how to balance chores and work

When work and home are in the same place, it’s challenging to keep your roles separate. Eying piles of dirty dishes while you try to concentrate on work is distracting and frustrating. Sometimes it can be hard to get anything done at all!

You may feel overwhelmed and think keeping your home clean and getting your job done is an “either-or” situation, but we promise it doesn’t have to be that way. One of the best ways to balance household chores and working from home is to maintain a schedule that allows time for both.

Check out these innovative ways to balance household chores while working from home. Once they’re done, you’ll be freed from unnecessary distractions and you’ll have a cleaner home!

Daily House Chores and How to Fit Them In

Repurpose your old commute time.

The average American drives 16 miles for a one-way commute to work, resulting in an average trip of one hour. Why not use the time you would have spent in traffic to get the house in order? You won’t interrupt your work schedule, and you’ll minimize those distractions that come with a dirty house.

Set a timer for 30 minutes and start decluttering, organizing, and cleaning. Pick one room or one specific housekeeping task to complete each day; you’ll be surprised how much you get done by the end of each week. So what do you do with those other 30 minutes? At the end of the day, organize and clean your workspace and pick up where you left off in the morning.

Decide how often you should do each chore.

Depending on how many kids and pets you have and where they spend their time, you probably don’t have to clean every room of the house every week. Vacuuming, dusting, and other daily chores may be a necessity, but most other cleaning chores can wait a day or two without things getting out of control.

If you want to buy yourself more time between cleanings, get everyone in your home on board with a “clean as you go” mindset. Help your kids learn to pick up and put their things back where they belong. Set some rules about where they can eat, play, and do their homework, and let them know it’s up to them to wipe their feet, clean up a spill, or keep things organized.

Set reasonable expectations.

Just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean you have to set unreasonable expectations for cleanliness. That’s a recipe for failure that affects your home and work life. Your house doesn’t have to be spotless all the time—you’ve got to make a living and not neglect the important things in your life.

Sometimes good is good enough. If your goal is to have a perfectly clean house and work a full-time job, you will often be disappointed with yourself. Set reasonable expectations and you’ll find a better balance between housework and your job.

Determine what chores are easier to complete in an empty house.

Working while your kids and spouse are home can be tough enough, much less trying to do your job and clean house. How you arrange your work and cleaning schedule will depend a lot on your kids’ age and the type of work you do at home. Finding tasks you can complete while they’re going through their daily routine helps, but there’s nothing like having the place all to yourself to really get things done.

Take blended breaks.

Chances are if you work from home, there’s no one telling you when to take a break.
Getting up and stretching your legs, walking outside for some fresh air, and other breaks make you more productive. But these breaks can also be a good time to get a couple of chores done around the house.

Instead of just walking around the house, pick up the kitchen, straighten up the bathroom, or take care of those lingering cobwebs. Keep in mind that you’re not tackling major chores; instead, you’re choosing tasks you can complete in a few minutes.

Make a housekeeping plan.

Take a few minutes to sketch out a rough cleaning schedule that makes the most of your time. If the kids are in school during the day, schedule a couple of rooms to be cleaned while they’re away. Note which chores take the least time and work those into your breaks. Working from home typically means more flexibility than a traditional job, so make the best of it!

Don’t Think You Have to Do Everything Yourself

If you’re sharing a home with kids (or spouses!) who are old enough to help, the household chores should be shared fairly. Some tasks, like cooking and cleaning up after a meal, are easier and more fun with some teamwork. You can divide up other chores for other family members to tackle on their own time. If you face some resistance, use food, screen time, and other rewards to motivate everyone to chip in. Getting kids to help with chores not only makes your life less stressful, it teaches them some good life lessons like accountability, responsibility, and teamwork.

There are plenty of reasons you may want to consider hiring a cleaning service. Whether it’s because you’re just too busy or you realize your time is worth more than what you invest in a maid service, help is just around the corner. So the next time you find your work-at-home schedule and your household chores list at odds, contact The Maids and we’ll get to work.

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