- Mental Health»
3 Easy Ways to Cut Your Household Chores and Extend your Weekend
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.
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!
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.
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.