The “Have To’s” of Home Management
by Charlotte Siems
There is a certain amount of “have to” in home management.
Whether we like it or not, the toilet has to be scrubbed and the dishes must be washed.
Even if they’re not our favorite tasks, we can learn to do them efficiently and effectively, because they are a skill. Skills are learned, not inherited in your genes.
Obviously, we also have things we really like to do. We enjoy meeting a friend for coffee, browsing on Pinterest and reading a great book.
The good news is that being organized in our “have to” home management tasks will free up time and energy (both physical and mental) for the things we look forward to and like to do.
You might think “Well, I enjoy those things and I’m going to do them anyway. They help with my stress!” Fair enough. Spending time reading your favorite blogs is fun and this activity is not stressful.
The stress comes in later, when you put the computer to sleep and look around. Oh, my. Back to reality.
I finally realized that I could do those things without guilt if I first took care of my basic home responsibilities. By doing so, I avoided the let-down and feeling of despair that came with returning after a time of fun to a mess and undone chores.
Instead, there is a feeling of contentment and control to come back from a break to a reasonably clean house and caught-up tasks. Making sure your schedule includes time for breaks and self-rewards is something I highly recommend so you can thrive over the long haul. In fact, make sure that you don’t get into a performance-based mentality that says, “I can only take a break or reward myself when I have everything done and it’s all perfect.” You’ll work yourself into the ground and that doesn’t benefit anyone.
I don’t know about you, but when my home is fairly orderly and there’s a plan for dinner I’d rather be there than anywhere else. It’s easier to keep up with it on the installment plan–a little every day–than The Big Kahuna Cleaning Day with disaster in between.
And let’s admit that those “have to’s” are easier to get done when we don’t think of them as dirty rotten jobs. Don’t let your thoughts take you down a trail of dreading and disliking household tasks. They’ve got to be done, so may as well get skillful and think positively. Most of the time those jobs aren’t as bad as we’ve made them out to be in our imagination anyway.
Try this: think of your “have to’s” as “get to’s.” You get to clean your own house. You are privileged to have furniture. You are blessed to have loved ones to create a home for. You get to (fill in the blank with your own fortunate life).
Those “have to’s” might even turn into “like to’s.”
I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please leave a comment below.