective ways to keep my house from devolving into chaos- I read Flylady (too many emails!), Motivated Moms (great ideas but too lengthy), and lots of cleaning blogs and eventually developed my own sure fire system. The stuff I do every day is what ideally works for me in my situation, but you might find that your rhythm works differently- that's ok! Do what works for you.
1. Start every day with an clean, ready to unload dishwasher and an empty sink.
Life is so, so much easier when you have a clean slate. When you walk into the kitchen in the morning, having a fresh clean(ish) dish free space to make breakfast, pack lunches, and start your day is the best gift you can give yourself. I would unload it promptly every morning while my coffee was brewing- a 5 minute task at most and it makes a HUGE impact. Once my oldest was able to handle it, it was their job to unload the dishwasher every morning- a perfect solution for making sure that the rest of your kitchen-area would fun smoothly the rest of the day.
2. Make your bed every day.
Part of this is logistical, and part of this is psychological. I make my bed every single day. On days I have time, I will flip all the skeets and fluff the comforter and plump the pillows and make everything look just-so. On days I'm in a rush, I will take two minutes and pull up the covers, smooth the bedspread, and chuck the pillows to the headboard- doesn't have to be perfect! From a logistical standpoint, this now gives me a surface on which to do laundry. I can keep my laundry going all day if I need to, it will have a clean place to land free of kids and pets and being sat-upon, and I will have a place to actually fold my laundry and put it away at the end of the day. From a psychological standpoint, I know that no matter how awful my day might get, I will have a clean, fresh, pleasant place to collapse in to at the end of the day.
3. Load your dishes into your empty dishwasher as you go.
5-10 minutes twice a day
This is so fast and easy. You have a nice, empty dishwasher from step 1. It takes only a minute or two to load breakfast dishes in there when you're done. Same with lunch. Run it if you need to at this point and make sure it's empty again at dinnertime, but I find that for our regular use (unless I am cooking Italian, which seems to end up using every dish in the house) one load a day is all we generate. I also do super quick hand washes of dishes as I go- it's really fast and keeps the dirty dishes under control. I keep one of these OXO Grips Drying pads next to my sink at all times to catch any hand-washed or rinsed dishes (unless company is coming over, then it gets rolled up and tucked into a drawer).
4. Find a time that works for you to fold your laundry, and make that time FUN
15 minutes and up, depending on how many loads
Laundry to me is the most boring, inane chore. It's mindless and repetitive and tiresome. So I do whatever I can to make it more tolerable and as enjoyable as possible. For me, that's being able to watch something while I fold and put away. I have a made bed that clean laundry has been landing on all day as it's gone through the wash cycle, and at the end of the day I have time to tackle it. I have a small basket for each member of my household on the bed, ready to catch their clean clothes for easy portability (my kids put their own laundry away but I fold and put it into the baskets for them). Since I don't have a TV in my bedroom I prop up my tablet and put on whatever I'm interested in- most recently I re-watched Zoolander, which definitely makes for an amusing laundry session! Thank goodness for Netflix! And I find that even on really heavy laundry days it only takes an hour to get everything folded and put away. It's only my open dread of the chore that makes it feel like it takes forever. Ha.
5. Run your dishwasher right before you go to bed. Empty your sink.
Once again, this chore takes such a short amount of time but it packs such an impact. Getting those dirty dishes into the dishwasher after dinner takes just minutes, and hand-washing might take another 5, but then the vast majority of your kitchen should be clear. I will confess, there are days that I am way too tired to deal with the 5 minute hand washing but when I come in in the morning to get breakfast started, it's sooooo depressing to see dirty dishes in the sink- I usually jump right back on that hand-washing bandwagon! Running your dishwasher at the end of the day will bring you right back to step one in the morning!