It was just a random lunch break as Adam and I sat down with a friend at Zaxby’s who is on the edge of popping the question. Our friend out of nowhere asked, “so tell me about household chores.” As a wife who says too many words per day anyway, decided to shut up and listen to how Adam answered this question. I was surprised to hear what he had to say and also honored. He answered our friend telling him that we do pretty much 50-50 of the house hold chores but I have them planned out so that it is not ever an over-bearing load of cleaning and that I tend to stay on top of it more than him. He was correct in every way!
Growing up I never really had a chore chart. I only remember my mom or dad telling me to go clean my room once in my whole life. We all helped out around the house but there was never a set schedule for what to do when or who was doing what. When I was in college, cleaning was something that really only got done when I was procrastinating for writing a paper or studying…am I right?!? But I knew enough about marriage that household chores are one of the topics that lead couples into fights.
Adam and I both appreciate a pretty clean and neat home. The first few months of marriage we both just went about our week and then we would spend one day of the weekend doing EVERYTHING in the house that needed to be done. From a MOUNTAIN of laundry, taking out the trash, mowing the lawn, buying groceries and everything else we would try to get it all done that one day. This worked for a bit but then we both started dreading this one day of the weekend because it felt like a whole day of nothing but laundry. And coming from a girl who enjoys doing laundry…saving two peoples weeks’ worth of laundry to do on one day is NOT FUN for anyone.
Once I hit my peak annoyance of wasting away a full day of the weekend, I knew something needed to change. Luckily, I follow a few wise working women on the internet that had little tips and tricks to help me re-think how chores can be effortless and smooth! Once I perfected my own system of what works for me and Adam, we have stuck to it and are never turning back!
Below is the schedule of what day we do what chore.
Monday– One load of laundry
Tuesday– Side gig
Wednesday– Load of laundry and wash towels
Thursday– Plan out meals for next week
Friday– Wash bed sheets
Saturday– Plan next week
Sunday– Wash dog and vacuum
With the very few house chores that we have to do (we are enjoying the small list until kids come) breaking them up to do one a day makes the load so do-able. I found that washing clothes every 2-3 days gives us a few medium size loads that don’t take long to fold and put away instead of doing seven days’ worth of laundry plus bed sheets and towels on one day. This is also helpful for Adam because he has three pairs of work scrubs that he likes to wear so this rotation lets him pretty much always has clean scrubs. Since we cook a good bit at home, dishes are pretty much done every night. We take turns if someone is folding and putting away the clothes then the other person is doing the dishes and cleaning up the kitchen. Our robot vacuum cleaner runs about three times a week whenever we feel like it is needed. And about once a month we will need to get out the old fashion broom and give the corners of the house a good clean.
Now, one year into marriage and about six months into this system, we have it pretty down pack and almost muscle memory. It is such a simple break down that we don’t question if it is worth skipping a load of laundry or not because we know if we do the laundry will get quickly backed up and overwhelming. This system came up after hearing Emily Ley suggest writing every household chore on a sticky note and dividing them up between spouses. We aren’t at the point where we want one person to be solely responsible for a specific chore but could break it down day by day.
There is nothing better than the weekend coming around and only having a few simple chores that need to be done before Monday rolls around! This is the system that works best for us in this season of our life. I’m sure once we are both deep in our careers and once we become parents our chore schedule will look extremely different, but for right now we appreciate the teamwork and simplicity that this system brings. It has protected our marriage from miserable weekends of cleaning and arguments about who does what and when.
We are very aware that living with someone is not always easy. And on top of that, we all grew up with different cleaning habits and house roles of who does what in the marriage. The sooner that household chores are talked about and expectations are set for who does what the better off all couples will be! Keeping a house clean should never be grounds for arguing, life is too short. It is so worth taking the time to sit down and look at your weekly responsibilities and make a plan that best fits your schedule.
Keep your head up high and your words filled with love!
Your friend, Colleen Howard.