Housework needs to be done – all the time – but do you have to take the full burden on yourself – here’s why you should share household chores?
We all fall foul of taking on too much at times, a lot of the time it’s easier to do it yourself as you know it will be done well – but do you really have to work yourself so hard?
More often than not, things can be done to tweak it so that you can share the load a little – so how appropriate that SHARE is the theme todays post! I wanted to explore how you can still get everything done, without having to feel you have to do it all yourself.
Let’s get going then….
Let’s explore the different ways to share those household chores out. You will be pleased to hear I have managed to fit these into the apt acronym S.H.A.R.E as well – oooh I love it when a plan comes together!
…and I love a good acronym! – others you may want to know better are A.D.O.R.E for my full organising method, S.M.I.L.E for a balanced life, and L.I.S.T for the 4 ways to organise a space.
So – without further ado – lets get sharing!
S = Self
Of course this post is about ways to share things out more equally so you don’t have to do it all – but you can’t escape everything (sorry!).
So this section is about you.
I want you to think about you first – as this is key to knowing what to share out.
You want to understand what you can do, what you like to do, what you don’t like to do, and what you have time for.
If you have a cleaning schedule then look at that and work out what is and isn’t working.
If you don’t have a schedule yet (and you can find out how to create one HERE), then write down a list of all the jobs you currently do and split them into things you are happy to keep doing and those you would rather not.
We are talking in an ideal world here. It may be that you have to in fact still do a lot of what you don’t like, but if you start from the ideal, you may just get more than you hoped for!
Concentrate on these chores first, and then look at the other 4 ways to get help….
H = Help
After doing it yourself, the next obvious way to get your household chores done is to get help from somewhere.
There are 2 forms of help – paid for and unpaid.
Help that’s Paid For…
It can really be worth paying for some help with the chores you have, because it automatically frees you up to do other things.
For example – It took a while for me to get help as I do enjoy doing the housework, but I was finding it harder and harder to find the time to work as well (and as I work from home, the housework is right there wanting to be done so it’s also difficult to switch off during my work time). As such I have found that paying for a cleaner to do a quick clean every other week takes a little pressure off, but still allows me to clean as well – a great compromise! We also get our ironing done fortnightly – but only the larger items as the small stuff is quick and easy to do ourselves, another way we have made getting help work for us really well.
If you are wanting to get some help, then think about the following: –
- Car wash/valet
- Oven cleaner
- Window cleaner
Which would make the most difference to your life? What can you afford to do? What would you do instead of doing the chores?
You may or may not want help for everything that person can help with, for example – a gardener can do the gardening fully or you may just want them to weed and do the heavy work if you enjoy mowing the lawn.
If you can’t afford a lot of help then just be very specific on what you can afford and what would make the most difference. For example – if you can afford a cleaner for just 2 hours a month, then do this. Then you can write a list of what you specifically want them to do in this time to help you. Its all about making your life as easy as you can without breaking the bank in the process.
Or, if you can’t afford any help at all, then don’t panic – there may be another way to get help that can work well for you as well…
Help that’s Not Paid For…
Why not exchange skills instead of paying for help?
By this I mean that there may be something you absolutely love to do around the house, and another thing you can’t stand.
When you love doing something it no longer becomes a chore, and you can usually complete it much quicker.
If you can find someone who loves what you hate, then maybe you could swap jobs with each other and create an easier life for yourself in the process.
OK, you aren’t losing any chores by doing this – but you ARE losing the chores that you don’t like – which is bonus in itself!
An example of this may be as follows: –
You feel very happy watching a film while doing the ironing – but hate gardening – whereas your friend down the road loves mowing the lawn but hates ironing. Why both be unhappy? – swap jobs and feel great about it!
Think outside the box and you may surprise yourself with the results!
A = Automate
Make something you spend time doing automatic, so that you don’t have to do anything with it any longer but it still gets done.
This will them ensure that you are spending time on what matters, rather than just being busy for busys’ sake!
