October 24, 2011

Guest Post–Organizing Daily Chores 101

October 24, 2011

Keep my house clean can sometimes be a daunting task.  There have been days when I feel like that is all I do and it can become extremely frustrating.  I recently shared some tips with you about scheduling your household cleaning duties.  Meanwhile I ran across Janel and her fabulous idea about how she keeps her home in order without losing her head.  I ask her to guest post and she sweetly obliged. 

Janel describes herself as a 30(ish) mother of two (one a teen girl...aahhh!), wife of 15 years, business owner, bass player, oldest of 10, and generally way in over my head lover of all things creative! My children attend public charter school online...at home...this affords me with guinea pigs for my crazy ideas, recipes, and diy. My projects are far from perfect...my life is far from perfect!...but I like it that way. I hope to inspire my readers to accept imperfection as perfectly amazing. To find joy in the little things. And to live fully and wholeheartedly.  She writes a blog called Hating Martha; Imperfect At Its Best.


Hi All! Wow! Its great to be invited over here today! I was so excited when Summer Jo asked me to guest blog...what an honor! She has asked me to share with you all the system I use to manage my household chores. Or attempt to manage. Cause, let’s face it they seem to multiply the minute you feel you made headway. That’s life.

Before I share my great wisdom and amazing homemaking skills *ahem* I feel I should put out a disclaimer. I am not responsible if your house stays messy and dirty when you are on this system. I am not responsible if your family isn’t smiling and cheerful when it’s time for chores. Oh wait…that doesn’t happen in my own house…oops! Let it be known that my home is far from perfect. Life happens. And life can make a MESS! You come over to my house at the wrong time of day (sometimes week) and you get what you get. Too bad. And my bedroom…lets face it, it’s never going to be magazine perfect…

But…before you think “what on earth does this girl got good to say?” I also want to say that I am comfortable with you stopping whenever you want. I host guests often. My house is clean and non-cluttered…most of the time. And when I need to clean for a big event it takes very little time. Really! Here’s how…

My family is on a system. The WHOLE family…even my 8 year old son.
See…I grew up the oldest of 10 children. Chores are a necessity in a family that big. Just laundry took all day. So, I didn’t even think twice about making my own children do chores from the time they could walk. Now, I realize that isn’t always normal…poor kids. But I truly believe the saying “If you live here…you help here!”.For this came rule 1…

Rule 1. EVERYONE has chores.

I love, love to cook. My family loves, loves to eat my cooking. But, I recognized a while back that I was cook, cook, cooking. They were eat, eat, eating. And then I was clean, clean, cleaning. Huh? Oh no… that was not going to happen!
We also have a host of overnight guests…frequently (comes with that whole 9 siblings thing). I don’t mind guests but sometimes if they aren’t helping, it can get tedious. So we added this rule as much for them as my own family. We do however expect that those who cook learn how to cook without creating a tornado!

Rule 2. You cook…you don’t clean. You don’t cook…you clean. .

I learned early on in life that laundry and dishes can take over your life. In my house, I do laundry and dishes first thing. No exceptions. It really only takes a few minutes.

Rule 3. Do your dishes and a load of laundry every day, same time! No excuses!

Themes!!! I am a theme girl. It makes my brain work better. I don’t know why but hey…if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! My kids also remember it better. They know what to expect from day to day. These themed chores are SEPARATE from the daily chores I expect done right away in the morning. Those basic chores we do in the morning are dishes, laundry, garbage's, pets, sweeping, and counters.

Themes work especially in the summer time when the kids are off school. But, because they do their schooling from home it also works for us during the school year. For some, you may have to adjust what the reward is based on time constraints. But, here is a look at what our schedule is…

Money Monday---pay bills, banking, subscriptions, kids things that need paying. There is only basic chores on this day (I hate paying bills, that’s enough torture for one day). I reward myself with my favorite show in the evening.

Teriffic Tuesday---Bathrooms day! Each person is assigned a bathroom chore (i.e., toilets, mirror and sinks, tub). When we are finished we do something “terrific in the afternoon”. Such things like movies, mini-golf (on summer vacation), baking cookies, going for a bike ride. Something my kids enjoy but I often say no to because of time constraints.clip_image002

My bathroom. Today. I promise I didn’t clean first. And obviously I don’t win awards for style. Sorry. But, we are talking about clean…its clean!

Wacky Wednesday---Living Rooms! We have a formal living room and a family room. This day is for them. Then we try to do something off kilter for supper that night (this has gotten complicated with Church Nights but…) usually breakfast for supper.


My living room. No cleaning first. Promise! You can come over if you want…I don’t mind!

Thursday. This poor day doesn’t have a name. Ideas? This is entry and kitchen day. We picked this day because it has the least going on and the kitchen has the most going on. And entry. Entry’s are extremely dirty for such a small space…dontcha think? And this evening is free time for the kids. They don’t have afterschool stuff, we don’t have church stuff, its just play, play, play. And I have to be VERY careful not to nag for more chores when I see them “sitting around”.

My kitchen. I admit these were taken on Friday so that’s only a day. But its still typical of normal non-cooking tidiness.

Fantastic Friday. We LOVE Fridays. Fridays are floors. We don’t do the floors on the rest of the days. Cause we do them Friday J. I have very little carpet in the house. But, my H gets to lug the vacuum out and do that. The sweeping and mopping gets divvied out as I see fit to everyone else (I usually take the yuckiest). Then usually we go grocery shopping on Fridays. Or…my kids get friends over for the night.

Super Saturday. We LOVE Saturdays. Partly. This is “Saturday chore” day. Mornings require bedrooms cleaned, mom’s way. Kitty litter is taken care of. Laundry caught up if needed. Then…homework if needed in the afternoon.

But Saturday nights…Family Movie and Pizza night! Oh yeah Baby! Watch those kids clean their rooms!

clip_image006BEFORE Saturday morn chores! I don’t worry, it will be cleaned!

Sunday. Sunday is electronic free time (when homework is finished). They will come home from church and spend the day on their computer, watching movies, or video games. They have worked hard all week and deserve to “veg out”. H and I can usually be found watching football, napping, or bugging a kid for some cuddle time. We use this day to reset our family for what lies ahead in the next week.

Although my schedule will not work for your family for all myriads of reasons...can you find a way to make your own? Mine isn’t written down and signed with blood. It is very casual. But, it is still there. And it has completely freed my worry about my house. I see the bathrooms need cleaning…never fear…Tuesday will be here! I KNOW that my house is clean enough. I don’t fret about company. I can enjoy my home and family. Woot!

I shared pictures of my home with you because I want to be real. My home won’t win any awards. It isn’t going to look like a magazine. But, you are welcome anytime. My home is loved, hopefully like those that live and visit in it are. And isn’t that what the point of housework is in the first place?To provide a place to nurture?

Now if only I can figure out how to get up on time in the morning I could rule the world! Oh, and kick my coffee addiction. And find those lost socks…

Just me,


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