9 Low-Effort, High-Impact Hacks for a Happier House
Make life easier with these simple fixes
Even with the rise in smart home technology, nothing is truly available to run your household for you. Sure, you might have a Roomba to tidy up the floors or a Google Home to read off your daily calendar. That’s all great, too. But there are low-tech, low-effort hacks you can enlist to help you have a happier home on a time budget.
Here are 10 ways you can have a happier, cleaner, more smoothly running a household without tearing your hair out in the process.
1. Double Up on Rugs in Entryways
The Benefit: Less dirt and grime in your home.
If you have pets, guests, or kids regularly streaming through your front door then you’re already used to battling constant dirt and grime on floors. What if I told you there was a way to cut back on your sweeping and vacuuming just a tad?
At all entryways into your home add both a welcome mat to the exterior (bonus points if it’s a weather-resistant scraper mat) and a more decorative option in the interior entryway. This adds an extra place for dirt to scrape off of shoes and paws and stay out of your home. You can expand this to include a shoe rack in the entryway with a ‘no shoes inside’ policy.
2. Invest in a Rack for All Your Saucepan Lids
The Benefit: Easily find cooking and storage supplies when you need them.
From saucepan lids to Tupperware tops, chances are your cabinets are less than organized. Racks are perfect for containing and organizing your lids in an easily accessible manner. Plus, it’s easy to put them back where they go quickly.
3. Create a Sorting Station for Laundry
The Benefit: Easily visualize how much laundry you have to do.
Laundry is that one household chore that never seems to get done. It’s time-consuming and short of hiring someone to do it for you there aren’t a lot of ways around it. But, for a tidier looking home and an easier-to-tackle laundry pile, create a sorting station for your family’s laundry.
4. Take a Hard Look at Your Weekly Schedule and Declutter
The Benefit: Eliminate unnecessary tasks and limit the frequency of others.
There are certain tasks and time commitments on your weekly schedule that are unavoidable. You have to do the dishes, go to work, and do any number of other repetitive weekly to-dos. But, you should still take the time to audit your daily, weekly, and monthly to-do list for places of improvement.
Create a master list of all the things you regularly do. This shouldn’t take too much time. Either accumulate your to-do lists over a period of time or bust out your calendar. Take a look at all the tasks you do again and again. Now ask yourself:
- Can I do this less frequently?
- Can I delegate this task?
- How can I make this task quicker or more effective?
For example, if you realize you’re sitting down to pay multiple bills throughout a month then it’s definitely time to set up auto-pay.
Taking a look at your regular tasks and making minor adjustments should only take 30 minutes of your time but can infuse more hours back into your week. This means more time for you and your loved ones.
5. Create a Command Center in Your Home
The Benefit: Have everything you need on a day-to-day basis in one location.
My mom always called this the ‘launchpad’ because it was the place our days launched from. This was where we would grab our lunch boxes on the way out the door as children and where the mail would get sorted into neat task-oriented piles.
Depending on your space limitations and your needs, create a command center in your home that you can launch and end your day at. Your launchpad should have:
- A large calendar including all tasks and events
- Spare pens, envelopes, and other stationery items
- Labeled slots for mail
- A place to hang jackets and bags
6. Group Like Items Together
The Benefit: Plow through your daily routines easily and quickly.
Study your daily habits, making a conscious effort to mentally document the types of products you use all at once. You should aim to group these items together to make your daily routines quicker and easier.
For example, if you have a cup of coffee every morning you should group everything you need in one area of the kitchen. This goes for other daily routines like the daily cleaning tasks you do every single day and your morning and evening hygiene routines. You might not notice the extra time you have but it’ll keep you from wasted minutes hunting for everyday items, streamlining your daily routines.
7. Create a ‘Dailies’, ‘Weeklies’, and ‘Monthlies’ List
The Benefit: Ensure all the little things actually get done, even the things that are just for self-care.
This is a pretty easy way to stay on top of tasks. Just as the header says, create a list of all the things you need to get done on a regular basis. This can be displayed in the house as a joint list for you and your partner or housemates. It could also be a list you keep in your personal calendar to ensure you tackle things each day like meditating or other personal care activities. The lists themselves are up to you. I like to include things on mine that encompass personal care, household care, and miscellaneous tasks that make me feel on my A-game. Keep in mind that these lists will morph and transform over a year as your lifestyle makes minor (or major shifts).
One of the major benefits I find with these lists is the ability to keep a pulse on how often you are doing a certain task you’ve set for yourself and comparing it to how you feel as a result. I often pair these lists alongside a mood, steps, and workout tracker. This helps to identify activities or tasks to try to incorporate into your schedule more often as well as ones you should stop doing.
8. Use Coffee Beans as Subtle Air Fresheners
The Benefit: Create a cozy environment in your home and eliminate unwanted odors.
This easy, low-effort hack only requires a jar and a bag of whole bean coffee. Place jars of whole bean coffee in locations where you want to combat odor. Coffee beans will add a hint of coffee scent to the air without being overpowering. I recommend trying it out in the following spots in your home:
- Fridge and freezer
- Side table
9. Create a Custom Closet Setup
The Benefit: Find the clothes you want to wear quickly and stay organized in the long term.
Okay, so having a service come in to design a personalized closet for you might be out of your price range. (If you have $3,000+ to spare then go for it!) But, the benefits are obvious. Luckily, you can create a custom closet on a budget. This will help you maximize the space you have, even if you only have a reach-in closet.
Begin with one item from this list over a period of 10 weeks to slowly improve the flow of your day-to-day household tasks.