Saturday, September 21, 2013

3 Daily Chores

One of the biggest Ah-ha moments in my home-making career was when I first realized that everything I had to do daily to keep my home looking nice was dishes, laundry, and tidying up.

 
Oh, I was a master at breaking those down into like a bazillion little chores: make bed, fluff pillows, pick up clothes, tidy bathroom counter, wash sink, straighten bedroom, empty dishwasher, re-load dishwasher, throw trash away, put away kitchen clutter, wash countertops, hand wash pots and pans, shine sink....etc., etc., etc.

 At one time I had a chore list three PAGES long!! Hello?!

I felt overwhelmed and defeated All The Time! "I can't do all this," I would complain to God. "Please help me find a better way." I knew I was a mess, I knew I wasn't good at being a home-maker, and I knew I couldn't figure this all out on my own.

I would read blog after blog searching for the perfect chore list. It can't possibly be that simple, I would think. There are hundreds of jobs! How can they only write down a short little list and have a home that looks that nice? I didn't believe it.

Then one day, after praying for years, the thought just sorta settled in my brain; if I would just do dishes, laundry, and pick up stuff laying around...I could live with my house.

See, I was looking for the PERFECT solution, the magic pill, or the list that would get up and do it for me. It was all or nothing for me...a very dangerous way to think...and I would either have every little perfect chore, down to cleaning the baseboards on the list, or a cleaning list wouldn't work for me. I was wrong.

What I really needed, was a list I could easily memorize.
Dishes
Laundry
Tidy Up

Oh, I know there's more to it than that. I know there's more than one step in doing laundry or dishes and more than one room that needs tidying, but I could remember that. I knew there were weekly chores as well, but that wasn't my main problem. I would get sick of something stinking, like the trash or toilet, and just do it, but the mess was "harmless" and could wait.

I began, with my children, just working on those three every day. Some days I would just unload and re-load the dishes and forget about the rest of the kitchen. Sometimes I would clean every counter top and sweep, too. But, I would get in there and just work on the kitchen mess...and I started with dishes. That's all I had to remember: dishes. Then, it was up to me how far I went with it that day. For laundry, I would just make sure there was a load washed and dried every day, even if I piled the clothes somewhere to be folded later...at least they were all clean. Then, I set a timer in all of my main rooms for about 10 minutes and just picked up stuff: 10 minutes in the living room, 10 minutes in the kitchen, 10 minutes in the den, 10 minutes in the dining room, and 10 minutes in the kitchen if it wasn't finished already. If I just couldn't do that long on a given day, I picked up 10 items in each room instead, and the kids helped. Pretty soon it wasn't taking an entire 10 minutes for each room. When it became easier, I added other rooms.

I know this sounds over simplistic...and it IS, but that's what I needed to begin.

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