Sunday, August 1, 2010

mom's chore schedule

I am an organized person by nature, but not a particularly methodical one. Does that make any sense?

What I mean is that I love, love, love planners, containers, filing systems, etc., but they don't necessarily make me want to live the kind of orderly, structured life that they promise.

This is particularly true when it comes to cleaning my house. Unlike some housewives, I find no fulfillment in cleaning. Yes, it feels good for a few minutes to look at the "nice clean *whatever*", but then I think about all the work it took to get to that point and all the work I'm going to have to do in another few days, week, month, etc. to get it that way again, and suddenly, I don't feel fulfilled any more.

These attitudes have resulted in some very sporadic housekeeping. I clean things when I notice that they're dirty, not before, and I prioritize anything gross or particularly anxiety-inducing over anything that isn't. A smelly fridge or a dirty toilet wins over a dusty dresser any day. Every day. Day after day. The only problem is that then the dresser never gets dusted. And, eventually, dust is just as unhealthy as a dirty toilet.

Now, I've tried chore schedules before. You know the type: "Monday is bathroom day; Tuesday is laundry day, etc.". They never worked for me for longer than a week or two. But, the other day, I realized that the time had come to reinstate one. I made it official and put it on the fridge. Everything's on there: bathrooms, dusting, grocery shopping, everything. It's working fairly well so far, probably because I'm not being too rigid about it. If I miss something, it's not a big deal. If I'm committed to washing the kitchen floor every Thursday, then if I miss it once, at least it'll still get done every other week, which is probably more often than I was doing it. It's made things significantly simpler: I know what I need to do at a glance, and most of the chores are quick enough that I can do them during Lyndon's morning nap. Only time will tell if I can stick to it, but it's looking good. I may make a good housekeeper yet!

1 comment:

InDeeds said...

I can totally relate to your struggle with chore schedules. My cleaning strategy is also fairly willy-nilly (if it doesn't look dirty, it doesn't ever get cleaned...until Jacob mentions it...). Growing up, my mom went through at least 10 different systems for chore schedules for us kids...they all worked for a couple weeks before we neglected them. But I agree that flexibility is key - don't get too caught up in the schedule's rigidity, and it may provide just the right amount of structure.