The stay-at-home mom happily does 90% of the housework and spends about two and a half hours cleaning and tidying up.
When Erna Kesselar had her daughter it was a shock to the system in more ways than she expected.
Returning to full-time work as a dental nurse when baby Lilian was only 16 weeks old caused Erna to completely rethink the way she lived her life.
“Things were so chaotic back then at home,” says Erna, 43. Kidspot.
“I was going to work and it was all so organized, with a team roster and cleaning all of our gear, which made things so easy, so I wanted that at home too. “
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ORGANIZE THINGS FOR THE WHOLE YEAR
So Erna made a list of everything she and her husband wanted to clean and organize throughout the year and presented it in weekly, monthly and yearly agendas.
“I always want to be on top of things,” says the mother of the family. “I don’t mean ‘Oh my God, when was the last time I cleaned this up?'”
Seven years later, Erna’s annual schedule is still in place, with some modifications of course. Now a stay-at-home mom, her to-do list is much longer than when juggling a full-time job and a baby.
Having recently moved from the family’s three-bedroom home in Adelaide to a four-bedroom apartment in Singapore, Erna estimates that she spends between two and two and a half hours each day cleaning and tidying up.
WHAT MAKES THE HOUSE RUN SOFTLY
The efficient mom – who happily takes on “90%” of the household chores – has a long list of chores throughout the week that keep her busy. Among her tasks, she mops every Tuesday, dusting surfaces and cleaning mirrors every Friday, then once a month, she wipes the underside and the inside of her kitchen appliances, as well as the deep cleaning of the kitchen. refrigerator and freezer.
She vacuums every day, crediting her Dyson upright vacuum as a time-saving measure to do one room at a time.
Laundry is done twice a week, with sheets and towels washed once a week. Once a month, Erna also cleans the washing machine and the dryer.
“Not many people know you can do this at your washing machine,” she explains.
“You can take out the detergent drawer and clean it, the instructions can be Googled. Then I run a vacuum cycle with a product specifically for cleaning the tub and using 90 degree water.
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Twice a year, she tidies the wardrobes in the bedrooms and checks the walls for stains. And that’s just a fraction of what she does Monday through Friday every week.
“I clean so much that there is no need to scrub,” says Erna. “It’s just fading away. The ceiling fan near the kitchen, for example, is covered in oil but if you do it regularly that’s okay. If it ends up forming a thick layer, it will take you much longer later on.
Once a year, the organizing maven will also do a full cleaning of her husband’s office. “He’s not a messy person, but it’s getting pretty dirty in there,” she laughs. “I put myself under all the furniture and do a lot of clearing. “
Removing unused items from the house, she says, is just as important to her schedule as cleaning.
“So many things are creeping into the house – in the cupboards and all over the kitchen,” says Erna. “The kids also bring a lot of stuff, so I clean the drawers every month and it’s a lot easier to find things after. “
Her schedule also includes a ‘bank cleaning’ which means checking that all bills and direct debits are up to date and using a feature on her banking app to divide family expenses into different categories once a month to keep keep an eye on their budget.
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SAVE TIME AND MONEY
There are other ways the family can save money on the household chores list.
“When I use a bucket of soapy water, I use it for several things in a day and I don’t waste it,” says Erna.
“And if I know a big clean is coming, I’ll look for great deals on cleaning products and fill up.” Servicing an air conditioning unit once a year will also make it last longer. If you take care of things in general, they last longer.
Erna says her favorite job is cleaning the bathroom, which she does every Friday.
“I like a clean toilet and sink,” she says enthusiastically. “It’s not a big job for me because every day after showering we use a squeegee to remove excess water from the glass and something like that that takes less than a minute makes a huge difference. When I clean the toilet, I spray it with product and let it sit for a while, spray the shower head all over and let it dry. I just have to rub the bowl inside.
Her least favorite tasks are ironing, which she does twice a week, and washing dishes, which is done three times a day.
“My husband works full time at home, so we have three meals a day here and I don’t have a dishwasher, so it takes a lot of time,” says Erna.
“I put my headphones on with an audiobook or podcast and it helps. And cooking double portions of our dinner also takes care of all of our lunches the next day.
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While she enjoys taking care of her family, Erna also makes sure her seven-year-old daughter contributes as well.
“Tuesday is her day to help with the laundry, so she folds hers and puts it away. And if she spills something, she’ll also take out the Dyson upright vacuum and clean it.
Erna is so organized that she has started moving her schedule from paper to digital using Notion, a free scheduling app, and will upload her own routine to the app when it’s all done so others can can use it as a template.
“My husband uses it at work and it’s so easy. You can put anything in it, it’s like a calendar with reminders and recurring events.
Although she is detail-oriented, Erna does give herself a bit of slack from time to time.
“Being in a new city it’s important for me to go out and meet people so if something can’t be done that day I’ll just do it the next week and I could do a bigger clean up there. next time. “
And most surprisingly, she even implemented a rule that no housework is done in the afternoon after pickup from school as well as on weekends to give the family more time to devote to what she likes.
“I don’t cook, clean or do the dishes on weekends,” Erna smiles.
“We have a lot of places near our apartment to eat at a very cheap price here in Singapore, so because we don’t cook then my husband will make the drink or the cup of coffee. If my daughter wants a snack, she will prepare it herself.
“I want to feel that I have a kind of break, that there is a difference between a weekday and a weekend. It gives us quality family time when we are together.
This story first appeared on Kidspot and has been reposted with permission