Some examples of how automation can work for you are as follows: –
- Set up paying your bills by direct debit. You can often save money paying this way as well which is an extra bonus. Just get into the habit of checking each month on your statement that all is OK.
- Do you regularly need to get prescriptions from the doctors? Set this up with the chemist so they liaise with the doctors on your behalf and have it ready when you need it – I do this now and it saves so much time. (I could even get it delivered if I wanted, but I like a walk into town so this fits into my day OK, however it would be a way of automating even further!).
- Use a service like Amazons SUBSCRIBE AND SAVE so you can set up deliveries of regular items at the frequency you want to get them but it’s all automated (and you save money by doing this as well!). We do this for some food items we always buy there and it works a treat!
- Food services are available that can deliver everything to your door that you need for your meals, so all you need to do is prepare them – saving time on meal planning and shopping. HelloFresh is one of these such companies (although I haven’t used it myself).
- Supermarket delivery services can save you time on shopping – and you can automate almost fully by setting up a regular delivery of all your usual items. Tesco** is the one I use at the moment (I have signed up to the mid week yearly saver so I get unlimited deliveries Tues/Wed/Thurs which works brilliantly).
Another way to use automation to save time is to look into the wide variety of gadgets you can get now that work around the house to make life easier.
Some examples would be as follows: –
HOOVER that you switch on and it hoovers by itself
PET FEEDER – gives your pet the right amount of food when it needs it
PLANT WATERER – gives your plant water at regular intervals
and you can even consider your THERMOSTAT as automation when you set it up properly. You can alter the temperature so that you get optimum heating when needed but save money when you don’t.
Lastly, you can even automate your whole house! – things like your window blinds, lights are now available that can be switched on with one switch rather than going around the house sorting it out every time you come in. The ultimate in automation!
R = Reduce
Of course – one of the best ways to stop doing as much, even before you think about sharing the tasks out – is to make sure that you need to do those tasks in the first place.
It sounds obvious, but it’s amazing when you actually take a look at what you do and what really needs to be done as to how much you could reduce (or even delete entirely) without really noticing.
For example – I used to hoover nearly every day in my home as I love the floors to be clean. One week we were really busy with unforeseen stuff and so this didn’t happen. I soon realised that I could hoover every other day and I would get the same results, give or take, and so I halved this chore without any sacrifice. Doing it daily had become a habit I hadn’t questioned. I now question ALL jobs frequency in the house, and it’s surprising how much I have been able to reduce…
More often than not we get stuck in a habit of cleaning in a certain way, and to certain timescales – but if you sit down and think about each chore and what timescale you can actually live with (rather than what you think you ought to be doing) then you can free up loads of extra time each week.
E = Entrust To Someone Else
OK, OK – that’s delegation I hear you cry – but to fit in with my lovely acronym (S.H.A.R.E) you’ll have to give me a little creative licence – hope that’s OK! ;o)
Delegation really is the friend of all family homes.
If you live with others, then get everyone involved in the chores – after all, they all contribute to the mess, and so it’s only right that they should help with keeping on top of things.
Think about what’s suitable for everyone, what they enjoy doing, what’s age appropriate, and what would fit into their schedules – and set aside some of the household tasks for each person.
And if you feel bad about giving your children jobs around the house – just think of it this way – you are giving them the amazing life skill of being able to run a home and see whats involved. Something that isn’t taught in schools, but that every person needs in their lives – and what better reward is that!
Do you feel inspired to share your household chores a little more now?
Your challenge for today is to take a look at what chores you have in your home and see whether you have the balance right for both you and your family.
Then, think about things a little differently.
Can you get some outside help, automate jobs, reduce what you actually do, or delegate (entrust) to others? You may just surprise yourself at what a difference it makes to your home, and your life.
And while you’re on the chores way of thinking, why not take a look at my post all about how to create a cleaning schedule that works – it’s a really popular post that will help you create the perfect schedule now you know what you actually need to do!