Chores, Chores, what a Bore!
They don’t have to be fun, they just have to get done!
These are some of the phrases that groggily march through my head as I think about maintaining a home. I’ll be the first to admit that, on a scale of 1-100 for things that bring me joy and satisfaction, house maintenance falls in at 101.
And as far as managing children managing the home, well, we’re looking more at 110…on a good day.
However, I do enjoy a tidy, neat home. Dust and dirt don’t bother me, but a sense of items being disheveled does. This is to be expected seeing as I come from a long line of neat freaks. My Sicilian grandfather bleached his kitchen daily. My ever-energetic mom laid a plastic runner across the living room carpet so our cute little footprints wouldn’t disrupt the vacuum lines on the shag rug. There’s a saying: Sicilian-level clean. So in a sense, I guess I’m in recovery.
So with 5 kids in the home and the hope of a relaxed summer feel without feeling like we live in a biohazard zone- and also with the intention of training the kids in responsibility and respect and contributing to our family’s well-being-this is how I approach chores over the summer:
Clean Bedrooms: The children (and parents) begin and end their day with a clean bedroom. They make their beds, put clean clothes away, dirty clothes in the laundry, toys put up. Each child has a big plastic storage bin within which they store their toys. The rule is: if it fits in the bin and you can close the lid, it can stay in your room.
Sweep: The big boys (ages 7 & 8) ensure the floors stay swept after each meal (especially now that we have a grazing baby crawling around).
Dishwasher: We typically run 2 loads a day, and the smaller 2 (ages 3 & 5) unload the dishwasher with mom’s supervision (i.e. steak knives and special kitchenware I wouldn’t want broken.)
It’s not done perfectly, but they’re proud of their work and I’m thankful for their help and happy attitude, an attitude with usually does NOT carry over to…..
Laundry: Laundry is a beast worthy of it’s own post, so stay tuned for that next!
Parents’ Pick: This can be any need of the hour that can be accomplished with all hands on deck. Dusting, raking, wiping down walls, organizing the pantry, cleaning out the 200 pounds of debris and crumbs in the minivan…the skies the limit…but the time limit is 30 minutes.
Chore of the Day: Aside from these daily tasks, we have a running rotation of weekly chores.
Overall attitudes from both children and managing mother range from gratitude and willingness to contribute to “this is the worst day ever” (to quote a certain daughter.) But, we are a real family living in a real home with real messes, and so we take care of it as best we can without overcomplicating it or making it overly burdensome.
How do you tackle home maintenance? Any tips? Would love to hear!