7 Ways to Avoid Adding Housework

Washing DishesA few weeks ago a study was released and featured in this article that says husbands can add up to seven hours of housework to his wife’s workload each week. Despite my temptation to become defensive at such a notion, I have decided to write a post giving some ideas on how I and other men can reduce the amount of work they dump on their wives. The notion that I, possibly one of the worst offenders, would have the audacity to write such a post entertains my wife. I’m sure she is looking forward to reading this and seeing if I actually put any of it into practice.

On their own, these tips may reduce the amount of housework your wife must deal with only marginally. While I can’t imagine reducing all of the housework your wife will do on your behalf, I do think that done together, these tips may provide your wife with some relief and you with a appreciative and happy woman at home.

  1. Put Everything in it Place. It’s simple, I know, but effective. If everything was put back where it belongs when it was done being used, clutter would be eliminated. My kids are awful at this. I will frequently witness them getting out a toy, playing with it for a few minutes and then dropping it where they stand to get something else. It’s amazing, but I do the same thing. Only instead of the floor I might place it on the counter where it does not go or just throw it in the sink. Let’s try this instead:
    • Rinse dishes and place in the dishwasher. Prevent sink pile-up and discourage roaches from hanging out on your counter tops. Bonus!
    • Before you leave a room for the last time before bed, make a quick scan and spend five minutes making sure things are where they belong.
    • Prevent Clutter with a landing pad. Landing pads are a catchall for the household where things can be set down and acted upon later. Here’s a quick video that explains launch pads in detail.
    • Get a “doorganizer.” This is a handy door hanger is made to keep track of everything you need on the go. If you’re still insecure enough in your manhood that you refuse to carry a purse, this can not only help you find you wallet and keys in the morning, but also keeps them in one place instead of on the mantle, on the dinner table, on your nightstand, etc.
  2. Deep Clean Monthly. There are some chores that should be done once a month. I would suggest breaking these down into weekly tasks so you don’t end up spending an entire Saturday with these tasks. Cleaning windows and window treatments, changing filters on the a.c. or vacuum cleaner, and dusting ceiling fans are just a few tasks that should be done monthly. If you have a pool, add its maintenance to the list. This list should get you on a good start.
  3. Prepare a Meal or Two. Some women like cooking, others welcome a needed break from deciding what to feed the family, preparing the meal, cooking the meal, serving the meal and finally sitting down to the meal only to be interrupted by kids needing more bread and bringing you a beer while she’s up. Why not relieve her of this at least once a week? I’m not talking about making waffles on Saturday mornings (though that is nice). I’m talking about instead of asking your wife what is for dinner that night, take care of it yourself. Here are a few ways to get it done:
    • Prepare in the morning. You might get up before the rest of the household anyway but if you don’t, get up early and take 30 minutes to prepare a meal that is ready for the oven when you get home. You might even consider a crock pot solution. My mom used to make a rad Italian roast in the crock pot that made the whole house smell great all day. It had the added bonus of reducing dishes because everything was made in the pot.
    • Buy it ready to cook. In my part of town, there have been businesses opening where you can prepare a meal or buy it prepared and frozen, ready for you to take home and throw in the oven. If you have the time on a lunch break to actually prepare the meal, do it. Places like Pass Your Plate make it easy and fun to prepare tasty meals and you might learn a thing or two. If you don’t have time, just pick it up frozen. This will set you back by about $20 per meal but you can buy in advance for a discount.
    • Take the family out. This should be a last resort. While it keeps your wife from having to prepare a meal. It may add stress by having to get the kids ready and in the van. Not to mention that it can be expensive. I’m also ashamed to admit that my family has become regulars of Golden Coral. It’s good food and all the kids under three eat free (which is all of our kids). We’d spend more going to Chili’s.
  4. Choose a Chore. Help out on a daily basis by choosing and being responsible for a daily chore. This could include emptying the sink of dishes and running the dishwasher. Taking out the trash (I’m really bad at this). Or putting away laundry. Whichever you choose, don’t behave the way I do by forgetting to follow through. This will only add more frustration…trust me.
  5. Share Financial Responsibilities. This is a hard one for me to write about because I am horrible with money. I will spend everything in my pocket before dusk if given the chance. So my wife handles the money. However, I can still make trips to the bank on her behalf. We’ve also set up online and automatic bill pay which makes paying bills a breeze.
  6. Maintain the Car. Here is another area that I have no reason to be writing about. Car care is not my specialty. In theory, at the very least, it would be good of me to take my wife’s van to the car wash once a week for a quick vacuum and wash. While it may not save much in the area of time, she’ll feel better in a clean car and a clean and well maintained car is safer. Even if you don’t know how to change the oil and inspect the brakes, you could take a few minutes to check and fill the fluids, make sure she has washer fluid in the car and check the tire pressure.
  7. Form Good Habits. This entire post is really about forming new habits. Done habitually, the above items may do a lot to keep yourself from adding to the work around the house. The best thing you can do, however, is ask your wife about the bad habits you have that contribute to housework and then act on changing them. Leaving your toothbrush on the counter, not cleaning your hair out of the drain, leaving the hose out in the yard, are just examples. By asking your wife to point out your bad habits, you’re inviting an opportunity to be defensive. Don’t be. Take it like a man and work together to keep your house in order and keep the woman you love happy.

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[...] Ways To Avoid Adding Housework :: GetGeekStrong.com shared a post that includes 7 ways to avoid adding housework for your spouse. Has your wife ever grumbled that she feels like she has an extra child around the [...]

I LOVE that doorganizer! That’s perfect! Any idea if you can order them in the US? I might order 4-5 of ‘em!

I’ve learned that cleaning the house is the biggest thing I can do to help the wife. I try to keep the kitchen clean each evening and I’ll even vacuum when I get a chance.

Nice list and I’m here from the manival.

@Tyler: I found this one from Avon of all places:

Excellent post. Hmmm, I hope Brett read this carefully before adding it to the Manival.

[...] 7 Ways to Avoid Adding Housework Posted by root 2 hours 58 minutes ago (http://www.getgeekstrong.com) Cleaning windows and window treatments changing filters on the a c or vacuum cleaner and dusting ceiling fans are just a few tasks that should be done Discuss  |  Bury |  News | 7 Ways to Avoid Adding Housework [...]

[...] your clutter all around the house. You’ll not only create a more pleasant environment, you’ll stop creating extra work for your wife. [...]

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