When do we find the time to keep our homes clean and tidy when we are busy home schooling our children? Creating a house cleaning chore list is the answer!
I have tried several methods over the years in trying to keep our home organized and clean. Some worked well and some didn’t. I have always tried to keep my children involved in the upkeep of our home and having a house cleaning chore list keeps us all on task. I feel it is very important that they have a strong work ethic and feel that our family is a team that works together to take care of the home God has so graciously provided for us.
We have moved 4 times in the last 4 years! Every time we move, I have to revamp our house cleaning chore list. When you move from one house to another, you have a different number of rooms that need attention. So what might have worked before, might not get the job done in the new home.
Since we recently moved again a few months ago, I just now got our house cleaning chore list completed. I decided to approach it a little differently this time. This is a bigger house with more rooms to tend to. So I decided to have each room designated to a certain day of the week for cleaning, except for Sunday. We do not clean or cook on Sundays, our Sabbath day.
Here are the steps I used to create our new house cleaning chore list:
STEP 1: LIST ROOMS IN THE HOUSE
Go through your home and make a list of the all the areas and rooms that need to be cleaned. Don’t forget to include the hallways and entrance areas to your home.
STEP 2: LIST TASKS FOR EACH SPACE
Get the list of rooms and spaces you made in step 1 and beside each space list all of the tasks that need to be done to make that area neat, tidy, and clean. Don’t forget tasks such as cleaning doorknobs, light switches, windows, and putting away clutter that doesn’t belong in that space.
STEP 3: DECIDE ON THE FREQUENCY
I like a clean home, but I do not clean the windows or the light switches every week. Those are things I try to do once a month or sometimes even once a season! Be flexible. If we are tackling the living room on Tuesday and the windowsills and light switches look decent, we will skip those chores that week. Take an assessment of your space and decide what needs to be done or what can wait until next week.
STEP 4: CREATE YOUR CALENDAR
Get a calendar you love. You can use a regular old fashioned calendar, your iphone calendar, Google calendar, or whatever calendar that you will look at each day to see what room you are going to tackle that day. Go through your list of rooms that you made in Step 1 and designate a day for each room. Write that room down on your calendar. Have it displayed so that your helpers can easily see what is on the chore list for that day. Depending on the number of rooms in your house, you may have several rooms for Monday, Tuesday, etc. I look at what our other outside activities are each day and determine the workload that we can easily accomplish that day. For instance, we have homeschool co-op classes outside of the home on Wednesdays and Fridays. I schedule smaller rooms or rooms that do not require much time on those two days. I schedule our bigger rooms that take more time on the days I know we will be home all day long.
STEP 5: ENLIST YOUR TEAM AND EXPLAIN THE PROCESS
When I created this new house cleaning chore list, I sat my two oldest daughters down at breakfast and explained the new chore system to them. I explained that each day we will tackle the rooms on the calendar TOGETHER and see how long it takes us to finish. We will work as a team. That also includes keeping the baby happy and entertained if need be so the other two can get the job done.
I think it is very important to get our children involved with the upkeep of the home. It teaches them discipline, organization skills, how to keep a home, and other valuable life skills. They will be ready and able to run their own homes when they leave the nest. It also instills in them a sense of accomplishment when they can physically see the clean space and smell the fresh scents after our chores are complete. Working as a family team lets them know that they are needed in this family and are a blessing to us. Even my 3 year old wants to help with the chores so we try and give her little jobs that put a big smile on her face.
I wish this was my house, but it’s not 🙁 But it is mighty clean!!
We were pleasantly surprised that after completing the new chore list the first week, we could get the rooms knocked out each day in about 20 minutes on average. That included sweeping, mopping, and dusting if all 3 of us were able to tackle it. That is much faster than each of us having our own tasks in separate parts of the house doing them at different times of the day.
I also reward the girls for their chores they have completed. They earn around $2 per week for completing their weekly chores. I use this Melissa and Doug Responsibility Chart to keep up with the chores they have earned.
TAKE BABY STEPS IF NEEDED
I understand that we all have different sizes of homes. Not all mama’s have older children that can help to the extent that my 13 and 11 year old daughters can. You will get there one day I promise. If you don’t have helpers yet, you can still take the steps above and just commit to spending 15 – 20 minutes a day on each of the rooms you have listed. That is better than nothing and you will feel productive. If you do this every week, your house will stay relatively clean and tidy every day.
Steve and Teri Maxwell have written a wonderful detailed book titled Managers of Their Chores. I own a copy and have used it to get great ideas on scheduling and organizing our housekeeping chores. You can purchase a copy here.
FREE PRINTABLE CHORE LISTS
I have collected some sites that have free printable chore lists and calendars to help you in designing your own unique chore system.
Sample Chore Charts for different ages (scroll to the bottom of the page)
I hope these links and tips will help you keep your house neat and tidy and also encourage teamwork among your family.