When starting any business, the first step (other than having the business idea and business plan) is to establish clear roles and responsibilities. Hiring someone on without establishing clear roles and responsibilities for their position is going to cause confusion, conflict, and waste valuable time and money.

The same applies to assigning household chores. For example, telling a member of your household to “go clean the living room” without established roles and responsibilities, can result in unmet expectations.  To you, cleaning the living room may mean: pick up and put away all toys, pick up and fold all blankets, fluff couch pillows, vacuum couch and floor, and wipe down/dust all surfaces. To the member of your household, cleaning the living room means: clearing the floor of stuff by setting things in random, neat piles, but not necessarily putting things back where they belong.

It’s no wonder that moms (and dads) end up just giving up on assigning tasks and decide to do everything themselves.

The following motto comes to mind: If you want something done right, then do it yourself.

Let’s make a new motto: If you want something done right, then clearly communication your expectations by assigning clear roles and responsibilities.

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This weekend, my husband and I did just that. We have had a lot going on in our lives lately, and everything on the home front is falling by the wayside. With our two munchkins so young, and our lives so hectic, we need to count on each other more than ever to keep our home environment how we want.

And here’s the result:

I am a visual person and a forgetful person, so I made a handy roles and responsibilities checklist. I printed it, placed it in a glass picture frame, and marked it up with dry erase marker. Please click here to receive a blank version of this checklist. As we filled this in, we verbally discussed expectations of what it means to have each item on this list. For example: “Surfaces” means to spot clean countertops, spot clean all floors downstairs, and spot clean half bath sink. Again, the idea is to tidy up daily, so spot cleaning is key vs vacuuming or sweeping an entire area. We don’t want to burn out, we just want to keep up.

And just like you don’t leave work until the job is done, our plan is to stay up until the job is done. At first, this will be an adjustment, but as we get used to it, I can only imagine it will take 10-20 minutes in the evening.

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