Wednesday, 30 April 2014

A Working Mum's Guide to Getting Housework Done

Over the past three and a half, very busy, years I have wrestled with how to get housework dealt with.  It's never on my 'urgent' list so it's something that doesn't hit my radar til the dust bunnies are angling to grab my ankles, or those of other innocent passersby, and tangle me up.  I've toyed with getting a cleaner in, but realistically we're all quite able and capable so I never really felt like that was a reasonable response.

When my kids were tiny and I was a SAHM I found FlyLady and successfully used that to get my house under control again. When Mr Busy was about two we moved house and life became more chaotic and I struggled to maintain that system.  I'm a list/routine kinda gal so this was just a little bit devastating.  Seriously, I had lists for my lists when the children were small.  I was the List Queen!  And then I couldn't follow a list anymore.  Then I started working and studying and all bets were off.  I could not find anything that worked with my current situation.  When I'm working on assignments I do not even think about anything else for a few weeks.  I am here to tell you no one has created a housework system or routine that works around that.  No one is going to put "ignore housework and work on assignments" on a list for three weeks straight!

Enter 'The Blessing List'.  I have devised a way to get my able, capable children involved without arguing with them or justifying my reasons for asking them to do what's needed.  I made up an A3 chart with each of the kid's names and space for four jobs to be allocated.  Then I put together job cards for the things needing attention around here to get the house (and their bedrooms!) cleaned.  Each card has the name of the job, an image and a description of what is required to complete the task.  Velcro dots are used to stick the cards onto the base chart.

Jobs are allocated.  Jobs are completed.  Cards are removed and returned to their container.  There is no arguing or complaining.  There isn't even discussion.  Miss Sunshine's best friend saw it and said "can you please email that to my Mum?"  So I did.  Her Mum loved it and then asked if she could give me some other jobs to add to my list.  So far so good!

Are the tasks done they way I would do them?  Not necessarily.  But brooms, vacuums and toilet brushes are being pointed in the right direction more often so that's a huge improvement.  It doesn't have to be perfect, it just has to be done.

Incidentally, gel bleach is just like the most awesome magical stuff for cleaning showers.  All of a sudden my shower is white again.  A week later I'm still in awe.

1 comment:

Left-Handed Housewife said...

What a great system! I wonder if it would work with my boys? Really, if I could get them to take on one or two things, it would make a world of difference around here.

I'll have to look for gel bleach. I have bleach spray, and I've found that very handy indeed in the shower.