3.15.2013

Energy Conservation for Chores

Spring has sprung, and with it, the return of chores galore. Here are some tips to simplify the chores and save more energy for things that you prefer to do.

-Use machines where possible- dishwasher, washer/dryer, automatic shower cleaner, automatic toilet cleaners, Roomba, and the car wash. 

-Use lightweight objects when possible, such as Swiffer, dusters, or a hand vacuum.

-Stay ahead of big cleanings by doing small things as able. This includes using antibacterial wipes in the kitchen daily, pick up 1 item each time you leave a room and replace it where needed, and handle items only once instead of sorting multiple times. You may see more tips like this at Unclutterer.

-Take advantage of mechanical advantage. Don't scrub the floor, use a Swiffer wet instead. Don't repot plants on your hands and knees, try working sitting or standing at a table (you can keep the mess down by placing some plastic bags or an old shower curtain down first)

-Load and unload your dishwasher while seated. Don't try to lift multiple plates or bowls at once. Consider switching to lightweight plates if you're able.

-Store your dishes at the point of first use. Some examples of this would be storing glasses by the refrigerator, colanders by the sink, and pots and pans by the stove. 

-Use smaller trash bags if it is difficult to lift a heavy bag. 

-If shopping for new appliances, avoid top loading devices and instead look for front loading washers and dryers. These may need to be elevated to prevent excessive bending. If it is very difficult for you to rotate the laundry, there are machines that both wash and dry. There are also drawer dishwashers that pull out and are easier to load/unload, though they hold less than a standard model.

-If you have to wash dishes by hand (UGH! my least favorite chore) then try: having a stool to sit on or a prop for your foot to change positions; using an upside down dish drainer to elevate the bottom of the sink (to prevent leaning over); and allowing dishes to drip dry instead of towel drying.

-Clean your trashcan using a hose instead of trying to reach inside and to the bottom.

-If you have clothes or other items that need to hang dry, keep items at waist level to minimize bending, and try not to hang higher than eye level to prevent excessive reaching. 

-Use a wrinkle releaser if possible instead of using the iron. 

-I feel that it's easier to hang clothes than fold them, so I hang up most of my clothes in the closet. Adding a second bar underneath half of the closet adds available space, using a wardrobe may also assist in finding extra space.

-Pay or barter for what is too difficult for you to do. This might include mowing the grass or scrubbing the tub. 

-Give up doing things that you don't value or care about. For me, this is folding t-shirts and sweats that are only worn around the house. So I created 'the play clothes bin' and clothes for workouts and bumming around just get nicely tossed and confined within the bin. 


Are there chore-related energy saving tips that you use? Feel free to share in the comments.

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