Insourcing is the exact opposite of Outsourcing. Outsourcing is where you identify everything you do around the house that you are prepared to pay an expert to do for you – check out 50 Chores you can Outsource. Insourcing is where you identify every chore you currently do for the people you live with that they are entirely capable of doing for themselves, that you do not have to pay them for!
Regardless of your kids’ age, as long as they can walk there are little chores you can get them to do around the house. And if your 2 year old son can tidy away his shoes then I’m pretty confident that your 30 year old partner is capable of the same. The older your kids get, the more complex chores they can do. Remember, you’re not after perfection here – you simply want to instil in your family the habit of cleaning up without a fight.
Without question, the younger you start your kids on Insourcing the better – when they are enthusiastic, compliant, everything is a game and they don’t back chat. Trust me, if you leave Insourcing until your kids are teenagers you will be fighting a losing battle.
Insourcing is broken into 2 types of chores:
A. The Individual – it’s your crap, deal with it – Chores:
- Clean up your floordrobe
- Hang up your towel (no, not like that…spread it out so that it dries)
- Put your dirty clothes in the laundry basket not on your floor, the bathroom floor, the living room floor, the kitchen floor, my bedroom floor
- Put your clean clothes in your cupboard
- When I said to clean up your floordrobe (see #1), that does not mean picking up all of the clothes on your floor and putting them in the laundry. Half that stuff is clean. Put the clean clothes in your cupboard!
- Make your bed. Yes, it’s ok if the doona is just lumped on the bed as long as it is not on the floor.
- Put your rubbish in the bin, not on your floor
- Flush the toilet
- Change the toilet roll
- Put the empty toilet roll in the bin which is right next to the toilet for absolute convenience
- That bin is also really handy for the empty toothpaste, the empty hair products, the balls of tissues and crusty bandaids. Don’t you just love a bin!
- Put away your computer, ipod, iphone, cords, earphones
- Put away your books, toys, cars, blocks, lego, dolls, dress-ups
- Put away your hair ties, hair brush, hair products, hair dryer, hair straightener
- Put away your gymbaroo bag, kinder bag, creche bag, library bag, school bag, school books, pencil case, school shoes
- Put away your sports clothes, cricket gear, lacrosse gear, football gear, soccer gear, swimming bag, dance gear, running gear, bike, bike helmet, surf board, skate board, scooter, rip stick, pogo stick
- Put your dirty, wet, muddy, smelly sports clothes in the laundry (see #3)
- Put away your paints, paint brush, paintings, pencils, colouring books
- Put away your lipstick, foundation, blush, mascara, brushes, mirrors, eye liners, eyebrow pencils, eye lash curlers, sponges, creams, sprays
- Put away your half eaten food, dirty plates, dirty cups, forks, knives, spoons, straws, chocolate wrappers, lolly wrappers, ice-cream wrappers, chip packets, drink bottles
- Unpack your school bag, throw away the rubbish, throw away the old fruit at the bottom of the bag, wash your lunch-box, take out the school notes and give them to me, wipe out your bag because it smells
- Make your school lunch – there’s heaps of great food in the fridge, help yourself, it’s not hard
- Make your snack – it’s in the same place as the rest of the food
- Change your linen – honey you are 10, I think your arms are long enough to put a doona cover on the doona
- Get your own towel – look, here is a cupboard full of them
- Don’t leave your rubbish in the car
B. The Family is a Team Sport buddy – deal with it – Chores:
- Take the bins out
- Bring the bins in
- Wash the dishes
- Set the table
- Clear the table
- Mum…what’s for dinner? I don’t know honey, what are you cooking tonight?
- Help cook dinner
- Feed the pets
- Clean up after the pets
- Walk the pets
- Vacuum the floors
- See this wet thing? It’s called a mop. Please mop the kitchen
- Mow the lawn
- Sweep the leaves
- Do on a load of washing – that’s ok, I’ll show you how to use the washing machine. It’s easy.
- Put the washing out
- Bring the washing in
- Fold the washing
- Wipe down your shower
- Wipe out your sink
- Clean your toilet
- The shopping list is on the fridge, if you are the last to use something then (i) put it in the bin and (ii) add it to the shopping list
- Pack the dishwasher
- Unpack the dishwasher
Happily the list of chores your family can start managing for themselves is almost endless. I beg and implore you to create independent and helpful human beings as opposed to dependent and helpless ones. After all, my sons are going to grow up to marry your daughters, so let’s do them all a favour.