I've been reading online about how people in the past did their chores. It's actually very, very interesting. And then I compare it to how this one lady does her chores nowadays, and there are slight but telling differences: for example, everything that has to do with laundry, the modern lady does on Monday whereas in the past, Monday was "wash day", Tuesday was "ironing day", and Wednesday was "mending day" - whew, that's three days of laundry-related things! Wow. But the biggest difference was that the modern lady does most of her household cleaning chores on Sunday. Sunday? Seriously? In the past, that was a day of rest. I personally prefer to do things more like they were done in the past. The first site said that this was how households were run, even through the 1960's. Wow.

I've been thinking a lot about how things have changed since so many women have become career-oriented instead of home-oriented, either by choice or necessity. I thought for a while, "sheesh, I'm giving up the best years of my life here doing chores!" But then, a few nights ago, I realized, "Hey, it's really important that the best years of my life are here at home with my little baby (and soon future baby, and probably more after that), because now is when I am strong enough to be able to really handle this job well, and do my very, very best." It was actually a very comforting thought. I'm only 23, and most of my time is spent at home doing not so fun chores, "fun" chores (like gardening and cooking! So fun!), and taking care of Jane. I don't mean to pass judgment on women who can't be full time moms. I know there are many reasons why that is sometimes impossible. It's very satisfying for me right now, though. I've discovered that this attitude has an almost exact relationship to the amount of sleep/rest I have gotten.

Anyway, so here is how I figured out how to do the household chores that I need to do every day. I actually thought up this system BEFORE I learned that this was the way things were done. I suppose that's not quite true; I think I've been exposed to the idea of "wash day" and "baking day" in the past; but my system is a little bit different. Here goes:

I felt like I needed to make some changes in the way I do chores. I often feel really overwhelmed at how dirty my house is. Sometimes dirty with dirt, more likely just cluttered. It's discouraging. Especially when it's right before I go to bed, and I just think at how many rooms are cluttered and messy, and it just makes me want to cry. That kind of attitude does NOT motivate me to do chores. Actually, what it has done is encourage me to procrastinate doing chores. I think it's because I am looking at the WHOLE house, and it is so daunting to think about all the work that has to be done, that it becomes much easier to not think about it at all. But that means things don't get done.

First, I only made a chore chart for the chores that I don't like to do. This is why: the chores that I like to do (budget and pay bills, COOK, garden, reupholster the chair, paint a room, work on a quilt, etc.) those are not really "chores" to me, and they get done. This may have something to do with the way I work, and the way things must get done with having a baby. For example, if I scheduled a time to work on painting a room, of course Jane would not be cooperative, it wouldn't get done, and I would be discouraged. Instead, the chores that I know I will get done because I enjoy doing them for some odd reason, I try to work these around the day's actual circumstances. That way, I accomplish more, and I feel excited to "solve" what I can do next more than if everything had been planned.

Second, I only made a chore chart for the chores that I don't like to do AND that I don't do every day. I think it's pretty dismal to go about looking at a long list of things you have to do every single day. I love making to-do lists, but I am always making the mistake of making them fifty times longer than they could ever possibly be to get everything done. There are some chores that have to get done every day, like the dishes, sweeping the kitchen, wiping the counters in the kitchen, putting the dishes away...if it's obvious that I'm going to have to do it, and I know I will have to do it in order to do other things (mostly, to cook!), I find it too discouraging to put on a list. My list has to be very, very short. It's weird; when the list is short, I usually do much more that is not on the list, so more gets done. But if it's long, I usually won't do even what would have been on the short list! Weird. Maybe your mind works the same way, maybe you think I'm crazy.

So, here is the method behind my chore chart. I made a list of chores that need to be done every week, and chores that need to be done every other week. I divided the list into a two week plan, where every day there is a weekly chore to do, and a bi-weekly chore to do. So far, it has worked very, very well! I'm only in the middle of the second week of doing it, though, so I'll have to continue working at it, to see if it really works.

