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Breakup Chores before you Break Down

December 18, 2012
Image of Happy Couple in nice house

Ok, I can be a bit of a neat freak. There, I admitted it.

AND, around the house I can REALLY be a neat freak.

So when something is not in its place at home, it starts to bother me. When there’s a collection of random things on the counter that have been there for days, I get irritated. And when there seems to be a pile of clutter everywhere I turn, I get overwhelmed and freak out! Don’t worry; if you feel trapped in a clutter cage or can never find enough time to put everything away, my wife and I have worked out a system that can help:

Sunday: Relax Relax
Monday: Living Room Vaccuum
Tuesday: Kitchen Trash Out
Wednesday: Bed room Wash Clothes
Thursday: Bathroom1 Fold Clothes
Friday: Bathroom2 Dishes
Saturday: Dining room Dust
  1. Dig through one of those piles until you find a piece of paper and a pen or pencil or crayon or anything that will leave markings on the paper.
  2. Write out the days of the week.
  3. (On the back of the paper) Write out a list of the rooms that regularly need tidying and a list of other chores that frequently need to be completed.
  4. Assign a room that needs to be cleaned to one day of the week
  5. Also assign one or two chores to each day of the week. (Some chores like laundry or dishes may be daily or need to be assigned to more than one day of the week).
  6. Remember to distribute the chores evenly and strategically. (We tidy the bedroom on a laundry day because there’s usually lots of laundry lying around the room.)
  7. Stick to it!

If possible, leave one day completely open so you have extra time to enjoy dates, family, and friends.

There’s something about the chore schedule that just clicks with the logical, analytical side of my brain. When there is a specific day for specific chores and rooms I don’t worry about any growing messes because it’s not going to continue to build until I can’t stand it anymore, it’s only going to build until Tuesday when we clean that room!

Not only has our chore schedule helped me to stay calm; it has helped my wife get involved in the cleanup. Now when I request help she knows that I won’t use her help as an excuse to try and get everything in the house cleaned. Even if she doesn’t feel like doing very much, we start out with a clearly defined stopping point. Once the designated room and the assigned chores are completed, we’re finished for the day. Being able to see the finish line is a great motivator!


How do you work out differences in cleaning preferences? Have you ever tried a day by day schedule?

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