A Lazy Housewives Guide to Having an Easier Life!

(52 Posts)
SEWannabe Sun 16-Jun-13 11:17:36

I am just wondering what lazy (but handy) tips you all use in the home, to make your life easier?
I thought it may be nice to share some with each other, as I am sick of feeling really un-organized!

My main one is REALLY lazy:

When making a roast dinner, I always use those throw away foil trays to roast the meat and potatoes in blush. I HATE scrubbing roasting tins, so now I make sure I don't have to!

Another one is that I used to always run around in the mornings like a headless chicken, finding uniforms for school, and pants and socks for the children. Now, I have a 'Uniform bag' in the upstairs hallway, in which I keep all school uniform, PE kit, and 5 pairs of pants/socks/boxers per child.
As soon as the Uniform is all washed (normally a Saturday), it goes straight into this bag, so I don't have to worry about where to find it on Monday morning.

What are your lazy but genius ideas? Please share, I don't want to feel like the only lazy one here smile

motherinferior Sun 16-Jun-13 11:21:40

Feminism. It takes so much of the strain out of domestic duties, I find.

<watches Mr Inferior whisking round with the hoover>

DragonsAreReal Sun 16-Jun-13 11:25:50

Being organised. I am so so lazy but I find i have so much more time to be lazy (read books no cleaning every day) if I do little things.

I am stealing the uniform bag idea!

My dc are very good at doing a lot for themselves, some might say I'm lazy some might say teaching independence wink

LowLevelWhinging Sun 16-Jun-13 11:27:43

my top tip is don't buy clothes that need ironing :D

SEWannabe Sun 16-Jun-13 11:32:58

I wish I can a Mr 'Wannabe'..but alas, I will have to train my children to use the hoover instead.

SEWannabe Sun 16-Jun-13 11:33:35

Sorry, meant to say 'I wish I HAD a Mr 'Wannabe'.

OneHandFlapping Sun 16-Jun-13 11:34:58

Having low standards is great help, I find.

mrspaddy Sun 16-Jun-13 11:34:59

I make a lot of dinners over the course of a Saturday morning from time to time. Then use disposable containers to freeze and viola... some cooking free nights.

Also I buy the disposable wipes from Aldi and leave them in the toilet/bathroom and whizz around as needed.

Main one - trained DH how to iron for himself grin

Really love this thread though.. need new ideas!!

motherinferior Sun 16-Jun-13 11:41:54

In that case, I am very sorry I made such an arse of myself upthread and hope you will accept my apology blush

TheCrackFox Sun 16-Jun-13 11:42:11

The uniform bag idea is genius.

I only iron my clothes (most don't need ironing) and the occasional thing for the DCs. DH does his own.

Organising the pack lunches the night before really makes a huge difference.

SEWannabe Sun 16-Jun-13 11:43:33

motherinferior..my children are boys..they will learn wink

What is this 'Ironing' that everyone speaks of??

nananaps Sun 16-Jun-13 11:50:30

i dry duvet covers over the bannister, fold & put away. keeps them relatively crinkle free.

OVEN PRIDE awsome stuff. leave overninght and rinses clean in the morning. fab fab fab.

slow cooker cooking is also brill, chuck everything in raw, rough chopped. Done!

cq Sun 16-Jun-13 11:57:56

Cook double of everything and freeze half for easy supper.

Have to intervene fast with the first lot so that it doesn't all get troughed though smile

Ironing lady - worth every penny and helping local employment.

