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Creating domestic harmony on the home front

Whether you rent or own with your family or share household, creating domestic bliss is a matter of sharing the load to reap relationship rewards.

Research suggests that women still bear the brunt of housework duties, but mapping a game plan and participation from all members of the family or household is essential for even distribution.

Adhere to regular meetings and rosters 

Allocating a set time, either fortnightly or monthly, to discuss the inner workings of your residence is the best starting point. 

Listening and appreciating others’ viewpoints, even young children, is crucial to creating a sense of unity and structure in the smooth running of your household.

Devising and agreeing upon a weekly roster of chores also puts everyone on the same page about accountability and transparency. 

Children as young as three enjoy helping with light household duties, such as picking up clothing, toys and books, dusting, making the bed and learning to wipe down wet areas.

If these activities are introduced with an educational approach, the stigma of housework becoming a burden is replaced by a sense of fun. 

List of essential duties

Every room in the house requires dusting, vacuuming or sweeping. The kitchen and bathroom are the most intensive work areas. Similarly, who is responsible for the laundry on any given week? Outdoor chores, such as mowing lawn, weeding and pruning could become a group effort, conducted monthly or every few weeks. 

Draft a table with a Monday-to-Saturday format (Sunday should be a rest or fun day) and clearly separate rooms, chores list, including type and effort involved. Most importantly, name the person responsible for the rotating duties on any given day or week — and place the roster in clear view, for all to see.

Reward system reaps dividends

Creating an all-ages reward and demerit system might seem utilitarian, but share housemates and families soon learn the value of fulfilling rather than shirking responsibilities. 

There will always be certain personality types who tend to excel at any task, just as others’ efforts could be construed as half-hearted or insubstantial. 

The reward system teaches all age groups and genders that a sharing household is a caring one. If demerits include added responsibilities around the home, while rewards reduce certain tasks, you will soon find everyone pulling their weight.

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