Saturday, June 15, 2013

Housework: A study

I'm supposed to be writing up a new story before I forget it, instead I want to talk housekeeping.

Mum is due in from Sydney tomorrow so a bit of cleaning is going on. I cleaned the downstairs bathroom vanity and part shower, which is supposed to be M's job. He told me not to (because he doesn't want me blogging about it...). The other two bathrooms are my job. But M's busy right now putting up the brackets for the curtain rod for Mum's privacy curtain - she arrives tomorrow (have I mentioned that?). M put the washing on the line earlier, as usual for Saturday. Considering his hours in the office, I reckon M pulls his weight in the housekeeping department, or pretty close, especially with more cooking help of late.

Still, I don't really know the extent of the housework load. We have a large house and no help, so it's quite a bit of work. So I want to make a small study of the housekeeping load in all its monotonous regularity - nothing is as constant -  as well as its infinite variety.

So the list as I have loosely assembled it so far here is:

1. Sweeping floors
2. Vacuuming
3. Bed-making
4. Shower, bath, vanity, walls
5. Emptying (and loading) dishwasher
6. Folding and sorting clean washing
7. Drying washing
8. Replenishing
9. Shopping
10. Clothes washing (collecting dirty clothes, washing them)
11. Toilets
12. Cooking
13. Surfaces
14. Stains
15. Maintenance
16. Entertaining

The order is shambolic. I might try to order the chores more logically and in order of burden level: One being  most burdensome:

1. Toilets. 2. Showers. 3. Cooking 4. Washing 5. Shopping 6. Drying washing 7. Bed-making (replacing sheets) 8. Stains 9. Surfaces 10. Replenishing 11. Folding and sorting washing 12. Sweeping floors 13. Rest of bathroom 14. Emptying and loading dishwasher 15. Maintenance 16. Entertaining.

I think Nana's privacy curtain comes under 'maintenance'. Yesterday I finally got around to buying the fabric for the curtain as well as the iron rod. M put the bar and braces up this morning, now he's touching up the paint round the edges. Maintenance includes light bulbs, non-consumable purchasing for the house, from towels to taps, as well as house painting. I do almost all the purchasing for the house and M does almost all the painting. We have painted our entire house and repainted parts of it many times, so this is a big job.

But these listed chores are otherwise done mostly by me. M does the vacuuming. He makes the fires and empties the bins. He washes the big stuff that won't fit in the dishwasher. He mows the lawns and tidies the garden, once every one or two months. He does about thirty percent of the cooking and bathrooms, and about forty percent of the clothes washing and drying.

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