RandomMess Sun 16-Jun-13 12:00:36

If you have the space get 2 dishwashers grin

Mum2Fergus Sun 16-Jun-13 13:47:33

I batch cook whenever possible, slow cooker handy for weekends too. Best investment I made was an electric sweeper! It comes out for a few minutes each day to keep the place presentable...rather than a full blown hoover session smile

HoneyStepMummy Mon 17-Jun-13 16:39:28

I use disposable foil tins too. If I'm cooking something heavy like a roast or a turkey I put the foil tin in the regular pan like a liner. This way if the foil tin leaks I'm just washing a pan, not the whole oven. All other pans I line with foil, again to avoid the dreaded scrubbing. I always have a stash of paper plates on hand for those nights I can't face dishwashing. Crackers, fruit, toast, waffles etc. can be eaten off a piece of kitchen roll on extra busy school mornings.
I make everyone take their shoes off when they step into the house. This not only saves the carpets, but saves you a lot of time of vacuuming, sweeping and mopping.
Very lazy crafty way to wash dishes: rinse/scrape off plate etc. Place in sink or washing up bowl. Boil the kettle, pour into sink with with a generous squirt of washing up liquid. Leave this while you go off and do something else- the person who taught me this would go off to work for the day! By the time you get back empty out the water, boil another kettle and pour hot water over dishes to rinse. Put on rack to dry, due to the hot water they dry really quickly.
If you are a 'clean' grown up you don't need to wash skirts, trousers or jeans after every use. If you are airdrying something that will be hung in the closet dry it on a hanger. As soon as it's dry you can put in straight in the closet. This saves time with the whole folding and laundry basket thing and saves you from having to iron (shudder).

HoneyStepMummy Mon 17-Jun-13 16:41:41

...and one more thing- invest in a tumble dryer. Worth every single penny.

DragonsAreReal Mon 17-Jun-13 16:45:23

Oh you have just reminded me honey I always line the bottom of my oven with foil so if anything spills over you just chuck the foil away and no having to clean your oven!

MinimalistMommi Mon 17-Jun-13 17:52:06

Both my DC takes packed lunches, I make a big batch of homemade rolls so I can make them the exact size I know they will eat (big rolls for my older DC, tiny ones for my picky eater youngest DC) split, butter, fill with grated cheese or cheese/marmite, put in small individual freezer food bags and pop into freezer. My recipe makes enough for both DC for six days of packed lunches. Wake up in morning at 7 am, grab roll for each DC from icebox and pop in lunches boxes with fruit, pudding type thing and lunch sorted grin by 8.30 am when we leave it is defrosted and I pop an iceblock into the lunch box to keep it all fresh until lunchtime.

Doing this had made my mornings SO MUCH EASIER, I'm no longer slicing bread, grating cheese, wrapping sandwiches/rolls, washing up all the stuff....which I was doing MONDAY TO FRIDAY and it was stressing me out as I'm quite slow to feel fully awake in the morning! Basically I hated preparing packed lunches and this has transformed mornings for me.

MinimalistMommi Mon 17-Jun-13 17:53:24

Also using non stick baking parchment to ay beneath baking things like biscuits, scones, homemade pizza etc. It all just slides off the tray.

MarianForrester Mon 17-Jun-13 18:09:24

Vacuum tv/tv stand/mantel/shelves, etc with the little brush attachment.

Friend told me this, and it's brilliant!

Don't iron

Cook only when you want to - otherwise have healthy snacky tapasy type food - bread/hoummous/olives/ham/beetroot/salad

Do the washing one day a week - wash on the shortest 'good' wash possible - mines is 48 minutes - tumble, pile in ikea bags in front room - force everyone to take their own clothes out and put it away

If other people leave shit lying round your house put it on their bed - dd's bed has a book/bag/hair accessories on it plus a random pair of shoes today

Throw out other people's shit when their not looking NB: this only really works with younger children, if you have a DH he will complain like an arsehole if you throw out his favourite holey socks


RobotElephant Mon 17-Jun-13 18:35:23

Marry someone who likes cleaning the bathroom and doing the hoovering grin

Be organised. Extra uber organised. Its a fine line between efficient and lazy.
We have uniform drawer - everything goes in there on a Sunday night in piles for each day.

Never iron.


