Cedar Ring Mama

Taking My Cues From Mother Earth

Household Management Binder (Waldorf-Mama-Style) Part II- Chores!


In Part I I shared my Rhythm and Meal Planning strategies, and the next section in my household management binder is Chores.  Here is the tabbed divider page I use to begin the section (I just chose some favorite vintage art, aiming for pieces that predate copyrights, to make my binder inspiring and inviting to use, and pasted it into a word document with text.) Each of these pages is in a plastic sheet protector to keep them crisp and clean.

On the opposite side of the divider is my favorite cleaning recipes.  This card came from some ladies in my hometown, but they have since moved onto new endeavors and the website they offered this card on is no longer available.  I had saved it to my hard drive though, so below you will find a link to download it.  I LOVE these recipes and they are all I use to clean my house for the past seven years.  They are very kid-friendly!


The best part of these recipes is the essential oils.  I tend to use different ones than they suggest, because I’ve researched their properties.  Eucalyptus lemon, lavendar, tea tree, and thyme are all antibiotic, antiseptic, antiviral, and antifungal.  Cinnamon, clove,  and oregano are all but anti-fungal; lemon and patchouli are antifungal but not antiviral. Bergamot, chamomile, eucalyptus, lime, and pine are antibiotic and antiseptic. So I generally put a blend of a few of those in my Eco-Clean mix, which I use for surfaces like countertops and toilets.  I also add some for their aromatherapy value; grapefruit, bergamot, rosewood, jasmine, neroli and ylang-ylang are all anti-depressant.  Basil helps with concentration. Chamomile, clary-sage, lavendar, lemon, lime, mandarin, orange, and vetiver all help with nerves, anxiety, or nervous tension; rosemary, thyme and citronella are all stimulating (for a wee boost of energy!).  My favorite blend for cleaning is 10 drops tea tree, 10 drops lavendar, 5 drops rosewood, and 5 drops grapefruit.  If it is early spring and ants are trying to invade, I find bay and citronella helpful.  I put eco-shine, eco-clean, and eco-polish in spray bottles and eco-scrub in a wide mouth mason jar.

Next are the daily sheets.  Using Flylady and Martha Stewart’s recommendations, I’ve come up with my own system of how often I clean everything.  Actually, it is more of a goal; running the co-op, homeschooling, and having little ones means I don’t always finish everything on the list.  But I feel so much better having it all written down and working towards it, and anything accomplished is worthwhile!  I don’t have a sheet for Friday, because homeschool co-op pretty much takes up the whole day so I don’t attempt anything extra.

I clean one area of the house each day (with Monday being the day I do a “home blessing”, or a quick once over of the house to ensure general tidiness with garbages going out and the floors being vacuumed/swept).  Each week, there is a special “focus cleaning” for things that need to be attended to on a monthly basis; beyond that, seasonal things that need to be done every 3 months or so (I try to do them before each season change).  I also have a special laundry task for each day, with Wednesday being the most time-consuming (mending!).

After my daily chore lists, I have a copy of this Life Skills for Kids printed out.  I don’t feel all the suggestions are completely age-appropriate, but all of them can be worked towards with mom and child working together, holding Steiner’s philosophies close to your heart and using your intuition as a guide for when your child is ready for each task.  My children, seven and under, are all help with chores BUT I don’t expect them to do things alone yet (although my 7 year old is getting there).  I have a different child assigned to be my helper for most of the things on my daily rhythms list; we rotate each meal, my cleaning tasks, my laundry tasks, and my yardwork tasks.  This way, they are learning right beside me and I am there to “hold the space”, which young children still very much need.  I look at it more as life learning and time spent one-on-one than “chores” at this stage.  There seem to be two prevailing philosophies about children and chores; the first says that children will never learn responsibility if they aren’t trained to do certain things certain ways at certain times.  The next is the opposite; it says “Why would you think that after being forced to do something for so many years that you didn’t want to do, you will all of a sudden now enjoy doing it on your own when you are no longer forced to do it”?  While I can see the logic on both sides, I feel there is a middle ground.  The middle ground is Mama setting the example, enjoying her daily tasks, weaving them into her life so inextricably that there is no question this is what we do.  This is how we live and enjoy and particpate in our lives, and we do it together.  I want my children to look back when they are cleaning their houses as adults and remember the fun we had together, not lectures on laziness vs. responsibility!  On the flip side, there needs to be some helping of the child’s will, because they can be driven by emotions and what they want right now.  Emotions and desires can become dictators and lead you down a place where happiness evades you if you do not keep your will active and in it’s rightful place.   So we try to have fun together, playing games like “the Queen is coming for a visit and we need to make this room ready for her visit!” or “the dreadful ogre will eat us for supper if we don’t shine his windows”.  But when the children are having off days or grumpiness, we still push on.  For me, this assures they are learning we do not need to be ruled by our negative emotions, and it is often our will which pulls us out of those slumps.

