Housework?

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Joined: 12/10/05
Posts: 1681
Housework?

What does your week look like as far as housework goes? Do you have a schedule or just go with the flow? How about kids and chores?

I've got 4 kids (the oldest just turned 6 and the youngest is 1). I'm pretty anal about housework so I have lists/schedules for housework, meals, etc. It keeps me sane... and I like scratching things off my lists Smile

I've got my daily chores - dishes, sweeping, keeping up on laundry...

My weekly things - vacuuming, dusting, mopping, bathrooms, windows...

And "other" - sheets, fridge, washing the van...

I feel like I'm pretty busy as is (I also work part time) and am wondering if there is a better way. We are moving to acreage and soon will have "gather eggs", "feed chickens", "mow enormous lawn", look after a garden, among other things to add to my lists. To be perfectly honest, I'm not sure how I'll do it... short of adding more hours to the day :rolleyes:

My kids do have chores (keep bedroom and playroom clean, make their own beds, and other odd little jobs) but they really aren't old enough to do much yet.

Any suggestions would be appreciated!

How do you all manage???

gardenbug's picture
Joined: 03/12/07
Posts: 2025

Remember, I'm a Nana...

SOOO, I have 2 ladies who come clean for 2 hours every second week. This works so well for me because I need to prepare a bit before they arrive and this motivates me! Basically in summer I am outdoors gardening on our 10 acres. Every day. The kids no longer live at home.

Now our neighbours really farm. Their 4 children have always had serious chores. They have egg collection to deal with, barn stalls to clean, feeding of animals, mowing of lawns...all that plus their beds to make etc. They have church activities as well. The oldest son, now 26, is in charge of the farm as well as working part time as a mechanic. And so he plants, sprays and harvests. I'm not sure who is in charge of the farm finances. The parents both work outside the home. Gone are the days of only farming for a living. They also assist neighbours with their farms of course. It's all about being helpful to everyone.

mandi04's picture
Joined: 08/10/03
Posts: 2272

I'm not as organized as I'd like to be with cleaning but I do manage to keep everything done. I always want to do certain things on the same day every week...like washing sheets or mopping or cleaning the tub...but so far I just do it when I get time. Which is pretty much how everything is, I find that throughout the day I do things here and there and it stays clean. The kids so far still don't do much. They are in charge of their room, the basement (which is pretty much just their playroom), making their beds and putting away their laundry. Sometimes they'll help me switch a load from the washer to the dryer. I always mean to let them help more, my older two are always asking to help but it's just faster to do it quick :oops:
I will say that every once in a while I do FlyLady and I do love her 'system'. I definitely still use some of her 'techniques', like wiping down the bathroom each morning (counter, mirror and toilet) and swishing the toilet real quick. Really cuts down on bathroom cleaning time since now when I do clean the bathroom all I really have is the tub and floors and doing those things every day takes maybe 5 minutes and I try to do at least one load of laundry a day, which helps me stay kept up.

Joined: 12/01/05
Posts: 1000

I don't have a schedule, but I need one, especially when I start staying home to cyber school the kids. The two oldest boys have the chores of cleaning the bathroom (deep cleaning once a week and touch up as needed), scooping out the cat litter each night, and feeding the cat. The little ones like to help with sweeping, wiping down the table, etc. All 5 help set the table, and all 5 are expected to put their dishes in the sink after each meal. When the floor gets cluttered, all 5 are to help clean up, and same with the yard.

sarahsunshine's picture
Joined: 11/29/06
Posts: 1462

We used to have a weekly cleaning morning – Saturday morning… It hasn’t happened with our busy schedules that I can remember.

Basically, each room is assigned to someone. The basement (playroom) is assigned to DS. His bedroom and bathroom (he moved downstairs) is also his to clean and vacuum. I have the upstairs bathroom and on-suite. DH and I have the kitchen, Dining Room, and Living Room. DH has the garage (which he spent the past 2 days deep cleaning and organising). I have the sunroom (all my sewing stuff is there right now).

DH and DSS are supposed to wash the cars. They haven’t been washed in ages.