Batch cooking

Stockpile toiletries. if you have evough toothbrushes, deoderant, shampoo etc to last you a year you almost never run out.

Cleaning the microwave - bowl with a big glug of vinegar. Put on for a couple of minutes, all the dirt will fall off.

RobotElephant Mon 17-Jun-13 18:36:57

Use the laundry basket for whites only. Everything else goes straight in the machine and washed every morning. Saves sorting. Whites get done on Saturday morning.

MinimalistMommi Mon 17-Jun-13 18:40:29

Robot, even jeans and light colours together?

RobotElephant Mon 17-Jun-13 18:44:09

Hmm... Really light colours go in with the whites.

I do a separate jeans wash too actually.

cece Mon 17-Jun-13 18:49:41

Train your children to cook - a useful life skill for them wink

Don't iron anything - this saves a lot of time. Shake and fold.

I have a uniform drawer in each child's room.

Wash bathroom whilst bathing children.

Steam cleaner for kitchen floor.

Definitely throw out anything left lying about that is annoying you - especially if it is not yours. I do this with football cards etc, as they drive me nuts. DC have never noticed I do this.. I like the idea of dumping stuff on their beds. Might try that with stuff that is too nice/expensive to throw out.

Asl low standards do help. Also have friends with low standards too so you can welcome them around for coffee wine without flinching.

RobotElephant Mon 17-Jun-13 19:21:31

YY - definitely throw out anything that is useless/annoying.

I used to go round the house once a week with a bin bag and just tip all the detritus into it. Must start doing that again. (recycling anything possible and charity shopping anything that isn't broken, before anybody shouts at me about landfill)

HollaAtMeBaby Mon 17-Jun-13 22:33:06

Clean the shower while you're using it! I do mine while my conditioner is doing its thing on my hair.

poachedeggs Tue 18-Jun-13 13:41:42

My life is better since I developed a completely brutal, ruthless attitude to detritus. This meant the gradual demise of Hungry Hippos, Elefun, all Kinder Egg toys, card games, and assorted other crap which it's beyond small children to look after properly. Hooray!

I am on a roll now. It gets easier and easier to chuck stuff out when you practise.

MinimalistMommi Tue 18-Jun-13 14:19:26

Completely agree with poached grin
Get rid, get rid and get rid some more.

poachedeggs Tue 18-Jun-13 14:29:04

I have also cleared out my airing cupboard where all towels, bedding etc lives. I am no longer hoarding old curtains, remnants of fancy dress outfits, duvet covers from fifteen years ago. Which means there's a shelf on which the inevitable basket of 'to do' laundry can sit, so there's no precedent set to leave stuff on the floor and the fact that damp stuff will dry out is a huge bonus.

Amazing how these little things help.

wundawoman Tue 18-Jun-13 14:36:46

Love your comment, motherinferior!
Unfortunately I realised this too late and dh doesn't "do" housework hmm.

Employ a cleaner, even once a fortnight or once a month to do bathrooms and kitchen thoroughly - makes a huge difference to the house (and your morale!) and not as expensive as weekly.

Slow cooker definitely.
Get children cooking (my ds is a chef now!!) I love it when he visits wink
Lower your expectations - I do not attempt Michelin restaurant style meals anymore!!! It's now basic, healthy and simple all the way. Im not running a restaurant!!!

IWipeArses Tue 18-Jun-13 15:26:02

Good thread. Getting rid of stuff is my main suggestion for reducing housework. There's just so much of it!

MildDrPepperAddiction Tue 18-Jun-13 15:51:47

Never leave a room without something in your hand. It helps keep the illusion of tidy!

OnTheNingNangNong Tue 18-Jun-13 16:47:47

I prep all of the fruit and veg for DS1s lunch on a Sunday, put it in a tub and then take out as needed. If I'm feeling really domesticated I prep all the fruit I can so when the DCs want it, they can just help themselves.

