Time Saving Tips for Around the House & More
Time is precious. It’s a commodity no one can buy more of – so why not try to maximize your efficiency? Whether you’re cleaning, shopping or entertaining, there are always a few ways to save time. Learn how to create more time in your life from the cleaning experts who care.
Make the Most of Your Time
With over 30 years of experience cleaning homes, Molly Maid knows the value of time. With this experience comes familiarity with time-saving tips and tricks that you can use in your own home in addition to Molly Maid services. Click the links below to find all sorts of time-saving tips that will help you seize the day and the clock!
- How to Save Time When Cleaning
- How to Save Time at School
- How to Save Time When Entertaining
- How to Save Time When Shopping
Looking for even more free time? Molly Maid can help. Our house cleaning services allow you to spend less time dusting, scrubbing and cleaning and more time doing the things you love. See just how much time we can help you save by calling to schedule home cleaning services at (800) 654-9647, or request a free estimate.
Cleaning the home is a chore that quickly swallows free time. Fortunately, it’s also one the easiest routines to adjust to save time and improve efficiency. Molly Maid has been in the business of cleaning homes for more than 30 years and is armed with time-saving tips.
3 Ways to Spend Less Time Cleaning
Use these three time-saving tips from Molly Maid, and you'll be able to maintain your home and take back control over your free time.
- Set a timer for a 15-minute burst of cleaning. One of the easiest ways to save time while cleaning is to do a little decluttering every day. Spending just 10 to 15 minutes a day to tidy up really can save you a lot of time and grief on big cleaning days. Have a designated location for everything; this can increase your productivity when you’re cleaning.
- Start from the top, and work your way down. Gravity affects everything, even household dust. Save the floors for last. Otherwise, you’ll knock dust onto the floors and have to clean them twice.
- Clean as you go. This is a tried-and-true way to save time when cleaning, especially when it comes to your kitchen and bathroom. While cooking, be sure to wipe surfaces as you go and place prep utensils and bowls in the sink. Clean spills on your stovetop as they happen so you can prevent crusted-on stains. Similarly, be sure to wipe away any soap scum or toothpaste on your bathroom sink daily. Keep basic cleaning supplies in buckets throughout your home for easy access. It will help you build good habits.
Ways to Spend Less Time Vacuuming
The typical family of four will vacuum their living room about 104 times a year. While these tips won't cut down on the number of times you have to vacuum – families can be messy! – they will make vacuuming more efficient.
- Prepare the room. One of the easiest ways to save time when vacuuming is having the room ready: Pick up loose items on the floor, and pull furniture away from the walls to make running the vacuum easier, with fewer starts and stops.
- Perform regular maintenance. The majority of vacuums get tossed to the curb when the belt breaks or wears out. If your vacuum loses suction, it's likely because the rubber belt is stretched, which impedes the brush. For a few dollars and the help of a repair shop, you can often bring your vacuum back to life again for less than the cost of a new vacuum.
- Invest in a couple of options. Having a small hand vacuum with a beater bar can be extremely helpful when vacuuming upholstery and carpeted stairs. Their handheld, maneuverable nature can save you countless minutes and help you avoid the hassle of using a larger vacuum. You should also consider purchasing a small vacuum to keep in or near a bathroom for quick floor cleaning.
- Empty the debris bag or bin. Always start vacuuming with a clean debris bin or bag. This helps create more suction and prevents you from having to stop and dump debris in the middle of vacuuming.
3 Ways to Spend Less Time Dusting
We all know that keeping your house clean and looking good is an ongoing process; it takes work. However, that doesn't mean that cleaning needs to take up all of your free time. Make your dusting as efficient as possible with Molly Maid's three ways to save time when dusting. Reclaim your free time today!
- Dust before you vacuum. As you dust, bits of dirt and dust will naturally fall to the floor. By dusting first and vacuuming second, you won’t have to vacuum the same floor twice.
- Move top down. Similarly, when dusting wall units or shelves, start at the top. Begin by first lifting and dusting each object, and then dust the entire shelf (including underneath and behind the objects.)
- Use microfiber. For best results, use a damp, clean microfiber cloth. To dampen the cloth, hold the cloth by a corner and lightly mist it with clean water from a spray bottle. You want the cloth to be damp enough to pick up dust without leaving moisture streaks behind on surfaces. Using this method will ensure that your home's surfaces and furniture are cleaned in a safe and green way.
