Published: 10:00, 09 May 2017
Here’s a fresh idea. Rather than writing to-do lists or keeping a running inventory of chores in your head, why not simply do less?
Take the pressure off and cut back on some of the tasks you routinely do at home.
A lot of domestic tasks are performed out of habit anyway, without really being worth the time or effort. To get started on doing less, here are 10 things to take off your to-do list today!
1. Drying up
Even with a dishwasher, it’s still sometimes necessary to wash up by hand, but it’s rarely essential to also dry up. Leave washed crockery and utensils on a draining board and go and do something more interesting while they dry naturally.
2. Buffing anything
Isn’t it enough that you’ve cleaned your basin or your bathroom, or wiped the side of the toaster? Now walk away and don’t even consider buffing it with a dry cloth. The lovely shine and flawless finish buffing produces will only last until the next person has a shower, cooks or washes their hands, so leave it and move on.
3. Mowing tiny scraps of lawn
Maintaining a lawn takes work, and when that lawn is only the size of a postage stamp, it can feel like a huge faff to drag a lawn mower out of a shed to keep the grass short. Instead, replace that mini lawn and any of those skinny slivers of turf between stepping stones or in the driveway with artificial grass. Choose well and it will look incredibly lifelike and you won’t have to worry about keeping it trimmed and watered.
4. Decanting dry foods into pretty jars
Pouring everything from pasta to breakfast cereal into attractive glass jars sounds like a great idea, but it’s much more labour-intensive than just putting all the produce away in a cupboard and shutting the door! Often, jars are not big enough to accommodate a full packet of food, so you’ll be storing half-empty packages in your cupboards anyway. Just keep open shelves for pottery, crockery or houseplants instead and leave the food in the cupboard.
5. Tidying toys away
Quickly scooping up the biggest toys that will get in the way or bother you each evening is a good idea, but being able to leave some toys out on show and ready to be used again will save many hours of tidying.
6. Cleaning dog or cat hair off the sofa
Either cover the sofa with something washable or keep pets off it – these are your two choices. If you have a cat, the second one most likely won’t be an option (ever tried telling a cat what to do?). But either way, painstakingly vacuuming or brushing sofa cushions each day is eating up precious minutes you’ll never get back!
7. Vacuuming cushions
Don’t make the task of vacuuming any more long-winded than it needs to be. Instead of vacuuming each cushion, just give it a vigorous plump up to reshape it and dislodge dust, which you can then pick up when vacuuming the floor.
8. Organising books
Books that are loved, dipped into and read frequently defy being neatly arranged on a shelf. So don’t bother trying to keep them in alphabetical order or according to the colour of their spines and just enjoy having them around. Let your bookshelf acquire its own form, shape and order (or disorder).
9. Ironing everything
OK, cotton and linen pieces usually benefit from a quick iron after washing to smooth out creases, but if you’re ironing anything else: stop! Folding and hanging clothes will do much to create a crease-free finish and no one, repeat no one, needs to have their pants ironed.
10. Aspiring to perfection
Don’t make yourself a slave to ideas of tidiness or perfection. Instead, consider gently lowering your expectations for your home. Chill and prioritise other things (such as drinking tea). If friends are visiting, a quick tidy up before they arrive will be plenty. Often, visitors feel more at ease in a home that’s not perfect.
Any suggestions for pointless or unnecessary jobs that we could all quit?
Please share them in the Comments below.
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