Clean the kitchen as you go and invest in a dishwasher. I've had mine for a year and I love it more than my husband! (it cleans amazingly, unlike said husband)

BiddyPop Tue 18-Jun-13 17:50:08

I try to keep on top of washing and drying dirty clothes - but when they come in off the line or out of tumble dryer, I throw them into the "ironing basket" and only sort that once a week (usually watching a film near Saturday teatime, or watching rubbish american tv late at night). It means that if I DO have to let it slide, I know I have plenty of clean clothes, some may be slightly wrinkled - but I can rummage and find things that are clean in a hurry. And I can make some tv time for myself, whereas otherwise I'd be folding small amounts as I run between other jobs.

BiddyPop Tue 18-Jun-13 18:00:06

When I am in the kitchen on Sundays doing a roast dinner, I make Monday's dinner as well. Or rather, a double batch of a Monday dinner - half for Monday and half to freeze. Spag bol, cottage pie, fish pie, chicken pie, lasagne, various curries, chilli con carne, etc. Only need reheating or baking on Monday, perhaps with some boiling of rice, pasta or spuds.

Roast dinners not in the utter depts of winter root veg ness usually have a roasted mediteranean veg dish as part of it. So I'll do a large tray of roast veggies, and use the leftovers in couscous or with pasta for lunches or for Tues dinner. Roasted winter veg leftovers gets turned into soups (carrots, parsnip, squash, pumpkin, and even cauliflower).

And I always make lunches the night before as well. DH makes his own (mostly) as he likes sambos. He or I might make DDs. I make mine most days but as I like salad (including lots of substantial veg like 2 chopped carrots and half a pepper and half an avocado), I often make 2 one night and none the next. If I have fridge space.

And while I like to cook from scratch, I really do, I just don't have time anymore to do it everyday. Things like shop pastry, especially pre-rolled, are handy to make fast tarts that can cook while I supervise homework, (throw over a jar of bruschetta sauce and a ripped apart proper mozarella, serve with handful of rocket over it once cooked). Part baked bread rolls are a staple in the cupboard in case we need bread mid-week and remember at 9pm. I have lots of things that are not the most healthy but not absurdly treat-y to throw into lunchboxes for DD like dried fruit, "winders", hunks of pre-packed cheese, flapjacks etc (Flahavans do square shaped ones, so I am safety concious grin) etc.

YoniBottsBumgina Tue 18-Jun-13 22:56:36

If you find you have lots of stuff being left in places where it shouldn't be, make a place for that "stuff" near where it gets left.

E.g. I have small washing baskets in each bedroom andione ib the living room as a place to chuck clothes which get left everywhere. Small waste paper bins, lined with supermarket carrier bags, near spots where rubbish accumulates. The recycling box permanently lives in the hall so junk mail goes straight in. Extra toy box in the living room, kitchen etc where stuff just gets chucked all in together to be sorted properly later.

Jan49 Tue 18-Jun-13 23:22:50

Have as few ornaments as possible, preferably behind glass doors, to avoid dusting and to make it really easy when you do need to dust.

happyyonisleepyyoni Thu 20-Jun-13 11:22:29

Buy a Roomba (robot hoover).

Tidy/dust (with baby wipe) during advert breaks of evening tele.

Put Roomba on before going to bed.

Get up in morning to nice clean living room.

MollyNollyNoo Fri 21-Jun-13 11:27:15

My list is:

No ironing (unless there is a wedding)

All stuff that needs washing at 60' goes in the machine together (I have a daily round of P.J's covered in porridge), I put white towels, jeans and red P.J's all in the same wash, the white towels are a bit grey but the amount of washing hanging about waiting to be washed has reduced dramatically so I reckon it's worth it.

Everything that can go in the tumble dryer goes in.

2 of the Dc's are 18 months apart so they share quite a few clothes, P.J's are kept in 2 draws, the tops in one draw and the trousers in the other. It was taking too long to match them up.


