The year-end holidays are usually when the family comes to visit and the kids take a break from school or college. With extra people in the house, this can mean more cooking and cleaning which is the last thing you want when you’re trying to take a well-earned break.
Our stress-saving cooking and cleaning shortcuts will make sure your holiday isn’t gobbled up by chores.
1. Have a dry bin policy
With extra people in the house, the bin gets smelly quickly. Have a rule that only dry rubbish can go in the inside bin. All wet rubbish like vegetable peelings must go in the outside bin.
2. Braai more
It wouldn’t be the summer holidays without a few braais. A simple yet delicious braai simplifies cooking and reduces dishes, especially if you use paper plates.
3. Eat outdoors
Instead of cooking big meals every day, head to your local park or botanical garden for a picnic. This reduces cooking and cleaning and might even save money.
4. Clean as you go
Wherever possible, clean as you go to prevent cleaning jobs from getting too big. For example, run a sink of water when you’re cooking and wash dishes as you use them.
5. Use a schedule
Compile a daily cleaning schedule that’s divided by room. This will make tasks seem less daunting. You can also have a meal plan so you can shop ahead for everything you need.
6. Use a Swiffer to keep floors clean
Floors in high traffic areas pick up dirt quickly. Use a Swiffer and spritz bottle to keep on top of it. Hot tip, a dishcloth wrapped around a broom also works in a pinch.
7. Line your stove with foil
Line your oven trays and stovetop with heavy-duty foil. After the holidays, you can strip it off and your stove will still be clean inside and out.
8. Have a no-shoes policy
To limit mud and dirt being tracked in, ask everyone to remove their shoes at the door or in the entrance hall. You can even buy some spa slippers for people to wear indoors.
9. Use your local laundromat
The laundry pile grows over the holidays and you don’t want to spend your time off at home waiting for the wash cycle to end. At the very least, take bulky items like towels and linen.
10. Assign some chores
Assign some chores to household members, even if it’s just simple things like washing their mug when they’re done with it.
11. Set up a coffee station or beverage bar
To keep people out of the kitchen and minimise mess, set up a table in an out of the way spot with coffee, tea and other beverage making items.
12. Use disposable plates and bowls
13. Buy ready-made meals
Ready-made meals used to be quite expensive and not particularly appetising but these days all major supermarkets have a range of good-quality, affordable ready-made meals.
14. Make one-pot meals
It’s always the multiple pots and pans that make doing the dishes such a chore. One-pot or dish meals are the way to go for minimising dishes over the holidays.
15. Assign everyone a towel
Give everyone a towel that they must make sure is hung up to dry after every use. This stops people from raiding the linen cupboard every time they swim, bath or shower.
16. Hire a cleaning service
Hire a small cleaning team for a day to stay on top of things. That way, the big jobs won’t become a massive chore after the holidays are over.