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3 Easy Ways to Cut Your Household Chores and Extend your Weekend

Updated on April 23, 2013

The average couple's weekend might look something like this...

Friday night, both of you come home exhausted from the working week. No one really feels like going out, so you fall onto the couch, order in food and watch whatever's on TV. It's a very early night. Saturday is spent cleaning the house, tending to the yard, doing the laundry and buying the groceries. Sunday is spent doing any cleaning that was left over, going to church, going to the gym, taking the kids to the mall or visiting family.

And then you wake up on Monday and wonder..

"Where did the weekend go?"

Where in weekend was there time to just zone out of life's everyday responsibilities and to simply relax together as a couple, family or by yourself and do what YOU wanted to do?

Have you ever wondered how people with families, who work full day still manage to have fun, to spend time together and do the things that matter?

What about those who don't yet have children, but both partners go to work, and come home exhausted. They also need time to focus on each other, and spend that quality time together.

And then of course, if you're a single person working to make ends meat, you also want to be able to spend time out over the weekends visiting friends or family, relaxing and simply doing the things you want to do.

Who wants to spend a good couple of hours each weekend (which is only 48 hours long) cleaning house, shopping for groceries and doing all the other things that you felt there wasn't enough time to do during the week?

I certainly don't. And, I've found a few helpful ways to make sure that I make the most of my weekend - the two days off each week to do what I want to do and to spend it with those that matter.

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Groceries

When you work full day, I imagine the last thing that you feel like doing is going to the grocery store after work. You'd probably rather brave the masses on Saturday morning. But, think about this for a minute. This means that you have to get up early on one of two precious days that you have to sleep in, wean in between the crowds (and remember entire families usually shop together on Saturdays). What else could you have been doing in those 2 hours?

ALTERNATIVE: Mondays usually aren't great, so why not make it a tradition to have your weekly shopping list ready over the weekend and take turns with your partner to pick up the groceries after work each week? The best part about this deal is that you or your partner get to decide what's for dinner that night. Whether it's a frozen pizza or whether you feel like getting creative and making a meal with the family together. Make Monday nights fun nights!

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Laundry

Up until recently, my Saturday morning consisted of doing 3 loads of washing for the week as there's no time for either of us to do this before work in the morning. This was especially tedious in the middle of winter with all the rain. As we don't have a tumble dryer - this led to washing being hung all over the house for a few days in order to dry. But even if you do have a tumble dryer, who wants to spend their Saturday morning doing laundry?

ALTERNATIVE: Take your weekly washing to a Laundromat. Let them wash, dry and fold your clothes for you. All you need to do is drop it off and collect it later or the next day. Easy as pie. And inexpensive too. For us, 13kgs for wash, dry and fold was R160. If you feel that it's additional money you need not spend, think about the electricity you're spending washing the clothes. You could tweak your grocery budget for the week, or go out a little less. That covers a meal out for the both of us - and it's so worth it. I also save 5 hours out of my Saturday (about a 1/4 of the weekend!) by doing this.

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Cleaning House

Unfortunately, the reality here in South Africa is that it's not exactly safe to have a housekeeper during the day at your house when you're out at work. If you're able to find a trustworthy person who can clean your house without taking inventory of what you have and feeding this information to their friends so that they can come back later and rob your house - then you are one of the very lucky few! With both partners in a relationship working full day, the weekend seems like the only option available to clean the house. Our house is quite small, so for me it takes about 2 - 3 hours tops to clean once a week, but still - that's time that I'd rather be doing something else more enjoyable. And that's what I've done.

ALTERNATIVE: Instead of spending up to half a day of your two day weekend cleaning, split what needs to be done over the week. Some weeks I'll ask my Manager if I can take my lunch at the end of the day, I'll get home early and get all my cleaning done in less time than it would take me over the weekend. Other weeks, I'll only do what's necessary and split it up in two days after work - I'm not going to kill myself worrying about a little bit of dust that no one else will notice. This is super quick. I'll ask my husband to start supper and make a goal of finishing what's most important by the time the food is ready. Imagine if you have children, you could even make a game of it and ask them to help by seeing who can tidy up their rooms and/or playing area the fastest.

How much time do you spend doing household chores over the weekend?

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    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well I am all for these suggestions. For me, though, it's a matter of finding a way to walk away from the computer and leave the world of words....I'm trying to cut back on my obsession with writing and find time to have fun....sigh! Great job my friend!

