With both My Love and I working outside the home full time, carting two kids to various activities, running errands, making meals, spending quality time with the kids and squeezing in a little time for each other or ourselves, our home sometimes usually suffers from neglect. Dishes pile up in or around the sink, floors are covered with a crumb carpet, mountains of laundry take up valuable space on the couch, toy land mines make it impossible to walk through common areas, etc. Does this sound at all familiar or are we the only ones?
The problem is that after a long day, we are pretty exhausted and the last thing My Love or I want to do is spend another hour or two cleaning up. But, if we don’t tidy up, the problem gets worse because now there are more dishes, toys, laundry, etc. to deal with. Then, there is the whole issue of frustration and resentment if one of us works on cleaning up and feels the other isn’t really carrying their weight or if one has an expectation that the other will take care of completing a task that just doesn’t get done.
We used to argue about why the house was a mess, who was responsible for what, who’s spent more time cleaning, who dropped the ball, etc . But, we wizened up recently and decided to divide and conquer by assigning tasks. We made a list of what needed to happen regularly to keep our house tidy and then divided up the work.
You guys know I love to make lists so, naturally, I made a fun little His & Hers To Do List to keep us on track.
To make sure that we addressed everything, we sat down and created a comprehensive list of the things that needed to get done. Then, we spent the next week adding to and editing the list to make sure we didn’t miss anything important. Then, we went through and assigned tasks and timelines.
This wasn’t a you take one, I take one type of deal. It was more of a ‘what do I usually take care of and does it make sense for me to continue doing it’ scenario. For example, My Love does the yard work. I sometimes help in the garden, but for the most part, he trims the bushes, fertilizes, makes sure irrigation system is working properly, etc. So, it made sense for him to take on the yard work.
We also took into consideration how much time each item would take so one of us wouldn’t be more overloaded than the other on daily or weekly tasks. The only exception is the yard work. Depending on what needs to be done, that can take up more time than the other tasks. And in those cases, I help My Love with some of his designated to do’s to compensate for his time in the yard.
In looking at our list, you may think that loading the dishwasher and washing dishes is the same thing, but we don’t run our pots, knives, cutting boards, measuring instruments, etc. in the dishwasher because it can damage them and/or shorten their lifespan. So, our dishwasher is used for dishes, cups and silverware. And I, the human dish washer, take care of everything else. Also, you might notice that we don’t have clean bathrooms, mop floors or dust on our list. That is because we hired a house cleaner to help us with those tasks once a month when I went back to work after having Lovebug. It is such a huge help to have those things taken care of so that we just have to maintain them.
Suddenly, our house was routinely tidy and we weren’t arguing about the mess anymore. We know what is expected and what the timeline is and generally we’re able to accomplish the daily tasks in 30 minutes to an hour. Plus, we are usually getting things done at the same time, after the kids go to bed, so it gives us time to chat. Not an ideal ‘date’ but with two kids and busy lives, I’ll take what I can get!
Don’t get me wrong, things still get away from us from time to time and we try to keep things flexible and step in for one another when necessary. But for the most part, creating our His and Hers To Do List has really simplified our lives.
And because I love you guys so much, I’ve made this cute His and Hers To Do List a free printable! You can print it and fill it out or open it in an photo editing tool and add your to do’s on it.
How does your family keep your home tidy? We are definitely open to suggestions to make our lives easier!
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