Every Sunday night my freshman year of college, our resident advisor would hold floor meetings. She would review what was on the schedule for the coming week, we would plan activities, and, inevitably, someone would forget about a bag of microwave popcorn and the smell of burning kernels would accompany our discussions.
When we moved out of the dorms, my housemates and I kept up the tradition, but without the scent of burning popcorn. We would talk about things that needed to get done around the house, how much everyone owed for shared bills, if we had people coming in from out-of-town, if we were leaving town, or if we had big tests on the schedule and needed the house to be quiet for studying and sleeping.
By the time I got married, I had been having house meetings every Sunday night for almost a decade. Another decade later, and my husband and I continue to sit down for 15 or 20 minutes once a week and discuss the business of our house and our lives. We finalize grocery lists, talk about anticipated work loads, look at our weekly schedules, decide who is going to run errands, and whatever else needs discussing. These meetings keep us sane and keep our lives running smoothly.
If you’ve never held a house meeting, here are a few tips to get you started:
- Keep things low key. These meetings should be helpful, not stressful. Make a list of what you want to cover, but be willing to let the topics flow naturally. It’s not a Congressional hearing, it’s just a time for everyone in the house to communicate.
- Make the meetings routine. Set a date and time for your weekly meetings and stick to the schedule. People won’t forget about the meetings when they’re a regular part of life.
- Cover whatever you need to cover. People are different, and what you need to discuss each week will be based on who lives with you. The point is to help make life easier and for the house to run more smoothly, so discuss whatever subjects you need to make this happen.
Does your house and/or family hold house meetings? Would a meeting help life be less stressful under your roof? If you have weekly meetings in your home, what topics are addressed during your discussions?