3 Tips for Staying Organized
It's truly amazing how much time you can save by simply getting organized. Many people think that organizing is a challenge or a chore, but it doesn't have to be. Use these three simple time-saving tips from Molly Maid to get your home organized.
- Designate. One of the simplest ways to save time is to have a designated place for everything. When you have determined every place, put items back when you're done using them. This is easier said than done, but getting both yourself and your family into the habit of doing so can save you a tremendous amount of time.
- Start small. Remember that you don't have to get your entire home organized in a single day. Start small with places like drawers, and then move on from there. Gradually purchasing dividers and other organizers can be a great way to organize your home's storage and prevent you from wasting time trying to find things.
- Create a family information center. When it comes to getting organized, having family members share plans and information is important. There are several options for keeping your family on the same page, including traditional methods like a bulletin board or printed family calendar in your kitchen, or more modern options like a tablet with a Google calendar window.
How to Create More Time in Your Life
Maximize your efficiency during everyday activities with these time-saving tips from Molly Maid. But remember: Speed isn’t everything. Don’t sacrifice quantity (of thoughtful moments, time to rest) for efficiency if it means you’re forgetting to stop and smell the roses (or coffee) along the way.
How to Streamline Your Morning Routine
Whether you're getting ready for work or scrambling to get the kids ready for school, streamline your daily routine with these simple tips to save time in the morning:
- Set your clothes out the night before. Deciding earlier what you want to wear can save you priceless minutes each morning.
- Pack your work/school bag the night before. Make sure your bag has everything you need, and put your wallet, car keys and cell phone in one easy-to-find place.
- Brown bagging your lunch? Pack your food the night before to save time.
- Make breakfast simple. Breakfast is by far the most important meal of the day, but lack of time in the morning can cause people to skip it. A quick strategy to combat this is to prepare all the materials you need for your breakfast the night before. Otherwise, a simple smoothie or shake mix is quick to prepare in the morning.
- Invest in a drip coffee pot with a timer that will start brewing before you even wake up. One-cup and pod-type coffee makers also make a quick cup of joe.
How to Free Up Time on the Weekends
Whether you're attending a family gathering or completing your weekly to-do list, your precious free time can disappear in a hurry. Make the most out of your weekend with these three simple tips:
- Plan for the week ahead. The weekend is meant to be a time for you to have fun, relax and unplug from work. But taking a few minutes of your weekend to plan for the upcoming week can save you a lot of time and stress when the new week arrives. Then your responsibilities are less likely to spill over into the following weekend!
- Prioritize your weekend to-do list. When you do have work or projects to get done on the weekend, do the hardest, least fun thing first. Once you have it out of the way, you'll be able to enjoy the rest of your weekend.
- Don't be afraid to say no. Keep your attention focused on what matters most to you. By living life with that intention, you will know how you want to spend your time and how you don't. When you say no, make sure you say it to the request and not the person. If you explain why you need to say no, most of the time, people will appreciate that honesty.
- Avoid checking in to work. Work can sometimes bleed into your weekends. Try everything possible to avoid checking work emails or answering calls. It can wait until Monday!
4 Ways to Create More Free Time at Home
Between work, kids and maintaining your relationships, you have better ways to spend your time than on chores. That's why Molly Maid has prepared these four time-saving tips to help you organize your home and eliminate unneeded stress during your daily routine.
- Organize. Have a designated place to keep your keys, purse/wallet and cell phone. Getting these belongings organized is an incredibly simple and effective way to save yourself minutes every day. Try to get in the habit of putting items away after every use.
- Multitask. Whether it's putting away clean dishes while making dinner, folding laundry while watching TV or taking out the garbage when going for a run, there are almost endless possibilities for household tasks that can be completed in tandem. Be creative, and find ways to do things simultaneously around your home.
- Go online. From paying all of your bills with online or automatic billing to planning a week's worth of grocery store items on a printable list, make the most of your screen time to limit errands and avoid multiple trips to the store.
- Outsource Common Tasks. With the convenience of the internet, it’s easy to automate small tasks that can take up time. Subscribing to certain delivery services can save time and money – pet food, toilet paper and other products you use often are great choices for automated delivery.
