Cheerful Chore Challenge, week 5: Saturday Morning Extra Jobs

Even if we manage to get in our daily chores a few times a day, still there is other upkeep work that needs to be done. It builds up and I’ve discovered it can’t all wait six weeks until the next break week. There has to be some weekly time in the schedule to get to it.

cheerful chores

In the years before last year, we schooled four days a week and rather than Friday, Monday was our day off. I loved this. After the weekend, the house was always in disarray. With Monday off, I could get the house back to order, give the kitchen a thorough cleaning, do some extra laundry loads, and get the school stuff ready for the coming week. Then we could start school on Tuesday with everything prepared and in order.

Last year, though, as I looked at adding in more students and as my older students rise into higher levels, I realized I had to give up that Monday off. I adjusted the plan and scheduled Monday as a school day, but I neglected to set aside any time for all those things I had been using Monday for. So, it would be not uncommon to find me near tears Sunday night, after coming home tired and late from having a great time with friends, because the laundry was stacked up and there were extra dishes and I was supposed to start a week in the morning without my accustomed recovery time.

Saturday Morning Extra Jobs

So, now it has to happen Saturday. However, with an 11 and 9 year old, I don’t need to be doing it all myself. We’ve made this bargain: 1 extra (paid) job after your daily job, then we will have payday. I’ve been terribly inconsistent about paydays, so this helps their morale. Plus, of course, it means they get more on said payday.

Often, figuring out the logistics of how to do something is half the battle of being consistent versus procrastinating and delaying. One of the hidden reasons we procrastinate is because what we are going to do is unclear. Laying out a path forward and making it crystal clear what to do can be that extra push that we need to help us start – and starting is usually half the battle.

So, here’s my clearly stated path forward to making Saturday morning extra jobs happen.
  1. In Evernote, make a list of potential Saturday morning jobs. Here’s what I have so far:
    • vacuum bedrooms & hall
    • vacuum playroom
    • vacuum stairs
    • dust wood furniture & trim
    • spot-clean walls
    • wipe down outsides of garbage cans & step stools
    • wash windows & mirrors
    • hand-scrub (or spot clean) tile floor
    • hand-scrub (or spot clean) wood floor
  2. On Saturday morning around breakfast time, I’ll select the 5 jobs that need most to be done along with their current market value. Then, starting with the youngest, they each can pick which one they want to do (with exceptions, since the 4yo is not yet allowed to vacuum).
  3. Also, any pre-job work will be listed on the board. Because the floors are never just sitting there, clear and tidy, waiting to be cleaned. There’s always pre-vacuuming tidying to be done.
  4. I do the job left on the board (and anything else I have on my own to-do list), so we are all working on the state of the house together.
  5. Finally, as soon as they’re done, I’ll put out our payment binder and pay them all. A consistent Saturday pay day is also helpful because then they have their own hard-earned money to put into the offering on Sunday.
How do you handle weekly chores?

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