Your Home is Working Against You, And Here’s What to Do About It

published Jun 1, 2017
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(Image credit: Natalie Jeffcott)

Housekeeping is rarely fun or easy. But what if we told you that you could improve the overall efficiency of your housework, without actually spending any additional time, money, or energy? Believe it or not, with a little imagination and planning, you’ll find there are tons of tiny ways you can boost the productivity of your place—ones that truly don’t require any extra work. From dryer sheets in the trash bin to paper towels in the microwave, read on for ten small but effective ways to make your home work better for you.

1. You’re not putting your recycling in paper grocery bags

If you’re looking for ways to save extra time (while simultaneously helping the environment), use a paper grocery sack—instead of a plastic bag—as a liner for your recycling bin. Not only will your recyclables be ready-to-go come trash day; you’ll be making everyone’s job at the recycling center a whole lot easier.

2. You’re not sorting your shopping list by section

Turn your next trip to the grocery store into a timesaving spree by organizing your shopping list proactively ahead of time. Instead of just scribbling down your necessities, mentally walk down each aisle of the grocery store and sort your list accordingly. You’ll save tons of time and never forget the flour again.

3. You don’t store your trash bin liners at the bottom of the bin

If you don’t already make a habit of storing extra liners at the bottom of your trash receptacle, you’re doing yourself a huge disservice. Along with ensuring you’ll always have a new garbage bag handy, you will have ample to time buy more liners before running out.

4. You’re not leaving dryer sheets in the trash bin, either

Turns out even used dryer sheets can work wonders in a trashcan. So while you’re adding extra liners to the bottom of your bin, be sure to throw a couple of dryer sheets down there to mask odors and soak up spills.

5. You don’t put a dry bath towel in the dryer to dry clothes faster

Want a foolproof way to speed up clothes drying time? Have a clean, dry bath towel in the dryer prior to loading wet clothes to help absorb the moisture faster and use less energy. Just remember to take it out after 15-20 minutes (when it, too, starts to get moist), or else you’ll wind up extending the drying time.

6. You don’t line the bottom of the microwave

Turns out you can keep your microwave clean with nothing more than paper towels. Place a pile of ten or so paper towels on your microwave’s turntable to absorb splatters and spills, and simply remove the top one when it’s been used.

(Image credit: Alto Images/ Stocksy)

7. You don’t keep a garbage bowl while you’re cooking

Whether it’s a proper garbage bowl or another kind of non-slip vessel, keeping a small trash receptacle nearby while you cook helps cut back the clutter and expedite post-meal cleaning.

8. You don’t open a window while you shower

Along with keeping your bathroom’s steam situation under control, cracking open a window (or running the exhaust fan if you have one) while you shower helps minimize moisture and ultimately, mold production.

9. You never wash dishes while you’re cooking

Whenever you begin to cook, fill your kitchen sink with hot soapy water and make a point to wash your dishes right after you use them. Along with preventing food from hardening on your dirty dishes, you’ll have much less to clean up once dinner is done.

10. You don’t keep a trashcan by the front door

This may be a no brainer but if you live in a small space, keeping a garbage bin close to the front door will make remembering to take out the trash (and keeping your home smelling fresh) a breeze.