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Household Management Audit: Mr. Smith Family Case Report

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Updated: May 18th, 2020

Introduction

In a letter dated October 2, 2015, Mr. Smith noted that he and his family had a problem in improving efficiency in the management and operations of his home. He noted that he had a large family that struggled for the limited space in the house. When he purchased this house, he knew that he had to take care of his nuclear family and some members of the extended family. He was convinced that the house would be spacious enough when the family moved in for the first time. However, things have been getting worse as time goes by, and this is causing a lot of concern. It seems space is getting smaller without any clear justification. His position at the workplace as a supervisor means that he may be receiving visitors at his home on frequent occasions. These visitors respect him as a man known to be dedicated to his work, loving, and very caring to his fellow employees. He wants to see a scenario where the house is presentable when the colleagues visit him. It is because of these reasons that the researcher considered it appropriate to analyze the management and operations of the home with the view of providing recommendations on how things can be improved.

Discussion

Initial observations

Mr. Smith’s home is strategically located next to an all-weather road. The three-bedroom house lies on a space of 25 by 50 feet, and the design is excellent. The main door leads to the living/family room. The family room is spacious, measuring 18 by 15 feet. The dining room is at the extreme right of the living room, measuring nine by nine feet. The kitchen is located at the extreme left of the living room, and it measures nine by nine feet. There is a hallway from the living room leading to the three bedrooms. The first bedroom measures nine by eleven feet, the second bedroom also measures nine by eleven feet, and the master bedroom measures fifteen by twelve feet. There is small storage measuring six by four feet.

The figure in the appendix shows the plan for this home. In the initial observations, it was noted that Mr. Smith’s family is made up of ten members. His nuclear family includes his wife, one daughter, and two sons. He stays with his father-in-law, three nieces, and one nephew. Mr. and Mrs. Smith use the master bedroom, the father-in-law and two sons use the first bedroom while the daughter and two nieces use the third bedroom. The house appears to be crowded in most of the cases. The two sons are also complaining that the presence of their grandfather denies them the freedom they would want to enjoy. The girls seem comfortable, but once in a while, they fight over space.

Audit of the House

The initial analysis has revealed much of the information about the available space in this house and how it is distributed among the members. In this section, the auditor will examine the current use of the livable space by all residents, including the common areas as well as the sleeping areas (Rothwell & Kazanas, 2010).

Family/Living Room

The living room is the most commonly used space in this house. All the family meetings and social gatherings are held in this room. Visitors who come to the house are received in this space. It gets congested when there are parties held in the house. Under normal occasions, it can accommodate all the occupants. Some of the common appliances in this room include a television set, a music system, a telephone, and lighting equipment. It is adequately furnished.

Dining

The dining room is used at least once a day. In many cases, members of the family rarely get time to use it in the morning as they prepare to leave the house. In many cases, the children and the mother take tea in the kitchen at different times based on the time they leave the house for work or school. Most of the family members, except the father-in-law, are rarely at home at lunchtime. It is only during supper that everyone gathers in this room. The only appliance in this room is the fridge.

Kitchen

The kitchen is rather small for a ten-member family. The mother, daughter, and two nieces are responsible for preparing meals. The kitchen gets congested in the evening when they are preparing supper. Currently, there is no clear plan of how each task should be addressed. This brings about confusion in the kitchen when addressing chores such as preparing meals, cleaning utensils, and maintaining hygiene in all spaces in the house.

Master Bedroom

Mr. Smith and his wife occupy the master bedroom. The room is spacious, with a large closet where the couple keeps their clothing. This room is always used late at night, early morning, on weekends, and public holidays when the parents are at home. It is never congested. It has its bath where the couple can shower in private without interruption from other members of the family. In this room, there is a 32-inch television set and a music system. They also have an extension of the telephone. It has adequate lighting.

Bedroom 2

The second bedroom is adjacent to the master bedroom. The three girls currently use it. It has a closet that they share, a 24-inch television set, but no music system. At times, the girls would fight over the space for their clothing. However, they always know how to resolve their issues without letting them turn chaotic.