Dh and I make the meals (DH lately since he’s on parental leave, it mostly me when I was on maternity leave), and I try to clean up, but am usually nursing Leo to bed and mostly fall asleep myself, so he does a lot of it and I finish up when I get up in the morning. DH does the vacuuming because he always re-does it if I do it… I clean out the fish tank. I also take charge of getting everyone out of the house for a walk/go to the playground/get some exercise after dinner.

DSS is supposed to set the table, clear the table, wipe down the table, and load the dishwasher. Ivy (2yo) helps him – and does about half! He’s also supposed to take the garbage out, and keep the front hall clean and organized (put shoes away, hats and gloves, hang up jackets). He’s 12yo. He’s also supposed to help make 1 meal each week.

I think that’s the idea.

It works… sortof. We should be much better.

Joined: 01/25/02
Posts: 2023

We implemented chores for our kids this year. With the twins it was just too much for me, and our house was getting disgusting. Smile Anyhow, they have one chore a day, I give them a choice btw a few things, typical things are: livingroom (2 chores, since its big L shaped great room/kitchen), kitchen floor (pick up & sweep), counters & stove, bathroom (2 jobs since it includes sweeping & mopping, toilet, sink, and mirror), unload & load dishwasher, hallway, stairs/halfwall, or different sections of our unfinished basement.

One day a week (wednesday) is room cleaning day. My kids are kind of slobs (like their mom :oops:) and their room is typically disgusting. Wed is not a fun day at our house, they typically spend hours in there doing nothing and often do not finish. I have tried bribery, punishments, removing most of their stuff, yeah, nothing seems to work. But I remember doing the exact same thing as a kid. So sad!

We have had chore battles as well, since we didn't have them doing much before this year. My 8yr old dd gets it and just gets it done. My 6yr old ds, not so much. We keep changing things up, and the newest is that they have 1 hr to get their chore done, if they do not get it done, no allowance (.25 a day, and can earn extra for doing extra chores), and they also have to nap when the babies do (only works when kids are out of school, but when school is in they have to go to bed early). That seems to be working so far. My son has not got his chores done on time this week, but pretty close. He LOATHES taking a nap, so its a good punishment. I have tried removing priveleges in the past, no computer, ds, wii, playdates, and we did that for a month and he still didn't get them done. It is exhausting and exasperating.

I wish I had the time to go along beside them and motivate them, but with two toddlers, that is near impossible. I have a hard enough time just keeping up on what I need to. Unfortunately I am disorganized and always tired (babes are finally starting to sleep through the night in the last few weeks, knock on wood!).

I have a schedule taped on the inside of one of my cupboards, which days to to get which things done, afternoon, morning, and evening as well, and once a year I so I do really well at it for a month or so. lol. Smile

mandi04's picture
Joined: 08/10/03
Posts: 2272

My kids are hard to motivate too Rachel, we do no outside time until your room is clean each morning. That way it stays fairly clean because it never gets more than a day to get messy.

Joined: 07/21/02
Posts: 1006

So my 2 older kids have a chore chart--I started it about 3 years ago, before dd could read, and should add ds2 now that he is almost 3. It is easy to add kids onto. Basically it is a small teacher's pocket chart with picture/name cards. It is probably easiest to show a picture.

Basically each kid has a row and they do those jobs every day--easy things likes make bed and pick up room mostly. Some are mostly reminders like brush teeth since we would forget morning toothbrushing often. Two of their cards rotate back and forth so they do those every other day--if you unload the utensils and feed the bunny one day, the next day you clean the entry way (shoes, coats, backpacks all put away) and set the table the next. And even in the summer, they have "homework". some practice page in a workbook, write a letter, etc, and at least 20 minutes of reading--which is never a problem. sometimes it is hard to get them OUT of the books Smile

A smiley card covers each finished job so they remember what they did and I can see what is done at a glance. If you don't have all smileys, you can't play outside, watch tv, etc. We just got a kitten so we need to add some kitty chores too Smile Perfect time to add Weston in the loop. Sometimes I'll give the kids a "free smiley" and they can use it to eliminate a job that day. It has been working out well for us. Now that is is summer, I've said they all get one extra job that I'll see what needs done that day. Today they got 20 minutes of weeding.

