How do you effectively manage your house chores and accomplishing a lot of tasks in a day?

Liz - posted on 10/20/2009 ( 16 moms have responded )

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I'm a stay at home mum of 2 boys(3 & 5yo). I seriously wish to effectively manage my time at home and do all the important tasks as earlier in the day as possible so that I could have more fun time with kids. Hope you great moms out there could give some tips. Thanks!!!

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My little boy like to help with certain tasks, so I'll do these while he's awake and although it takes a little longer to do it gets done. When he is napping is when I do the tasks he can't help with. Also, try to prioritise. Make sure the important things get done, but if you don't get everything finished, don't stress. Any progress is good progress when you have little ones to care for.

Summer - posted on 10/21/2009

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I have a 7 year old son who is in school during the day and 2 year old twin boys who stay with me all day. When the twins were smaller all I ever really worried about keeping up with on a daily basis was the dishes, laundry, picking up toys out of the main rooms, and keeping the floor clean in the rooms that they played in. And I did it all when they were napping. I didn't make beds or dust or make sure everything was in it's appropriate place or anything like that regularly. I was only able to get those things done when I had help around. But now that they are a little older and a little less dependent on me, I get alot more done. My oldest son is responsible for making his bed daily before leaving for school, and he also must keep his room reasonably clean. On Sundays he has to strip the sheets off for me to wash, and then I help him remake the bed. He also has to vaccuum his room and put everything in it's place on Sundays. The twins are sleeping in cribs still (which is soon to change), so I don't ever worry about making them. I usually have them help me thoroughly (dust and vaccuum) clean their room once a week on Fridays. They understand picking up the toys, so they do that part. When my kids are awake and I don't have anyone here to help me keep an eye on them about all I will do is work on the laundry because that doesn't require me to be too preoccupied for too long. I bring the dried laundry in the room they are playing in and fold it there, then I usually am able to put it away too. When my twins lay down after lunch for their nap is when I do everything else. I sweep the kitchen and dining room daily usually after dinner. I vaccuum the living room twice a week on Mondays and Thursdays (usually do this as soon as I lay them down so I know they won't already be asleep and the vaccuuming wake them up). I only mop the kitchen and dining room once a week on Thursday unless there is some reason why it absolutely has to be done more than that. I do bathrooms usually only once a week, but someimes it's twice with 3 boys and a husband. My twins are potty training too, so the main bathroom has been needing it twice a week lately. We keep a hamper in the bathroom and everyone knows to put their clothes, towels, and wash cloths in it, then after showers and the kids are in bed at night I transfer the dirty laundry and sort it into the laundry room in a few other hampers. I always put the bathroom hamper back though, so laundry isn't left on the floor in there. Also, I don't scrub the shower down every week. I only do that as it needs it which is usually like once a month, sometimes every other month. I dust the living room once a week. I make the twins (of course I help) pick up any of their toys throughout the house before nap and before bedtime every day. I clean the kitchen up from lunch after they lay down for nap, but after dinner my hubby tends to the kids while I clean the kitchen up. I usually keep breakfast as mess free as possible by choosing less messy foods to feed them since I know we have to head out the door to drop my oldest off at school shortly thereafter. The kids do all clear their plates from the table and put them in the sink, so all I have to do after meals is wipe down tables, counters, occasionally the floor, throw away or store any leftovers, and load the dishwasher. I clean my room and wash my sheets on Sundays also because my hubby works nights and sleeps during the day so I pretty much have to do that on the weekend. Sundays are also the day when hubby keeps the kids, and I go shopping for groceries. I keep Saturdays as a free day for family fun, so theres not really any cleaning or 'work' that goes on during that day.



