Do you ever feel like keeping your house clean is an exercise in futility? I used to, too. That is, until I decided to do something about it.
I wish that this “ah-ha” moment just came to me out of the blue…but it didn’t. In fact, the creation of my chore chart is actually a little embarrassing.
What a Mess!
I distinctly remember that it was November 1st. How do I know this? Well…there was a bowl of candy sitting next the front door that I was trying desperately not to eat.
As I looked around my house, I started to cry. I tried SO HARD to keep everything in order, but with three people (two of them male), it seemed like there were never enough hours in the day.
In all fairness, we had just moved cross country and left beautiful 95 degree weather for one of the harshest winters that the Midwest had seen in quite some time. I was in a real funk, and my inner turmoil was beginning to leak out into my home. It was NOT pretty, y’all.
I wandered through our little 2-bedroom condo and realized that I just had to start somewhere. So, once I’d picked myself up off the floor (I was a total wreck. I hate messes, and it seemed like every surface was covered, the laundry was overflowing, the dishes weren’t washing themselves…it was BAD.)
I knew that things HAD to change. I tried a few different approaches: one bathroom a day, vacuuming one room a day, a load of laundry a day…but I felt like was never getting anything completely done.
Make a Chore List
I’m one of those girls who LOVES lists. I put things on my list just so that I can check them off. It’s a problem. I knew that there were some major issues going on that were causing me to let my house get out of control. In reflection, I realized that I was feeling very lost and didn’t feel as though I could control anything, and so the house went. And went, and went. WOW was it out of control.
I knew that this had to change. I was digging through (CLEAN!) laundry hoping to find Smalls a matching set of pajamas on a daily basis, and I was pretty sure that my favorite yoga pants were here…somewhere. So I did what I do best: I made a list.
I wrote down every single chore that was driving me nuts and then I categorized, prioritized, and realized that it was a BIG list. One thing that I’ve learned in my years as a list maker is to break a large list into manageable chucks, so that’s what I did.
I grouped the items into ‘days’ so that I knew when things had to happen. I’m an action person, but sometimes I need a push, if you will. The first list that I made had me working way too hard.
I needed a day off, and I also needed to have time to spend with Smalls (and get some work done!), so I decided that I would do what every other hard working person does, I’d take a weekend. So I crossed Saturday and Sunday off the list. They were no longer available for chores.
The List Was Suddenly Manageable
Sure, I’d love to vacuum every day, but I don’t have a dog, and my cat doesn’t move off his little corner of the couch except to eat, so every other day would work.
I also decided that bathrooms could be tackled once per week. That just left surfaces, which I placed together on one day, and laundry. If there’s a chore that I HATE, it’s laundry.
Maybe it’s just that we go through way too many clothes, but I feel like laundry takes me all week if I do a load at a time. I feel like it’s never done. The laundry baskets are never empty, and a constant source of stress…this got me thinking: what about a laundry DAY? If I could do all of the laundry on just one day of the week, it may just be manageable!
And you know what? It is. My current list has me doing laundry on Tuesdays, and I literally run the washer from the time I get up until I go to bed.
I purchased extra drying rack for clothes that can’t go in the dryer, and I can actually get ALL of the laundry done in less than 12 hours. It’s pretty awesome.
If you’d like to take a crack at doing chores my way, check out my downloadable chores list.