Today’s post is all about how to simplify household chores. So you can spend less time cleaning, and more time living and enjoying your home!
It can be frustrating when you feel like you spend more time cleaning, tidying up and taking care of your house and the stuff you own than you do enjoying it. Having a never-ending to-do list and feeling like you can never catch up on household chores is exhausting and defeating.
Cleaning and taking care of your home and the stuff you own is something we all have to do. And while most of us enjoy having a clean and tidy home, not many people actually enjoy cleaning.
How to simplify household chores & spend less time cleaning
Today’s post is all about small changes you can make to simplify household chores. Letting you do them in less time and with less effort.
Use these tips to simplify household chores so you can enjoy a clean home without spending all your time cleaning. And have more time and energy to do things you enjoy and actually enjoy your home instead.
1. Embrace good enough
The first tip to simplify household chores is shifting your mindset and learning to embrace good enough when it comes to household chores.
There will likely always be some household chore you could be doing in your home. But if you try to do it all, you’ll likely be stuck with a never-ending to-do list that you’re never able to catch up on.
Instead, figure out what is good enough for you when it comes to household chores. Then aim for and accept that standard as good enough.
What is “good enough” will vary from person to person and depend on your own personal preferences. Decide what is important to you and what you are willing to let go of. Or what standards you are willing to relax to accept things as good enough.
The goal is to get the household chores that matter to you done, to a standard you can live comfortably with. And in an amount of time you are ok devoting to chores.
An example of “good enough”
Here’s an example of good enough in my own life. We have mirrored closet doors on almost every closet in our house. We also have young kids who love to put their hands (and faces!) on those mirrored doors.
It never fails that as soon as I clean the mirrors, the shiny, smudge-free surfaces seem to call my kids to them like moths to a flame!
The fingerprints, smudges and face prints (why?!) used to drive me crazy. But I decided it simply wasn’t worth the time, energy or frustration to clean the mirrors constantly, only to see them marked up again soon after.
Now, I clean the mirrors every week or two. And let the fingerprints go in between and call it good enough!
2. Have less stuff
Beyond embracing a good enough mindset when it comes to household chores, the most impactful way to simplify cleaning and chores is by having less stuff.
When you have less stuff, you not only have less stuff to clean. But you also have less stuff to clean around.
Everything you own requires some of your time. You have to clean it, maintain it, put it away, pick it up, look for it, organize it, take care of it, etc. The less stuff you own, the less stuff you have to take care of.
It also means less stuff to maneuver and clean around when you’re doing household chores as well. You have less stuff to catch and gather dust, less stuff to move to clean under, less stuff to clean around, etc. Making cleaning faster and easier too.
Having less stuff to simplify household chores applies to the big stuff, like furniture, small stuff, like décor and knick-knacks, and everything in between.
Not only does less stuff mean less to clean and clean around. But removing the clutter and excess stuff from your home removes some of the visual clutter from your space too. Helping your home appear cleaner and tidier too!
3. Keep flat surfaces clear
As you’re working to have less stuff to help simplify household chores, a great place to start is clearing the flat surfaces in your home.
Flat surfaces can quickly and easily become clutter catchers where clutter and “stuff” tend to pile up and accumulate. And clutter seems to attract clutter. So, the more you have on flat surfaces, the more stuff tends to accumulate.
Keeping flat surfaces clear means less stuff to clean, less stuff to clean around, and less clutter to attract more clutter!
How clear you choose to keep the flat surfaces in your home is a matter of personal preference. But clearing off (completely or partially) the flat surfaces in your home will help simplify household chores right away.
For example, a clear bathroom counter means you can quickly and easily wipe the counters and sink. Instead of having to spend time clearing off the surface and putting things away just to be able to wipe the counter and sink.
4. Keep floors clear
Along the same line, is keeping floors clear as well. Not only do clear floors make it easier to vacuum, sweep and mop, and keep up with those chores regularly. But it also gives dirt and dust fewer places to hide.
The goal I aim for is to only have furniture legs touching the floor. Everything else has a place to keep it off the floor so cleaning is faster and easier.
5. A place for everything and everything in its place
The key to keeping floors and surfaces clear is having easy-to-access spots to keep everything in your home.
When everything has a spot and it’s easy to put things away in their spot, it’s easy to pick up and tidy up your house. And keep it tidy on a regular basis. Then when you’re doing household chores, you need to spend less time picking stuff up. And can get the chores done faster and easier instead.
6. Keep up with chores regularly
Keeping up with and staying on top of household chores is an easy way to make sure cleaning and household chores take less time and effort.
When you don’t keep up with chores regularly, it takes more time and effort to clean your house. Simply because more mess, dirt, dust, grime, etc. has had a chance to build up. And returning your space to your good enough standard will take more time and effort.
For example, if you give your bathroom counters a quick wipe every day or two it’ll only take a minute or two each time. And mess won’t have a chance to really build up in the meantime.
