I've been thinking a lot about chores for the past few days. The house if finally unpacked and settled, with the exception of an entertainment center that we're giving to my brother...currently sitting in Tom's office...and by sitting, I mean blocking the closet and taking up an entire wall...it's a little difficult to work around. The decorating is underway or mostly done, and there's a list on my desk of projects I want to work on next that's actually reasonable.
It's time to get to the living in this house part.
And the living brings with it the cleaning.
I know I've mentioned several times that this house is bigger than anywhere we've ever lived. It is. By a lot. While we are incredibly blessed by this home God's provided, I'm a little bit overwhelmed by what cleaning it actually looks like. It's definitely not something I can do on my own.
Our kids have always had chores. They've put their own laundry away since they were 3 or 4, they help unload the dishwasher and set the dinner table. They always pitch in when we clean, help with yard work, and they're expected to keep their rooms picked up and belongings put away.
And that's all done with varying degrees of success.
Don't ask me about keeping shoes picked up right now - my right eye might just explode.
I've been working hard to define what my expectation of clean is for the past few days, as suggested in this post from Organizing Junkie (great post, great ideas). I'm working to come up with a daily chore chart schedule, but I admit I'm a little bogged down in the area between my need for them to contribute and my need for it to be done correctly. There's a bit more training and showing to be done.
And there's always that "what's age appropriate" question - by Hanna's age, I was more or less running the house several nights a week while my mom went back to school, but that was a situational need and not something I'd place on her. My goal is one or two daily household chores, along with the personal care/keep your room clean/pick up your belongings type stuff.
Hanna and I, in particular, have had some good talks about why it's important to learn to help with keeping the house in order. It's important to steward our belongings and what God has provided for us, of course...but at the same time, no one wants to be oneof those people that comes to visit and leaves a trail of glasses and food plates behind them while expecting to be waited on hand and foot.
That's just rude and pretty much inexcusable in anyone over the age of 8.
Like so many things, that idea of taking care of things starts in the home. It means training - showing and explaining, sometimes over and over, until it sticks. We've already got a good foundation in place, but with a little more intentional scheduling and oversight, I do think we can keep this place clean and tidy...without me feeling like Cinderella.
What chores can your kids tackle? How do they differ from what you did at that age? I'd love to hear! And I'll share what I come up with once I'm done sorting through~