Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Unscheduled Chores

I do fine with certain aspects of my homemaking but others have always caused me trouble. The main difficulty is keeping them in the schedule: they're not important enough to be done first thing in the morning (i.e. God and family life override them) yet they are absolutely essential for those very things that override them to continue running smoothly. When I do schedule them into my day, I find factors beyond my control change my schedule or interferes for days/weeks at a time. When I don't schedule them, I don't do them. (oops!) My solution recently was to create a checklist of those troublesome chores that if done daily will make our home run smoothly. Once they're done for the day I have "permission" to "waste" the rest of the day without trying to get ahead of tomorrow's checklist chores. Of course I still have all the scheduled items to do, but those were already getting done anyway.
My daily checklist:
tomorrow's breakfast (any and all prep that I can do ahead of time)
deep clean
dinner for today
day's project (swim lessons/unpacking from a trip/etc.)
fermentation (e.g. feed sourdough or water kefir)
I built this list for busy days. If everything is done most days, even just barely well enough to check it off the list, then these chores in addition to the more easily scheduled tasks will keep our home running quite well overall. When I have more time, I can do the bigger tasks, such as spending half an hour in the garden rather than just pulling a handful of weeds.
I also built this list with my children in mind. They need to see the household kept up well. They also need to learn how to manage their own time well, not just as preschoolers with Mom organizing what they do when, but someday as adults when they may need to keep up their own households. I would like to make them responsible for certain tasks as the years go by, such as particular rooms to be cleaned or meals to be planned and prepared. But how can I give them a responsibility that I'm not faithful to myself? So as I continue to improve at my own job I will be better able to hand them checklists or tasks of their own and hold them responsible to complete them each day or each week.
What chores are you supposed to do but never seem to get done? Would they get accomplished more regularly on a checklist than on a routine or schedule? Or do you run into the opposite problem and really just need to work on establishing better routines?
Linked with Works for Me Wednesday and Simple Lives Thursday and Modest Monday


  1. I started a similar system last August. I built myself a weekly, quarterly and annual schedule (so I'd remember to do things like have the comforter dry cleaned and wash the curtains), and then planned a weekly planning time, where I make myself a check list for the week, including meal planning and grocery shopping.

    When I actually follow through, it works wonderfully.

    1. Whatever system we choose, the follow through is the most important, and the most difficult, isn't it?