Are you all ready for this?
U all ready 4 dis?
Don’t know where that came from – weird.
I love chores.
Let me rephrase that.
I love that my minions – oops, I mean my children – do chores.
Yeah, that’s much better.
Why do I love it so much? For starters, it teaches them responsibility, ownership, perseverance, dedication, work, and service. I’m sure there’s more, but that’s a good start.
And another reason? I don’t have to do it all by myself.
(cue angels singing)
Those are both excellent reasons to get your kids (or your spouse) started on chores, if they’re not already.
So here we go:
I need to start off by saying there’s no wrong way to organize chores.You need to do what works for you because there’s many variables: The ages of your children, whether or not you even have children, whether or not you’re married or live with roommates, what chores need to be done, how big your house is, etc. Obviously what works for 1 person doesn’t mean it’ll work for you.
The beauty of this is that you get to decide who, when and how it all gets done. You have an incredible amount of power here; use it wisely.
So here’s what I do.
#1. I break the chores down into days
What I mean by that is that I don’t wait until Saturday to “clean the house.” Talk about overwhelming. Life is overwhelming enough without letting everything pile up until Saturday. Plus, I don’t want to spend my entire day cleaning.
I believe in scheduling time for rest and relaxation and not just on Saturdays. Now that doesn’t mean that we don’t clean at all, we just don’t clean all day.
We have chores that must be done every day like dishes, make bed, clean room, etc. But other chores like laundry, vacuum, dust, etc. are given their own day during the week.
Here’s the breakdown:
MONDAY: Vacuum bedroom or sweep if you have hardwood floors. In addition to the bedroom, I vacuum the living room and my oldest child vacuums the family room.
TUESDAY: Wash, fold and put away laundry. This one is just for the four oldest kids. I do the little ones laundry on a different day with Curtis’ and my laundry.
WEDNESDAY: Clean the bathroom. Curtis and I are responsible for the upstairs bathroom and the kids do the downstairs one.
THURSDAY: Dust bedroom and Empty garbages. Each child empties two garbages. They dust their own room. Curtis and I dust my room plus the living room, family room, kitchen and bathroom.
FRIDAY: Laundry again
SATURDAY: Lay out clothes for church on Sunday. Pack the diaper bag and Sunday bag with snacks, toys, diapers, bottles, etc.
This system totally works for us and I love it. The kids don’t feel overwhelmed because each day we do a little bit. Then Saturday we still have time to play. Can you imagine waking up Saturday morning and shouting to your family the following: Okay everyone, we need to make our beds, get dressed, clean our rooms, wash the dishes, vacuum the floors, dust, sweep/mop, empty the garbages, clean the bathroom, do the laundry, mow the lawn, weed and water the garden, and get ready for Sunday and THEN, if we get all our stuff done, we can go play.
How awful is that? And then you spend the rest of the day trying to get your children, spouse, roommate or yourself to actually do even a part of that. The end of the day comes and there’s no time left to play. Another Saturday down the tube.
No way! Not for me. What about you? Are Saturdays this dreaded day because it’s just clean, clean, clean?
It’s time to change that.
You with me?
Start by making a list of every chore you’d like to have accomplished each week. Once you’ve done that, then start assigning them days, taking into account things like what day your garbage is picked up, what nights are your busiest or slowest nights, etc. We empty garbages on Thursday because the garbage man comes on Friday. And obviously we do stuff to prepare for church Sunday on Saturday because Sunday is the next day.
Did that last sentence throw you off or what? I know I’m confused.
OK, that’s enough for today.
Your homework is to make a list of chores. I promise it’s not as painful as this picture makes it out to be. The only thing is to make it realistic; don’t put “wipe down every wall in the house” or “scrub the tile with a toothbrush.” Good luck with that.
Once your list is made you’ll be ready for the next step.