March 14, 2012

Managing the Chores

A friend posted a question on Facebook the other day. She asked about finding joy in doing housework. I wouldn't say I have found joy, but I have found satisfying, we will work on joy.

 I think the biggest key in making housework easier is simplifying what you have. The more stuff you have to clean, the longer it takes, the harder it is. When you look at a huge mess, you have already defeated yourself mentally. I have streamlined our home and this is how we manage our chores.

I have a rule, if you can walk, you can do chores. Give children an opportunity to learn. It may take longer, but you will have children eager to do chores, so its a great time to teach,  and they will know how to do them properly when they are older. This teaches personal responsibility and self government. Two key skills they will need to be productive adults.

As I showed a little with the last post on laundry, the children have personal chores. They are responsible for their laundry, beds, personal belongings, personal pets, personal dishes and personal hygiene. They are also assigned to help their partner with their personal chores and responsibilities. This is done as part of our daily routine, and they are done before morning chores and after evening chores.

One thing that is hard for me, is cleaning big messes.. I can clean small messes several times a day, this works best for me.  I created a chore system for that. We do a clean up 3x a day. This chore wheel helps us keep track of who needs to be doing what. The outer ring is assigned as a weekly job, Sunday-Saturday. The children assigned here, have the job for the whole week. The middle ring is rotated daily, so for that one day, they are responsible for that chore. The center one is changed 3xday. The wheel is posted on our bulletin board in the kitchen where everyone can easily see it.

Since we clean 3x a day, it really doesn't take all that long, unless you drag it out on purpose. The blue chores usually only need to be done once a day, its a 15 min chore. We usually do the Hall and Stairs in the morning as we get up and the Porch is done in the evening. Pantry and School Room are done once a day as needed. The yellow chores are once or twice a day, depending on the day, and again, take no more than 15 minutes. Playroom, Bathroom and Family Room only require a quick pick up of the room. Laundry is responsible for hanging out the clothes and putting away socks, undies, towels and blankets. The green chores are also 15 min chores and are done as follows. Meal Helper helps to prepare the meal and put away any leftover food. Dishes is responsible for putting away clean dishes and washing any dishes used for cooking. One rule I have recently instituted was that you are to wash and put away your plate, cup spoon fork bowl, that you used to eat with as you leave the table. This has made a huge difference, not only helping reduce the burden of washing dishes ( we hand wash) but again, teaches personal responsibility. Table and Chairs, does just that, washes the table and chairs after each meal, and makes sure the counters are cleaned off. Then the sweepers run a broom through the whole house and cleans up the pile.

So where do I fit in? I make sure the chores are all being done properly and promptly, and help where I am needed. I often wash the dishes and sweep while the helpers put away clean ones and help clear the pile. I will sit with the baby and make sure the socks and undies get put away and I often clean the bathroom and wash laundry while my husband takes a shower so we can chat.

Monday through Friday, I do one weekly cleaning. I often do this in the afternoon, while the children are doing their computer time and outside play. Monday's I "deep clean" the bathroom and kitchen. I find the little things, the children missed throughout the week and I scrub the floors. This usually takes about 30 minutes for the kitchen and 15 for the bathroom. Tuesday's we clean the family room. We remove the cushions from the couches, and put all the hidden treasures away. I move and sweep behind and under the couches and straighten up the desk and bookshelves and scrub the floor. This takes about 30 minutes. Wednesday's are the bedrooms. We keep very little in the bedrooms. I go through with the children and we make sure all items are put in their proper place, sweep under and behind beds and shelves and mop if needed. This also takes about 30 min. Thursday we clean our pantry. Make sure all foods are covered, and things are in their place. I also take inventory of what we have as we usually shop on Fri or Sat. Mop if needed. This takes 15 minutes usually. If it has been neglected, or the cat got lazy catching mice, it can take much longer. Friday we organize the school room and play room. We split the 4 older's in the school room and the 4 little's in the playroom and we put everything where it goes and scrub the floors. This is a 15-30 min job, IF, and a big IF, I do this weekly.. a few times I have  let these rooms build up.. Then it takes a dedicated day, as there are many books and papers to sort along with small school supplies, etc..

How you do manage the chores in your home? 


  1. I need one of those wheels for 3 kids! I need to get working on that! LOL

  2. You are definitely organized with the chores. I have tried a lot of things. Right now we have a chore chart. They all have various chores to do each day and throughout the week. My three year old has recently started helping out and she does fairly well. My one year old...well, she's a work in progress. But, I think they all are. :-)


Thanks for reading and leaving your thoughts.

If you choose to leave a comment, put a username in the dropdown box that says Username/URL. You can usually leave the URL box blank, or if the system requires one just put in my URL. Harassing comments from anonymous people will not be published. You will need to sign in if you wish to be rude.

Don't forget to check the "notify me" box to get updates on comment replies!
This makes it easier for conversation. Thanks!