Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Household Responsibility System

Let me first say that out of all the things to do in life doing chores (or at my house we call them "responsibilities") is not one of the top things on my “to do list”! Personally, I would rather read a book or bake some cookies than clean! But after growing up in a home where my parents are "pack rats" and deciding that when I had my own house and family that I was not going to follow in their ways, I strive to have a decent, clean, and relatively(hard to have it totally with having kids!) clutter free home. Also I am married to a man, who I love dearly, and is a perfectionist, so everything has to have a place, even if that means that things are in piles.

Before we had children, dh and I had decided that we were not going to allow the kids to "play" or have toys in their bedrooms. We were going to have a place in the corner of the living room or basement that would be their playroom. The rule is that the bedrooms are for book reading and sleeping, basically they are kept as a "little quiet getaway" for everyone. I can't begin to tell you how happy I am that we have done that! It makes the cleaning of bedrooms so much easier. AND it actually makes picking up the toys easier too!

So with those things in mind, let me tell you what I have come up with for a system for those daily responsibilities that works well for us.

I have broken down the responsibilities into 3 groups--morning, afternoon, after dinner. This way we are not taking all day and we have time for other things (like school work!)

The morning responsibilities are:

make beds

vacuum bedrooms and living room

clean up kitchen--this is a quick clean after breakfast making sure that the dirty dishes are in the dishwasher and the floor is swept.

clean the bathrooms(sweep floor, clean sink, mirror, and toilet) >

start a load of laundry

The afternoon responsibilities are:

pick up playroom

take care of clean clothes in laundry baskets--this only happens on laundry day.

set table for dinner

clean up kitchen--another quick clean and lunch dishes

change load of laundry from washer to dryer

The after dinner responsibilities are:

clean up kitchen-- I love waking up in the morning to a clean kitchen!


eating area/kitchen floor

quick pick up of the playroom(if needed)

take care of trash and recycle

take care of laundry load in dryer

The above list is what is done on a daily basis. I delegate the majority of the chores listed above to my children. I work along aside my younger ones to help train them to the job correctly. The kids are old enough now that I am more of a trainer/overseer of the responsibilities rather than doing everything myself. I take care of my bedroom, the laundry, and the mopping of the kitchen floor.

On Saturday mornings, you will find the whole family works together as a team and does a deep cleaning of the house. Which means that the toys in the playroom are moved around so vacuuming can be done, and toys are put together rather than little pieces of things under the couch or thrown in the cabinets. The kitchen gets a floor mopped and cabinet fronts wiped down. All the rooms get a good vacuuming. Saturdays is also when the ceiling fans, furniture, and knick-knacks get dusted.

As a part of this family, the children have a responsibility to help us work together as a family to have a clean, healthy, and orderly environment. My desire is that I don't want my kids once they have their own place not knowing how to keep a place clean and orderly. They are learning now that helping to do the mundane every day responsibilities is a way of life. On the home-school front, I classify it as "Home Ec class"!

I have found this system to work well for us. With doing our system on a daily basis, if we are going to have company on a certain day, it only takes us about a 1/2 hour on that day to go thru the house and do a quick pick-up and sweep to clean our "hot spots".

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Sherry said...

WE have routines as well. It makes the housework go so much smoother with having everyone help out. This summer I think besides having them fold their own clothes and putting away, I will have them wash them, too.

Have a great Day!!

Sharon said...

Ours aren't old enough to get much done on their own (they are 3 & 4) but they do what they can and we all have jobs. The oldest is responsible for watering the dogs, watering plants, picking up toys. The youngest helps the oldest with all these toys. Both are getting better at helping with trash duties! At this age, it helps to instill the value of responsibility. Great system you have!! I hope ours shapes up that well!

bigbinder said...

I really like your system! My kids are younger but we have a basic routine they follow for cleaning up etc. My son actually made a book to help him remember! I have been thinking about doing a post about it; I'll link back to this one if I do.