Need help dividing the household chores list? Following these steps can help and will help keep things fair and avoid resentment.
Recently I talked about the things you need to do to have a clean house. I talked about creating a cleaning schedule, decluttering, having a place for everything, and keeping up with your new schedule. Today I want to talk about getting your family involved in the cleaning.
We think of housewives in the 1950s being responsible for all the cleaning but really the whole family was involved with the household chores.
It was very common for kids to have a lot of chores they needed to do before they could play. It seems like as years have gone on chores are becoming less common. When I was a kid I had chores, they changed over the years but I always had some responsibilities.
Chores are not only helpful because it takes some of the burdens off of the homemaker but also it helps teach kids responsibility and how to take care of a home. I’m seeing more and more adults struggling to do normal household tasks because they didn’t learn them as a kid. That makes it more stressful for young adults going off on their own.
Even if one person in a relationship is a full-time homemaker the other person likely can contribute to the care of the home as well. And if both are working full-time there should be even more of a division of labor.
How do you make this all work? Well, it will depend on your family and situation but here are some tips to help get you started.
Dividing the Household Chores List
Have a Family Meeting
Once you have your cleaning schedule figured out, it’s time to have a family meeting. Plan a time everyone can sit down and talk about what has to be done to keep the house clean and tidy.
Make sure everyone knows that you can’t do it all alone and since everyone lives there you all need to pitch in.
If you have kids be sure to give them some options. This tends to help kids feel more empowered than if you just say “here is your chore list.
You can find a great age-appropriate list of chores for kids, plus a printable on The Happy Housewife blog. It’s a good place to start.
Once they know their responsibilities make sure there are consequences to not getting the chores done. Make sure you can stick to these consequences.
You can also talk about rewards for getting chores done, especially if the kids go above and beyond what is asked. When I was a kid we had a set amount of tv we could watch each day. If we wanted to earn more we could do extra chores. This was great motivation to get extra things done.
Talking to Your Spouse
Your spouse is hopefully already helping around the house. But you may not be dividing these chores evenly or maybe it’s just not being done efficiently because you’ve never really talked about expectations.
Sitting down and talking about what you both expect for the home. Show your spouse the schedule you have come up with and see if there are other things that are important to them. Also, find out what chores they have already been doing.
Looking at both of your schedules outside of the home decide what is a fair division of labor. Also, consider your skills. I’m better at detail cleaning, my husband simply doesn’t see some of those small details I do. However, he is quicker at mowing and yard work than I am. He also burns less quickly so that’s a plus.
As I’ve started working more on this blog and other parts of my business he has helped take on more housework. This helps to make sure we both feel what we are doing for the household is fairly even.
He takes care of most of the yard work, I do the gardening because he has no idea what is a weed and what should be there. He vacuums because it’s something he feels like he can do well and he doesn’t mind it. Vacuuming causes me back pain so it’s a task I’d rather skip.
As you can see we take into account what we each don’t mind doing as far as household tasks are concerned and what we are good at. This makes our efforts more efficient and keeps everyone happier.
Readjust As Needed
As your kids get older they can do different chores. They also may have more activities outside of the home that needs to be considered. You may also find that you or your spouse is starting to feel like things are no longer fair.
It’s important to look at what you are doing often and see if it’s still working. If you quit your job to stay home full-time but are still doing the number of chores you did when both you and your spouse worked outside of the home it’s likely not a fair division of labor anymore.
If you keep things unfair for too long resentment can build and cause problems in your relationship. Keeping on top of this and communicating your feelings well can keep everyone happier and likely will keep your home cleaner.
If you are struggling with dividing the household chores list and need more help head over to the Homemaking for Everyone Facebook group. It’s a great place to get advice on cleaning, kid’s chores, and other homemaking dilemmas.