I don't chop onions and I don't peel potatoes, I buy tins of ready chopped and fried onions and tesco's frozen mash (ocardo frozen mash isn't as good imo).

I buy my meat at the butcher and if I am doing a casserole I ask him to chop it up for me, I am pretty lucky that I live near to a very reasonably priced butchers. One of my best lazy meals is chicken breast (chopped by the butcher), tin of onions, x1 bag of ocardo casserole veg. Throw the whole lot in the pan/slow cooker. Stir. Go away and let it cook.

I have a Henry hoover that hoovers up ALL of the food on the floor and chairs after a messy meal (x3 DC's under 6 so it gets quite messy sometimes).

We don't wear shoes or eat food upstairs, that will probably change as the DC's get older.

I de-clutter all the time and have now started not letting some of the clutter into the house in the first place. DD likes playmobile, a playmobile lucky dip is cheaper than a magazine covered in plastic tat and gets played with for much longer.

Maggie111 Fri 21-Jun-13 14:52:28

The washing we always ran out of first was underwear... I would realise I was almost out of knickers and would run the washing machine with what I could find plus clothes etc... Which was difficult when I was in a lazy mood.

Now, we have a small basket in the bathroom that is only for socks and underpants. When it's full/when we're running low the whole thing gets washed and dried very easily - and we don't lose ANY socks! I can also run it on a high heat which I wouldn't if it was mixed in with my clothes.

tootdelafruit Fri 21-Jun-13 15:03:55

for me the top tip is to lose the guilt over not having a spotless home- it really makes me far more inclined to do stuff when it isn't guilt driving me, just logic. (if that makes sense?)

other tips
lower standards
give the dcs jobs that they know are theirs and must be done daily/weekly/etc (mine do their own beds, curtains, windows in the morning, they both bring down their washing in the evening- I don't go looking for washing- it's their responsibility to get it in the machine- no clean pants? = their own fault. they also take care of their own school bags, coats, shoes etc which they now know to put in their room as soon as they're done with.)
tidy as you go along- wipe the shower when you're in it, basin when you're washing hands, toilet last thing at night after you've had a pee, kitchen counters when waiting for kettle to boil
everything needs to have a home and be in it when not in use
be out of the house more so less mess in it.
I don't iron unless for a wedding/interview etc
keep things in the room where they will be used

tootdelafruit Fri 21-Jun-13 15:05:36

also- I wash the cooking dishes while dinner is in progress so that means once dinner is on the table i'm done- the dcs take over and just have to wash the 'easy' dishes that we ate off and wipe the table.

MinimalistMommi Fri 21-Jun-13 18:20:21

toot what do you wipe sink etc with? Do you use a clean cloth each time or it is disposable cloths you use?

RobotElephant Fri 21-Jun-13 18:48:27

We have a cloth that we change at least once a day. Just chuck it in the washer at the end of the day or when it gets grimy and get a new one out.

tootdelafruit Fri 21-Jun-13 18:50:33

if i'm just washing my hands I soap them up and run my hands round the basin and any smudgey bits (my ds2 is constantly washing grubby hands) then rinse the whole lot just with water. when I do the toilet last thing at night I use a disposable (NOT flushable) bathroom wipe and do the basin first then the toilet and bin the wipe.

Viviennemary Fri 21-Jun-13 22:06:58

Just decide that life is too short to spend any very much time doing housework.

MinimalistMommi Sat 22-Jun-13 12:28:28

Thanks for explaining toot I get worried about anything that touches the toilet and don't like to use a washable cloth because I don't wash much on 60 degrees which I guess would be needed to kill bugs?

MollyNollyNoo Sun 23-Jun-13 10:03:04

I use disposable loo wipes MinimalistMommi (well, they say flushable on the packet but I always throw them away).

I've also go the duck loo brush thing here (there is not much worse imo than a toddler wielding a loo brush because they think would make a good toy) this way everything that clean the loo gets thrown away.

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