How To Create A Chore List That Actually Works (AND saves you time and energy!)

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Yes, you read that right…. A chore list that works and saves you time. See, I work 11 hours a day, plus have about a 40-minute commute. Run the time for that – I eat dinner around 9:30 pm and only have a few minutes to clean my house or to take care of any of the chores. A few years ago, when I was getting my master’s degree, I came up with methods to make chores, cooking and house responsibilities less time consuming and easier to deal with.

Here are some of my methods.

  • 1) Make a List (or two)! My husband must think I am insane with my lists and bullet points, but hey… it seems to keep me focused and remembering what needs to be done. I write 2 lists, one for grocery shopping and one for chores that I need to do. But it works! Try it! Besides, you need a list, because I keep mentioning them all the way through this blog.
  • 2) Make a schedule. Once you make your lists, prioritize chores into ‘today,’ ‘weekend’ and ‘probably not going to happen’ chores. How do I decide what goes in which category? Well, for instance, cat litter MUST be emptied, so that goes on ‘today’s chores’ list. However, cleaning the curtains usually goes on the ‘probably won’t happen, but I feel it should be done’ chores. Very simple, just prioritize!
  • 3) Shop Once a Week. You may not automatically put grocery shopping on your chore list, but I do. Here’s why – it can take several hours and it is part of keeping the house running. So, it’s a chore, and it needs to be scheduled. If the food isn’t in the house, the kids don’t get it this week, the husband doesn’t need it and you aren’t allowed to stress over it. Let them go get it if they ‘need’ it! Well… let the husband go get it, not the 2 yr old, toddlers self-shopping may be frowned upon.
  • 4) Divide and Conquer. I know, it is easier to do it yourself rather than train someone to do it your way. So, pick a chore to give away that is NOT personal to you in how it is done. For instance, mopping is not a big deal to me, so guess what I ask my husband to help with? Yep, he tends to do the mopping! It helps me out, I can focus on the other chores on the list. On the other hand, I hate streaked mirrors, so I always take that chore myself.

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  • 5) Only 15 Minutes a Day! Again with the scheduling, I know. However, remember I work 11 hours a day. I know many moms who feel they have very little time to do household maintenance. So, try a time limit. You have 15 mins and that’s it, that’s the chore time for the night. If you “Divide and Conquer,” everyone in the house spends 15 mins cleaning, putting laundry away or doing dishes. When time is up, chore time is up! Simple as that!
  • 6) Turn The Music Up! There is nothing like cleaning to some good, happy, up-beat music. I love to clean to 80’s music, and I remember my Mom doing dishes while singing/listening to Southern Gospel music. Dusting or mopping while having a dance off just makes it fun… and maybe it will count as your cardio for the day too!
  • 7) Take a Break! 😊 My husband had to help me learn this, since I tend to get so focused on my numerous chores that I forget to relax a little. Here’s a tip – the dust will still be there in 30, so there is no reason why you should get stressed or have a stroke over dishes being perfect or trash being taken out. So if you get tired, take a break, eat lunch, read an amazing blog (I approve of your reading choices, you have great tastes so far!).
  • 8) Keep The Meals Simple. Meals are a chore? ABSOLUTELY! They keep the family running…so they can help you with the real chores! Seriously though, for weekday meals, I try to keep meal prep time to under 15 mins. Frozen veggies mixed with spaghetti is a favorite here. Knowing that dinner will only take a few minutes to complete helps take some of the end of the day stress off, so from now think simple, easy and healthy… not to elaborate, the kids probably prefer chicken nuggets anyway!
  • 9) Use Paper Dishes. This is a chore saving tip and a time saving tip. I hate the time it takes to clean… and I don’t mind taking out the trash, so it is a win all around. Your goal with this one is to find ways to simplify or reduce time consuming chores. So, on that one grocery store trip you are making today, grab some paper plates and tell everyone you guys are going picnic style for the week. They will love it, I am sure!
  • 10) Know Your Limits. This is the easiest to forget. Here’s the truth – we are not super humans, and there is a limit to what we can do. Be realistic about how much time you have a night or on the weekend, and don’t feel guilty for what you can’t get done. You are doing awesome, you will get the rest of it done eventually, but it’s okay to say it isn’t healthy to be consumed with a perfect house. Keep your peace as more important than perfectly dusted shelves and clean mirrors.

10 simple tips for making the chores easier. That is all I got for you, and most likely that’s all the time you have for, because you need to make some lists, do some shopping, take a break, divide the list and get some previously-overwhelming chores done now. Go for it! I believe in you! Don’t forget your breaks and limits though, that’s important too! And just to help you out, here is my favorite sound track to help me push through my chore list. Enjoy!

 

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