Getting two spouses on the same page when it comes to cleaning is no simple task. Simplify the process. Collaborate, celebrate, tackle the hard stuff and break tradition.
Think your spouse, or significant other, will never lend a hand when it comes to organizing or housework? Believe it or not, there are ways to effectively work on this age-old dilemma.
1. Don't complain.
Very often, when a spouse asks for help, he or she does it in the form of a complaint. "I have to do everything around here." "You're always sitting on the couch doing nothing." "I'm sick of doing all the chores by myself."
Gripes and complaints often make the person on the receiving end angry and defensive.
Instead, replace complaints with requests. For example:
"Sweetie, I could really use your help clearing off the table." "Would you please put the clothes in the dryer when the washer cycle is finished, Honey? Thanks."
2. Have a heart-to-heart.
Wouldn't it be wonderful if everyone did tasks around the house without being asked? Believe it or not, some families have managed to achieve this phenomenon. But, if your partner hasn't quite caught onto this concept, it may be time for a heart-to-heart talk with him or her. Are you feeling that it would be so much easier if your spouse put the clothes she takes off at night, in the hamper? Or would life be so much grander if he would just wash his dish and glass after a midnight snack? If so, stop dreaming or wishing, and instead, take a few moments to share your feelings with your spouse. Sometimes, a good heart-to-heart conversation is all it may take to make your wishes come true.
3. Accept 'less than perfect.
When your spouse pitches in, it's very important to compliment his or her efforts--even if the job is less than perfect. 'Thanks so much for washing the car tonight. It looks fabulous!' 'I can't tell you how much I appreciate you ironing those shirts. You did a great job!'
This may take a little getting used to, especially if you've been doing something YOUR way for years. But, ask yourself how important it really is for the towels to be folded perfectly, or for the glasses to line up in the cabinet just so.
The important thing is that your spouse is helping. Tasks are getting done. And there will be lots more time for the two of you.
4. Split up the tasks.
Make a list of the weekly household tasks that need to be done, along with the approximate time each should take. Then, distribute those responsibilities between you both, and among any children in your family.
Sometimes, this could cause a bit of a controversy if one person works out of the home, and the other stays home to take care of the home and the kids. The one person may say, 'The household responsibilities are yours, because I have to work at the office or store or plant all day.'
The problem is, in most cases, the person at home is working just as hard.
If this is the case, many of the main chores will already be completed by the time the spouse arrives home. But, perhaps the person who works outside of the home, is then responsible for some basic chores when she or he arrives home each night. Like maybe that person is responsible for walking the dog, drying the dishes, and throwing out the trash each evening.
5. Break tradition.
Tradition has often dictated that some chores are for women (dusting, ironing, folding laundry) and some chores are for men (washing the car, mowing the lawn, brushing the dog).
But just because it's tradition, doesn't mean it has to be that way of life for you.
For instance, perhaps your spouse currently mows the lawn, but would prefer being inside watching the basketball game. And maybe, you currently fold the laundry, but you'd much rather be outside enjoying the fresh air and listening to some uplifting music.
How about you mow the lawn, while you're listening to your Walkman, and your spouse folds laundry while watching the basketball game? What a neat idea!
6. Alternate, swap or choose tasks.
Alternate: Alternate doing jobs you both dread. This way, you get a break at least half of the time from the chore you don't like doing.
Swap: Offer to do one of her jobs, if she does one of your jobs.
Choose: Vow to each other that you'll each do 3 tasks per night from your list of tasks. You both get to pick and choose which chores you prefer doing.
7. Work for one hour, Celebrate for two!
Choose a consistent time each night, that you and your significant other work on specific tasks around the house.
Set a timer and work for exactly one hour.
When the timer goes off, stop working and do something fun and/or relaxing together for the next two hours. The pending reward each night, can be something you both look forward to!
by Maria Gracia - Get Organized Now! http://www.getorganizednow.com FREE Get Organized Now! Idea-Pak and E-zine, filled with tips and ideas to help you organize your home, your office and your life, at the Get Organized Now! Web site.