We all have household chores, but they vary to some degree depending on our living space, our stage of life, and what we value most. For example: In the early stages of marriage a husband and wife can plan and schedule weekly cleaning days and crank through the apartment quite quickly—leaving plenty of time to enjoy the weekend.
As children are added to the mix and our homes expand, the chores start to feel a lot more like chores. Toddlers aren’t great cleaners, but they are amazing mess makers—sometimes defying us to keep up. Eventually they grow older and become part of our team—taking on chores appropriate for their ages, until keeping the house orderly is a whole family affair. Then one day we realize our nest is empty, but the chores still need to be done. Interestingly, it’s the smallest things that take up most of our time and are often the hardest to manage each day.
Clearly, how you plan your everyday chores is in constant flux. However, some aspects of planning can remain the same. Here are a few of our suggestions:
Step 1 – Brain dump.
When life gets busy we often put off certain household chores in favor of the more noticeable jobs. For example: vacuuming the floor makes such a sudden difference, that if we’re in a rush we’ll vacuum but leave the bathtubs for another day. During exceptionally crazy months we may realize that our bathtubs have gone a bit too long without a good scouring.
One way to avoid this issue is to create a master list of all the chores you accomplish regularly. Include everything from daily to-dos to seasonal chores.
Step 2 – Categorize your chores.
Once you’ve made your master list, separate them into smaller lists according to frequency – daily, weekly, monthly, seasonal. Seasonal chore lists will need to be broken down into daily chunks. Remember as you do this that you still have daily chores that are going to dominate some of your time. We recommend adding a tab in your planner to keep all of these lists so you aren’t spending valuable time writing them again and again. When spring rolls around, simply pull out your spring list and get started.
Step 3 – Divide and conquer.
Before you jump into your chores, divide your lists again into segments that you can accomplish in short spurts of time. You’ll also want to create lists for family members, so the chores can be finished as quickly as possible.
Step 4 – Make it happen.
Now you’re ready to get started. Be sure to incorporate your weekly and monthly chores into your daily plans each morning, so you don’t fall behind.
As you work through your daily chores, you’re sure to have interruptions or find that some chores are bigger than you first thought. Be flexible and willing to move items to another day rather than burning out.
If you are looking for a place to keep your lists of chronic chores, consider using a page finder that moves with you day to day or create a stamp so you don’t have to rewrite them over and over.
Daily tasks fit nicely into your Prioritized Daily Task List in your daily planner, and among your to-dos in your weekly planner. They are also ideal for a Progressive Task List, or the back of your Weekly Compass® Card. Keeping track of your daily chores will help you move more efficiently through your day and give you more time for the activities you enjoy.
Everyday circumstances will alter our chore lists. Important events in our home, such as holiday get-togethers will require that we increase our housework in order to present a clean home before the party—and sometimes you’ll do even more work after the party is over. On the other hand, after school activities for our children will eliminate some of the time we have to work on chores and we’ll need to decide what is necessary and what can wait for another day.
However you plan and work through your daily chores, we appreciate you bringing your Franklin Planner along.