Many of us feel like our weekends are dominated by even more work. What we’d really love to have is rest. That said, we struggle to create the time unless we’ve earned it. This is the simple system we used in the house to keep our weekends restful, get the help we need, and still get things done.
Write down all the things.
Write down the things that need to get done in the house including the mortgage (thanks Love and Logic for that tip). Having all the tasks out on the list allows us to see exactly what must get done on a daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly basis.
Look at the list and begin to categorize the activities based on how often they need to get done. These categories might be monthly, 2x a month, weekly, and daily. Put everything from your big list into these categories.
Put names next to who is going to take care of what. It’s easy to figure out who is carrying most of the weight in the house, and it’s also easier to offload some of your tasks on the kids as they get older. (“I’m going to go ahead and take care of the bills, but since I have to go to work to do that, I may need some help with the laundry and dishes.”). With our significant other, it may become evident that one of you is carrying a larger load. This makes it obvious without having to mention it all the time. If it is simply us at home, this will give us an idea of how often we need to engage in these tasks.
Make it visible.
It’s time to put it up in the house somewhere. Here are some of my recommendations for easy to use chore charts. Make sure it is clear WHO is doing WHAT and HOW OFTEN.
In our house, we are a team. Sure, we will take over someone else’s chores. That’s what we do, but I may or may not have the energy to take my kid to something she wants to do I had to pitch in all week on her chores. This is part of the social contract (you can grab a copy of the template at that link) of the home, the roles we all agree to fill, and the agreement to do so.
Keep this visible, and remember we are modeling a teamwork atmosphere in the house. If we are able, pitch in without question. Motivation is a spark but habits keep us going. It takes about six weeks to form a habit, and the list will serve as a friendly reminder of things to do.
What about with small kids?
With little kids, have them start early with small things. For instance, picking up their toys with a timer, or making their bed as they get a “big kid” bed. This will make it much easier as they get older.
Show up imperfectly.
Doing things imperfectly is better than not doing them at all. So, if you forget or struggle, just show up the next day. That’s life and we don’t have to be perfect to get ish done.
Need more tips on balancing work and life?