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Delegating housework during the summer!

Keeping on top of housework during the summer when the family are traipsing in and out and with friends popping over spontaneously, is a challenging and frustrating task. Instead of it all falling on your shoulders and stressing you out, try delegating some of the tasks to lighten the load, so you have some chance of enjoying the summer holidays with your family too.

The housecleaning professionals at MOLLY MAID believe that it’s a good idea to involve younger members of the family too, not just partners, to instill good habits and to set good examples. One point to add at this point is that the challenge with delegating is that you lose control over the results as others may not complete the task to your exacting standards, and this is where you need to stop being a perfectionist! After all, having a floor wiped is better than not at all, even if the skirting boards are still dusty!

Before you start to delegate, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Decide what to delegate. Analyse the job or task, and ask yourself, “Can anyone else do it?”
  • Then decide who to potentially delegate to. Balance the challenge and types of tasks with the person’s interests and skills. Even young children can empty wastebaskets or fold laundry.  Try some more ideas of how to involve the children. The key to keep arguments to a dull roar though is to make sure that all your children have a task to do at the same time. Ask them to:
    • Make their beds and fold their PJs every morning. An attempt is better than nothing at all.
    • Tidy their rooms at the end of the day.
    • Fold towels in the bathroom after they have used them.
    • Sort out the laundry basket into whites and colours twice a week and ask the most responsible (or eldest) to load the separate washes into the machine and ask them for your permission before turning it on (so you can check the load quickly).
    • Fold the clean laundry and place it neatly into their drawers.
    • Do the hoovering – create a rota, so that each room is hoovered at least once a week and to avoid arguments!
    • Empty the dishwasher if they are old enough to respect breakables and sharp items.
    • Take it in turns to clear the table after a meal.
    • Water the household plants.
    • If you have a pet, ask them to be responsible for feeding it and making sure it has clean water.
  • Once you have mentally assigned the task, call a family meeting and write these tasks down into a chart and use stickers to incentivise. Then after 6 stickers for example, reward them with an afternoon out or a cinema trip or something they enjoy doing.
  • Remember to give clear, specific instructions. You may need to show children how to do the household task, but regard this as an investment in your time! Share how the task will contribute to the household.  For example, “If you clean the cat litter box regularly, then we’ll avoid the nasty smell in the house”.
  • Follow up and check in an encouraging manner to see how it’s going. Use the carrot rather than stick approach when delegating household chores to members of the family. Most importantly, say thank you and recognise success. For example, “Thank you for mopping the floor.  Look how it sparkles!”
  • Then, enjoy some much needed down time as a family where you can have fun with one another!