How The 'Catch-All' Day Method May Reduce Your Chore Stress

It's safe to say that most people care about keeping up with a clean home, and one way to do so is by maintaining a cleaning schedule. Sometimes you may try to divide out household chores day by day or between family members. But, before you know it, chores are quickly being pushed back to the next day and the day after, until things feel out of control. 

Alternatively, you may attempt to cram all of your weekly chores into one day — but that isn't ideal either, and will likely leave you feeling exhausted. With the "catch-all" method, you essentially combine these two faulty systems and get the best of both worlds. A catch-all day is a day or time that you pick to catch up on any unfinished cleaning tasks, thus reducing your stress by adding flexibility. 

But, how can you use a catch-all day with your existing chore schedule? And, how can you avoid feeling overwhelmed if everything happens to get pushed back? Here's our advice for planning a catch-all day so you can flex your chores to fit your busy lifestyle. 

Benefits of the catch-all day method

According to Business Insider, employees with flexible work schedules are happier, more productive, and less stressed, so it makes sense that this could apply to your at-home schedule too! When working with the catch-all cleaning method, it's still good to have a planned to-do list to make sure everything gets accomplished in a timely fashion. However, a catch-all day is perfect for taking some of the stress out of your weekly regimen and giving you flexibility for when life throws you curveballs. Plus, if you don't happen to need the catch-all time, you can enjoy those spare hours as a treat!

A catch-all day can also be a great solution for couples or households with children, where the mess never seems to end. Instead of constantly pestering your family to help out, you can just say "today is the catch-all day, here are the chores that still need to be done." According to Psychology Today, giving children chores boosts their social skills, academic progress, and overall happiness. Offering chores with choices like "would you rather pick up toys or set the table first?" or "will you change the sheets on your bed tonight or on catch-all day?" can be an even better way to help them understand time management and household responsibility.

Planning and implementing your catch-all day

Many people find that Saturday or Sunday works best as their catch-all day, especially if they work a full-time job on weekdays. Catching up on a weekend also helps to ensure that you fully reset and refresh your home for the busy week ahead. Of course, the day you choose as your catch-all day can be whatever works for you — Wednesday nights, Friday mornings, or both Saturdays and Sundays. For more long-standing chores like raking leaves, mowing the lawn, or checking HVAC air filters, it may even help to have a big catch-all day once per month. 

Once you've got your ideal catch-all day sorted out, plan an actual list of chores that need to be completed every week. It's better to write down your chores, rather than keep a running list in your head, as this is how things become accidentally forgotten. As you work through the daily chores, check off the items on your list so that when the catch-all day comes around, you can look back and see what's overdue. And if you still can't get everything done on catch-all day? Don't worry — any leftover items can be bumped up to their typical slot next week or made a priority on your next catch-all day.