Home Hacks: How to get stuff done around the house

In January I participated in The January Cure through Apartment Therapy. I admit I did not do every single one of the challenges they sent, but I did a few of them, and one of my favourites that I will definitely start using more often is to set a timer for 30 minutes and do as much as you can in those 30 minutes, whether that’s cleaning, purging, organizing. Whatever! Knowing you only have to do it for 30 minutes makes it much easier to get started and you would be seriously surprised how much you can get done in 30 minutes.

I was recently sent an article for “Home Hacks” and thought I’d share a few here. Some of them I already try to use in my own home organization and some I will be adopting going forward.

Have A System

If you ever want to get a good grip on your home and the jobs that come with it, requires working on organizational habits. It can help to come up with some kind of cleaning schedule or cleaning chart. When you have a system in place it can be easier to manage all the “to do’s”. This is NOT something I do right now, but I would like to try it! I guess I kind of do it in some ways, for example I only ever grocery shop, meal prep and do laundry on the weekends and I usually do the dishes on weekday evenings. 

Declutter

In recent years I’ve really noticed how much I hate clutter and “stuff”. I am really trying to have less stuff. A chaotic environment can lead to a chaotic mind and that is certainly the case for me. I am starting to feel a really strong urge to declutter and purge but it feels overwhelming!! I think I need to apply the 30 minute strategy and do it in 30 minutes at a time… And to hold myself accountable, I will start this weekend and report back next week 🙂

Sell your Stuff!

Now-a-days between Facebook Buy & Sell groups, Kijiji, Craigslist and consignment stores it’s pretty easy to sell your unwanted stuff and make a bit of money. Before we left Kamloops I sold the majority of our furniture and made almost $1,000, which I then put towards our new furniture from Ikea once we moved!

Shop Smart

When you do have to buy ‘stuff’ then you’ll want to shop smart. My grandma has led me to become obsessed with coupon clipping for groceries!! When you do, you can use them to buy some of the items you’ve had your eye on and save a lot of money – sometimes up to 70%. And, you can even find that some websites like to run incentives like Invite a friend and receive a discount, which will give you an even better deal.

Outsource

So recently, and for the first time ever, Eric and I have hired someone to clean our house. She comes every 2nd week for 2 hours and scrubs the floors & the bathrooms, changes our bedding, just generally cleans our house. It has made my life so much better and less stressful during this busy time – both of us work a lot more hours than we ever have before and we also both have a 20 – 25 minute commute one way to work, so spend almost an hour a day commuting. Man, that eats up a lot of time! So if it’s possibly in your budget I recommend working out what chores or cleaning you do that you can cut out or outsource! I have one friend who just gets a deep clean of her house done every 6 weeks, so that would be an option too! 

Other favourite ‘home hacks’ I learned from the January Cure: Organize a drawer – if you’re feeling overwhelmed by cleaning/organizing just pick ONE thing, it can even just be one drawer! A drawer will take you 10 minutes to clean out or organize and help build momentum. Buy flowers – they really spruce up the house! I love to buy them every second week right after the cleaner comes, a spotless house and fresh flowers? Perfection.

What are your favourite home cleaning & organization hacks?? 

5 Responses

  1. NZ Muse says:

    I just heard a new one – keep a squueegee in the shower, and squueegee all the glass after every shower!

    I bought a daily deal for a house clean last year and OMG it was amazing. I think I may try to get one in monthly or so. It really does make a difference. I’d love weekly or even every 2 weeks but don’t think the budget can stretch that far right now.

  2. Love this post! As Gretchen Rubin says, outer order creates inner calm. I feel so much better when our house is less cluttered. I am working on putting that into practice because I am usually the person generating all the clutter since I own more stuff than Phil and have more gadgets (like my HRM and HRM strap are often sitting on our dining room table or the mail I get accumulates until I do something with it). I love the 30 minute cleaning approach, though. I did that last week to organize our bathroom medicine cabinets. I figure if I am on a roll, I will keep going after the buzzer goes off, but if I am ready to be done, I just finish what I am doing.

    I’m sooooo envious that you have a house cleaner. That would make such a difference for us but as you know, Phil is vehemently opposed to it. He did agree that we will hire someone when/if I get pregnant after we are married. We split the cleaning so that helps but sometimes just even knowing that I need to clean over the weekend adds stress. I think in total I probably spend about 1.5-2 hours doing my part of the cleaning so it’s not much in the grand scheme of things, but it’s still something I have to fit in that I don’t really enjoy. I love the effects of it, but not the process!

  3. Stephany says:

    I love having fresh flowers in the house! I just bought tulips this weekend and they make such a difference. 🙂

    I always keep a trash big filled with things I want to donate on hand. My bag is almost full, so it’ll be ready to give to Goodwill very soon. I don’t really have clutter anymore because I live in a very small apartment and don’t really have the space for anything but the bare necessities, haha, but it’s good because it makes me organized. Also – bins and baskets are IMPERATIVE for an orderly home. I have so many baskets for controlling my stuff and keeping it all in specific places so it’s easy to find when I need it.

  4. I would most definitely like someone to do my floors and deep clean my house every 6 weeks. Or 2 weeks. I hate cleaning.

  5. Travel Spot says:

    I find the timer method interesting. I love that it makes bigger tasks smaller!! However, as I was telling Lisa, I often will start with a drawer which will lead to a closet which will lead to the floors and then cleaning the bathroom and before I know it, it’s 2 hours later and my house is spotless. So I would hope that the timer would not get in the way of sporadic motivation!

    I don’t think I would ever be able to have a house cleaner. Not the I love cleaning the baseboards, but to me my home is my private space and I don’t really like having strange people in it. Even when I stayed in a hotel long term, I only had them come once a week or even every two weeks. I am also not really that messy in general; I make my bed every day and keep up with the dishes as they come etc, so I don’t have a lot of clutter.

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