If you feel like you’re spending all your free time doing chores, you’re not wrong: the average full-time working woman spends more than 21 hours a week keeping up the house, while men get away with an average of 15 hours of housework a week. Considering so many local jobs are on farms and ranches—not exactly nine-to-five operations—that leaves even less time to get things done. Everyone would benefit from these strategic ways to make your home more low-maintenance.
Your kitchen needs cleaning every day, but some surfaces are easier to clean than others. For example, it’s easier to clean fingerprints off cabinets if they have flat doors without details and grooves to collect dust. Medium-tone wood stains show less dirt than dark or white finishes, so deep-cleaning the kitchen can wait a little longer. It might also be time to take a break from your vacuum by trading in older carpet for low-maintenance alternatives such as laminate or luxury vinyl. New flooring can update your home with the look of hardwood or stone, but you’ll never need to refinish or reseal it. A strategic Swiffer to the corners is all that’s required most days.
If you’re tired of repainting the house, vinyl siding can give your home more curb appeal, and it’s a low-cost investment, considering the payoff. It never needs painting, and you won’t need to worry about rot or insects damaging the walls. It’s easy to install yourself if you want to save more, and it should last 35 years.
If you want to eliminate ladders from your life, think about a gutter cover system, which can save you from having to scoop out wet leaves every time the seasons change.
For the Garden
Just because you’ve always gardened something doesn’t mean you have time for it now. Reassess the time and costs versus the benefits of your gardening, and look for ways to shake up your plantings. You can talk to your local nursery about vegetables that don’t require as much attention or water. You can cut down on weeding by planting ground cover or by letting your grass clippings lie where they land. They can nourish the soil and discourage weeds. You might even turn out to be a tree person—Red Haven peach trees are suited for Arkansas conditions, and they add color to your yard, not to mention shade. There are all kinds of ways to make your home lower-maintenance, but some rewards are more delicious than others.