8 Ways to Use Timers Around the House


Timers are versatile household tools that are all too often relegated only to kitchen duty. Yet, these simple manual or digital devices can make a big difference all around the house. Whether you install timers that actually control power flow or only make noise to alert you to something, there are more ways than you think to put these tools to good use. Here are eight new ways to try timing yourself around the house. And if you don’t already have power or egg timers at home, consider picking a few different types up.

1. Reduce Energy Bills

Bedside table lamp

Anything from cable boxes to internet routers and laptops can drain energy, even when not actively being used. So, consider using timers to help eliminate that phantom energy drain, which can quickly add up and contribute to high monthly power bills. Most devices in your house that recharge themselves or power passive features can be safely cut off with a power-controlling timer to reduce energy use when you’re not home. Just make sure to leave anything essential to other systems in the home, such as smart thermostats, plugged in and turned on.

2. Encourage Better Routines in Children

Kid doing homework

There are so many different ways to use timers with kids in the house that the list goes on. Some notable ideas include:

  • Setting fair turns for using favorite toys, screen time, or use of gaming consoles/computers
  • Encouraging kids to learn about blocks of time with visual tools they can check whenever they like
  • Tracking time for positive behaviors like playing independently or reading quietly
  • Getting everyone involved in a group chore or activity that lasts a specific amount of time
  • Playing games that require timers for rounds or scoring purposes.

3. Water the Lawn Appropriately

Water timer

Irrigation timers offer better control over your lawn watering efforts while reducing wasted water. Set up your sprinklers or drip lines to run for a specific amount of time each week, preferably at night, to minimize water loss. There’s no need to worry that you’ll either forget the weekly watering or run afoul of drought-related restrictions when relying on a complex timer.

4. Track Multiple Dishes While Cooking

Timer on kitchen counter

Everyone knows about using kitchen timers to track boiling eggs or baking cakes. But what about on busy holidays when you have half a dozen different dishes all at various stages of cooking? Try a complex timer app or digital desk timer to track as many different timelines as you want. Multi-stage timers also help mark when specific tasks need to be done while counting the total time elapsed on the project.

5. Make Chores More Enjoyable

People mopping kitchen floor

Getting everyone in the family on board with a chore rotation can feel like pulling nails from concrete. Instead of making everyone work separately, try getting the team together to work on the same project for a specific amount of time. Set a timer for just 10 to 15 minutes and ask everyone to pick up clutter, sweep the floor, or wipe down surfaces in a room. Doing this a few times a day can suddenly result in a cleaner home without much fussing and fighting over responsibilities.

6. Enjoy Holiday Happiness – Even When Traveling

Christmas lights on a house

Going away for the holidays doesn’t have to mean missing out on seasonal decorating. Colorful lights and other displays are easily operated with timers to turn them on right as the light levels drop. Smart timers can even give you control from any distance over the lights, ensuring you can switch the lights or displays on just on certain days. Using timers inside the home to switch lights on and off can also create the illusion you’re still home. This can make your home more secure against break-ins and theft.

Managing other household maintenance tasks from afar is made easier with timers too. You can even control your heating settings with a timer, which can help keep pipes from freezing while not in use and, at the same time, allow you to save money on energy costs.

7. Build Correct Health Habits

Kid brushing teeth

Everything from brushing your teeth to exercising and napping is best done according to specific timing. For example, making sure you spend two full minutes brushing your teeth can make the difference between gum disease and good health. The same is true for getting half an hour of exercise every day. Using timers ensures that you’re not accidentally over or under-estimating the time you spend on important health habits.

8. Increase Productivity with Timed Work and Breaks

Timing a work break

Finally, consider embracing one of the many popular productivity methods available today that rely on timers. Most of these techniques call for working for a set amount of time and then taking a break, repeating the cycle over and over again until you’re done. The key is setting work periods that aren’t too long yet long enough to stay focused. Many methods call for working for 45 minutes to 2 hours at a time and taking breaks between them.

Make the most of your home and your time by using timers all over the place. Portable egg timers, fancy digital timers, and even timer apps can all make a difference in your daily routine. Don’t forget essential timers for irrigation, lighting, and more.

While do-it-yourself projects can be fun and fulfilling, there is always a potential for personal injury or property damage. We strongly suggest that any project beyond your abilities be left to licensed professionals such as electricians, plumbers, and carpenters. Any action you take upon the information on this website is strictly at your own risk, and we assume no responsibility or liability for the contents of this article.