A few years ago, American writer Timothy Ferriss created a book called ‘The 4-Hour Work Week’. In it, this motivational speaker and self-help expert describes a concept known as “batching”. Batching is when you designate set periods of time to perform mundane work-related tasks, instead of spreading these duties out throughout the course of the day. For example: Instead of checking your email 30 times per day at 10-minute intervals, you check emails twice. Once at noon and again at 4 p.m.
The idea being batching is that you’ll be much more productive and will suddenly find yourself with loads of extra time to spend on more meaningful activities. But the idea of batching tasks together can also be helpful outside of the work realm. Did you know this concept can be applied to cleaning strategies as well?
The “No Wasted Walking” cleaning strategy is what “Batching” would look like if the concept were applied to household chores. Ultimately, no “walk” through your house is ever wasted. Each step you take from one end of the home to the other ensures that a household task is being fulfilled, saving time and energy.
Here are some examples of how you can apply the “No Wasted Walking” strategy to areas of your life:
Problem: Shoes pile up every day at the front door. Whether they’re runners, stilettos or last year’s Birkenstocks, shoes are everywhere and it’s quite the eyesore as soon as you step into the home.
Solution: When taking off your shoes at the front door, immediately pick them up and walk through the front hall with your shoes in hand. Put them away neatly in the hall closet, which you were headed to anyways because you need a place to hang your coat. This is what “No Wasted Walking” looks like. You essentially batched these daily tasks together (putting away your shoes and hanging up your coat) to avoid an ugly accumulation of shoes at the front door.
Problem: The laundry room is in the basement of the house. On Sundays (which are laundry days), lugging down hampers full of dirty clothing is a back-breaking task that no one in the family wants to do. The den is also in the basement, but no one has a problem running down there when it’s time for family game night. Ask them to help carry down laundry on Sunday afternoons and everybody runs for the hills.
Solution: If family members are heading downstairs anyways to hang out in the den, why not send them down with laundry instead? Kill two birds with one stone. Dirty clothing can afford to go in the basement early because it’s not like you will be fishing out those grimey leotards again before Sunday rolls around. Make it a habit of heading down with that day’s batch of dirty clothes each time you’re going to the basement. This way, all items will already be downstairs and ready to throw in the cycle when laundry day hits! Also there are commercial cleaning services which will help you out in this “no waste walking” cleaning strategy.
Mark Clair is a 46 year old interior designer, decorator and planner. He is a prolific writer and enjoys putting his thoughts into words on pretty much anything around that evokes an interest in him. Happily married and the father of a new born girl, Mark is now exploring the many little joys and challenges of parenthood. For more information, follow him on twitter.