Articles for chores

Guest Post by Paula Constable

Think for a moment how your family starts off the day. How would you describe the mornings in your household? Do they tend to be calm and peaceful or rushed and stressful -or, somewhere in the middle? I found that planning ahead really helps to curb the morning madness. Here are nine quick ideas to help make your mornings less of production for you and your family.

Tip #1: Get up 15-30 minutes before the kids. Give yourself time to get up and ready to go before the children need to be up. I find that when I do this I am more relaxed and able to focus on helping my children. The day is more likely to start off with conversation rather than prodding and nagging. I also feel better about myself. When I feel good about myself, it has such a positive impact on my day!

Tip #2: Make sure the kids have adequate time to get ready for school without being rushed. Note how much time it takes them to complete all their necessary morning tasks and chores. Ideally, I like to have a 15 minute cushion of downtime before they walk out the door.

Tip #3: Have the kids empty their backpacks after school, not the next morning, to avoid any last minute surprises. Designate a drop-off spot for school papers, notes or permission slips that you need to see.

The Night Before
Tip #4: Have your children layout their clothes they want to wear the next day. Make this simple step a part of their bedtime routine. Read More→

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Guest post by: Sheila Zayas

You’ve race around all day running errands, cooking, picking up and dropping the kids off. At the end of the day, you plop down in your bed – exhausted and feeling as if you did so much yet accomplished so little. Sound familiar?

A disorganized schedule can lead to stress, frustration, anxiety, and quarreling with loved ones. Fortunately, hope exists for those families with extremely busy schedules that usually leave a burden on Mom.

One of the easiest and fastest ways to take tasks off Mom’s hands is to assign those tasks to the children. This not only helps Mom in clearing her schedule, it is an extremely important means of teaching your children responsibility and domestic skills.

From the time that I could remember, it was almost an unspoken rule in my house that if my sister swept the floor, I’d have to mop it.
Likewise, if I did the laundry, she’d have to fold the clothes.

Nowadays the dishwasher automatically washes the dishes. But I remember growing up my sister and I traded dish washing nights. One night it was her turn to wash the dishes and the next night it was mine. Read More→

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Guest Post by Beverly Coggins

We all have big projects we must accomplish at different points in our lives. It may be a normal part of your job or a fund-raiser for your child’s sports team or doing a home improvement project. Whatever the case, if you plan ahead, you can eliminate much of the stress that could accompany a big project. Here are a few tips:

1. Break down your project into categories and then to specific tasks in each category.

2. Estimate the time it will take do each task. Err on the side of over-estimating rather than under-estimating.

3. Add up the time it will take to complete your project so you will know how much time will need to be devoted to the project.

4. Set a deadline for the completion of your project.

5. If your project allows, delegate. Assign tasks with clear instructions and deadlines. Plan to follow-up periodically.

6. Working backwards, schedule the specific tasks/deadlines and follow-ups, allowing some extra wiggle room for unexpected delays. Plan to finish your project a couple of days ahead of schedule to reduce your stress level.

7. Know your peak energy times and schedule your tough jobs then, if possible.

8. Do big projects during big chunks of time and small ones during small scraps of time.

9. Do projects that require concentration at times when you won’t be interrupted at a place where there are few distractions. If you work in an office, consider going in during an evening or weekend when no one else is there. Make sure to take some time off during the week to compensate yourself.

10. Inform others of times when you do not want to be interrupted and when you will be available. Record this information on your voice mail. Give polite, but firm reminders when you are interrupted during your no-interruption times.

11. If necessary, go to a location away from your office or home where you are unlikely to be disturbed.

12. CELEBRATE the completion of your project!! If others are involved in your project, make sure to involve them in the celebration.

Beverly Coggins is an organizing expert, speaker and author of the 1-2-3…Get Organized series – books, workbooks, and ebooks written for the organizationally overwhelmed. Her blog provides tips on organizing time, the office, and home.

She is also a Myers-Briggs facilitator and conducts retreats, seminars, training, and coaching for businesses and individuals on the topics of team building, conflict resolution, vision/mission, career satisfaction, time management and organization., her latest venture, is a weekly email showcasing free listings of businesses, blogs, products, and more that appeal to moms.

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As I sit here blogging this evening I suddenly hear the sound of my dishwasher unloading. Now since I am sitting here on the couch in the living room I am quite astounded to be hearing the clicking of glasses as they make their way into the cupboard – oh wait. YES! That is the sound of a drawer and the tinkle of cutlery being sorted (yes sorted) into their individual compartments of the cutlery tray !

No I don’t have an automatic unloading dishwasher (but I would pay extra for that feature!). I believe it is my son (9) since he is the only family member not in the room. Unless of course our cat has some extraordinary powers I am unaware of.

I want to celebrate! It’s moments like this that make me think I am doing OK as a mother.  In case you are wondering how he knows to actually sort the cutlery. That was his first chore, mind you I never told him it was a chore. When he was three, I would take the knives out and hand him the cutlery case from the dishwasher and show him to put the spoons together the forks together while I unloaded the dishwasher. Taking full advantage of those years when they WANT to do what ever mommy does.

I also wanted to mention this wonderful idea I saw on “And thats…the truth” a  parenting blog this evening. In celebration of her children’s school achievements this year she is having plaques made for her children. After watching my son’s grade four floor hockey team almost suffocating one another in the pile to reach their trophy last week .. I believe this is just the perfect way to celebrate and remember our children’s school accomplishments.  Thank you Kim.

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Some of you might wonder what this has to do with my regular topic but really I feel this makes sense.

I was surfing some great mom blogs this morning ans tumbled across a post on Daily Mom titled ” Does sharing chores with your Hubby mean a better love life.” The study quoted implied that men of today so more housework.

I won’t argue that – well sort of . Since the 60’s men may do a bit more housework but women ALSO work full time jobs outside of their household duties (no studies, just my observations here in my community – if you know a community where men really do an equal amount of house/family items then let me know because I would like to move there ;) so I don’t feel it’s any where near equal yet.

The Daily Mom shares that this study suggests that chore sharing equals more frequent ahem “adult alone time” (I have to maintain my G rating. )

This makes complete sense. As a mom to three children running a house and working by the end of the day i would be too exhausted to brush my teeth some nights let alone hank panky ;)
Add the resentment that I worked as many hours as my husband but did over 90% of household chores and some things that 50 years ago would have been  “the mans job”  … I actually have a chart about this topic that I often share :-)

So if this study can be used to encourage your Honey to step up and help you do more chores then I celebrate this evening !

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