Monday, October 6, 2008

How to make a weekly chore schedule for home management.

Like all home managers, I make a lot of decisions. Should the kids drink water or milk? Which laundry detergent should I buy? Use identical sheets on each bed or assign a color to each bed? You get the idea.

Many unimportant decisions that, when culminated as a whole, use up a lot of mental and emotional energy; and though small, each impacts the comfort and well-being of my family. As a result I look for ways to make fewer decisions and thereby reduce my stress. Planning a weekly schedule to manage my home accomplishes that goal.

Here are FOUR SIMPLE STEPS I follow to create a weekly schedule for home management:
1. LIST all your weekly tasks. Be realistic in your expectations!!
2. Consider HOW MUCH TIME AND ATTENTION each task will require.
3. Look at OTHER COMMITMENTS on your calendar.
4. ASSIGN tasks to specific days while keeping in mind other commitments.
5. COMMIT to living by the schedule.

Here's what the process looks like for me.

Run errands: groceries, bank, post office, etc.
Finances: record debit card expenditures, pay bills, enter receipts in Money Matters software, balance checkbook.
Make menu and grocery list. Clean out fridge.
Clean bathrooms (2 toilets and 2 sinks. Joel takes care of the tub for me).
Swiffer/ Sweep all floors (mostly hardwood); Mop kitchen and bathrooms.
Change sheets (4 beds. I'm trying to work out a rotation so not all beds are changed each week).
Put away anything out of place.

Errands: about 2 hours, basically a whole morning
Finances: 30-60 minutes (if alone)
Menu and grocery list: 30-60 minutes (if alone)
Clean bathrooms: 15 minutes
Clean floors: 30-60 minutes (if alone)
Change sheets: changing 4 beds requires about 30 minutes (boys help make their beds)
Put away stuff: 15 minutes.

Attend church Sunday morning.
Mondays need to be home to recover from the weekend.
Tuesday night put out trash cans for pick up the next morning.
Saturdays are family days.

Monday: Put away anything out of place. Clean out fridge. Make menu and grocery list. Change sheets.
Tuesday: Errands.
Wednesday: Clean floors.
Thursday: Bathrooms.
Friday: Finances.

The last step, COMMIT, can be the most difficult, but the most rewarding. My commitment depends a lot on me seeing the schedule on a regular basis, so I print mine and use sticky tack to post it on a wall where I'll see it every day. Every morning (or when task time comes in the day) I just look at the schedule and see what needs to be done for that day. No thinking required. No decision making necessary.

What tasks are on your weekly chore list? Would a WEEKLY HOME MANAGEMENT SCHEDULE help keep your home running smoothly?


Flamingo said...

I have such detailed lists....and I never follow them! I think I need to get in a better habit of sitting down each Sunday and planning the week better.

Thanks for the advice and encouragement!

Lizz @ Yes, and So is My Heart said...

I was just thinking about doing something like this. I've been very unrealistic in my expectations. I kept thinking that when the baby got older I would be able to do more, but now she is crawling and eating table food, so that changes everything. I need to write down a bare bones routine. I'm in a season of life where there are much more important people to be spending my time on. I'm guessing you can relate. Thanks for the encouragement!

Stephanie @ My Answered Prayer said...

I found your blog off of Meredith's blog....she's a friend of mine from AR.

I've tried the list and can't ever stick to it. I'm a new stay at home mom and only have 1 at home with me the other is in school. I'm going to have to really try hard. Hopefully reading your blog and Meredith's blog will inspire me. :)

Congrats on the little one...precious!

Anonymous said...

This is a great article and very helpful for those trying to manage their home. I think that another important way to get it done is to get all family members to help too. If all the burden falls on one person it is more difficult. It is also important for kids to learn to take responsibility. I found these chore charts helpful: I downloaded a few (together with my kids -they each chose their own chart - I think that they are all free) and I gave them each some chores. It actually worked. Today they all help out and my share is a lot easier to manage.

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