For many years, I felt as if my home controlled me versus me controlling my home. After becoming a mom, I felt completely overwhelmed by everything a baby added to the household chores. Laundry and dishes multiplied, toys were strewn throughout the living spaces, and the floors constantly needed cleaning. The overwhelming and never ending chore list buried me daily.
Baby Changes Everything
Before my son’s birth, my husband and I both worked full-time and split the household chores. However, once we made the decision for me to stay at home with our baby, I took on the majority of the housework. My husband helped when needed, but it was my job to keep up with the daily cleaning. So, I needed to figure out how to do most of the housework on my own, alongside being thrown into motherhood. Any mom knows that caring for a baby is a full-time job in and of itself without even adding in the housework. How was I going to be able to do this?
Honestly, I wasn’t. It got to the point that I couldn’t remember the last time I truly cleaned the bathrooms, mopped the floors, or dusted. After two more children joined our family, it was all I could do to keep dishes and laundry done, much less accomplish any type of deep cleaning. I knew something needed to change, but I didn’t know where to start.
Finally, I decided to take control of my home. I organized so that all the things have a designated place in the house. My boys were getting old enough to help with small chores around the house, so I utilized their willingness to help! I had to learn that they wouldn’t do everything perfectly or exactly how I would, but I wanted them to learn how to care for a home. (I’m sure their future wives will appreciate that skill.) And I did not go behind them to redo what they had done. This was important to me as I felt my “fixing” things would discourage their desire to help and learn independence.
I asked my husband what the one thing is he wants done every day when he walks in from work. He wants for the dishes to be done and the kitchen to be clean. I’m pretty sure this is because the kitchen is the first space he sees when he walks in. By it being clean, the tone is set for how the rest of the evening goes. If he walks into chaos at home, when he just left chaos at work, he has no calm place to relax. So, I started with the goal of keeping the kitchen clean throughout the day. I slowly added things from there, but I still had a long way to go.
Going Big And Creating A Chore Chart
A few months ago, while still not fully in control of the upkeep of our home, I decided to create a chore chart for myself. I had made one for each of my older kids and it worked for them, so why not do one for me? I love to check things off a list, so it sounded like a great idea. And it was! On my chart, every day has small upkeep items that help the house stay fresh and run smoothly. The larger items, such as bathrooms and dusting, are on a specific day each week.
It’s been so much easier to keep our home maintained with a chart I can mark things off of every day. With tasks completed and a clean and organized home to live in, I feel accomplished. My sons both have their own chores to do each day and my daughter will get hers once she’s old enough.
Making A Chart For Yourself
The first step to maintaining a home, in my opinion, is figuring out what area you think is the most important to keep clean and tidy. Next, ask your spouse what is most important to them. Start with those areas and make them a priority. Once you have that as a habit and feel you can branch out further, go for it. Decide what tasks need to be done daily versus what can be done once per week. Divide it into days and start to slowly work your way up to checking things off the chart. Teach your children to help and ask your spouse to pitch in where needed. You don’t have to do every single thing on your own.
Do I check off every thing each day/week? No. But I have made it to the place where only one or two boxes are open at the end of the week. I feel accomplished, less stressed, and in control of the home environment for my family. If I was able to do it, so can you! Start small, get organized, de-stress, and enjoy a relaxing and clean home!