7 Practical tips on how to manage a home effectively without a maid

If there is a service that is increasingly becoming expensive, having a maid tops the list. Unlike those before her, the modern woman lacks the privilege of staying at home to take care of it. The demanding nature of employment and marital responsibilities forces her to seek the services of a maid.

Though having a maid helps run the home smoothly, there comes a time when employing one becomes unsustainable. A job loss, inflation or other personal reasons may force one to do without or fire their maid, but this should not spell doom.

Listed below are seven practical tips on how to manage a home without a maid.

1. Train your kids early

Babies are lovely. They make a home lively and add meaning to a person’s life, but having them is not enough. They need constant care.

Parents ought to train their kid’s age-appropriate chores. Chores nurture responsibility and independence. They also equip kids with the basic survival skills needed to navigate the future.

A child trained to spread their bed, fold their clothes or do any chore grows understanding responsibility. It frees them from the mentality of expecting people to do things for them.

Training kids isn’t easy. It calls for patience, repetition, and demonstration. No one is born knowing anything, but through teachers, people learn a lot. The same applies to kids. Don’t expect them to know automatically how to perform chores. Someone needs to teach them.

Teach by demonstrating. If you are teaching them how to clean dishes, show them how to remove food remains and where to dispose. Show them the amount of soap to apply on the dish scrubber and explain why they should not use excess soap. Be systematic about the procedures.

While at it, drop the perfectionist attitude and appreciate your kid’s efforts. They’ll improve with time and be ready for more responsibilities.

Training and demonstrations alone cannot work. Discipline and rewards need to be in the picture. Discipline, in this case, doesn’t mean hard labor, no. It could range from not allowing them to play outside or watch cartoons. All the same, parents should communicate the importance and consequences of not doing chores. Parents should reward kids who perform their chores, and deny those who don’t do certain privileges.

Having said all this, parents shouldn’t ignore training their kids house chores because they have maids. If you are planning to release your nanny, ensure you have kids and family members who can do simple tasks like cleaning up, fixing quick meals or grooming. This reduces the time to get chores done.

Untrained kids are a burden to everyone, including themselves.

2. Purchase appliances

Technology coupled with creativity has enabled man to create appliances aimed at easing manual work.

Appliances for different budgets and functions have flooded markets worldwide.

These appliances reduce the cost, time and energy needed to perform chores. There are; general cleaning appliances, kitchen appliances, and outdoor machines. A few examples include; vacuum cleaners, washing machines, dishwashers, gas cookers, and microwaves.

For a busy parent looking for ways to manage their home without a maid; home appliances will come in handy.

Despite a majority of people lacking the finances to purchase these appliances (especially in third world countries); they are fast becoming a necessity in most modern homes. Most people assume to own such appliances, you need lots of cash. Well, you need cash, but major supermarkets in Kenya have found a way of enabling even the average income earners to own such appliances. They allow you to make three partial payments before releasing the item to you.

When shopping for appliances, consider these factors:

        i. Energy consumption

This simply means electricity consumption. Don’t ignore this because it will determine your electricity bills. Nowadays, most machines have the Energy Star rating. This rating shows the energy efficiency of the appliance you are about to purchase.

      ii. Capacity

Big families require appliances with greater capacity. For washing machines, the capacity means the size of the drum. Purchasing a machine with a small capacity will force you to do your cleaning in bits or overload, which is not advisable.

    iii. Quality

The durability of an appliance mostly relies on the quality. Reputable brands have an assurance of quality.

    iv. Features

These are the options in an appliance to perform different functions. They can range from different spin cycles for different fabrics, pre-soak option, adjustable temperatures, child-lock and much more.

      v. Budget

You need to have a price estimate. This will help you zero down on appliances within your budget and must have features.

You could save towards purchasing such appliances, take advantage of offers or identify a store that accepts partial payments.

Be it a vacuum cleaner, washing machine or slow cooker; if you can afford it buy it. Appliances are no longer a luxury. Your goal is to make chores easier.

3. Consider local amenities

Amenities are resources developed to improve the lives of people within a community. They range from schools, hospitals, sports and recreational areas. Though the standards of local amenities may differ, you should be able to find local schools, hospitals, playgrounds or markets. Not having a maid means most activities and services are better sourced within the home area. You must become a zero grazer.

