Tuesday, September 23, 2008

BFS Assignment #103 {It Keeps Going and Going...}

Intro: It keeps going, and going, and going…. (Marketing credit: Energizer)

Housekeeping: that household mess, it keeps going and going and going. It’s a perpetual chore that we diligently need to keep going on to stay on top it. We all have different ways of keeping ourselves energized.


How do you keep energized so you can get it all done? bouncy music? treat it like a workout? Do you use a schedule?, a housekeeping binder system? luck of the draw system?.. or is this an area where you need encouragement? Do you need God’s help to keep order and beauty in your dwelling place? Take this week to tell us how You diligently keep going with your housekeeping chores.

I really don't get it all done.  It would be great if I had the system, the discipline, the motivation, or whatever it would take, to keep everything tidied up and caught up around here.  But I haven't found that magic bullet yet.   I have found some things that help us keep our household functional and less chaotic though.

  • The kids have to do their share.  Mine are all old enough to clean up after themselves and take their turn at most household chores.  For example, for the past several years I've had the policy that I will wash and dry the laundry, but the kids have to fold it.  Most of the time they do this while watching TV. 

  • We used to assign daily chores to the kids - one set the table for dinner every day, another cleared it, etc - but it got to the point where they would complain that they "always had to do the same chore" and wanted to switch.  What I came up with was a daily "Chore Draw" which is one of the first things in our weekday routine.  I wrote up all the chores, with descriptions of what exactly had to be done, on color-coded index cards.  Some need to be done every day, some approximately once a week, and others just monthly or seasonally as needed.  Each morning, I select the chore cards that are the most important things to get done that day and the kids draw randomly from the stack.  Usually each one gets two chores to start - one is a daily item like clearing the table, and the other might be dust/vacuum a room or change sheets or whatever.  This is not foolproof, of course, but it makes the chore assignments far less arbitrary.  I also award points for additional chores they do after the ones they've drawn are completed.  The points can be used for cash rewards or treats.

  • We have been trying to have a daily chore hour as part of the school day.  This doesn't always work out so well, but I really think that if we could get into a routine with this, that it would make a big difference.  Just the idea that for this one hour each weekday, everybody works on household chores or projects.

  • I have a daily to-do list and I like to be able to check things off on it, so that helps me stay motivated.  I try to plan at the beginning of each week that we will focus on cleaning the kitchen on one day, bedrooms on another, and so on; because it narrows the focus a little bit. 

  • I'm perfectly willing to cut a deal in order to get some help.   Recently, DH and I worked out a bargain with our oldest son that has - so far - been working out quite well.  For me.  DS hates changing the cat litter and thinks he gets that job more often than is fair.  I often am busy in the evenings and too often that means that the dinner dishes don't get washed right after dinner.  So the deal is - DS does not have to change the cat litter at all, but he does the dinner dishes each night.  I think I scored on that bargain - don't you?

Like with so many other things, I know that doing a little every day and keeping up will reduce the workload over time.  But it's the keeping up that is hard sometimes. 

I think I'd better go put in a load of laundry now...

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the LORD, not for men. (Colossians 3:23)  If only I could remember this, I think it would help my attitude about doing household chores that I don't otherwise find very enjoyable! 

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Sheri said...

That is a good deal: dishes vs stinky kitty litter. I may have to use that one myself! I bargin too-esp. now that my older ones are out of the house more than they are in...even if it is just them taking the youngest out of the house for a walk or bike ride-gives me 15 mins. of peace and quiet and lets me recoup....I will gladly do a chore by myself for peace and quiet! Good post, I enjoyed reading it.

kympossible said...

I'm not the one that has to change the cat litter instead of DS! I just make sure one of the other boys does it. LOL Score!!!!!



Anonymous said...

I like the ideas of the color coded index cards. That is a great way to have some variety to the chores. Great post. Thanks


solodeogloria said...

Col. 3:23....beautifully said!

Have a fabulous week,


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