Today's guest post is by Lauren of Serving From Home. ___
Let's face it. There are very few people in this world who actually enjoy household chores. That is why there are so many books and online lists and charts at our disposal - to help us make chores less of a chore.
Over the years I have tried many different ways of trying to keep our house clean. Making lists and schedules are things I take great pleasure in. But following them? Now that is a whole other ball game. Something I have come to realize though is that the reason I have a hard time following the schedules is because they are generally unrealistic.
So how do you make a realistic cleaning schedule for your household? And is it actually possible to enjoy household chores? Well, after 7 ½ years of trying to figure it all out, I finally have a routine which fits our family (for now!), and I actually enjoy getting the household chores done!
Here are 5 steps to developing and implementing a weekly household chores routine:
1. Make a list of the non-negotiable household chores which absolutely SCREAM for attention each week. For example, growing up in a family of 4 kids, it was a necessity for the bathrooms to be cleaned twice a week. But now, with 3 young ones (and only 2 potty trained) and 2 adults, it really only needs to be done once a week.
Gauge your cleaning needs on how much traffic you have in your house. If you are a stay-at-home mom with 2 or more kids, you are probably going to need to vacuum, mop and dust more than a mom who either stays home or works, but has children in school.
Whatever you decide, BE REALISTIC. Are you REALLY going to get to mopping twice a week? Do the hallway photos really need to be dusted 3 times a day? Do you need to clean your kitchen cupboards every week?
2. Think and pray about your desires and goals for having a clean home. Heed Colossians 3:23 “Whatever you do, work heartily as for the Lord and not for men.” While it is nice to have a clean house, if completing everything is stressing you out, then maybe you need to scale back what you’re trying to accomplish each week. Or if chores are taking the place of doing your quiet time, then you need to re-vamp your schedule. Psalm 37:4 says “Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.” The main thing is that your heart and attitude are right in teaching your children and yourself to do the work with diligence out of service to the Lord, and not to please others or to look good.
3. Enlist the help of others around you. Ask your hubby to take on the vacuuming and mopping once in a while. Do you have children who stay at home with you? Assign them weekly chores based on what you have determined needs to be completed each week. Are your kids in school all day? Then have them do a daily chore when they arrive home, and then assign them some duties on the weekend. Whether you decide to pay them for their chores or not, it is always a nice incentive and a good way to teach them the value of working hard for their money.
4. Relax! If you don’t get everything completed that you wanted to, it isn’t the end of the world! The most important thing is that you at least have a PLAN in place. No plan = little accomplishment. I speak from experience! I thrive a lot better with a daily routine and chore plan in place than I would if I kept everything in my head!
5. Plan to have some friends over! There is nothing more motivating to getting your house clean than knowing someone is coming over who is going to care if they are stepping in last nights’ leftover pasta, or touching grimy faucets. The more you PLAN on having people over, the more you’ll find you’re consistently keeping with your schedule, and are realistic about what you are able to accomplish. We have a weekly church small group which we lead in our home once a week, so there are some definite chores that HAVE to be done before that day (IE dusting, vacuuming, bathrooms and mopping), but it provides good reason and motivation for getting them accomplished early on.
As a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom, I have the flexibility of adding chores to our daily routine. However, it also means there is generally a lot of tidy-up to be done at any given point during the day. To give you an example to go by, here is what our weekly chores look like:
- fold and put away laundry (everyone helps!)
- dusting family room and living room (4 and 6 year old jobs)
- vacuum and mop the downstairs (mom or dad)
- clean the bathrooms (4 and 6 year old do the counters, mom does the toilets)
- collect garbage and recycling (4 and 6 year old)
- playroom toy and under couch cleanup (all)
- 1 bi-weekly chore
- school room organization (during the school year)
- wipe down bathroom counters and seats
- organize the kitchen pantry and wipe down the fridge (this also fits in to just before our grocery shop so I can SEE what I need to buy and get rid of old food to make room for the new)
- 1 bi-weekly chore
- bedroom tidy (all)
Chores that are on a daily rotation between myself and the 2-4-6 year old are:
- make bed / put clothes away
- sweep the kitchen floor
- set and clear the table
- tidy up the front door
- empty/load the dishwasher
- put away groceries
- 10-minute tidy
I’ll go more into our bi-weekly and monthly chores later on, but as you can see, I don’t have a lot of major chores that I actually have to accomplish myself. I do have to supervise the littles when they clean, but I’m still able to do other things while they are cleaning. We also do NOT always complete everything that is on our schedule, but at least the guide is there.
This week’s challenge is to come up with a list of 5-10 must-do weekly chores.
Walk through your house, write down a list of everything you would LIKE to do. Then sit down, and working around your own timing and household logistics / traffic, try to slot just one or two things into each day. If you get to 5 or 6 days and you have some left over, see if you can save it for the bi-weekly or even monthly cleaning. After you’ve made your list, STICK TO IT for 1 week. If you’re not able to keep up with it, sit down and re-work it. The key is to keep trying from 1 week to the next until you find a fit that works. And be prepared to flex and modify your schedule based on your family’s ever-changing needs. Happy scheduling!
Scroll down to find out details about how the challenge works!
Lauren is the wife of the best husband in the world, and homeschooling mother of (currently :D) three little ones. She desires to spend her days teaching her children about their loving God and Saviour through his Word and her actions, that she may be a light to them. Her favourite activities include spending quality time with her husband (date nights!), homeschooling, cooking, baking, sewing and reading and playtime with the kids. She also loves to encourage others with what the Lord has been teaching her through personal experience as a mother, wife and daughter of the king. You can find her blog at Serving From Home.
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