The super time consuming things that don't really have to bo done often are usually done as needed once or twice a year when grandma can keep the kids for a whole weekend. Things like...washing windows, washing kitchen cabinet faces, cleaning out and organizing closets, drawers, and desks, cleaning ceiling fans, steam cleaning carpets, rearranging furniture and wall art, etc. The garage, lawn, and bathing the dogs are my hubby's chores. My oldest son is responsible for his room, feeding the dogs, and taking out the trash. I don't iron. If my husband needs something ironed, then he does that himself and I buy clothing for the kids that won't need ironing. When I don't get things done, I don't really worry over it though. If I need a day to be lazy, then I take it. I just try not to do that more than once a week. When I get behind it takes alot longer to get things done. It sounds like a lot of work, and it really is when you try to do it all every day or even all in just one day. If you can spread it out then it's not so bad. And if you think about it there are lots of things you don't have to do every day like dusting, which I hate. My house stays reasonably clean at all times by doing things this way. And there is almost always still at least 30 minutes to an hour of the twins nap time left for me to have to myself even after my housework is done.



Being a full time mom, doesn't make you a full time maid. I do almost all the cooking and housework myself, and I'm fine with that because my husband and I have an understanding...If I'm the one doing the work I will do it my way and in my own time, if he doesn't like it then he can do it himself. In other words, he isn't allowed to complain if something doesn't get done or I will just leave it there until he apologizes or finally does it himself. Also, if he needs something in particular washed from the laundry, then he does that himself. And if he wants something in particular cooked for dinner, then he better put his request in early so i can plan for it. He is really good about all this though. If I worked outside the home he would do alot more, but I am here so I prefer to get it done before he gets up to get ready for work so we can all just spend that time before he goes to work enjoying being together. As the kids get older I'm also going to increase their chores. They won't be work horses or anything...lol. But I do plan on having them learn to load and unload the dishwasher and put away their own clothes eventually. And when I do go back to work outside the home, hubby and I will have to revamp the chore list so it's a little more balanced between the two of us. We have a few house rules that help a little too. Shoes must be taken off at the door and carried to their appropriate closet. Also clothing (even socks) isn't allowed to be removed in any room except the bathroom because I do not like to search down dirty laundry. My twins still drink from sippee cups, so to keep from having to wash a dozen a day I rinse and refill the same cups all day long. Sometimes that means I have to hunt for the cups amidst a sea of toys, but it honestly is better than the alternative. Then at night I wash that cup in the dishwasher of course. We also use paper plates for everything that we can to help cut down on dirty dishes. Not sure if this will help you or not, but if not then please don't be too hard on yourself about the housework. Remember you are a mom, not a maid. Good luck!

Kelli - posted on 10/21/2009

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I made an excel spreadsheet and set times to do everything. I set the timer and I have that much time to get that thing done and then I have the rest of the day to play. I've recently had to adjust it to fit school time in. It takes a couple weeks to get the schedule down and set right.

Serena - posted on 10/20/2009

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I have 2 year old twin girls lol. I usually try to do a little bit each day. trust me my house is not spottless lol. It seems to me if i can keep up with the small day to day things, then getting to the bigger things ( ie cleaning rooms, ect ) isnt so daunting lol. Because i haven't spent all day cleaning in the kitchen or doing landry etc. So then you can fit the bigger things in with time to spare and plently of time for breaks lol or play time! Also, i try to include the girls as much as i can. I will fold their laundry but let them help me put it in the dressers. Its not exactly quik all the time but the get a kick out of oppening ( with help ) or throwing in clothes lol. If i decide to dust i give them rags so they can wipe something lol. When i vacumn they just like to follow me around. Ive though about getting them their own lol. Hope this helps :D !!!

