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I am in the process of starting a "work club" in my location. I belonged to one where I used to live and miss it greatly.
Basically, you get a bunch of women together to work. You track hours, and say everyone goes and works at Susie's house for 4 hours-painting, or in the garden, or cleaning out the garage. Then the next time, everyone goes to Mary's house. You rotate it.
Basically, if you give them 4 hours, they owe you 4 hours. Of course, we made exceptions. We had one member who was in a wheelchair, but she could still help watch kids or prepare our lunch, and we had one lady who was in her 90's. We did more work for her, than she did for us, but she was a jewel, baked for us and paid us with her love. It was a joy to serve her.
This is a wonderful fun way to serve, save money, meet new lady friends and have some fellowship with them. We normally got together once a month, but during gardening season sometimes we would go from house to house every week. We might work in one garden on Saturday morning, then another one or two in the afternoon. My old group had 6 women in it. We were all either single, divorced or widowed, and we found that always someone in our group knew how to do about everything, saving us many service calls.
When my husband and I were first married (many moons ago), he once complained that he felt I was asking him to do what he felt was a unfair amount of chores. At the time we were both working full time. I worked days, he worked swing and weekends, so I would do what I considered my fair share of cleaning when he was not home, then leave him a note asking him to do chore x or y when he got home.
After we talked, I realized that since his mother stayed home, took care of the house (and to be painfully blunt, had a different standard of cleanliness than the home where I grew up), he really had absolutely no idea what chores were involved in keeping the house clean. Since he didn't see what I was doing when he wasn't there, he apparently had the impression I was sitting around eating bonbons all evening and leaving him the majority of the chores (I kid!).
My solution was to make a list of all the chores that I had to do to keep our little apartment clean and then since we were both working the same number of hours a week, I asked him to pick half. He chose to vacuum, sweep, and mop and I took cleaning the kitchen and bathrooms. We split the laundry (I would start it, he would finish) and we went to the grocery store together.
These days I work from home full time and teach 12 hours of classes and my husband is a school teacher. We have three kids, but we still use the chore list. The kids are now involved and each have their chores assigned (occasionally they trade). The rule is that you can do your weekly chores on whatever day works best for you, but they must be completed by bed-time on Sunday (I chose to do one a day and nothing on Saturday). During the school year I do more of the chores since I'm at home during the day, and my husband coaches the boys' soccer teams after school. During the summer, since everyone one else is on summer vacation and I'm still working, the chores get redistributed.
The chores for the kids are appropriate for their age. My oldest cleans my small master bathroom (because my standards are high). My middle son cleans the upstairs kids' bathroom, and my youngest has been cleaning the little half bathroom downstairs since he was 4. They also get extra chores as needed, but this has worked for now and if anyone complains, I can point to the list and show them that everyone in the house does their part (and if they want fair, they can take on a couple of mine - lol!)
In addition to the chores on the list, I dust and my husband deals with the cars; and of course he deals with a lot of honey-do projects on the weekends. It's not always perfect (you'll notice my husband has to be told to put his laundry away, and my son "assigned" me an extra summer chore), but at least we don't argue about cleaning anymore and we can enjoy those bonbons together.
Some chores I really don't like to do, but they have to be done so I break them into small chunks and then intersperse with something I do like to do. For example, if I have yet to clean off and disinfect all the kitchen counter tops after baking and doing the dishes, I get a book I am reading before I begin. I spray one countertop, read two pages, then wipe down the counter top thoroughly, replace whatever items I had to move in the process and then spray another, before going back to reading another two pages, and so on. Before I know it, the counter tops are cleaned and I haven't minded the task because I was engrossed in doing something I wanted to do, too.
I started organizing life at the beginning of the year. Due to a medical setback, I have not been able to continue my quest to be more organized. So now that I am on the road to recovery, I decided this was the time to get started, since a lot of things have piled up since my illness.
To make sure I have all my ducks in a roll, I have devised a new system. Sundays seem to be my best day, so I will start there. I have to choose to make Sunday a beauty and work day. Sundays use to be my beauty day. I now have combined that with what I call paper/work day.
I have always been an early rise but now I am up around 3 am. I have already defrosted the meat I plan to cook for dinner the night before. All the other items have placed on the counter ready to go. Since it is just me and my husband, I will cook enough to last two days. My husband still does the lion's share of the cooking, so I try to help out when I can. I like cooking on Sundays. I am usually through with dinner by 4:30 AM, depending on what I am cooking, and the kitchen is cleaned. My mother was an early riser and had dinner done by the time we woke up.
Next, I wash and condition my hair. This is a twice monthly routine for me. My hair is natural and I do need to wash every week. When I do wash my hair, I will leave the conditioner (I make my own conditioner from coconut oil and olive oil) in my hair the majority of the day. Using a plastic cap helps seal in the moisture.
I will wash (I found Ambi black soap on sale at Walgreens for 50 cents a bar. I grabbed 6 bars) and steam my face. Afterward I put on a mask (Elizabeth Arden on clearance rack at TJ Maxx for $3.00). This stays on for 15 minutes. While I wait for the mask to dry, I prep the water for a foot soak (Lavender Epson Salt from the dollar store).
I rinse my face and apply moisturizer (one vitamin E capsule). During the week, unless it needs immediate attention, I place all bills and correspondence in a folder. I also gather additional items (pens, paper, envelopes, magazines, tablet, coupon book, writing paper). Most of these items are kept in a bag, easy to reach and grab.
While my feet are soaking, I tackle the bills and correspondence first. Any cards that need to be addressed and affixed with a stamp and address label are next. I purchase envelopes from the dollar store. I found a bag full of stickers, I use on my mailings. I also receive address labels from different organization. You can also make your own address labels. To save even more money, Staples now will print address labels for the same price as a single sheet of paper.
I am a magazine fanatic. I am very lucky. I have two libraries which offer up-to-date magazines for as little as dime and a quarter. When I am finished, I give the magazines to local schools, nursing homes and doctors offices. I will usually go through them looking for articles that I might want to read later or recipes. These are kept in a separate folder.
I also check my tablet to appointments that are coming up or need to be added. I prefer my tablet than my laptop for ease of use. I will also check my app Key Ring (a free app from Play Store.) for the sale ads of that week and cut out necessary coupons and add them to my book. Right now, we are looking around 7:30 AM. Still good time.
I have taken my feet out of the water, finished my pedicure and applied my favorite polish. The only thing I have not tackled yet is my fingernails. They take special attention since my illness.
So there you have it. Being organized helps me stay on top of things, save money and time and keeps me on the road to recovery both physical and mental.
My man is the epitome of a armchair quarterback, news and weather expert, or anything that has to do with TV. He takes wonderful care of the yard and the garage but he believes that the house is my job. Not so!
Do your kids refuse to pick up their rooms as quickly as you would like them to? I am sometimes overwhelmed by picking up after my children so I know they are! I make sure I break the chore into bite sized pieces first.
Write down chores you need to do on a regular basis on index cards and divide them by daily, weekly, monthly, seasonal, yearly, etc. Include yearly home system maintenance upkeep which will save your home down the road.
This is a guide about clip art for chore and duty charts. Before children can read well, you can help them learn to complete daily tasks with pictures on a chart.
My daughters are good at helping me clean, but so that they don't forget to do any of the specific chores, I write them down on a piece of paper and give to each of the girls. I detail exactly what jobs need to be done and they can check them off as they finish each of them.