    • MelChi profile image
      Author

      Melanie Chisnall 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Haha Bill, don't worry - you are not alone! It's scary how much writing can consume you and suck you in....but it's much better than doing household chores!! :)

    • Lord De Cross profile image

      Joseph De Cross 4 years ago

      Great tips Melchi. I'm with Billy...we cannot get away from writing. Your hub give practical advice especially for newlyweds. Nice to see you back...!

    • Julie DeNeen profile image

      Blurter of Indiscretions 4 years ago from Clinton CT

      I really liked the way you laid this hub out. Great suggestions!

    • MelChi profile image
      Author

      Melanie Chisnall 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Hi lord! It's good to be back - thank you! Glad you enjoyed the hub :)

    • MelChi profile image
      Author

      Melanie Chisnall 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Hi Julie, thanks a mil! :)

    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 4 years ago from Upstate, New York

      Wonderful and helpful suggestions from someone who tries to do it whenever the time is there.

    • MelChi profile image
      Author

      Melanie Chisnall 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Hi shiningirisheyes - thank you for stopping by! Couldn't agree with you more, household chores are to be done when the time is there, not for weekends to be revolved around! :)

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image

      Sasha Kim 4 years ago

      These are all excellent suggestions! Thank you for such a helpful hub. I'm a stay at home mom but time still seems to get away from me.

    • MelChi profile image
      Author

      Melanie Chisnall 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Hi Mama Kim 8 - I take my hat off to you and all stay-at-home moms! It has to be the hardest job in the world...any time that can be saved is worth it, even if it's only a few minutes. Thanks for reading :)

    • Alecia Murphy profile image

      Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

      These are some great tips! I need to put these to use because no one wants to spend all weekend cleaning. Great job!

    • MelChi profile image
      Author

      Melanie Chisnall 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Hi Alecia - I agree! Weekend cleaning is not fun at all...it takes me 2 - 4 hours a weekend, and that's already almost half my Saturday! No thanks! Thanks for stopping in and commenting :)

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 4 years ago from USA

      These are great tips - sharing the load with the family members, delegating or using other services as long as they are practical and affordable, and doing more doing the week will certainly save you weekend time to do fun things.

    • jenbeach21 profile image

      jenbeach21 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Great tips! I go grocery shopping on mondays so I don't have to waste the weekend!

    • MelChi profile image
      Author

      Melanie Chisnall 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Hi jenbeach21 - I'm with you there! I used to wake up early on a Sunday morning to get the grocery shop done, but then realized it cut into my weekend. Now we normally do it on Monday's straight after work. If we're out on the weekend, then I don't mind popping in quickly to get some things, but I don't like making a special effort to go - that's for the week. Glad you feel the same, thanks for the comment :)

    • MelChi profile image
      Author

      Melanie Chisnall 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Hi Shasta - Thank you! Weekends are so short, I think we need to save as much time on the unpleasant things as possible - so that we can take full advantage of those precious 48 hours.

    • carter06 profile image

      Mary 4 years ago from Cronulla NSW

      I'm with you girl, great tips here...when I worked full time I would shop on Thursday nights, so it didn't have to be done over the weekend...cheers

    • MelChi profile image
      Author

      Melanie Chisnall 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      carter06 - I only figured out about the shopping during the week a few months ago! I could kick myself for all the Sunday mornings that I'd wake up early just to get to the shops as the doors opened! And there I thought I was being clever. No thanks, a list and doing the shopping straight after work is the way to go. Quick, quick - and you don't have to compete with families taking a morning trip to the supermarket together as a weekend outing. Glad we're on the same page! :)

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 4 years ago from Chicago Area

      Absolutely hate housework! I can't think of any worse way to spend my life, especially weekends. I used to spend half of my Saturday cleaning and half my Sunday with laundry. Then there's yard work. Bleck! I'd rather be writing.

      Anyhow, at the beginning of the year, I decided to take back part of my weekend. I still do the laundry on Sunday while doing writing. But I limit cleaning to one half day a month and then less than 1 hour a week for touch up cleaning in between. Then my husband and I hired our landscaper to do the spring cleanup and mulching. Worth every penny!

      Glad I have company in the Housework Haters Society. :)

    • MelChi profile image
      Author

      Melanie Chisnall 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Haha! Heidithorne that sounds awesome! I think I need to do something like this. Half a day a month and an hour a week sounds perfect. I spend 2 hours a week cleaning our small place so I must be doing something wrong, lol! ;)

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