There has been some talk on our blog recently about household chores, and I thought that I would share a recent revelation that I have had about what works for me when it comes to doing housework. As I said in one of my comments, I grew up with a mother who did a great job keeping our home clean and tidy, while at the same time making it a warm and welcoming place for our family. I always knew that my mother was great at all things related to keeping a home - cooking, cleaning, organization, you name it and she was (and still is) as good as it gets! However, my mother also felt that we children should not have any household chores aside from keeping our own rooms tidy and picking up after ourselves around the house. Her reasoning was that we were busy enough already with schoolwork and outside activities, and that we would have plenty of housework of our own when we became wives and mothers ourselves. Yes, mom, that's definitely true :) But I wish that I had gotten the chance to learn these household skills from the master herself, because now I feel as if I am having to teach myself how to clean, cook, and organize a home!
So, here is what works for me :)
After more than five years of marriage, I think that I have finally figured out what makes me tick when it comes to housework. I have always enjoyed cooking and baking, so learning how to prepare meals for a family has been less of a task and more of a joy for me. I also don't mind doing laundry, especially now that we have a washer and dryer in our own home! But cleaning...Well, let's just say that I don't enjoy it any more than the average person :) The trend in the past has been that I would spend all week telling myself that I should clean the bathrooms, vacuum, dust, mop, etc., and each day I would wake up dreading the same list of tasks. Finally, by Friday I would barrel through all of my cleaning tasks and at the end of a couple of hours, the house would be clean and I felt satisfied and relieved! "That wasn't so bad," I would tell myself. "Next week, I'm going to do everything on Monday so that I can enjoy the rest of the week without dreading the housework!" But alas, Monday came and went without housework, then Tuesday, and suddenly it was Friday again and the cycle continued. I even tried assigning specific tasks to certain days (Monday for bathrooms, Tuesday for vacuuming, etc.), but this schedule only made me resent the housework that I needed to do and was psychologically not helpful for me.
So, here is what DOES work for me. As you can see in the above picture, I bought myself a lovely piece of stationary paper on which I have made a chart of my weekly household tasks. Along the left-hand side are the tasks (vacuum, groceries, bathrooms, etc.), and horizontally across the top are the weeks (I think I was able to fit 5 weeks across). When I am finished with a task, I check it off on the list. Here are the benefits to this system for me:
1) The chart serves as a reminder to me of what tasks I need to accomplish in a given week
2) When I have finished a task, I get to check it off
3) My husband is able to offer his help with a task that I have not gotten the chance to do yet
4) There is not the pressure to complete a task on a certain day, but it sure feels good to check off lots of items at the beginning of the week!
Everyone works differently, so this system may or may not be helpful to you! But I thought that I might as well share what works for me, and my hope is that maybe it will work for someone else out there as well!