4 Ways to Manage Your Time at Work
We’ve all heard it said that when it comes to business, time is money. And for many of us, the saying holds true. Use these four ways to save time at work, improve your efficiency and stay on top of your projects.
- Is it critical? Or important? If you have a lot on your plate at work, try dividing your tasks into two categories: critical and important. Only move on to important tasks after the critical ones are complete. This is a great way to not only make your workload more manageable but also improve your performance at work.
- Don't let email take over your day. Having your email open throughout your entire workday can lead to decreased productivity. Schedule dedicated times each day to read new emails and send replies, and then close your email. That way you can reduce distractions and focus on your work.
- Prepare a plan for tomorrow. One of the easiest ways to save time at work is to have a game plan for the next day. Developing a strategy for the day beforehand allows you to prioritize tasks, schedule meetings and complete your work faster.
- Drown out the noise. A simple pair of headphones helps drown out noise and sends the universal “I’m busy” signal to your coworkers so you can work efficiently without distractions.
How to Save Time When Taking Care of Pets
Keep your pets and home happy, healthy and looking good with these three time-saving pet care tips from Molly Maid.
- Clean pet stains as they happen. If your pet had an accident, treat the area as soon as possible and let it dry. Club soda can be a good substitute for store-bought pet stain removers. Once the area is dry, sprinkle it with baking soda to help control odors. After letting the baking soda sit for an hour or so, vacuum the area thoroughly.
- Combine your exercise routines. If you love to run, so does your dog! Bring them along with you so you can both get exercise. Even if you’re not a runner, taking your dog to get the mail is still better than nothing.
- Get an extra litter box. Vets recommend that owners have one more litter box than they have cats. Two cats? Have three litter boxes. The cats have more real estate to use, so you only have to clean every other day.
- Keep a small vacuum handy. A large vacuum is a hassle to pull out if you only use it for five minutes. A small vacuum that’s light and easy to grab will make quick work of pet hair that builds up between deep cleans. Waiting for dinner to cook? Grab the vacuum, and give any problem areas a quick buzz.
3 Time-Saving Moving Tips
In terms of milestone events, moving is one of the most important experiences people have. Make your move feel like an exciting adventure with Molly Maid's moving tips. Moving is a combination of many small five-minute tasks that quickly add up. Get ahead of the game with these moving tips!
- Give yourself 60 days. Write a week-by-week checklist, and avoid any last-minute missteps. If possible, start 60 days before your move. The tasks you accomplish far before moving day may seem trivial now, but remember that your time will be at a premium on the days right before your move.
- Develop your own packing system. You’ll want to make sure that all of your boxes end up in the right rooms at your new place. A simple way to make your own custom packing system and save a lot of time is to purchase magic markers and pick a color for each room in your new home. Draw a floor plan, and label each room with the appropriate color. Put a few scribbles of the specific colors on your boxes so you’ll know where they go on moving day. It's also helpful to number your boxes by category of what's inside them so you know which boxes contain which items.
- Work in an empty room. Have the new house cleaned and painted, and make other improvements to your home while it's still empty. This may not always be possible, but it is considerably easier to accomplish larger maintenance tasks before you move in with all of your belongings.
Simple Ways to Save Time in the Kitchen
Molly Maid understands you have better ways to spend your time – like spending quality time at the table instead of working over the stove. Finding even an extra few minutes can mean a lot. See how you can manage your mealtimes below.
- Prep in batches. When you get home from the grocery store, take the time to chop herbs, wrap them in a paper towel and place them in a plastic bag. You can also chop veggies and store them in food containers so that when you're cooking throughout the week, they can go straight in the pan.
- Cook in bulk. It doesn’t take much longer to make a large pot of pasta sauce than a small one. Make large batches of food, and freeze the leftovers for quick and easy dinners.
- Identify one-pot wonders. Purchasing a quality set of pots and pans can cut down on wash time. But an even better time-saving tactic is to plan meals that can be cooked in a single pot. It can help develop flavor and saves you time after the meal is over.
- Invest in a food processor. For big batches of soup or pasta sauce, use a food processor to quickly chop ingredients in seconds.
- Get organized. Ensuring that you have easy access to all your tools and ingredients is an extremely effective way to save time in the kitchen. Reserve the storage areas closest to your stove, sink and refrigerator for the tools, gadgets and ingredients you use most often. Then be sure to store like items together.
