Monday, September 3, 2012

Monday - Housekeeping Advice Needed!

Mark and I had a long discussion this morning about how we can be better about housework.

We both grew up in homes with amazing parents who did most the household chores for us. The only problem is that we have no idea how to take care of a home ourselves. We realized that most of the chores we did growing up were to please our parents or to avoid their wrath if we made a mess.

The result: The act of doing chores becomes an emotional battlefield. They should be done to please someone or out of fear of making someone angry. Add my mood swings to the mix, and the house gets messy, confusing, and nothing gets done.

My mom would say, "Just suck it up, and do the work" to which I would reply, "but what's my reward?" Her answer: "A clean house."

I wish that was enough, but growing up, it was an allowance, or ice cream, or just time -- time to play outside, to go in the pool, to go to a friend's house.

Why do I still need that extra reward? Am I just lazy? Should I really just suck it up and do it? There are some days I just can't -- I can't deal with the emotions that come with cleaning.

So, we decided to implement a reward system for cleaning. I'm 100% certain that we're too old for this (me being 29, him 35), but I'm willing to try it if it means we at least temporarily replace the emotional reactions with positive reinforcement. It may be good for Ellie to see too.

We decided our reward system would be similar to (okay, exactly like) the grade school star chart. Each "gold star" equals 15 minutes of time for us to use how we wish on the weekends. We can go to a movie, read, draw, etc. Meanwhile, the other person gets to spend time with Ellie.

This should work well with our cleaning schedule: We both work, so weekdays should be only maintenance chores -- every day we pick up our assigned rooms. I'm kitchen/dining room. He's living room. Weekends we: pick up bedrooms, clean the bathroom, and do the floors (mop/vacuum).

The cleaning schedule has worked pretty well so far, considering we were gone most weekends this summer and the apartment didn't get too out of control. But I wonder if we'll do even more adding the reward system.

What about you? How do you manage your house/cleaning schedule? Is it more a matter of just doing what needs to be done, or do you have a specific system? In need of tips!

No comments: