When we first got married, we lived in a historic home built in the 1800s and the laundry room was in a dank and rather creepy looking basement. We both worked full time and so chores were shared between us. Starting out we didn’t have a system for sharing chores and it often ended up with us spending our day off on Saturday cleaning the house and doing laundry going up and down two flights of stairs.
As a newly married couple, that wasn’t how we wanted to spend our weekends off. Over time we developed a system that worked for us. Our desire was to get our work done throughout the week so that Saturdays were spent exploring the town around us. Here are our tips for sharing the household duties.
Sit down and talk with your spouse about how their families dolled out chores growing up. Ask each other what chores you hated doing and which ones you didn’t mind. Talk about pet peeves like piles of laundry on the floor or stacks of paper that accumulate from the mail not being sorted. Decide if you will tackle a room or chore together or assign them individually.
When we got married, some of you might know that I was not very domesticated. I could make maybe two meals with some success and I had no idea how to do laundry beyond what I had done in college. There were a few times that Jason’s shirts or pants got shrunk with my mad skills with the dryer. He on the other hand was more capable. Find out where each others skills lie and learn from each other.
In our home we use Macs and iPhones and love how we can sync our calendars and color code different events and items. We also use the iCal to send us reminders of what needs to be done that day. Rather than tackle the whole house on Saturday, we made zones of what would be done each day. When we both worked full time outside of the home ( I work from home now), we would get these chores done when we got home from work each evening. Now these primarily fall to me with which leads me to my last point.
When we both worked outside of the home, we equally divided the chores up between the two of us. Now that I work from home, it makes more sense for me to do the chores in the morning and knock them out so that we can spend more time together when he gets home. Ultimately our goal when approaching chores is to insure that they get done before the weekend because we want that time spent strengthening our family and making memories rather than mopping and folding laundry.
As people who love good food, the three things we have always loved doing together include making a menu, going grocery shopping together, and cooking together in the kitchen. Even with two small children, we will often send them to go play in the living room while we cook together. To us its like a mini date. He still can’t bake and I still struggle to cook shrimp without it looking like an overcooked eraser but it’s the time spent together doing these simple tasks that make our marriage stronger.