I used to be the type of person who couldn’t sit down until all the dishes were washed and put away and I was caught up on laundry.
Then I had kids.
I don’t even know what being “caught up” on laundry is anymore, is that even a thing? Honestly, I am quite content when all the clothes in the house have actually made it to the laundry basket. I consider this an accomplishment.
I was beyond embarrassed a few years back when all my children were under the age of seven and at the last minute we invited a family to stay in our home. I had no warning whatsoever. We walked in the door after a late night service at church and I was kicking toys left and right to make room for our guests. At that stage in our kids lives, they did have small responsibilities but overall, the brunt of the work rested on me.
Now that they are a bit older, more can be expected from them. I have to be honest, at times I daydream about what it would be like if they were off in school somewhere so I can deep clean the house but, I try to cast that thought down, fast. Why? Because here is an opportunity that I have been blessed with. An opportunity to teach my children the ins and outs of the upkeep of a house. What good would it do them for me to do all the work for them? Sure, I could get it done quicker, and more efficient, but where is the character building in that? The housework can be stressful when it piles up but, with a small amount of organization and effort, a little bit can go a long way.
To make the household run smoother, I found a system that works well for both me and my kids.
First, each child is responsible for keeping their room, or side of the room clean.
Secondly, each child has an on-going list of chores that they have to accomplish each evening. These responsibilities change every Sunday night. This might include running a load of dishes in the dishwasher, wiping down the sink in the bathroom or throwing a load of laundry in the washer.
Finally, each school day, I make up a short list of random chores for each child. When they are done with their schoolwork, before they can play, they have to do these chores. Usually this includes those chores that I have been meaning to get to, but keep forgetting. Cleaning the baseboards in a room, decluttering a table or wiping down the outside of the fridge, to name a few.
These simple tasks only take ten to fifteen minutes of their time but provides me with a huge sigh of relief, especially if unexpected company show up!