Ways to Spend Less Time on your Computer
Very few items have the potential to save time and waste it, but computers have that unique trait. These simple tips from Molly Maid will help you save time – and block out distractions that can slow you down.
- Learn keyboard shortcuts. Many of the computer programs you use every day have a variety of keyboard shortcuts that can really save you time when using your computer. These "hotkeys" are keyboard prompts that can be used for a variety of often-repeated tasks, from saving your work to formatting text to bookmarking your favorite websites.
- Stay on task. Research has shown that people searching for an answer on the web will choose to visit multiple sites, when they could have found the desired information after visiting only one. Try to limit your searches to information and websites that you actually need for your project. Also make sure to avoid getting caught up in your social media or email.
- Keep your work and personal emails separate. By simply having separate email accounts for your professional and personal correspondence, you can avoid the distraction of answering personal emails at work and vice versa.
- Use software to prevent distraction. Utilize software that will help you stay on task. Some of these programs can limit internet surfing time, block out notifications or even temporarily disrupt your internet connection.
How to Save Time at School
There are a lot of school-related tasks that quickly gobble up a student’s free time. Let Molly Maid help you stay focused and study efficiently with these time-saving tips.
3 Ways to Stay Focused and Save time at School
Between classes and extracurricular activities, a student's free time is precious. That's why Molly Maid has put together these three ways to save time at school to help ensure success.
- Schedule a dedicated study time. Make sure study time is completely devoted to homework. Shut off your phone, and don’t respond to calls or texts until your work is finished. Remove other distractions like TV or the Internet. If you need the Internet to complete your assignment, make sure you are focused on the project and not surfing the web. Enable browser add-ons and phone applications that temporarily disable your favorite websites to avoid temptation.
- Keep your work with you at all times. You never know when you'll find yourself with extra time –whether it’s before practice, between classes or while you're waiting for an appointment. These small windows of time are perfect for getting work done.
- Make a to-do list every morning. Place the most important tasks at the top, even if they're things you're dreading, and get them done first. Reward yourself by including things you want to do on your list too. That way you will have tasks to look forward to. Motivating yourself with a reward for completing your list is a great way to keep yourself on track.
Time-Saving Study Tips
Make the most out of your study sessions and improve your academic performance with these three time-saving tips:
- Avoid cramming before exams. Trying to force yourself to study a ton of information during the last couple of days leading up to your exam is incredibly inefficient. Combat this by slowly interlinking ideas as they come to you, transforming your studying into a quick recap rather than your first attempt at learning the material. And of course, try to make yourself start studying early.
- Test your understanding of the material. It isn't enough just to memorize key concepts or dates. To perform well on your test, you should be able to jump between sections, explain the connections between key concepts and be able to reference one idea to explain another. Pay rapt attention and take meticulous notes in class. Teachers’ and professors’ lectures offer the information and takeaways they feel are the most important. Rewrite your notes to prep for tests, and then, with the time you have left, connect more dots from your highlights in the textbook. Make the most of the time you spend in class so you can reduce the time you need to study outside of your class hours.
- Don't waste time making sure everything looks perfect. Having gorgeous notes at the expense of complete notes doesn't help you get an A. Your end goal is to capture all the information your lecturer deems the most vital; don't feel like your notes have to look perfect.
- Ask the pros. Teachers know best! Ask them specifically what material you should be studying so you can efficiently use your time for what matters most.
3 Back-to-School Time-Saving Tips
Going back to school has never been easier with these three time-saving tips from Molly Maid. Whether you’re a parent or a student (or both!), streamline your morning routine with these back-to-school tips.
- Pick out clothes for the week on Sunday. Get dressed, eat, brush your teeth, check your backpack and head out. Routines get established when decision making is limited. Help automate your morning routine by picking out your clothes (or helping your kids pick out theirs) for the week. This process can also help you identify items that need to be washed.
- Pre-pack lunches a week at a time. Preparing lunches with juice boxes, snacks and your or your kids’ favorite items a week at a time is a simple way to save time when going back to school.
- Have bath time at night. Make bath time a leisurely activity to help yourself and/or your child to wind down at night. It beats rushing around and get ready in the morning, and you’ll save time when it’s most precious.
How to Save Time When Entertaining
Time spent entertaining friends shouldn’t also be spent hunched over the stove. Relax and visit with friends; that’s what entertaining is all about! Molly Maid is here to ensure you have a great time and aren’t thinking about what can go wrong.
