September has struck, and with it - so has our crazy season. Itty Bitty has 6, yes you read that right - SIX - teeth coming in at once. I have started *a new job*, and Tall Dad and I have purchased a home. With all of life being amazing and crazy all at once, our apartment cleanliness has really slipped. Socks are everywhere, cat litter constantly crunches under our toes (yes, disgusting, I know!) and our dishes are piled up in a chaotic mess in our sink. So armed with a vacuum, dishwasher detergent, and a pen, I decided to come up with a Tall Family Household chore list!
This all started when Tall Dad and I sat down to do our very first family budget. The two of us have budgeted our own expenses before - we also budgeted for a wedding.
But making a family budget is a whole different ballgame, especially when one of you has taken a huge pay cut (your’s truly) and you’ve expanded your family - for us it was one human baby and two fur babies.
We realized we weren’t Donald Trump. We couldn’t just go on vacations whenever we wanted. Eating out on an almost nightly basis was no longer an affordable option, and we also had to say farewell to our housecleaner. We had been living our lives the way we had been for years, back when I was making at least double what I make now.
Plus, we have just signed a major agreement to buy a house. Yeay! Except that means a major mortgage. Not yeay!
We stared at our leftover savings money, and shed several tears.
We pretty much realized we were like Goldie Hawn in 'Overboard.'
We had a family to feed, a house to clean, and work to be done. We needed to learn how to cook, clean, do our own laundry (gasp), care for pets, and not use disposable plates and plastic wear.
Life got real, and we realized we had to start living more frugally, as well as tackle more tasks around our tiny apartment. I poured myself a (large) glass of red wine that a friend had purchased for us as a “Congrats on the new house and job” gift, and I turned on our computer.
I realized that if we were going to have a functioning and happy household, that Tall Dad and I would need to create a chore list. We needed something concrete, with specific days and duties, to help us keep our family running.
If you ever need to create a chore-list with your parter, I suggest asking THEM for chore suggestions, put in your own, and then take turns filling your names into the boxes.
Tall Dad agreed to be in charge of the kitchen and bathroom - including making sure the dishes were clean and put away.
He actually enjoys this chore, because he is able to turn on the TV or listen to his music or podcasts while he tidy’s up. Two of his favorite products are the Finish Quantum™ Power & Free™ dishwasher detergent and the SoundBot Water Resistant Bluetooth speaker that we use in the shower. He loves the dishwasher detergent because it is incredibly affordable, and is super safe for Itty Bitty’s dishes. (Mind you, you will want to supervise your children when they are around cleaners. Itty Bitty is too young to help wash the dishes, so we make sure that the dishwashing detergent and other cleaners are locked away.) The bluetooth speaker allows him to continue listening to his podcasts even in the bathroom. Sounds like a man’s dream, right? I put my foot down about not having a TV in there ;)
I try to keep the rest of the main area of the house relatively clean - meaning our dining, living, family, and Itty Bitty’s rooms. Our bedroom is our free-zone, because no one sees it except Tall Dad and I. It’s like our get out of jail card free. Maybe one day we will make our bed!
But in the meantime, I pick up Itty Bitty’s toys, wipe down tables from jelly filled handprints, and make sure the iRobot Roomba Vacuum Cleaning Robot vacuums up the shredded mail and bits of food that Itty Bitty leaves behind.
Trash, laundry, and taking care of the cats were easy to tackle.
Then came the big one - food. Neither Tall Dad nor I like to food shop, and we rarely feel like we have time to cook. But we have realized that we NEED to save money, and one of our biggest expenses was ordering food or dining out. We will see if this schedule pans out. Tuesdays and Thursdays one of us has a commitment, so we are left to fend for ourselves.
Who knows, maybe by Christmas we will be pros, saving money, cooking meals like we are Betty Crocker, and having clean floors and dishes that even Martha Stewart would be proud of! Stay tuned to see how our Tall Family Household Chore List turns out :)
note — if you’re into saving money like we are —
Walmart is often where I go to purchase my cleaning supplies -- and they have a Rollback for the Finish dishwasher detergent which it is going until October. This offer can be paired with a coupon for amazing savings!
How do you divvy up household chores? Have any tips you'd be willing to share?