How precious is time? Why is it that we never seem to have enough of it? It is because time is liquid and can leak away before you even realize it.
Months ago, we had a major leak in our basement. We didn’t know where the water was coming from. Initially, we thought it was the pipe coming from the dishwasher. The plumber came in and fixed the pipe, which was actually slightly cracked. And, we thought we had solved the problem.
Until, one afternoon we came downstairs to discover the carpet was soaked and water was gathering in laundry room. After hours of drying out the basement with towels and industrial fans, we set to work finding the source of the leak.
Turns out the outside hose bib had cracked from the winter cold. Again, the plumber came and fixed the pipe. We made sure to dry out the room completely so that there was no way mold could set in.
Without finding the real source of the leak, we would have been plagued with a wet basement every time my husband washed his car in the driveway.
Time is like that. One drip at a time and pretty soon a puddle gathers. It is finding the source of the little time wasters that helps us plug the leak and put the water back in the place where it is intended to go.
If we want to find time for creating, we need to patch the time leaks elsewhere.
I have found that housework is a time “sieve” and I am always on the look out for ways to patch some of the holes. The biggest “plug” I’ve found so far is to not let the mess pile up.
Here are 10 great ways to minimize housework so that you will get back some of your time.
Adopt a minimalist lifestyle. The less stuff you have, the less stuff you have to manage.
Keep it organized. Every thing has a home & gets put back in that home. Labels make it clear so that everyone in the household knows where it goes.
Make a habit of organizing 1 drawer every day. This takes a few quick minutes instead of spending an entire weekend spring-cleaning the clutter.
Pro-actively protect surfaces.
There was a reason why our grandmothers covered their couches with plastic. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t because they liked how the plastic stuck to their legs in the heat. It was to preserve their precious furniture from staining.
Now, I wouldn’t recommend plastic today but we can learn from the vintage practice. It is much easier to remove a decorative blanket to throw into the wash (isn’t that why they are called “throws”?) than to scrub at a stained sofa.
Or how about putting tinfoil at the bottom of the oven to catch splatters and drippings? It is much easier to replace a sheet of tinfoil than to have to scrub the burnt tomato sauce from the bottom of the oven.
Don’t let the dishes pile in the sink. I haven’t managed to set a routine of emptying out the dishwasher in the morning yet so that the dirty dishes can be put directly into the dishwasher after use. But I do make sure the kitchen is left clean after supper every day.
Wipe down the shower after each use. This way, that gross pink crud doesn’t gather in the corners of the tub, which requires more time and effort to scrub away.
Wiping down bathroom counters & mirror prolongs the duration between deep cleaning.
Install low maintenance surfaces such as hardwoods or hardware with simple, sleek designs, which are easily wipe able.
I am not suggesting OCD obsession here. But I do want to help you find an extra bit of time so that you can be more creative. The world will only benefit from your color.