Taking your kids to local schools or getting your supplies from local markets means you won’t travel long distances frequently. Less travel equates to enough rest for the family and time to get done with chores within a reasonable time frame.

The shorter the distance you and your family have to travel daily, the lower the transport expense. There are cases where amenities such as schools are so close kids can walk to-and fro with ease.

Failure to rest topped with a demanding job, untrained kids or lack of appliances will drive you insane. Exhaustion and anger issues will be your portion.

Find solutions within your locality.

4. Have a functional meal plan

Cooking takes up a lot of one’s time and the surest way to beat this is by coming up with a functional meal plan. Functional because coming up with one and implementing are two different things. Not having an extra pair of skilled hands means food purchases, nutritional needs and choices to preparations lies squarely on you. Such a situation demands early preparations.

Early meal preparations start with having all your ingredients in the house. In most Kenyan homes, once someone purchases their food, they prepare and freeze or store for later use. When the day comes to prepare a certain meal, let’s say beans. They simply remove the frozen beans to defrost and will only have to stew it.

Ignoring having a meal plan will force you to turn to fast foods or taking late meals because of the long preparation time. For starters, fast foods aren’t healthy. They predispose one to obesity, diabetes, heart conditions or high blood pressure. The late meals will also make your kids feed poorly because their bodies can’t allow them to stay up late.

Meal plans help make work easier.

5. Stick to a routine

Routines can be boring but necessary to create order. Routines help one plan. They also help people achieve their goals. People have different routines. Some consistent others are inconsistent, but the most organized are those who consistently follow a routine. Waking up at 6:00 a.m. every day is a routine.

So, what does it take to create a routine?

Not much. Create a work plan and implement it daily until you form a habit. In a home set-up, you can set specific days for doing heavy chores like laundry or ironing. Chores like cleaning dishes and tidying the house may or may not appear in the work plan, but you can set timeframes. Do these chores consistently at the set time and you will soon establish a routine.

If you want to hack managing a home without a maid, resist the urge to flow with your moods. Moods will derail you. Moods will deter you from completing chores. You are not competing with anyone, but the lazier you get, the more the chores pile up and you definitely don’t want that to happen.

Managing a disorderly family is hard work. Imagine a house where there is no bedtime or waking up routine! You’ll always be shouting and running late.

Now is not the time to work depending on moods. Work on creating a routine..

6. Engage part-time services

Learning how to manage a home without a maid does not mean you will never need their services. Depending on how tight your schedule is, you may have to seek the services of a part-time cleaner, nanny, or daycare. There is nothing wrong with taking this route. In fact, people with young kids are likely to engage part-time services.

For this to be possible, ensure you know or have contacts of people or places within your community where you can seek these services. Ask recommendations for cleaners, nannies, daycares 

In case the super hero drive kicks in, don’t fall for it. Exhaustion will affect your productivity. You are not a robot. You are a great parent who is already doing enough for your family. No one ever got a medal for doing house chores. Only an inhumane person would expect you to work non-stop.

Normalize taking a break when you have to. It’s part of self-care.

7. Embrace support from family and friends

Family is a pillar that can come in handy in times of need. Back in the day, extended family members never shied from taking care of nephews and nieces. Children belonged to the community. It was common for cousins to live under one roof.

Anyway, if you share a good relationship and mutual values with family or friends, you could request for their support when need arises. It is easier to request a family member with kids to look after your kids than one who doesn’t have any. Don’t get too excited yet. A request can be denied or accepted, so brace yourself for whatever response.

Assuming a family member agrees, be open to the fact; there are those who will agree without asking for anything in return, while others may attach conditions. Once again, brace yourself for the conditions. The conditions may range from kids helping around the house with chores to you chipping in on some bills.

Whichever arrangement you have with family, do not take advantage of their effort and generosity. Disciplined kids who can mind their manners in your absence would do you good. No one wants spoilt, lazy kids. Suppose your kids live with relatives, send upkeep money or shop and take it to them while visiting.

A good deed deserves another


Before you embark on this route, assess your family and address issues they need to work on. Gone are the days when chores were gender-based, thus resting heavily on one person’s shoulder. Not having a maid shouldn’t be an express ticket to exhaustion or home malfunction. Applying the mentioned tips will have your home running smoothly in a matter of weeks.

Did you find this information useful? We’d love to hear how you managed your home without a nanny.

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