The Importance of Household Chores

March 17, 2017 8:29pm CST
I didn’t realize until I was about twenty-four how lucky I was for having parents that made us do lots of chores. It’s easy as a kid to think that our parents are making us do chores because they don’t want to do them themselves, but in reality but parents did a lot, including checking our chores which wasn’t always a quick or easy task. I was also lucky enough to grow up without knowing what it was like to live when somewhere that was dirty. I wasn’t in my fist apartment very long, only about six months before I broke up with one of my roommates. We rushed into moving out, but because we couldn’t afford cable and internet with the addictive habits we were into, cleaning was kept up with somewhat regularly. I wasn’t there long enough for too much dirt and grime to build up, and am thankful that my mother and I got released from responsibility and didn’t have to pay when the apartment company tried to come after us for “damages” left behind by the guys. When staying in the second apartment I lived in, my roommates lived in filth that was beyond belief at times. The guy I was dating would go out every Wednesday and game with friends, so for a while I cleaned most of the kitchen and bathroom on those nights. I simply avoided the living room, where one roommates neglected dog would relieve herself. After about 3 weeks of this I finally got around to spot cleaning the walls of the kitchen, and when my roommates got home from work they seemed as if they had just seen me do the worlds greatest magic trick. “Clean the walls?” They asked, in total shock. They had no idea that such a thing needed to be done, which was especially sad because they were both in their late twenties, and had lived in a few places before this one. I didn’t understand how three adult guys who usually ordered food to be delivered could make such a huge mess in only a week. They thanked me by taking out the seven large garbage bags, cleaning the living room, and declaring that as long as I continued the cleaning I was doing once a week I didn’t have to pitch towards rent or internet. I’m still not sure it was worth it. Three years later I finally got a one-bedroom apartment with the guy I was seeing, and we both knew we never wanted to deal with roommates again. I did most of the cleaning, but that was fair considering he did nearly all of the shopping, and cooked dinner every night. He was a great cook, and neighbors would often tell us about how their mouths watered when they passed our door in the hallway. The night we moved in we found out that our neighbors were guy I went to school and his girlfriend. He was a year behind me in school, so we didn’t know each other well, but we went to school in a small town where everyone knew everyone. He wasn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer, in fact he would have been more like a spoon, but we wanted to get along with them and so we had them over a few times for dinner and drinks. One night after a nudge from his girlfriend he said that he had something rather important to ask us, and if we had a pen and piece of paper for him write on. What he wanted to know was how we kept the place so clean, and the pen and paper were so he didn’t forget. Neither of them did many household chores growing up, and embarrassingly had to ask the super intendants when they moved in to teach them how to do laundry. They couldn’t figure out things like cleaning underneath the taps in the kitchen and bathroom. I told them I fold a rag in half twice, run steaming hot water over it, and then use a folded edge of the rag like floss between the tap and the base. They seemed rather embarrassed, so I told them about how my old roommates didn’t even know you had to clean walls. That made them more embarrassed as they’d never heard of that either. Eventually she left, and he gave up on cleaning, until asking us for advice about the damages bill he got before moving out. I clearly explained how to properly clean walls so that he didn’t wind up taking the paint off, but by the time he started the next day he had completely forgotten my warnings and washed through at least four layers of paint. The bill for damages racked up to just less than five thousand dollars. In my families home we all had our share of daily chores, and cleaning day chores every two weeks. About once a year we would sit down and switch up who did what. Sometimes we would trade chores, but if not everyone was in agreeance with that method we would start from scratch and draw chores from a hat. Some chores were assigned without question because one of us had reached an age that my parents felt appropriate for learning a specific new chore. My first chore was emptying the dishwasher, but it didn’t take long before I was doing my own laundry, making my school lunches, tending to the dogs’ food and water, walking the dog, sorting recycling, and sweeping the kitchen, all on a daily basis. It seemed like a lot back then, but it prepared me for life on my own (or with roommates). My place is usually not as clean as I would like it to be, but at least I know how to clean it. My parents gave me the tools I needed to take care of my home, which I’ve come to learn isn’t as common as it should be. If you have kids, I hope they have household chores, because fighting with them about it now saves a lot more hassle in the future. One of my old roommates still has his mother come over and clean, and he’s now thirty-four. If my mother and I still had to fight over my dirty laundry being on the floor, I don’t think either of us would be long for this world!
4 people like this
6 responses
@megatron777 (3777)
• Guam
18 Mar 17
Learning to do household chores means a lot in later years. It's basic but a knowledge just the same that's useful to you wherever you go.
2 people like this
18 Mar 17
Knowledge is power.
• Guam
19 Mar 17
@AgoriphobicPirate Yes of course.
1 person likes this
@diosabella (4809)
19 Mar 17
I can be messy but I don't like dirt at all. That is gross. I learned cleaning at home and they were all self taught. I watch and learn. I first learn how to clean the floor, then wash dishes, then wash clothes and all other stuff. The tricks I learned some from watching my mom and from googling. There was a time I saw a guy in the super market I really dont know him. I saw him watch me getting stuff from the shelf here and there and finally ask me what products to use from cleaning the bathroom, the windows, furniture etc etc. He looked so lost in the middle of the supermarket.
1 person likes this
19 Mar 17
Some people are so lost as to cleaning when they're first on their own. Yay for good parents.
1 person likes this
20 Mar 17
@AgoriphobicPirate I'm not sure why parents don't teach their children household chores anymore. And I found out when we did a home visitation 3 weeks ago. It was kind of sad.
1 person likes this
20 Mar 17
@diosabella What do you? Must be something in children's protect services, and I can imagine that's a hard an straining jo with a high expectancy of compassion fatigue. I wanted to work with kids but I did a year sChild & Youth Worker (before getting diagnosed with sever general and social anxiety) and found out its too stressful for me to work long side idiots working with kids. I just can't handle such stupidity having such a huge impact on the lives of children.
1 person likes this
@Shavkat (65270)
• Philippines
18 Mar 17
I am grateful that my parents trained me and the other siblings to do household chores. We were able to know the importance of being independent without the guidance of our old folks.
1 person likes this
18 Mar 17
Good parents are a blessing!
1 person likes this
@Shavkat (65270)
• Philippines
20 Mar 17
@AgoriphobicPirate The selfless act of parents are priceless.
1 person likes this
20 Mar 17
@Shavkat Good parents are priceless, bad parents come with too large of a price.
@paigea (22484)
• Canada
18 Mar 17
I am glad my parents taught me how to take care of my home also. Now doing it though, that is different.
1 person likes this
19 Mar 17
Agreed!
@tzwrites (4954)
• Romania
18 Mar 17
I honestly didn't have to do any specific chores as a child and I am grateful for that. Doing them would have taught me almost nothing. I "learned" cleaning and everything as an adult once I began living away from my parents.
1 person likes this
18 Mar 17
You must be fortunate enough to have "rare sense" (better suited words for these days!) and a can do attitude. Your folks definitely did something right.
@RubyHawk (29283)
• Atlanta, Georgia
19 Mar 17
We should all learn to clean.