It turned out that the main chores that needed to be done each week were to tidy, dust, and sweep/vacuum different rooms in the house.

This is the chart that is on my fridge, and it is labeled: "The Not Fun Chores' Chart."

Week 1:
Monday: Nursery
Laundry - all done

Tuesday: Jane's Room (yeah, Jane sleeps in the nursery now, but not for too long!)
Laundry - all put away

Wednesday: Office and Library
Ironing - all done and put away

Thursday: Family and Living Room
Take out trash from around the house

Friday: Bathrooms
Vacuum the stairs

Saturday: Bedroom

Change the sheets

Week 1:
Monday: Nursery
Dust the whole house
Tuesday: Jane's Room
Sweep the whole house
Wednesday: Office and Library
Clean all the upstairs windows
Thursday: Family and Living Room
Clean all the downstairs windows
Friday: Bathrooms
Clean the showers/baths
Saturday: Bedroom
Clean the garage (for a little while)

In a while, I will re-evaluate these chores and how often they get done, and whether or not they should be changed. For now, they seem to work well.

To stay motivated: each time I do one of the day's required 2 sucky chores, I give myself a point. When I get 10 points for each day, I will get a prize. I have no idea what the prize is. Danny says it should be a smartphone or something like that. We will see, something big like that. It only counts if I do it the day of, or the day before or after. So far this has been motivating, but again, it hasn't been THAT long. Let's see if I can keep it up.


  1. Kate, I agree with you (now) that Sunday should not be chore day, but you've got to remember also that many (most?) people now grow up without ever thinking of the Sunday as the Sabbath. As a kid, Saturday was play day, and Sunday was get everything done day. It's still hard to break myself of that habit and do more during the week or on my precious Saturdays. I can't wait to be done with school and stay at home!

    Also, good call on the list. Not overwhelming, but necessary.

  2. I have a stack of the most amazing homemaking books from lds authors from the fifties/early 60s. My sister sent most of them to me from the DI out in SLC, but i've found them on used book stores online allibris.com
    The Art of Homemaking-Hoole
    The Joys of Homemaking-Hoole
    The art of teaching children-Hoole
    Motherhood-A partnership with God-Lundstrom
    To parents, withlove-Hanks and Bascom

    They have been so informative--I think you would appreciate her [hoole] take on homemaking.
    there is a modern version of her book, which I havent read, I prefer the musty copy from 1962 (its even signed...my sister always finds awesome books at the DI!)
    One thing you might have come across, that I have been doing since Tom and I were married is making a home management binder. Here is a link to one on my homemaking blog. (it was one that i made for tele and his wife when they were married) Im actually in the process of re-doing mine, because i've been doing it for a couple years and I know what I use and what I dont....and I want to add a section for the boys with their medical/important info. This would be a place where you could put your daily lists--I have a calendar section in mine where I have chore lists for the week, grocery lists, meal ideas for the week. Another thing I might add is a foodstorage rotation list, with the expiration on products so I know when I need to use them in meals when they are nearing expiration, and it also allows me have a foodstorage grocery list of things I need.


    If you google it you'll find a lot of helpful examples (mostly be christian women websites) but there is also helpful info and printables on the executivehomemaker website. (shes lds)
    I am so passionate about homemaking and feel it is a lost art/ an art that is not given enough credit. Even in the church I find myself having to brush off comments like "well you have all the time in the day" by women who work outside of the home. I mostly don't let that bother me, but I feel like saying--what the heck do you think Im doing all day?!!? Not to mention, I've worked over night shifts at stinkin' jack-n-the-box to help with bills...some people have such nerve!
    sorry--that was a bit of an unrelated rant.
    anyway, i think lists are helpful and organization is key when maintaining a loving home.

  3. When I had been married a goodly number of years and had lots of writing on the wall and other places I read Sidetracked Home Executive; from pig pen to paradise. It changed my life. It took me out of crisis mode so I could actually be spontaneous and organized at the same time. I wrote about my experience on Consulting with Myself at http://asonewomanthinketh.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default


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