Everyone loves a well-kept house but household chores are a beast. The most important chores (laundry! dishes!) need to be done every day. It’s mind melting and discouraging to complete a task knowing you will be forced to do the same thing again tomorrow. Even more frustrating are the tasks with seemingly little visual progress. Emptying the dishwasher anyone?
But what do you do? You create and keep a daily chore routine.
You write a list of chores to do every day at the exact same time to help you maintain control over household chaos. I began using my daily chore routine about 18 months ago and it changed my life. Not exaggerating.
Since some chores are better to be completed at different times of the day I break my daily chore routine into two smaller routines, a morning routine and an evening routine, each of which is designed to make the next 12 hours of my life more successful and less stressful.
Here’s a peek at my routine:It doesn’t seem significant but these eight tasks makes a huge difference in the stress level of my day. If even one of them gets skipped the implications are evident for hours. They’re that important.
You can benefit from a daily chore routine too.
Start by asking yourself the question, “What 5-10 things can I do every day to help my household run smoother?” Now, take that list and decide which items are most easily accomplished in the mornings and which ones fit better into the evenings.
Your morning routine should take no more than 15 minutes and must be completed before you leave for work/take the kids to school/leave the house to run errands, etc.
Do you work outside the home? Then imagine how you’d like the state of your house to be when you get home. Will it be easier to cook dinner if your sink and dishwasher are already empty? What else can you do in the morning to help your house welcome you home after a hard day at work?
Do you work from home/stay at home with the kids? What can you do to make your day at home easier? Will you be more likely to complete a load of laundry that day if you start one first thing?
Things you might consider adding to your morning routine are:
Unloading the dishwasher
Starting a load of laundry
Making the bed
Feeding the pets
Watering the grass/garden
The evening routine is the key to maintaining control over your house. It’s when the meat of the work gets done and if you skimp you will feel it later. Though none of the evening tasks take a considerable amount of time each of them is key to making the next morning stress free and happy.
Things you might consider adding to your evening routine:
Loading/running the dishwasher
Laying out clothes
Picking up main living space
15 minute spot cleaning
Folding/putting away laundry
Evenings are hard for me. After dinner is finished I am mentally done with the day and am ready to relax, which makes the evening routine especially hard to stick with. I’ve come to learn that I need to get most of the “evening routine” completed in the early afternoon to make sure they all get finished.
For example, I make the coffee for the next day while I’m cooking dinner. I try to keep the sink empty during the day and clean my dinner mess as I cook so we’re not burdened with a lot of cleaning afterwards.
STICKING WITH IT
Now that you’ve got a daily chore routine it’s time to stick with it. At first it will be hard and will seem burdensome but give it a couple of weeks. It will become less of a chore and more of a habit and habits are great because they’re done without thinking! It’s hard but it’s worth it!
If you’re still having a hard time sticking with your new routine, try the following:
Make your routine a team effort. Ask for the help and support of whoever else lives in your house, be it a spouse, a roommate or an older child. Over the last 18 months of enforcing our evening routine my husband has learned that neither of us goes to bed until the routine is completed, so he’s more than willing to help. Even the kids have learned that we clean up the den before we go to bed. Everyone can pitch in.
Write them down and check off the boxes! Does it seem silly? Yes but it works! Checking boxes is strangely satisfying so write it all down so you can put a big, fat check mark next to it!
Start Small. If the thought of jumping head first into a daily chore routine is overwhelming then start small. Choose one chore to complete in the morning and one in the evening then add on as you feel you’re ready.
It may seem overwhelming at first but over time it will get easier as your routine becomes habit. You’ll find that when you’re in control of your house, you’re in control of your life.
And nothing beats coming home from a long day to a clean house. NOTHING.