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Household Duties – Divide and Conquer

January 6, 2013

I’ll be the first the happily admit – I love cleaning.  I always have ever since I was a wee one.  My mom told me recently that I used to organize my crayons perfectly in the box before coloring.  I find it to be rewarding when I clean, as well as keeping my life organized (for the most part).  I’m the type of person who loves to make to-do lists; sometimes I’ll even make to-do lists for to-do lists.  There’s something rewarding for me each time I’m able to scribble off another task off my list.  And then there’s always those few items on the to-do list that never go away for whatever the reason may be (usually because it’s least liked task to do).  So when it comes to household duties I am the queen at delegating tasks.  There are certain chores which I prefer to do because I’m a little anal about them and/or enjoy doing them (laundry for the most part).  I have my own method to my madness for laundry and I don’t want my chi messed with, so I am the primary launderer in our household.  🙂

The primary reason that I do the laundry, besides the fact I enjoy doing laundry, is that my significant other thinks the more soap he uses per load the cleaner the clothes will get (he seems to have this habit with any type of soap used).  For example, when he washes dishes I’ve seen him squeeze about a half dollar coin size or so of dish soap onto the sponge just to clean two plates that require minimum scrubbing in the first place!  And then the sponge is SO engulfed in suds and doesn’t get rinsed out enough and then by the next day it is stinky, gross, and ruined.  Definitely a huge pet peeve of mine (and I’m sure many of you as well)!

BUT I digress…What we have found that works best for keeping up with the household tasks is organization via to-do lists and charts.  Every week or so I will start a list of things that need to be done around the house for hubby to do.  Then anything and everything else is completed by me.  This system seems to work best (kinda) for us but like anything there’s always room for improvement.  However, a to-do list is only helpful if the tasks are completed in a timely manner.  My hubby is the king of kings of procrastination (or laziness?), whichever term used, in the end it’s all the same.  I have to nag and nag and remind and bug him to make sure things get done.  I could go on about this topic for days so I’ll halt myself there.  🙂

It’s tough to keep the house in working order while also trying to entertain and raise a kid(s) at the same time.  Now granted, having just one kid is FAR more easier than adding one or more into the situation but even just raising one child is tough enough for most people (like me).  But whether it’s one or three kids, it’s still one tough job, that’s for sure!!  I was a stay at home mom for the first year and a half of my son’s life and I loved it (most days) but wanted to poke my eyes out other days while hiding in the closet plugging my ears.  😉  Now that I have returned to work full time, it adds a whole new spectrum of organizational skills needed in order to keep on top of house duties and beyond!  Even now after working for six months, I still feel like I’m trying to find a good balance within my life’s areas.  But I definitely have to keep reminding myself that no matter how dauntingly long my to-do list may be, spending time with my toddler and hubby is number one!  I only get one chance to enjoy each stage of my son’s life and I would hate to some day look back and regret missing milestones because I was too pre-occupied with menial tasks, etc.  Living in the moment, especially while being a parent, is so crucial yet SO difficult to remember during those rough patches.

Here are a few tips from what I’ve learned thus far in my attempts to keep up with all the household duties and beyond, in order to have a happy and healthy household.  Please feel free to share you’re tips and experiences as well below for others to learn from as well.  🙂

Tips for survival:

* Prepare, plan and pack what you can the night before.

* Make a detailed list of all household duties – from daily tasks to regular maintenance and yearly deep cleaning – and hang it by the household calendar for reference.

* Write out your grocery list and other household items list for shopping and STICK TO IT!  With a little planning and preparation, grocery shopping can be less stressful and cheaper too!  Check local ads for the best deals and sales before shopping and bring your coupons too!

* Delegate duties to your significant other as well and don’t shy away from doing so.  Being the best cohesive team you can be together is HUGE and will make life SO much more easier.  Communication is key.

* Make sure that within the weekly schedule, there’s also time for just free time fun.  Life’s too short, don’t cut it any shorter!  🙂

* Children are sponges for learning and LOVE to help, so involve them and teach them tasks which are age appropriate to help you out.  It’s never too early to give them a few responsibilities to help out around the house.

* Use technology to your advantage and find applications which help with tasks and to-do lists, etc.

Please feel free to share any of your tips, tricks, and/or advice that you may have in the comments below!  Thanks 🙂

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