Until someone invents the 25 hour day, it seems there is never quite enough time to get cleaning done during the week. Saturdays have become a time that we all work together to catch up on chores. And having everyone pitch in with chores, keeps me sane.
We have experimented with chore charts, chore cards and random blitzing as a family. The bottom line is, no matter the method, feeling caught up is amazing.
It Starts the Weekend Well
Knowing my children will help me accomplish a lot on Saturdays, motivates me to get a head start on Fridays. I focus on general tidying so we can do “deep cleaning” as a team.
Most Saturdays we start the chores soon after breakfast and can be finished in about an hour and a half. This leaves the rest of the weekend to visit friends, finish homework and hang out together. We haven’t slept in since 2001, so why not do a blitz and get it done? Sometimes we start with a leisurely morning or a special family breakfast, but a chore blitz is the norm.
Gets the Family Working as a Team
My children are learning a key value of working like a team. We try various configurations for divvying up the labour depending on what needs to be accomplished. My husband will take 2 kids to work on the main level, and I will take 2 to help me upstairs. We are amazed at what we can accomplish when we divide and conquer.
Helps Us Play to Our Strengths
One of my noise-sensitive boys despises vacuuming, but doesn’t mind cleaning bathrooms. Another boy vacuums meticulously, but can’t stand the thought of cleaning the bathroom. Since implementing Saturday chores, we have learned to work with each child’s strengths. Although we also push them to sometimes try jobs they hate, because that’s a life lesson too.
Builds a Work Ethic
Saturday chores keep me sane because the kids work alongside of us. We train them to do a particular task, and then they take it over. And we have learned to inspect what we expect because rushing a job leads to shoddy results. They are also learning that working efficiently, means tasks are finished much sooner.
HINT: One tip that works very well is to try to keep each room “5 minutes from tidy.” This habit helps us focus on deeper cleaning, rather than just finding the floor on Saturdays.
Gets the Young Ones Involved Early
There are concrete tasks that 2 or 3 year olds can help with. And truthfully, some Saturdays our youngest has the best attitude of all. Here are a few examples of toddler-friendly tasks:
Cleaning baseboards with baby wipes
Running items from room to room
HINT: If you ask them to empty the cutlery tray, make sure you specify which tray should get emptied.
Having my family assist with Saturday chores has helped keep the house running smoothly, which spills over to a feeling of calm for everyone – especially mama. Stay tuned for a follow up post about chore cards and chore charts you won’t want to miss.
What chores do your children help with? Have you found a “system” that works well for you?