The busy mum’s guide to fast forwarding her home to cleanliness and domestic bliss.

Don’t you just hate it when you have to endure the same commercials over and over again?

I know I do. In fact, while I was doing my research I found the following “fun” facts about advertising on Australian commercial television:

  • There is no law restricting how much ads can appear on TV per hour. There is a restriction, but it is only for a period of 24 hours.
  • Australia is the country with the highest TV advertising content in the world.
  • During prime time one can see up to 18 mins worth of adverts per hour (which often means less than 40 mins of actual program per hour).
  • Australia is also one of few countries where adverts appear prior to, and over the top of, the closing credits of a program.

Get a load of that! (Or to be more precise: “Get a load of ad”).

What is a busy mum to do with so much “free” time?

Don’t fast-forward the program, grab your phone or switch the channel – simply make use of the time you have on your hands to do something productive.

Below is a list of chores you can tackle during commercial time:

1. Unload the dishwasher

This always seems as the first, most convenient choice. When the dishwasher completes a cycle, wait for commercials and take the clothes out. It will take no more than 3 -4 minutes. If commercials are still on, start loading the next batch of dirty dishes.

2. Work on the laundry 

Uh-oh! It’s commercial time again. You can actually do this chore during ad time all night. Here is how you do it seamlessly. Instead of watching housewives discussing laundry detergents, why not take care of your own whites. Load a batch of laundry. When the ads pop up again at the end of the cycle, move the clothes in the dryer. Load the next batch (if you have any). When the dryer is ready take the pile on the sofa with you and fold while you watch the news. Sounds fun, doesn’t it?

3. Wipe the kitchen counters

If they are cluttered do it during two commercial breaks. Use the first one to de-clutter and the second to wipe them clean with a solution of vinegar/lemon juice/ baking soda and water.

4. Replace towels

Replace tea towels and bath towels in a single commercial break.

5. De-clutter the entrance area - letters, junk mail, bills and other important stuff. You can also de-clutter your coffee table and magazines. After all it is right in front of you. That’s the least you could do.

6. Take out the garbage

Take out the garbage and put a new bag in the bin. I quite dislike this chore, because sometimes I have to get my hands dirty and when I notice the bag is full while I am cooking there is no way I am touching that until after dinner. Commercial time would be a great way to do just that. And by the way you can also toss the junk mail and all magazines and clutter you are done with.

7. Organize a drawer

Sometimes this takes longer, but you can start from somewhere. De-clutter and put everything back in its place.

8. Sort out bed sheets

I dread replacing the sheets even though I change them at least once a week and one may think I must have gotten used to it by now. Nope, I still dislike it a lot. I found that if I do it during a pleasant show, I associate it with pleasant things much more. During the first commercial break strip your bed and load your sheets in the washing machine. During the second commercial break make up the bed and place the new sheets. If the break is short, do it in two sessions.

9. Spray the bathroom, toilet and basin with cleaning detergent

Sometimes these detergents take a while to work and you are being advised to wait at least 30 minutes. Well, there you go.. During the next commercial break rinse the toilet, sink and tub.

10. Water the house plants

A single commercial should be enough for this one.

Bonus one: Wipe fingerprints and stains from handles and switches.

For a full and more comprehensive list of chores and the time it takes to complete each, Paul’s Carpet Cleaners have prepared a list of cleaning tasks divided in categories based on the time, required for completion, respectively in 5, 10, 30 mins and tasks you need to complete once or twice a year.

At the end of the evening, you will be amazed how your house became a lot cleaner and clutter-free.

Now you really deserve to rest and watch the actual program you wanted. After all, you earned it… 4 minutes at a time.

Have you got any tips to share? Feel free to leave your comments in the comment section below.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com
  • I don’t like commercials so l do as much as l a can during them!


  • Some good ideas to consider, thanks.


  • Do your ironing during commercial breaks if you have anything that has to be ironed or even just pressed. I have even changed from day clothes into night wear during commercial breaks….and done the same with the kids who are allowed to stay up later Fri. and Sat. nights if there is something on that is suitable for them to watch. Sometimes on a Sat. night there is kids movies that start at 6.30 or 7.00 and don’t finish until about 8.30 or 9.00 Never Sunday when Mon. is school and the start of the working week.


  • Lol, how many mums have the time to watch TV to be able to get all the above done during ad breaks?


  • Great list. Now I ju need the time to watch tv :)


  • There are too many ads on TV. We have IQ so hubby tapes everything and we watch it delayed fast forwarding through ads. Much faster!


  • Great ideas for making the most of your time. Fantastic article, thanks for sharing! :-D


  • Yep already do this. Can’t stand how many ads there are.


  • Im tired now just looking at the list


  • great tips – thanks for sharing


  • Our chores are mandatory during ads or you don’t get to watch the next segment of your fave tv program, and yes alot is done during the old commercial break, lol.


  • thanks for offering some great ‘ad’ saving tips! I tend to race around doing some of these already during this break time.


  • Yep, already doing a lot of this. Ads can be useful.


  • 5 minute chores with some speed cleaning, and the housework is done!


  • great list thanks for this one


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