But if you go a long time between wiping your counters, when you do clean the bathroom it’ll likely be a bigger job that takes more time and effort.
7. Do a little cleaning everyday
Doing some cleaning every day might seem counterintuitive if you’re trying to simplify household chores. But doing a little bit of cleaning each day means you’ll never have to spend hours at a time doing chores. Or spend your whole weekend cleaning.
Not only that but doing a little cleaning at a time can feel less overwhelming and exhausting. And be easier to fit into a busy life.
8. Use a cleaning schedule
A cleaning schedule is a great tool to help simplify household chores.
A cleaning schedule lets you put your cleaning tasks on autopilot. You don’t have to figure out what chores need to be done and when. Instead, you can dive in and get to work when it’s cleaning time.
There are many different ways to set up a cleaning schedule. Try different options until you find one that works best for you, your schedule, your lifestyle and your preferences.
You can aim to clean one room each day, do one chore each day, designate one day a week for chores, or even have lists of daily, weekly and monthly chores and choose what to do as you go.
9. Clean messes when they happen
Just like keeping up with chores regularly can help simplify household chores overall, so can cleaning up messes when they happen instead of leaving them to deal with later.
If you notice a mess or something to clean, especially if it’s a small job, try tackling it right then. Your future self will thank you for cleaning it up. Especially if it only takes a minute or two, instead of leaving it and having to clean it up later.
Wipe up spills when they happen, put things away when you see them out, clean as you cook, spot clean messes when you see them, etc.
Instead of having a huge list of little chores to deal with later, tackle them one at a time when they happen to help you stay on top of chores.
10. Reset your house often
Resetting your house often, at least once or twice a day, is a great way to stay on top of and simplify household chores.
A reset is taking a few minutes to tidy, pick up and quickly clean a space, returning it to its baseline or your preferred level of tidiness. It’s not a deep clean, just a few minutes spent returning a space to how you like to keep it.
Making resets part of your daily rhythm helps any messes from getting completely out of control. Which can really help keep your home tidy. And the best part is, the more consistent you are with your resets, the quicker and easier they’ll usually be.
11. Have a daily rhythm for essential tasks
Another great way to simplify household chores is by having daily rhythms for the essential tasks you want to get done each day to keep your home functioning smoothly.
Keeping up with these few tasks helps keep your home feeling functional, comfortable and under control. Even if no other chores get done in the day.
For example, my daily essential tasks include making the beds, quickly wiping the bathroom counters, starting a load of laundry and unloading the dishwasher in the morning.
Then folding and putting away the laundry, starting the dishwasher, wiping down the kitchen and doing a quick reset of the whole house each evening.
Even if nothing else gets done during the day, these few tasks keep our home functioning at a level I’m comfortable with.
12. Keep your cleaning supplies where you need them
Another easy way to simplify household chores is by keeping your cleaning supplies where you use and need them.
For example, keep a small basket of the cleaning supplies in each bathroom. Then, you can easily pull out what you need and use it quickly.
For general cleaning items, like your vacuum and dusting supplies, keep them in a centralized place in your house where they are easy to access and put away. Even stocking a cleaning supply basket, you can quickly grab and go can help simplify household chores.
Again, anything you can do to remove obstacles making it harder to get chores done quickly, easily and regularly, the better.
13. Simplify your laundry routine
Keeping up with the laundry can be a big pain point for many households. If you feel like you’re always buried under piles of laundry, try a different laundry routine to see if it makes life easier.
Keep trying different routines until you find what works for you, your preferences, your lifestyle, your family, your schedule, etc.
For example, you could do one load of laundry a day, designate one day a week for laundry, run a load when the laundry basket gets full, do one type of laundry load each day of the week, etc.
There are many options. You’ll know you’ve found what works for you when you can keep up with laundry relatively easily. And no longer feel constantly behind or overwhelmed by laundry.
14. Have fewer dishes
Another common pain point in many homes is keeping up with dirty dishes. An easy way to simplify dish duty is by having fewer dishes in your kitchen.
When you have lots of dishes, it’s easy for you and your family to grab a clean dish or glass each time. Instead of rinsing, washing or reusing the dish or glass, you’re already using.
But when you have fewer dishes, you and your family will need to find, rinse and reuse glasses and dishes throughout the day. Leaving fewer dirty dishes to deal with at the end of each day.
15. Divide and conquer
If you live with other people, whether a spouse, a family, a roommate, etc. split up chores and have everyone pitch in. Even young kids can help by picking up their toys, making their beds, putting clothes in the laundry basket, etc.
Just remember that done is better than perfect. Even if your family doesn’t do the chores exactly how you usually do them, they are still working to help maintain the household and simplify chores for you!
16. Outsource household chores
Outsourcing household chores or hiring a house cleaning service is not always an option. But if it is, it’s a great way to simplify household chores.