Maxine - posted on 10/20/2009

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Try to get the boys to lend a hand. My two boys are very young, I get them to help sort the washing into colours (also teaching them too ) and give them a little duster and turn it into a game. I put a washing up bowl beside me on the floor on a old towel and the boys wash up plastic beakers etc, nothing sharp or glass of course. They also love to empty a cupboard of pans and put them back again. It is impossible to do everything so let them join in a little. My eldest loves big colourful feather dusters and he can do the doors ( even if they don't need doing it keeps him busy) Good luck x

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Rebecca - posted on 05/25/2011

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At your boys' ages, you'll need to keep them pretty close to you at first so they will stick with the job at hand and not maim each other in the process. ;^) As they get a bit older and learn how to do the jobs they're being asked to do, they can have more freedom and responsibility. When mine were little, we went from room to room doing chores each morning. It took a bit more time at first, but once my oldest, then about 5, learned how to do a few things by herself, she was proud to do them and to show how well and quickly she could finish! First of all, make a list of the main areas in your home and the main things which need to be done in each area. Next, make a colorful chart (or something similar) to help the boys remember what needs to be done. I drew a picture of a bed to remind them to make their beds, for instance.

I remember talking to the kiddos when my oldest was 5 or 6 and telling them that I wanted to be able to go to story time and the library and do fun things with them, but because I had to clean the house by myself, I just couldn't. Together we all decided that we should work together. Child psychology at its best.

Once you figure out the jobs which need to be done, decide which ones you want to start training the kids to do. My recommendation: start with the bathroom. Boys have terrible aim, and the sooner they take responsibility for their "poor planning" the happier the female part of the family will be, if you know what I mean. (My boys are all teens now, and I still have to share my little ditty once in a while: If you sprinkle when you tinkle, be a sweetie and wipe the seatie!") I put just a little bit of (non-toxic) bathroom cleaner in a spray bottle (mostly water) and explain the dangers of chemicals. Teach them how to start from the top of the toilet and work down to the floor. It takes 10 minutes daily to upkeep our bathroom -- and we have a whole lot of rear-ends using it.

If you find yourself getting bogged down and chores are dragging into the late morning, set a timer for 10 minutes in each room and work at it like a race to see if you can finish before the time runs out.

Remember that it seems like a lot of work right now to train your children to do chores and help around the house. Yes, it's easier and faster to just do them yourself. In the long run, though, taking the time to train them while they're little is SOOOO worth it! I love coming home from being gone all day to a house that is clean and organized!!! (That doesn't happen all the time, but it certainly is nice when it does!!!) Hope this was helpful! Good luck!!!

Liz - posted on 10/23/2009

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Thanks Sharon! It sure is fun to play the "Clean Up Game" with kids. They love it cuz the feel they are valuable and able to help around the house makes them feel like Little men! Lol! Priority is always the key that's right! I like what you said, "any progress is a good progress when you have little one to care for..."  Thank you so much for helping out! Really appreciate it! love to you and your family!

 



 



Quoting Sharon:

My little boy like to help with certain tasks, so I'll do these while he's awake and although it takes a little longer to do it gets done. When he is napping is when I do the tasks he can't help with. Also, try to prioritise. Make sure the important things get done, but if you don't get everything finished, don't stress. Any progress is good progress when you have little ones to care for.





 

Liz - posted on 10/23/2009

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Thanks Kelli! I tried doing the timer thing before and guess what, you were right about being able to accomplish a whole lot of chores when it is preplanned! But now, I lost track and I have to motivate myself in going back to those happy timer days where you feel more relaxed to put your feet up to a cleaner and more organized home as enjoyed by you hubby and kids.

 



Quoting Kelli:

I made an excel spreadsheet and set times to do everything. I set the timer and I have that much time to get that thing done and then I have the rest of the day to play. I've recently had to adjust it to fit school time in. It takes a couple weeks to get the schedule down and set right.





 

Liz - posted on 10/23/2009

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Thank you Sharon! I loved the ideas and tips you shared!  The 4 baskets method is something I wish to adapt. You are absolutely right to clean the kitchen after dinner cuz it ain't pretty to have a messy early morning kitchen to start the day with. I should be doing that! Thanks a lot and please give your kids the biggest hugs from Aunt Liz. Take care!!!