3 Time-Saving Tips for the Holidays
Everyone knows that the holiday season is one of the busiest times of the year. To help you make the most of your time, Molly Maid has prepared these simple time-saving tips.
- Be conscious of your upcoming schedule at work, and plan accordingly. By planning ahead and identifying potential work-related issues and projects that may fall into your lap around the holidays, you can avoid having to take time from your family.
- Create a roadmap. Figure out which gifts you can purchase online and what you’ll need to buy in person. When you have to head out, plan stops in a logical order so you're not wasting time driving back and forth between the store and a holiday party.
- Schedule social commitments carefully. The holidays are a time for you to spend time with your loved ones and recharge before the start of the new year. To minimize stress, don’t trying to cram too many holiday parties into your schedule or purchase a gift for everyone you know. If you want to bring or give something, consider baked goods from a ready-made mix. You can often add other ingredients to make a dessert something special!
Party-Planning Tips for Easy Hosting
It's time to celebrate! Maximize the amount of time you can enjoy with your party guests by following these party planning tips:
- Set the table. Since most of your cooking will occur day-of, put out items that don't need refrigeration, and set the table and bar area the day or night before.
- Get some help. Whether you recruit a friend or decide to purchase some ready-made food to round out the menu, don’t be afraid to cut a few corners or enlist help. Someone is bound to enjoy helping out. And the other party guests will be completely satisfied just being welcomed and in good company. Don't put unexpected pressure on yourself to do it all!
- Make a signature cocktail in a pitcher. Doing so will not only help you save time but also cut back on your party spending. Keep party drinks simple, and take time to prepare them a few hours before the party starts. You’ll love how much time you save.
- Use sticky notes. Make a handful of sticky notes with different tasks you need help with (e.g., setting the table, opening wine, lighting candles), and stick them on the fridge. When guests ask how they can help, tell them to head to the fridge and grab a note!
How to Save Time When Shopping
Shopping doesn’t have to be an all-day affair. Let Molly Maid help you make quick trips to the grocery and maximize your efficiency while you run errands.
3 Ways to Save Time at the Grocery Store
We all know that grocery stores can be incredibly busy, especially during the weekends. So Molly Maid has put together these simple time-saving tips to help you get in and out of your grocery store with ease.
- Keep an ongoing shopping list. Making a list of items as you discover you need them can help ensure that you don't end up short on the essential items and then have to make extra trips. Lists can also help prevent you from overbuying. Bring a pen, and cross off the items as you load them in your cart, or use the note application on your smartphone.
- Pick your route. Knowing the layout of your grocery store can make your shopping a whole lot quicker. If you’re shopping with your spouse or significant other, divide your shopping list between the two of you. If you have kids, leave them at home with supervision, and do your shopping solo. Some parents even recommend heading to the store after the kids are in bed.
- Shop during off-peak hours. Shopping early to mid-week can be a great way to avoid crowds at the grocery store. Early mornings are a great time to shop if you are able. Shopping late at night is another simple way to avoid lines. At the least, waiting until after dinner to do your shopping can help you avoid post-work crowds. If you can't avoid shopping on the weekends, get to the store before noon. If you have to make multiple trips to the grocery store, try going on your lunch hour, and keep a cooler in your vehicle to keep items cold when you head back into work.
3 Ways to Spend Less Time Running Errands
You can spend more than half of your free time out running errands. Take back your free time (and your gas money), and complete your errands more efficiently with these three easy tips:
- Schedule one day a week to run errands. Avoid running out of the house every day to do errands, this can take away time you could be using for other activities. Instead, create a list of all your errands, and complete them all on the designated day. Doing so will open up the rest of your week's schedule.
- Map it out. By mapping out your errands before you start driving, you will save time, gas and energy. If possible, coordinate your errands with your spouse or significant other. Working together to complete your list is a great way to save hours each week.
- Go online. Whether you're paying bills, getting photos printed, renting a movie or shopping for clothes, there are a number of online services that can save you time.
We all know that time is precious. As experts in the home cleaning industry, Molly Maid knows a lot about saving time when you’re not only cleaning but in other areas of your life. Let Molly Maid help you save time by using our home cleaning services. Call (800) 654-9647 to discuss your maid service needs or Request a FREE Estimate.