Doing chores is not fun for anyone, but doing chores is so much worse when one person feels unfairly burdened with more than one’s share of jobs. If we are honest, we all know that, usually, it’s mum who ends up with the lion’s share of responsibility for the household chores.
A chore schedule is essential for maintaining a basic level of cleanliness while preserving household harmony. When planning your chore schedule, keep the following four points in mind.
Image via Flickr by jrigol
Decide on a Clear Plan of Which Chores Need Completing and at Which Intervals
Start by dividing all the chores into groups of daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual tasks. Some negotiation may be required to find a compromise that everyone is happy with. Some will be easy — dishes should be washed daily and hard surfaces dusted weekly — while others may be more controversial. Should the windows be washed monthly or quarterly?
Further divide those groups of tasks among all members of the family.
Teamwork Is the Key to a Successful Relationship
A chore schedule is so much more than a 50-50 split of the tasks. Unhealthy comparison between husband and wife about how many chores were completed invariably leads to feelings of frustration. Rather than viewing the chore list as “your jobs” and “my jobs,” try to focus on completing the tasks as a team. Both of you put in 100 percent effort to make sure all the jobs get completed.
Every Family Member Can Help
OK, so infants aren’t much help. In fact, they contribute more cleaning and laundry than seems possible for such a small human, but certainly from around 2 years old, children can help with simple chores such as picking up toys or putting dirty clothing in the laundry basket.
By involving your children in household chores from an early age, you will avoid much of the angst as they get older and discover that playing mommy’s helper is less appealing.
Provide Clear Instructions to Avoid Confusion
We come from diverse backgrounds, which can lead to very different ideas of what the word clean means. If the chore schedule reads “clean the living room,” one person could interpret that directive to mean pick up the toys, while another may think it means dust, vacuum, and plump cushions as well as picking up the toys.
A gap between ideal and reality is bound to lead to conflict, so give explicit instructions on what each task involves. When creating your chore schedule, talk about your expectations for each task. Do you expect the house to pass the white-glove test or are you happy with a functional level of tidiness? Maybe you’d prefer something in the middle of those areas.
If you are feeling overwhelmed at the thought of managing to stay on top of the myriad tasks required to manage your home, consider outside help. Hiring a cleaning service may make a big difference on your stress levels. Even simple tasks can have a big payoff.
* This is a collaborative post