More to come soon… I have a few more divider sections to share on my journey towards a calm and orderly home. 😉

14 thoughts on “Household Management Binder (Waldorf-Mama-Style) Part II- Chores!

  1. Oh my goodness – I love these! I may be …um, borrowing… some of your ideas. I am *this* close to coming up with a binder that works for me, and this just might take me over the edge. 🙂 xo

  2. I so have to do this! I love it! I love that it’s helpful and pretty! I agree with chores and kiddos. Michael is now to the point of being helpful. He likes to help me clear and set the table. He can also do tasks like sweep our patio & he loves to do any pruning or yard work. It’s nice to have the help. Thanks so much for this!


  3. I am enjoying these posts so much. Thank you, thank you.

  4. This is so great! Do the cleaners keep or do you make them fresh each week?

    • Thanks, and yes, the cleaners do keep although the eco-scrub will get hard after a while, I just try to use it up within a week or two or I use a fork to break up chunks and once they are wet they work fine.

  5. Just found this on your site.
    Thank you I have been meaning to get organize for years.

  6. This is so awesome. Thank you for continuing to share! I can’t wait to see the last sections. When your kiddos were really little (mine are 3 and 1) did you get quite so much done? I just wonder if I could handle SO many household tasks, though our house is always neat and tidy, it’s really never getting deep cleaned like this. But, then I lose time to read emails, catch up on other things. Just wondering how you managed with the little littles.


    • Well when they were that young I wasn’t really trying to do anything in regards to homeschooling and their naps were regular, so I felt like I had a lot more freetime than I do now. The key to chores with little ones for me is to do 20 minute chunks of time and then spend time with them for a bit, they don’t have long attention spans… and to involve them anyway you can… sing, tell stories, while you clean. I guess I don’t really feel like its so much easier now since I homeschool two and have a two year old, but I don’t beat myself up at all if I don’t do everything on the list and I try to work harder at it in summer when I am not homeschooling, and I play catch up with things I missed during the week on the weekend. Having my chore charts just helps me feel like I know which bases to cover and I know where to start when I begin… but a lot of times I don’t have time to follow them exactly.

  7. I enjoyed reading about your waldorf binder, but I’d love to see how your daily and weekly rhythms change during the school year . . . how do you fit in things like errands?

    • Hi Laree, If you look throught the days, you’ll see Tuesday is errand day. That is the day my raw milk farmer takes customers, so I grab anything I need in town then, Friday is homeschool co-op day, and if I need to do anything else I do it then on my way to co-op. The only way I can accomplish everything I need to do at home, in homeschool, and for my business is by limiting the amount of time I am running around. Not to mention, I live out in the country and it takes 30 minutes to get to town, so I try not to go too often. I ask hubby to pick something up for me on his way home from work if I have to, and then for things I need to do on my own (without the kids- like a mall trip), I schedule a time to do that with him, maybe once a month or every other month on a weekend day.

  8. Thanks you so much for sharing our Life Skills list. I hope everyone enjoys using them – Kristen @ busykidshappymom.org

  9. Great ideas! Very inspiring! Thank you!

  10. Hi, do you have a list for Friday? 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s