 



 



 



Quoting Sharon:

I clean my kitchen after dinner so at breakfast time I don't have a mess to contend with.

After the kids are fed and dressed, I unload the dishwasher and clean the kitchen.

start the laundry

pick up the livingroom. I have 4 large baskets, I toss clothes & toys into each childs basket and my stuff into the 4th, then deposit the baskets in each room

change over the laundry

run the vacuum, sweep & mop

wipe down the kids bathroom - I clean each tub after the kids baths & showers so its not a daily chore to attend to

This tends to leave my lunch - afternoons free.

My kids unload the baskets and fill them with laundry while I finish the livingroom.

I ignore my bedroom, its just books and odds & ends the kids leave behind. I ignore the kids rooms, they can't have friends over or go to a friends house until their rooms are clean - their issue to find the time.

On weekends they straighten up their dish cupboard. stack the cups neatly, sort the bowls and put the plates in order.





 

Liz - posted on 10/23/2009

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Thanks for sharing Nathaly,



Yes, it really helps to get a sched to work on... thanks for encouraging me to continue with my scheduling... at least it feels great to know that Im not alone... and doing the right thing I guess.. thanks and all my love to your baby!!!



 



 



Quoting Nathaly:

I'm a stay home mom of 1 2yo boy. And what works for me is to have a schedule. I'll do Bathrooms one day,Laundry another... But while I'm doing this I put my so on the high chair with an activity,or a movie. For me knowing what needs to get done on a certain day makes it a lot easier and gives me some free time to go to the playground. Good luck!





 

Liz - posted on 10/23/2009

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Thanks for sharing Nathaly,



Yes, it really helps to get a sched to work on... thanks for encouraging me to continue with my scheduling... at least it feels great to know that Im not alone... and doing the right thing I guess.. thanks and all my love to your baby!!!



 



 



Quoting Nathaly:

I'm a stay home mom of 1 2yo boy. And what works for me is to have a schedule. I'll do Bathrooms one day,Laundry another... But while I'm doing this I put my so on the high chair with an activity,or a movie. For me knowing what needs to get done on a certain day makes it a lot easier and gives me some free time to go to the playground. Good luck!





 

Liz - posted on 10/23/2009

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Hello Summer and kids!



You are such an amazing mom! Your reply has really blown me away! I sincerely thank you for the time you spent to help me out. I feel really good after reading your response... it actually inspires and encourages me to be much more organized with house chores like you. Wow!!! You selflessly shared such a valuable tip that I could use here at home. I've always been overwhelmed and frustrated with the chores cuz I actually didn't know how to get things done in the right time. I need to sharpen my organization skills I guess. Thank you so much for your time and your help. May God bless you for that! Love and kisses to your children. Keep up the good work! Well done!



 



 



Quoting Summer:

