When things get hard in life, and we're in survival mode, we still need to do this household chores list, including these 5 daily chores and 3 weekly tasks.
Have you ever been so busy and stressed out that you feel like you're in survival mode?
Survival mode happens when life is coming at you hard and fast, because of work, school, a new baby, or whatever has happened lately across the world (you know what I'm talking about), and you feel like you can barely do the basics, and nothing else that isn't vital is getting done.
I definitely have felt this way, and when this happens I try to focus on this household chores list, comprised of certain daily minimums, and weekly minimums.
These daily and weekly minimums are the vitally important stuff that needs to get done around the house so everyone is fed, clothed, and does actually survive to come out on the other end of the stressful or busy time period.
While some days it may seem like doing even these daily and weekly minimums is too much, I've found neglecting these things actually ends up making the situation worse.
In fact, no matter how busy or stressed or overwhelmed you are, you are actually doing yourself a favor when you do these things.
Also though, remember, there is nothing wrong with asking for help. Just because I've listed these 5 daily and 3 weekly household chores below doesn't mean you personally need to do them. Instead, these items just need to get done by someone in your household. So I encourage you to ask for everyone in the household to pitch in and work as a team to get through especially busy and stressful times.
Let's start with the daily tasks, and then we'll move onto the weekly ones.
When you are in survival mode it isn't time for gourmet cuisine, but it doesn't have to be frozen pizza every meal either.
Simple meals include baked casseroles, soups or sandwiches. Whatever is easy that everyone will eat will work. Just don't sacrifice the healthy foods, like fruits and vegetables, you all need for nutrients.
If you find you frequently have busy times in your life, or you anticipate one coming up, like the birth of a new baby, or starting a new job, I suggest preparing for it ahead of time to the best of your ability.
Your freezer and pantry can be your best friends in times like this. Have some freezer meals or pantry shelf staple types of recipes available for a quick meal to give yourself relief on a stressful day.
In addition, setting your slow cooker up to cook your meal while you do other things can make things much easier.
You can get lots more tips for healthy meal planning here.
Whether you cook or bring food in, people need to and are going to eat, and they're going to drink drinks as well. And what this means is inevitably your kitchen will become a mess.
Trying to prepare meals, or even doing all the other daily living type of things that happen in that central room of your home, is much much harder in a messy kitchen.
Since you're trying to make things easy for yourself each day, by the end of the day, make sure to clean up your kitchen.
The main essentials for a tidy kitchen are running your dishwasher (if you have one) or otherwise washing all your dishes and cooking pots and pans each day, as well as emptying the trash. You can get a daily kitchen cleaning checklist here, including a free printable, with all the daily kitchen cleaning tasks.
In survival mode we first focused on feeding everyone with chores 1 and 2, and now for number 3 we're focused on everyone being clothed.
Even when you're at your busiest, or most stressed out, everyone wants and needs clean underwear!
The simplest method to stay caught up with laundry is to do a load every single day (or less often if you don't accumulate it as fast).
The point is that daily you should check and see if you've got a full enough basket of dirty clothes to make a load, and then wash that laundry if needed. Do not let laundry pile up or it becomes overwhelming, which just adds to your stress level.
You can get more tips for finding the right laundry schedule for you here.
Make sure when washing clothes that you actually complete all the steps in the laundry process, which include washing, drying, and also folding and putting away (as discussed more in this laundry organization article). Otherwise you're just making another mess for yourself.
If you do get behind here are 7 steps to catch back up on your laundry.
Tidying the house is not the same as deep cleaning it, or even lightly cleaning it. It doesn't actually involve much cleaning at all.
Instead, tidying the houuse is putting things back away where they belong so you don't get piles of clutter and a jumbled mess that become a tripping hazard.
The simplest way to tidy is to do it daily, and this is definitely one chore where all members of the family both can and should be involved. Everyone should put away their own stuff to the extent they can.
I find it best to do this at the end of each evening, to "reset" the house for the next day, but depending on how many people you have in your home, and how much time everyone is spending there, you may need to do this a couple of times per day to keep up.
You can find out more about the daily habit of tidying your home here.
This one may seem like a no brainer, but I add it because it is definitely essential and may seem like something you could skip, "just this once," when you're busy, but don't.
Both you and everyone around you will thank you for taking a bit of time for yourself, and confirming your kids (especially the young ones that need your assistance) do too.