Oh, and the monday-saturday signs all have cards behind them with "extra jobs" on them, washing sliding doors, mirrors, sweeping, vacuuming, wiping down bathrooms etc, that can be done and if you do one, you put it behind your name and "payday comes every Saturday--you get paid for all the cards that are behind your name. Mostly 10-50 cent jobs depending on the difficulty of the job. 10 for washing a mirror (plus its fun to spray!) and 20 for taking out the bathroom garbages and 50 for wiping down the bathroom. Things like that. They don't always choose to do extra things, but if they do, they get money. And when we go to the store--if they ask for something, I ask them how much money they have Smile

Joined: 07/21/02
Posts: 1006

Rachel--my kids are hard to motivate sometimes too. I swear, this morning dd had the EASIEST mess in her room to clean and she was so upset by it. Literally, ONE small basket of plastic "cutable" food was dumped out, about 5 books (she loves to read) were off the shelf, 2 dress up outfits, and a change of clothes. It took her AN HOUR! She just had it cleaned yesterday since I make them clean their rooms every day (mostly). Once she finally got going on it, it took about 5 minutes :roll: Ds didn't complain, but he got interested in a book he picked up and read the whole thing before he would finish his room.

Joined: 12/10/05
Posts: 1681

Holly! I love that! Where did you find those cards? I've never seen anything like that (or did you make them?) That is exactly the sort of system I want to start for the kids. What a great idea Smile

Joined: 07/21/02
Posts: 1006

I made them--I have a word file I could email to you if you are interested. Pretty easy from there to copy and paste your own stuff--names, jobs, etc. I found the pocket chart at my local teacher/book supply shop--LOVE those places! (I really should be a homeschooling mom if I thought I could swing it) But I heard you can sometimes find them at $ stores or Target's "hot spot" dollar section. But I think it was only about $7--so the cost was that and some cardstock. I used to have the kids put a sticker on a chart (simple word doc with a grid on it printed and pinned on the wall next to the pocket chart) for each day they had all smiles--so they worked TOGETHER for a common goal--ice cream cone, zoo day, the local bounce house place. More stickers needed for bigger fun things. I will probably do a few "sticker goals" this summer. It really made them upset if they didn't get a sticker and the other did...but really it meant they just got to the goal slower.

Joined: 12/01/05
Posts: 1000

Holly, that's a cool idea! Do the kids help each other out?

Joined: 07/21/02
Posts: 1006

They do, at times. Especially if one is done and the other has a ways to go, but they are waiting to play something, I'll suggest "they'll be done faster if they have some help" or if one is gone (school, etc) and something has to be done--esp dishes or feed animals and they couldn't do it before, I'll have another do it to help out.

Thanks for posting this! It gave me motivation to print cards for Weston Smile He just has to make his bed (toddler style and make sure nothing is on the floor), brush his teeth, clean up his toys and then he'll have rotating jobs too--I added wipe out sink (just the one they use--get all that toothpaste out!) and feed kitty. So we have 6 rotating jobs, 2 each day--and they'll rotate as pairs: feed kitty/wipe sink, unload utensils/feed bunny, set table/clean entryway

I am sure Wes will need help with his jobs for quite some time, but since I do them now anyways--make his bed, and pick up after him etc...it will just get him started going on chores.

WonderWomanExtrodinare's picture
Joined: 05/26/07
Posts: 1192

I do the daily "have to's": making beds, dishes, laundry (this is daily), sweeping, and i have the kids pick up the toys in their rooms nightly (ever night) b/c it helps to cut down on clutter (though, there have been nights where this gets skipped if we are out late).
I try to do my "big cleaning" on fridays b/c i like to enjoy my weekend. That includes dusting, mopping, vaccuming, cleaning bathrooms, etc.
I also have to squeeze meal-planning and grocery shopping in there twice monthly and this usually take up to and sometimes over a hour, just to plan it out.
I also wash all the sheets in one day (unless somebody gets sick or has an accident) and I do that twice a month (sometimes more).

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