Housework You Can Do While Working

by Melanie Edwards on December 29, 2009 · 5 comments

in home, Wahm

When working from home, it can be tempting to try to do it all. At once. But, it’s pretty near impossible to be able to work on your blog, work on client-related tasks, and clean the house all at the same time. That said, I’ve found there are a few things you can do around the house while working, that will not take too much time away from your work. A plus is that you might actually feel like you accomplished something.

Here are a few household duties you can complete throughout the day while also working:

  1. Wash a load or two of laundry – If you sort the clothes out before starting your work day (or even the night before), it’s really simple to just walk to the laundry room and load the washer. It’ll take all of 30 seconds. By the same token, it’ll take you about 1 minute to put that same load in the dryer and start a new load. Now, folding…well that will take longer, so I usually reserve that for the evening hours after I’m off the clock anyway.
  2. Cook – You have to eat, right? At least, you should. Taking a 20-30 minute break from your work to eat lunch, can double as time for starting that evening’s dinner. You can chop up some ingredients, or defrost some meat. You can even set the slow cooker or throw some meat in the oven. It’ll give you a head start for the meal of the day and you won’t feel so rushed come dinner time.
  3. Clean up some clutter – I’m assuming that you get up and walk around the house at some point throughout the day. Maybe even to use the bathroom? On your way there, to the kitchen, or wherever you’re headed, you can easily pick up a few toys and drop them in the playroom. Or maybe pick up those shoes in the corner of the room and take them to your room. Clearing some clutter can do wonders for the overall look of the house and will give instant gratification, which in turn will make you feel better. Maybe this is just my personal experience…
  4. Dishes – Again, when you take a break for lunch or to grab a snack, you can stop by the sink and wash a few dishes. If you prefer, you can take the time to load the dishwasher. Either way, it doesn’t take too long to make the pile of dishes go down.

To keep things legit, I use an online timer when doing client work. What I like is that both the stopwatch and the countdown features have a pause button. So, even when I step away from my work for 30 seconds to load my washing machine, I can pause the timer and still have an accurate record of the time I’ve worked.

How about you? Do you prefer to chunk the housework for specific days/times or do you like to do a little at a time?

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1 Philippa December 29, 2009 at 11:22 am

I love the online timer. While I am not officially working from home, I do like to limit my time spent online. I don’t want my son growing up thinking the computer is the center of the universe.

I am a routine fanatic. I have certain days which I focus on different cleaning tasks so it’s not schedule surprise. Of course dishes and clutter clearing is an everyday thing around here.

2 Melanie (ModernMami) January 4, 2010 at 3:29 pm

@Philippa, I think a little each day for cleaning is better too. I’ve tried both ways and it seems to go better when we break it up during the week.

3 WardMalcom January 24, 2010 at 4:59 pm

I didn't use to do much work around the house while working at home. But since my relocation I had to start learning how to mix them both. My new house is needs a lot of work and I can't ever find enough time. So I try to do all the little things while on a short break or when taking on the phone with clients.

4 modernmami January 27, 2010 at 11:35 am

It's tough, but like you said, sometimes you have to mix them and just do the little things when you can. Congrats on the new house!

5 modernmami January 27, 2010 at 12:35 pm

It's tough, but like you said, sometimes you have to mix them and just do the little things when you can. Congrats on the new house!

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