Afternoon Chores

Wow – how can it be 12 days since I posted?  Real life has been a-goin’ on over here, folks!

Oh, yeah – now I remember – we set a new family record for the number of days in a row having people over – 9 days straight – mostly different people each day with a couple repeats.  We thoroughly enjoyed it!  This is the second of 2 days “off” – some friends are coming over tomorrow to just spend the day with us schooling, gardening, baking, and preparing for Thanksgiving.

My developing schedules and routines have really been put to the test.  One thing I definitely learned during this time is that our updated afternoon chore routine is a VITAL part of our day, no matter what that particular day holds!  We spend anywhere from 20-30 minutes at the “end” of the day on various chores, starting at 3pm – or earlier if the day’s events require it. Sometimes we even do this as our after breakfast chores if we will be out most of the day.

First, everyone tidies and sweeps their “jurisdiction” – an area of the house that is their responsibility to maintain.  This actually gets the entire house picked up and swept in about 15 minutes (less if there’s nothing to pick up).  The little girls work with me, and then they get spray bottles and rags to spot clean the floor.  (I really need to remember to KEEP them with me when they have their spray bottles…)

Then, everyone has their turn once a week doing these daily tasks to make sure the house is ship-shape and ready for Daddy:

  • sweep front porch walls, floor and steps
  • sweep back door area, straighten recycle bins if needed
  • tidy shoe shelf, hat/glove shelf, and kitchen ledge
  • tidy bookshelves and homeschool cubby shelf
  • use carpet sweeper on living room rugs and entryway mat
  • empty all trash from house into kitchen trash bag, take that out for burning, and replace bag
  • spot clean living room, dining room, kitchen

I’ve scheduled a half-hour for this time, but it’s taking less time each day as the children learn their duties.  It’s also scheduled right before outside free time so they are HIGHLY motivated to get things done, and done well.

I’ve had afternoon routines before, but this one grew out of a lot of prayer and thinking on how to have the house the way my husband likes it by a specific time each day.  I really started listening to the “little” things that bothered him when he came home, or things he’d mention needed to be done the next day, and turned those into this list.  When these things are done, it makes a huge difference in my husband’s mood when he arrives after a long day at work!  When everything’s done and in its place, we can see the gratitude and relaxation in his eyes.  That makes it so worth all the hard work and training.

This works for me! What kinds of things are on YOUR before-Daddy-gets-home chore list?

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2 comments to Afternoon Chores

  • Holy cow, that is SUCH a good idea! What age do you think is reasonable to start doing this? I have all preschoolers and I can NEVER keep up with the work.

    • I think the earlier you begin, the better! Children are very eager to imitate their parents, and while it takes a LOT of time when they are young, it pays off later! Somewhere I heard the phrase, “If they can toddle, they can tote” and it is true. Involve them as early as possible, and give them small enough jobs so they can succeed and you can give them lots of praise and encouragement. I can get a lot done now because I have so many helpers (my oldest is 14) but when they were younger and I was pregnant/nursing I didn’t have a list like this. I had a basic rule that if you can get it out, you can put it back, and you may not get something else out until you do. Do not despair!

      My friend Kimberly at http://www.raisingolives.com/ has a lot of GREAT posts on the specifics of chores and younger children. I’ve learned a lot from her! 🙂

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