December holidays can be anything but relaxing for any mother. With the house help away on holiday, ensuring that your house is in tip top shape throughout the season could take away from the joy of the festive season. Since this is a situation we go through every year, here is a list of things you can do to ensure the holiday season runs smoothly without your house help around.
1. Assign chores
Children as young as three can help with house chores. Assign your children, hubby and any other relative living with you chores that they’re expected to do. Explain that everyone needs to chip in since the house help is on leave.
These chores could include cleaning, cooking and running other home-related errands.
2. Create a duty roster
For repetitive chores like cooking and cleaning, a duty roster will help remind everyone when they are expected to do what. Be strict with this and give rewards for work that has been done. Rewards could be in the form of extra TV time, a favourite meal or a day out. My mum used to give us a small amount of money at the end of the holiday which would go towards our savings or getting ourselves treats.
3. Set aside time for thorough cleaning
While the house might be generally clean thanks to the help of your housemates, you’ll need to set aside time to deep clean your bathrooms, kitchen, and dust those far to reach places. Whatever form your thorough cleaning takes, plan for it.
4. Make a detailed menu
The worst thing is getting home after a long day only to realise you have no idea what to cook. Make a menu for all the meals your family will consume from breakfast to lunch and dinner and any snacks. This will help you know exactly what is being eaten for each meal.
5. Schedule time for grocery shopping
After you’ve created the menu, write a detailed grocery list and then decide when you’ll go shopping. Ensure you have the ingredients for each meal long before you need to prepare it. Avoid having to rush to the local kiosk to buy a packet of unga just as you start cooking your ugali.
6. Meal prep
On those days when you’re at home, you can meal prep and leave the food either refrigerated or frozen for use when the time comes. Preparing meals in advance will save on cooking time. Having ready-made food handy will also save you when you have an emergency.
7. Opt for a potluck
If you’re having guests over, ask each family to bring one dish with them. If one brings rice, another chapatti, another meat, another chicken, you can prepare the ugali and vegetables and you’re set for the day. In this way you won’t need to spend hours cooking in the kitchen. You can also ask your friends to help in the clearing up before they leave.
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