Monday, May 19, 2014

Let's Organize Our Chores


You know that saying that "A man works from sun to sun but a woman's work is never done"?  Well, really the work of keeping a house IS never done, and so as long as that is primarily a woman's responsibility, then it's true that a woman could just work around the clock.  The trick with so much of this domestic labor is that you do it, but in the meantime it is being undone all around you.  The dust just settles back again on to all the horizontal surfaces.  The animals continue to shed hair and fur that covers all your furniture and rugs.  Dirt finds its way onto all your floors.  Dishes - don't get me started on dishes.

And so, if I don't want to just spend all my time as a whirling dervish with cleaning tools attached to my arms, I need some way to say when Enough is Enough.

There is an old system that many housewives used to use, with different tasks on each day of the week. What appeals to me about that idea is that if the day is set aside for baking, and you've done all your baking, but you notice that there are some shirts that could be ironed and that the floor is a bit dirty, you leave those things for another day.  You are done with today's work, and tomorrow's work can just wait while you go put your feet up and read a novel.

Would this mean my house isn't as clean?  Maybe.  But it will still be Clean Enough.

And then there is another, newer, idea for managing this housework problem, namely the other people in the house should be helping!

Last week I sat down with those two ideas and wrote out the chart pictured above.  It gives a main focus to each of six days of the week:

Monday is Baking Day
Tuesday is Ironing Day
Wednesday is Mending Day
Thursday is Shopping Day
Friday is Cleaning Day
Saturday is Gardening Day

And then it also gives my kids chores as well.  Last week I was thinking that they would rotate through all the chores, but that system proved too complicated and it gave them chores they weren't quite ready for.

So this week I've simplified their chores:  they will each make dinner one night a week, help with laundry one day a week, clean their bedrooms on one day, and wash the dinner dishes on two nights each.  They also take care of our outdoor animals on all weekdays.

I have to help with the dinner cooking still, but this way they are learning. If this works, I'll gradually add in some more chores for them.

And then my work will only be Sun to Sun, as well.  Enough has got to be Enough.

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