For most couples, one person feels like they end up doing the majority of (if not all) of the chores without much help from their partner. According to a survey by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, even working women are spending almost twice as much time as working men on household chores and caring for children.
For many months, this was exactly how I felt. I spent 40 hours a week working at my full-time job, to then come home to about an hour or more of housework. When my fiance and I first moved in together, we divided up household chores. It was a great system in theory, but it just didn’t work well for us. It was a chaotic list with no time constraints causing us to do them when we felt like it, or couldn’t stand the mess any longer. Which was never.
Finally, I snapped. I realized that our system just didn’t work anymore, and the bulk of the work had fallen on me. Our system was flawed. Rather than break it down by task, we had broken down our chores by room. The kitchen was always WAY messier than any other room in the home, and I couldn’t keep up. Just when I thought our home was going to drive me mad, my fiance graciously offered to help out more. All I had to do was ask for help and tell him what I needed. Seems easy enough, right?
I immediately made a list of all of the household chores I was doing, and went through the list and circled the tasks that I couldn’t seem to stay on top of. This included things such as cleaning the sink, wiping the stove top, and even brushing the cat. I was relieved to have the extra help, and felt a weight off my shoulders. One night as I was making dinner, I riddled out a long list of chores for him that he would now be responsible for. My problems were solved! I could now stop stressing about the state of our home…wrong! It still didn’t work.
Finally, I implemented a new system. My system is the chore chart system. I needed to create a visual way for us both to see what chores we needed to do, and assign them each a specific day. While this sounds like something you might do for your kids, it works surprisingly well for absent-minded adults too. We keep a chore chart for each of us right on the fridge, where we’ll see it every single day, and be able to easily find out what chores we need to. It not only keeps us accountable, but we can remind each other of what we need to do each day (just in case). Since we have implemented this system, it’s made my life so much easier and helped us get our chore problem under control!