This includes tasks like bathing (although you don't have to actually shower or bathe every single day, but should wash your face, etc.), brush your teeth, brush your hair, put on clean clothes, etc. It also can include making sure you're getting adequate sleep, and taking a few mental breaks throughout the day.
You are still a human being, and need to practice at least the very bare miniumums of self-care, even when in survival mode. This will help you feel better, both physically and also mentally.
Often the best times to do these types of tasks is in the morning and evening, as part of a regular routine. Check out the Create A Morning & Evening Routine Challenge for more discussion on these topics.
While you need to do the above five chores daily, even in the most busy of times, sometimes it isn't just one day or a few days that are stressful and crammed full. Sometimes these periods of your life last for a while.
So, in addition, here are three more tasks that need to be done at least weekly as well.
Eventually you're going to need to replenish your supplies of food to feed your family, so you've got to get to the store to replenish your supplies.
These days, of course, at least in some places, you have additional options for getting needed food and supplies, including ordering online with delivery, or ordering online for later pick up, along with physically going to the store to shop.
The point is, that even when life is hard you've got to carve out time to grocery shop in whatever method you choose.
To make sure you're not wasting time by making extra trips, or forgetting things you need and having to go without, check out these tips for how to make a grocery list that works.
There are a lot of cleaning tasks that can be put off for a while if things are really hectic. It isn't necessarily ideal, but it won't be the end of the world by any means. But two that should be done at least weekly include cleaning your bathroom and vacuuming (or if you don't have carpets, but instead hard floors, dust mopping).
Here's my reasoning for the bathroom being a priority. This room will quickly get disgusting if you don't clean it at least weekly, and a disgusting bathroom is a breeding ground for germs. When you're already stressed and overly busy throwing intestinal illness into the mix for yourself or a family member is not worth it, so make sure to keep that bathroom clean.
Now, here's the reason for vacuuuming or dust mopping. Vacuuming is important to keep the majority of dirt and dust at bay, which is essential for those with allergies. In addition a quick run over the floors with the vacuum (not a meticulous one) somehow makes the whole house feel cleaner and more comfortable. And if daily you've done your tidying it shouldn't take too long to vacuum either because you won't have lots of things to move around and out of the way.
The more regular cleaning you can get done though, the better. I'm giving you a list of the most critical weekly cleaning tasks so you can prioritize, but you'll find that regular cleaning is faster and easier than waiting until things get really bad to start, plus you live in a clean space more of the time under that scenario. Check out these tips for making a weekly cleaning schedule that works for you here.
No matter how busy you are the bank and companies don't particularly care. They just want you to pay your bills on time. And bad things happen, at a minimum late fees and penalties, when you don't pay your bills on time.
So to avoid worse results despite not feeling like you've got time, even during survival mode, you've got to at least weekly take the time to pay bills and deal with any other financial transactions that need to occur.
In times of financial hardship, that often also accompany survival mode, I know this can seem especially tough, because you may not have the money to pay those bills. However, being proactive can help, at least a little bit.
Taking the time to look for assistance in whatever form that may take to help you pay those bills or deal with your financial situation, such as contacting lenders, filing for unemployment or other assistance, or whatever additional steps make sense in your situation, can help you make sure the problems don't balloon even more, by not taking some mitigating steps.
Therefore, even when you're in survival mode I encourage you to continue to do your weekly paperwork routine, where you take care of the business of your household and finances. Here's more information about what this weekly routine entails, and how it can help you.
Whenever you're in survival mode, for whatever reason, I know things can feel very tough. The idea behind this household chores list of tasks you should do, even during these busy or trying times, is not to make more work for yourself just for the sake of it. Instead, it is to recognize that certain things, when they don't get done, really make things harder in both the short and long term, and therefore neglecting them doesn't really lighten your overall load.
Therefore, focusing on these vital daily and weekly tasks and chores will help you keep your life and home running as smoothly as possible, when everything else is really hard. The effort you put forth to do these things now will be worth it, both now and in the future.
Can you think of any more daily or weekly chores you feel are vital to do during these stressful and overly busy periods of your life? I'd love to hear your suggestions in the comments below.
In addition, if you'd like to join a FREE community where we discuss the core and fundamental habits and routines we need to focus on, in our home, I'd love for you to join my Household Management 101 Back To Basics Facebook group.
I would love to hear from you, sharing your thoughts, questions, or ideas about this topic, so leave me a comment below. I try to always respond back!