If your childhood was anything like mine, you had chores to complete on a regular basis. That regular exercise of putting away my toys, cleaning my room, and helping my mom with other chores around the house helped build in me the habits that I was grateful to have when I went to college, to graduate school, and eventually to my first apartment on my own and my first professional job in 2010.
Kurt and I started living together when we moved to Florida in 2014. His definition of clean and tidy was a little bit different than my definition, and slowly our definitions merged into one as we compromised with one another. When we got married in 2015, I began to notice some of our cleaning habits start to slip - we didn't put away the clean laundry immediately, but would let it sit folded in piles in our room. We didn't run the dishwasher or take the trash out everyday, even though they might have been full enough to do so. In other words, we got a bit lazy.
Now if your significant other is anything like mine is, they sometimes like to be the one with all of the ideas. But often, if I drop enough hints (loudly or subtly), my ideas can become their ideas. And so, the idea of having a list of our daily and weekly chores was born!
When it comes down to it, we do chores so that we can enjoy the spaces we live and work in. And if you've read earlier posts from this year, you'll also know that one of my goals for 2017 is to live with less for that very same reason. What Kurt and I realized is that when we avoid our chores, our home space becomes chaotic, not allowing us to rest and restore our bodies, minds, and spirits. So, one of the steps we have taken toward achieving a more restful and enjoyable home space this year is the creation of a chore board.
Our chore board was a very easy and quick tool to assemble. Here are the supplies and steps that we used!
Chore Board Supplies:
Black foam board, 11 x 14 inches
White paint pen
Gold paint pen
Ruler or tape measure
Black marker (to label the clothespins)
3M Command picture hanging strips
Make the list of chores you want to include, distinguishing between daily and weekly chores. In making our list, we thought about a few things:
What were the pain points we experienced on a daily basis related to the cleanliness of our home?
What were the chores that felt like they took forever to complete because we left them go for so long?
What were tasks that we want our family to build good habits around?
What parts of our home space felt cluttered or messy all of the time?
Once your lists are completed, find and mark the following points on the foam board by using the ruler or tape measure:
The amount of space you want at the top for the word "chores"
The center of the foamboard starting from the bottom edge
Depending on how many chores are on your lists, the number of spaces you need for each individual task
Using the ruler or tape measure and the white paint pen, mark a horizontal line across the top portion of the foam board and write the word "chores".
Using the ruler or tape measure and the white paint pen, mark a vertical line separating the length of the foam board starting from the center mark at the bottom edge and ending at your horizontal line. This will give you the space for your daily and weekly chore lists.
Using the ruler or tape measure and the white paint pen, mark horizontal lines for each individual task down the length of the foam board.
Using the white paint pen, write each daily and weekly chore within the spaces down the length of the foam board.
Using the gold paint pen, add any decorative flourishes to the foam board.
Using the black marker, write words on each side of the clothespins that will help you distinguish what chores have been completed. We used the words "DONE" and "NOT".
Find a place in your home where the chore board will be easily viewed and hang it using 3M Command picture hanging strips!
Overall, we are still getting used to including our daily and weekly chores in our routine. But, having them posted and visible everytime we enter the kitchen is definitely making us more aware of what needs to be done! And, we are feeling happier in our home now that it is tidier more often. Hopefully this concept of a chore board will help you achieve the same sort of happiness as well!
I'd love to know - how do you stay on top of the chores in your home? What are those tasks that you try to avoid, and what are the tasks that you really enjoy? Do you use other tricks to help involve the members of your family in the regular chores around your home? Share your tips and tricks in the comments below!