Avoid Stress. Stop Reacting to Odd Jobs.

Now that we’re moving beyond the daily grind, odd jobs often become reactionary. Oh no! All the shoes are missing!! Where could they be? An all-out search has to be conducted, usually when we’re already 15 minutes late. Did anyone check the car? The uttermost depths of the closet? Eek! You need a haz-mat suit to go in there. I find that reacting to things actually causes me more stress. So, I created a weekly chore list and a monthly chore list.

Sweeping with a broken elbow requires a little creativity.

My weekly chore list includes things like cleaning out the car, so all those AWOL shoes (and coats and toys) are returned to somewhere in the vicinity of their rightful place. I include other chores like sweeping the porches, cleaning the mirrors, and taking out the trash. Most of these weekly chores are quick and easy…well, I guess that depends on the speed of the person doing the chore. We’ll talk about motivating slow workers another time.

Since we homeschool, we tend to have lots of papers, crayons, books, pencils, and half-finished projects scattered around the house. Mondays are bad enough without having to search for a missing math book or science paper. So, on Friday, I have each school-age child straighten her school shelf, make sure all her books and papers are in place, put up her crayons or markers, and throw away or file any extra paper. One is assigned to sharpen pencils. ALL pencils. How we can have a dozen un-sharpened pencils perplexes me. Projects are gathered up and placed on the top shelf to be finished the next time we do that class. Then, at least one thing goes right on Monday. I can’t vouch for the rest of the day.

Lastly, I assign the two oldest to straighten dresser drawers, closets, and bookshelves. My ultimate goal is for all their clothes to be in the right drawer (socks in the sock drawer, how easy is that?) and not wadded all in a ball. It really irks me to see clean, sometimes ironed, clothes crammed in a drawer. Closets attract everything that doesn’t have another place to live. So, they have to be periodically pulled out and put back together neatly. It would be nice to keep their neatness maintained, but alas that isn’t likely. Homeschooling=lots of books. I have friends who categorize and alphabetize their books. Umm, let’s just say I don’t. My idea of categories is all the board books on one shelf, and all the paperbacks on another. I do like them straightened and at least looking organized, though.  As of now, a lot of our non-school books are in storage while we live in an apartment.  So, the library is our best friend during this season of our life.

My weekly chores are not deep-cleaning type projects. We tackle them more like a quick run through, so we can go do something else fun. They might all get done in one day, or they might be staggered over a couple of days as we have extra time. However they get done and lesson the stress of searching frantically for the missing shoe.


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