I mentioned in yesterdays post that I was going to focus on getting back to basics this week. Today, I’m going to tackle a very basic routine, cleaning the house. For some people, this comes easily. For others, it is a daunting task. I get overwhelmed thinking about the fact that I did three loads of laundry on Saturday and by Monday there will be three more that need to be done. I put the dishes in the dishwasher last night and GUESS WHAT? There are MORE dirty dishes today. I don’t know why in my 39 years I have not fallen into a routine with this stuff, but it’s just one of those things that doesn’t come naturally to me. I need a plan, a box to check so that I feel like I’ve accomplished something. I also need a little more help from my kids and husband. So, I came up with a daily and weekly cleaning chart. Here’s a peek:
I created the charts in Google Docs. I created a document and added a table for each room in the house. Once a task is completed, the person who completed it initials it and adds the date. The next time that task is done, the initials are added and the date is changed. I also included a column that shows approximately how many minutes the task should take to complete. The kids were totally on board with the chart. Especially when I made screen time contingent upon completing some chores. As for my husband, I’m going to knock off as much as I can and then hand him the list. He cooks dinner every night, so if he can tackle the daily bathroom chores, I’ll be happy. As for the weekly chores, I intend on doing most of the cleaning stuff myself, while husband will do grocery shopping, taking out the trash and cleaning the cars.
Once I had created the documents, I grabbed some clear page protectors and some dry erase markers from Staples. When I created the documents, I manipulated them (changed font size, expanded margins) until the daily tasks were two pages long and the same with the weekly. That way I could keep them back to back in the sheet protector and just have one double sided protector for everything that needs to be done everyday and one double sided protector with everything that needs to be done every week. I like the Martha Stewart page protector because they have a little tab at the top that you can tuck in and basically seal the top somewhat. We use the dry erase marker to document our initials and the date.
Here’s what today’s Daily List looked like:
Note that not everything got done. And that’s ok because we have the dates and the initials. I like the idea of using initials and dates for two reasons. The initials shows the division of labor. It is plain and simple and I was fairly detailed in documenting the tasks that need to be completed daily and weekly. (And, of course, if I missed anything, I can quickly edit and reprint the sheets.) The dates are helpful because, as an example, if next Monday night rolls around and I see the date the bunnies cage was cleaned was a week ago, I’ll know exactly why the house smells like a petting zoo!
The next step to this is creating a Monthly list and possibly a yearly. For now, I’m going with baby steps. If we can get into a routine of doing just the daily tasks, it will make my life much easier on the weekends.
Do you use a chore chart at your house? What works for you?