Does anyone else feel like they're on this hamster wheel of endless cleaning? Same, girl.
Even with just my husband and I (and two very messy dogs), the struggle is real. I know the feelings are even more extreme for those of you with children. That Powerpuff girl is right! What is the point? For me, when my house is clean and tidy, my mood shifts. I instantly feel more motivated, productive, and focused. I feel like I have my life together. I decided to sit down and write a list of every household chore that one might possibly need to do and made a list. I broke them into daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly chores. This helps when planning our weeks to know exactly what needs to get done. My husband and I each decide what jobs we will take, divide and conquer!
Here are some tips to help slay that chore list!
Everyone MUST participate
This is non-negotiable. Everyone who lives in the home, must participate in keeping the house in order. This job tends to fall on the females of the household and it’s time to teach our boys and men what equal participation looks like. Small children are not exempt either. Although they may need more guidance and direction, there are countless benefits to teaching children responsibility starting at a young age. Let’s start forming those good habits now!
Display a visual chart or checklist
Visual reminders help everyone to know what exactly needs to be done and by whom. A chart will hold everyone accountable so that mom doesn’t have to continually dish out jobs and be the mental keeper of the chore list.
Designate a home for all necessary cleaning supplies
Make sure that all necessary cleaning items are in one designated spot that can be reached by all. Rags, dusters, cleaning spray etc. should all be accessible to those who are helping. If there are chemicals in your household cleaners, those can be stored higher out of reach of young children. Don’t assume everyone knows what to use on each type of surface. Labels can help to designate what cleaners should be used in each area of the home. I label my cleaners for the bathroom, kitchen, wood floors, and tile floors.
Make it part of your routine
Don’t change your whole life to fit in some chore time. Think about your daily life now. Where do you notice some extra down time? When is everyone energetic and ready to tackle a project? Use this information to set designated times and dates for each of these tasks. Schedule it out, set calendar alerts, do whatever it takes to get it done. For daily tasks, we usually complete these tasks in the evening after dinner and before bedtime. For weekly tasks, I like to sit down on Sundays and plan out any other chores throughout the week based on my schedule.
Set a timer
Timers work great for kids (and everyone). I actually set timers for myself alot! I’ve figured out that some chores don’t actually take as long as they feel. Like putting away clothes after they’re folded seems like an hour, but when timed, it’s literally ten minutes. Chores that we hate seem to last forever when in reality they don’t! Time yourself, especially doing something that isn’t the most fun, and you will see that it takes no time at all! Have ten minutes here and there? That’s enough time to unload that dishwasher! Five minutes until your next meeting? That’s enough time to wipe down the kitchen counters or go through the mail! Knowing how much time your chores take will give you an idea of what to do with those extra little time slots that pop up throughout the day.
Consistency is key
On average, it takes 66 days to form a new habit. So one week here and there is not going to cut it when trying to form new habits and routines. Don’t get discouraged if your schedule isn’t perfect. It’s going to take time to get used to your new habit, just don’t give up!
Don’t expect perfection
This is a really hard one for me. I hold myself and those around me to a very high standard. There are certain ways that I like things done around my house when it comes to cleaning and tidying. If there is a job that I’m really particular about, I make sure that I do it myself. I’ve learned to let go of my urge for everything to be perfect because: 1) that isn’t reality and I would have to do it all myself and that is just not possible. 2) If I want my husband to participate equally in the chores around the house, I have to accept that the way he does things isn’t always going to match my way or expectations.
Unexpected things are also going to pop up and mess up your schedule or routine. That is life so don’t be too hard on yourself. Miss a day of tidying? Set that time for a little bit longer the next day and complete what was missed or even wait until next week! Is it worth the stress? Does it really need to be done now? If the answer is no, move on girl and complete that chore next week.
Let’s work on forming some new habits that will make some changes for the better this year!
Do you need help creating systems and routines for your family? Not sure what are age appropriate chores for your children? I would love to help! Email me your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.