Nothing simplifies household chores like having someone else do them for you!
17. Find ways to make household chores more enjoyable
Cleaning the bathroom is probably never going to be anyone’s idea of fun. But if outsourcing isn’t an option, and it needs to be done, you might as well find ways to make it a little more enjoyable!
Turn on your favourite playlist, podcast or show for a nice distraction while you clean. Reward yourself with a little treat when you’re done. Or aim to get the household chores all done during the week so you can spend time relaxing or doing something you love on the weekend.
Cleaning might never be something you love doing. But if it has to be done, look for simple ways to make it a little more pleasant!
How to simplify household chores and spend less time cleaning
I hope these tips will help you learn how to simplify household chores and spend less time and energy cleaning your house, so you have more time and energy to enjoy it!
Start by adding one or two of these ideas into your routine and see how it goes. Add a couple of more when you feel ready.
What is your favourite way to simplify household tasks or make house cleaning quicker and easier? Leave a comment and let me know!
Wednesday 24th of August 2022
The ADHD brain would find most of this very difficult. They are fantastic tips for someone who has no focus issues. I’d love some tips for us Neurodivergent beings. 😌✌️
Simple Lionheart Life
Wednesday 31st of August 2022
That's a great point. You're absolutely right, Neurodivergent people would definitely need some alternative ideas. Unfortunately, I don't have any experience with ADHD so I can't speak to specific strategies that might work, but it's definitely something for me to start researching. Thanks for reading and for sharing your perspective. It's very helpful for me!
Monday 19th of July 2021
Try to wear casual outfits. They don't need ironing. It's a good idea to use hangers rather than folding clothes. Pick up the house with gray or non_white floors. Darker floors need less vacuuming. No need to dry dishes, air flowing can do it well.
Simple Lionheart Life
Wednesday 21st of July 2021
Great ideas! Thanks for sharing. I prefer hanging our clothes too to keep them wrinkle-free! Thanks for reading!
We Clean Bathrooms
Saturday 13th of March 2021
Thanks, Very well written article and super helpful for people like me who r always on a run or busy with work. Keep up the good work.
Simple Lionheart Life
Sunday 14th of March 2021
Thank you! I'm so glad to hear it was helpful for you. Thanks for reading :)
Sunday 26th of July 2020
Another reason to keep the floors uncluttered is to avoid tripping hazards. When you’re two it’s no big deal to trip over something and fall but as you get older it’s a much bigger deal! And for elderly people it can be deadly.
If you have someone coming in to clean, it’s really helpful to have the clutter picked up & put away. They don’t know where you keep your stuff & it’s a waste of their time (and your money). Then they can get right to the actual cleaning.
Simple Lionheart Life
Sunday 26th of July 2020
Yes! I agree with all of these points! Less clutter not only makes life easier but safe too!
Sunday 5th of July 2020
I am fortunate I am in retirement and so I have lazy days and work when I need to. Work when I want to. and Leave the rest till I feel like doing it. I enjoy life better this way and not a slave to the home. The home is kept clean and tidy and neat and my Adult son is responsible for keeping his own room clean and doing his laundry. My daughter is responsible for cleaning her room and doing her own laundry. I am responsible for MYSELF. First priority is to make sure there is food cooked each day and shopping organized online for delivery. First job of the day is to cook. Light cleaning with a cordless in the week when needed. Large Vacuum clean once a week on a Sunday. Surfaces are wiped down in the kitchen often. I hate dirty counters. I mop floors only when needed. I clean the porch when it looks like it needs a clean and when each area is done I don't revisit it till it needs a clean. I am not a slave to the home. It is a home to be lived in and enjoyed. I don't nag if something is out of place. I just put it right and each day runs smoothly. I shampoo carpets every 6 months to keep things clean. Food shopping is done online at 2 supermarkets and put away with no food clutter. Outside Yard work is done when needed and kept up with regular maintenance. I use gadgets that make life easier cleaning and more fun. I love Cleaning. My favorite job to do with a relaxed attitude. It gets done. It feels so good then to sit down and have earned my relaxing time. I get to spend a lot of time with my Adult children. None of us are slaves to chores. In my younger days I managed to clean house every day. Change the beds and walk for miles to do my shopping and hold down a job going out twice a day on two shifts and cooking and cleaning. Bringing up 3 children. I don't know how I did it. I even managed to shampoo the carpets of the whole house in one day. Not all on the same day but on chosen days for each job. Life is easier now. Retirement is Good. Relaxing is great. I have earned it.
Simple Lionheart Life
Sunday 5th of July 2020
Glad you've found a relaxed approach to keeping your house clean and the way you like it. I love how you said you're not a slave to your home! That's great and exactly how it should be. Our homes should work for us, not the other way around. Thanks for reading and sharing more of your experience with us!