I have a 7 year old son who is in school during the day and 2 year old twin boys who stay with me all day. When the twins were smaller all I ever really worried about keeping up with on a daily basis was the dishes, laundry, picking up toys out of the main rooms, and keeping the floor clean in the rooms that they played in. And I did it all when they were napping. I didn't make beds or dust or make sure everything was in it's appropriate place or anything like that regularly. I was only able to get those things done when I had help around. But now that they are a little older and a little less dependent on me, I get alot more done. My oldest son is responsible for making his bed daily before leaving for school, and he also must keep his room reasonably clean. On Sundays he has to strip the sheets off for me to wash, and then I help him remake the bed. He also has to vaccuum his room and put everything in it's place on Sundays. The twins are sleeping in cribs still (which is soon to change), so I don't ever worry about making them. I usually have them help me thoroughly (dust and vaccuum) clean their room once a week on Fridays. They understand picking up the toys, so they do that part. When my kids are awake and I don't have anyone here to help me keep an eye on them about all I will do is work on the laundry because that doesn't require me to be too preoccupied for too long. I bring the dried laundry in the room they are playing in and fold it there, then I usually am able to put it away too. When my twins lay down after lunch for their nap is when I do everything else. I sweep the kitchen and dining room daily usually after dinner. I vaccuum the living room twice a week on Mondays and Thursdays (usually do this as soon as I lay them down so I know they won't already be asleep and the vaccuuming wake them up). I only mop the kitchen and dining room once a week on Thursday unless there is some reason why it absolutely has to be done more than that. I do bathrooms usually only once a week, but someimes it's twice with 3 boys and a husband. My twins are potty training too, so the main bathroom has been needing it twice a week lately. We keep a hamper in the bathroom and everyone knows to put their clothes, towels, and wash cloths in it, then after showers and the kids are in bed at night I transfer the dirty laundry and sort it into the laundry room in a few other hampers. I always put the bathroom hamper back though, so laundry isn't left on the floor in there. Also, I don't scrub the shower down every week. I only do that as it needs it which is usually like once a month, sometimes every other month. I dust the living room once a week. I make the twins (of course I help) pick up any of their toys throughout the house before nap and before bedtime every day. I clean the kitchen up from lunch after they lay down for nap, but after dinner my hubby tends to the kids while I clean the kitchen up. I usually keep breakfast as mess free as possible by choosing less messy foods to feed them since I know we have to head out the door to drop my oldest off at school shortly thereafter. The kids do all clear their plates from the table and put them in the sink, so all I have to do after meals is wipe down tables, counters, occasionally the floor, throw away or store any leftovers, and load the dishwasher. I clean my room and wash my sheets on Sundays also because my hubby works nights and sleeps during the day so I pretty much have to do that on the weekend. Sundays are also the day when hubby keeps the kids, and I go shopping for groceries. I keep Saturdays as a free day for family fun, so theres not really any cleaning or 'work' that goes on during that day.

The super time consuming things that don't really have to bo done often are usually done as needed once or twice a year when grandma can keep the kids for a whole weekend. Things like...washing windows, washing kitchen cabinet faces, cleaning out and organizing closets, drawers, and desks, cleaning ceiling fans, steam cleaning carpets, rearranging furniture and wall art, etc. The garage, lawn, and bathing the dogs are my hubby's chores. My oldest son is responsible for his room, feeding the dogs, and taking out the trash. I don't iron. If my husband needs something ironed, then he does that himself and I buy clothing for the kids that won't need ironing. When I don't get things done, I don't really worry over it though. If I need a day to be lazy, then I take it. I just try not to do that more than once a week. When I get behind it takes alot longer to get things done. It sounds like a lot of work, and it really is when you try to do it all every day or even all in just one day. If you can spread it out then it's not so bad. And if you think about it there are lots of things you don't have to do every day like dusting, which I hate. My house stays reasonably clean at all times by doing things this way. And there is almost always still at least 30 minutes to an hour of the twins nap time left for me to have to myself even after my housework is done.

Being a full time mom, doesn't make you a full time maid. I do almost all the cooking and housework myself, and I'm fine with that because my husband and I have an understanding...If I'm the one doing the work I will do it my way and in my own time, if he doesn't like it then he can do it himself. In other words, he isn't allowed to complain if something doesn't get done or I will just leave it there until he apologizes or finally does it himself. Also, if he needs something in particular washed from the laundry, then he does that himself. And if he wants something in particular cooked for dinner, then he better put his request in early so i can plan for it. He is really good about all this though. If I worked outside the home he would do alot more, but I am here so I prefer to get it done before he gets up to get ready for work so we can all just spend that time before he goes to work enjoying being together. As the kids get older I'm also going to increase their chores. They won't be work horses or anything...lol. But I do plan on having them learn to load and unload the dishwasher and put away their own clothes eventually. And when I do go back to work outside the home, hubby and I will have to revamp the chore list so it's a little more balanced between the two of us. We have a few house rules that help a little too. Shoes must be taken off at the door and carried to their appropriate closet. Also clothing (even socks) isn't allowed to be removed in any room except the bathroom because I do not like to search down dirty laundry. My twins still drink from sippee cups, so to keep from having to wash a dozen a day I rinse and refill the same cups all day long. Sometimes that means I have to hunt for the cups amidst a sea of toys, but it honestly is better than the alternative. Then at night I wash that cup in the dishwasher of course. We also use paper plates for everything that we can to help cut down on dirty dishes. Not sure if this will help you or not, but if not then please don't be too hard on yourself about the housework. Remember you are a mom, not a maid. Good luck!





