There are a few ways I’ve been able to reduce the effort it takes to maintain my household. They fall into these general categories:

  • Organization
  • Outsourcing & Leveraging others
  • Simplification, and
  • Automation

 

Organize home for order

This is by far the toughest of all the tips. I kept restructuring and moving things around in my home till it was almost guaranteed that once anyone walked in, they automatically put things in the right places and kept the space organized.

 

The trick to prevent clutter is to have a place to put everything people bring into the house. A good combination of benches, boxes, caddy’s and strategically placed trash bins helped me organize entry ways, play areas and other spaces.

 

The best laid plans don’t always work, so just get ready to keep reorganizing until the space works for your family.

 

Outsource

You can also call this ‘Supporting the economy’. Whenever I can afford to, I hire help. Yes, this is the lazy mother’s guide. Why spend my time doing things I do not enjoy if I can find someone that enjoys it more, and is better than I am at the job.

 

The activities that can be outsourced range from

  • Cooking
  • Cleaning
  • Laundry
  • Mowing the lawn
  • Plumbing
  • Even bathing kids

 

I can use that time to do something else, like write a blog post :).

 

Sometimes, I cannot afford the help. So, I’ve found a few ways to keep myself motivated, like

  • Associate positive words to that activity. Once, I told myself that cleaning my bathroom was fun and rewarding and then I actually cleaned my bathroom, hmm.
  • Listening to great music or catch up on a pod cast.
  • Combining the activity with dancing or some kind of workout.

 

Make it work for you.

 

I haven’t tried it yet, but the Rumba(the robot vacuum cleaner) may be a good idea…

 

Share responsibility

Mums, please listen:

Get out of your own way and share responsibility so other people are capable.

 

I’m telling you, some of us make others around them useless, so we feel important.

 

During my last pregnancy, I was totally wiped and out of energy a lot in the beginning. I was shocked, just totally stunned about how capable my husband was as I laid passed out on the couch and he had to step in for me to take care of our son. He was off at first, like we all are (had to bite my tongue), but got much better over time. So good in fact that when I got my energy back, my son wanted to do things daddy’s way :(.

 

I realized that they would be fine without me. It was both reassuring and saddening all at the same time.

 

I share responsibilities with my spouse and my kids. I’ll give credit to my husband, he does some things that make running the household easier, let leave it at that.

 

For my kids, the first time I handed my son a wipe, he was 3 months old. He spilt something, and I remember putting a paper towel in his hand putting him on the floor and showing him circular motions. I was not going to be one of those TV mums whose family makes a mess, and then she comes in, smiles, and cleans up after them. When he was 10 months and he made a spill, I saw him pick up a towel and do the same circular motions.

 

Some things I do with my kid(s):

  • Clear out old toys before they bring out new toys to play with
  • Clean up before nap time and bed time
  • Give them the responsibility for setting the table
  • Let them help in the kitchen
  • Make helping fun
  • Encourage them to be more independent

 

Simplify cooking

I created a simple, but flexible menu for my family. The more predictable the menu, the more predictable the shopping, the easier it is to get meals prepped. You can leave a day or two for a surprise menu item. Or you can mix things up with seasonal items.

 

Sometimes, I stop at different specialty stores from week to week to keep things interesting. This week, it could be the Asian grocery store, next week, it could be World market or the African store.

 

Simplify shopping list

I noticed that most of what I buy every week is the same. Instead of figuring out a new shopping list every week, it occurred to me to write one very robust list and use the same one every week. I look through the house quickly before I go out to see if I can skip any items.

 

Automate shopping

This is the fun part. I have automated a lot of my household shopping by getting things delivered to me

  • Diapers & wipes
  • Household cleaning and grooming products
  • Baby care products
  • Formula
  • Vitamins, bars & shakes
  • Toilet paper
  • Even some groceries

 

We have sort of a milk man deliver fresh milk, eggs and meats every week (love that).

 

Sites I use

 

I have put a lot on auto ship or auto order these days I don’t even go to Target or Costco. I readjust my order when I need to. It saves me money because I am less likely to impulse buy. Saves me time and gas as well, obviously.

 

I also leave a sheet out, so if things are running out anyone can write on the list. On the weekend I get the list, adjust my auto orders or update my shopping list

 

Automate bill payments

I built up an account until I could get all bills automatically charged there. I then set a lot of my bills to auto charge that account. This way I’m not going to lots of websites to take care of monthly bills. For some bills I use bill pay from the bank site. I do my accounting from my own account once or twice a month.

 

The next guide may be for not so lazy mothers. I’ve been speaking to a few to get pointers.

 

Hope this is helpful. Please share any tips you have with us!