I'm guessing that everyone reading this post is probably better at cleaning than I am. I cannot emphasize how much I hate cleaning. When I quit work to stay home with our daughter, I thought that maybe I wouldn't mind cleaning so bad anymore because I'd have more time to do it. I was wrong. I've been a stay at home mom for nearly two years now, and my house is still not spotless (in fact several rooms are still messy) and I still hate to clean. I struggle every day to make myself get on top of the mess.
On Pinterest there are several chore charts. I thought it would be a good idea for me to have a list to work from, something to help me stay focused. I saw this one and it seemed to fit my house pretty well, plus it's thorough and includes things like wiping down baseboards, which quite honestly, would never occur to me to do. Yeah, I suck that bad at cleaning. It has daily tasks then breaks the house into sections so that each day you complete daily tasks plus work on one room or area. The chart says "30 minutes" under each section, and I thought yeah right! I can't do all that in 30 minutes! Initially I thought maybe after I got on top of things that I could do all that in 30 minutes, but after reading the blog it came from, I realized that's not what the author meant. What she meant was that you work on each section for 30 minutes, get done what you can, then next week, you work on what you didn't get to. That made a lot more sense to me and made me feel better about not being able to get everything done in 30 minutes.
Eager to try something, I printed out the chart and took it to Staples to have it laminated. I bought a dry erase marker and hung the chart on my fridge. As I complete tasks, I cross them off. At first I cleared it off every day so that the only things crossed off would be what I did that day. Soon I figured out that on some days, I didn't get to much at all, but that I could usually catch up on the major things I missed on another day. Once I figured out that it worked a little better for me on a weekly basis, I erased the daily tasks every day, but left the weekly tasks alone until Sunday night. I liked being able to see what I'd accomplished each week.
After using this chart for a few weeks, I realized there were some things that I could change to make it fit my house and my routine better. For example, the original chart lists three bathrooms, and I only have two, so I wanted to list another room on Friday. The author didn't list any kids' rooms because her kids clean their own rooms. My daughter is two so while she can help pick up her room, the actual cleaning falls to me, so I wanted to include her room on my chart. I also wanted to slimline it a little. Instead of listing the various items that need dusting in a room, I just wanted it to say "dust."
I finally got around to creating my own chart last week. While looking for backgrounds for this blog, I found some really cute banners. I picked one I liked and slapped it in a new document on my word processing program. I played around with it until I got it all to fit on one page and liked how it looked. It may seem silly to spend so much time designing a chore chart, but I swear that getting to cross things off a cute chart makes me feel more accomplished. I included the link to the original chart I used as well as posting the chart I created so if you want one, you can pick the one that works for you. Or, you can create your own!
I'm proud to say that since I started using a chore chart, I've managed to make our bed every day, change our sheets on a regular basis, mop the kitchen floor every week, and clean the bathrooms every week. I realize that most of you already do that, but it's been a big deal for me. Every week my house gets a little cleaner, and I'm just going to keep working on it. One day, I will not feel self conscious when someone drops by unexpectedly. That day may not be today, but I'm getting there!