If there’s something I am notorious for, it’s making ridiculously detailed spreadsheets for our household “chores” and organizing the intangible (i.e., scheduling).
We recently had my husband’s little sister living with us (she’s 18) and instead of rent, she would complete daily/weekly/monthly/quarterly/annual tasks that would equal out to approximately what her rent would be if we were to charge her actual money (approx. $600 per month for a room, private bathroom, having a snake, and all utilities and some groceries/laundry detergent/etc.). Here’s the caveat: any time the tasks were not complete, we would charge her for their value based on their allocated value; if she wasn’t going to work for her rent, she was going to pay it! All tasks added up to a total of $9.23 per month, with exception of the litter boxes ($40 per month) and picking up dog poop ($80 per month). We found this to be an effective way of trying to teach her how her responsibilities converted to adding value and if she did not fulfill her agreed-upon responsibilities, there could be monetary consequences. I know many people will disagree with this type of thinking, but considering she had never been taught any life skills or how to be an adult, we had to come up with any way to teach her responsibility, pride in ownership, and that actions (or lack thereof) had consequences. Also, it gave me an opportunity to be my anal retentive detailed self by organizing these task lists.
Now that our little sister has decided to move out (the responsibility was too much), my husband and I will take over the cleaning of the house again. Splitting up the tasks between the two of us will likely make things easier, but we will see; it’s been over a year since either of us have had to do much house cleaning (since the sis was doing the cleaning every week before she moved in anyway to make some money because she didn’t have a job), so I’m sure it’ll take a bit to get back in the groove. Organizing our lives has never really been our forte.
I have created yet another spreadsheet with a 4 week cycle for each of us to clean the house and deep-clean one room each week. I’m sure my husband will hate this (lol!), but I have to try to keep things organized! I wish I liked cleaning more, but I really, really hate it, and who has time?? We both work 40+ hour weeks (and I am a full-time student), commute a minimum of 2.5 hours each per day, and have 13 pets; we’ve gotta find a way to keep things together. With the new plan, each of us has 3 super-easy daily tasks and 10-11 weekly tasks to complete to keep things running smoothly, as well as 1 room to deep clean each week (we share the deep cleaning of the living spaces one week) that includes up to 10 additional tasks for the week. I think that it’s not too much to ask of ourselves to ensure that the house stays tidy… and again, I get to live up my innate desire to organize every aspect of our schedules (I can’t say our lives, because I really have trouble organizing tangible items lol). Hopefully this method of organizing will help us to not bicker over who does what and will be a more equal distribution, so neither feels taken for granted. I think we have argued more about chores in our marriage than anything else, and that’s partly my fault because, really, I’d rather make spreadsheets than clean. 🙂
Some of the inspiration I got for my cleaning checklists were from Pinterest (there’s so many to choose from!) for the weekly checklist and Lemons, Lavender & Laundry for the deep cleaning checklist (hers is for an 8 week deep clean, but with 2 people, I condensed this to 4 weeks, so every month the house is fully deep cleaned!).
I will try to find a way to upload/link my checklists (still learning) and update this post later if there is any interest in my mad methods for organizing cleaning schedules.