 

Nathaly - posted on 10/21/2009

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I'm a stay home mom of 1 2yo boy. And what works for me is to have a schedule. I'll do Bathrooms one day,Laundry another... But while I'm doing this I put my so on the high chair with an activity,or a movie. For me knowing what needs to get done on a certain day makes it a lot easier and gives me some free time to go to the playground. Good luck!

Sharon - posted on 10/21/2009

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I clean my kitchen after dinner so at breakfast time I don't have a mess to contend with.



After the kids are fed and dressed, I unload the dishwasher and clean the kitchen.



start the laundry



pick up the livingroom. I have 4 large baskets, I toss clothes & toys into each childs basket and my stuff into the 4th, then deposit the baskets in each room



change over the laundry



run the vacuum, sweep & mop



wipe down the kids bathroom - I clean each tub after the kids baths & showers so its not a daily chore to attend to



This tends to leave my lunch - afternoons free.



My kids unload the baskets and fill them with laundry while I finish the livingroom.



I ignore my bedroom, its just books and odds & ends the kids leave behind. I ignore the kids rooms, they can't have friends over or go to a friends house until their rooms are clean - their issue to find the time.



On weekends they straighten up their dish cupboard. stack the cups neatly, sort the bowls and put the plates in order.

Liz - posted on 10/20/2009

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Hi Super Mom! Great advice! I actually like what you said about doing the small tasks while we can and getting the kids involved with some chores makes it a quality time well spent with them wow! Thanks for the words of wisdom! Please send my big hugs to you and the girls!



 



Quoting Serena:

I have 2 year old twin girls lol. I usually try to do a little bit each day. trust me my house is not spottless lol. It seems to me if i can keep up with the small day to day things, then getting to the bigger things ( ie cleaning rooms, ect ) isnt so daunting lol. Because i haven't spent all day cleaning in the kitchen or doing landry etc. So then you can fit the bigger things in with time to spare and plently of time for breaks lol or play time! Also, i try to include the girls as much as i can. I will fold their laundry but let them help me put it in the dressers. Its not exactly quik all the time but the get a kick out of oppening ( with help ) or throwing in clothes lol. If i decide to dust i give them rags so they can wipe something lol. When i vacumn they just like to follow me around. Ive though about getting them their own lol. Hope this helps :D !!!





 

Liz - posted on 10/20/2009

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Very nice Maxine! Encouraging the kids to lend some tiny helping hands would also teach them the value of being responsible. They normally clean up their toys after playing and keeping their shoes in the rack. This gives me the encouragement that I'm doing the right thing to involve them with some basic easy tasks they can do at home. They actually feel good to help too... makes them feel valued... Thank you and my love to you and your family! All the best!

 



Quoting maxine:

Try to get the boys to lend a hand. My two boys are very young, I get them to help sort the washing into colours (also teaching them too ) and give them a little duster and turn it into a game. I put a washing up bowl beside me on the floor on a old towel and the boys wash up plastic beakers etc, nothing sharp or glass of course. They also love to empty a cupboard of pans and put them back again. It is impossible to do everything so let them join in a little. My eldest loves big colourful feather dusters and he can do the doors ( even if they don't need doing it keeps him busy) Good luck x





 

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