Bedroom 3

The third bedroom is adjacent to the living room and used by the two sons and their grandfather. The room has a closet, a 28-inch television set, and a music system that is meant for the grandfather. The boys share one bed while the grandfather has his bed. The occupants of this room are yet to understand how to use their space without feeling crowded. The grandfather is pretty comfortable sharing a room with his grandchildren. However, the grandchildren feel that the presence of the old man in their room denies them their freedom. The grandfather is not aware of this discomfort because the two boys have not done anything to make him believe that his presence makes them uncomfortable.

Baths

The second bathroom is meant for use by all other members of the family except Mr. Smith and his wife. The room has a shower and a mirror. It gets congested in the early morning when family members are preparing for school. Sometimes the boys would skip morning shower claiming that girls, who are always quick to get to the bathroom ahead of them, have spent a lot of time taking a shower. Monday mornings are particularly chaotic because of the tendency of the boys and girls to wake up late.

Storage Room

The storage room is rarely visited. All the lawn mowing equipment, garage equipment, and household tools that are no longer in use are kept in this storage room. Mr. Smith’s father-in-law also keeps some of his items in this room. He is a frequent visitor in this room. Mr. Smith considered the storage room as a private space for his father-in-law. As a result, he rarely visits this room. In case he needs something from the room, he would send one of his sons to fetch it.

Porch

The porch is one of the most popular spaces among the family members, especially during weekends or on holidays. It is common to see Mr. Smith and his sons, the grandfather and his grandchildren, or the grandfather and his grandsons resting at the porch sharing stories or advice. Mrs. Smith is rarely seen at this place.

Tasks Needed to Keep the Household Clean and Functioning

According to Barsukov and Qian (2013), for every house to be functional, it must be organized, and everything must be planned in a structured manner. In this house, one of the major issues that were noted involves the cleaning of the rooms. The living room is cleaned every three days. This should not be the case given the fact that it is one of the frequently used spaces in the house. The room needs to be cleaned at least once in a day (Maltese, 2009). All seven children can participate in this task because the youngest is twelve years, and the oldest is 17. They should be directed to ensure that they help in maintaining the hygiene of the living room as frequently as possible, especially after it is used. The same case should be applied to the dining room. After every meal, people responsible should ensure that the room is properly cleaned (Care & Bohlig, 2011). After supper, Mrs. Smith should coordinate the children to ensure that they clear the table and wash the utensils.

The major problem has been on maintaining the hygiene of the bedrooms. The audit revealed that the boy’s bedroom is cleaned once a week at most. In some cases, it may take as long as ten days before it is cleaned. Girls have been trying to maintain the hygiene of their space regularly, but it is not good enough either. The only space that has been kept clean is the master bedroom that Mrs. Smith cleans every day before leaving for work. The master bath has also been kept clean. However, the common bath is always a mess. The hallway leading to the bedrooms is also clean because it is inspected by the parents on a daily basis. The cleanliness of the porch has been maintained because of its strategic position. However, the store is the dirtiest place in this house. Both parents rarely visit this room, which is now considered a private space for Mr. Smith’s father-in-law. For the last four months, it has been cleaned twice by one of the grandsons.

To improve the functionality of the rooms, everyone should be assigned tasks of cleaning and organizing all the spaces in this house. Mrs. Smith is already responsible for the cleaning of the master bedroom. The children should participate in cleaning their rooms at least once every two days (Blasch, Bossé, & Lambert, 2012). The living room, porch, dining room, kitchen, and hallway should be cleaned on a daily basis. Every item in these rooms, from electronics to furniture and other equipment, must be in their right position at all times (Kokt, 2013). Mr. Smith has the responsibility of ensuring that cleaning materials needed in the house are available in the right quantities and at the right time.

Conclusion

Members of Mr. Smith’s family have made efforts to ensure that their house remains clean and functional at all times. However, the audit reveals that there are some issues that should be addressed when it comes to space management and cleaning of the house. The teenage boys are not comfortable with the presence of their grandfather in the house. The common bathroom also appears to be very crowded as it is meant to serve the other eight members of the family. In terms of cleanliness, boys are apparently lazy in maintaining the hygiene of their room. These issues should be addressed in order to enhance the efficiency of this house.

Recommendations

As the head of this family, Mr. Smith- together with his wife- should find solutions to the issues raised to ensure that every member of the family is comfortable staying in this house. The following are some of the recommendations that should be observed:

  • Every member of the family should be assigned specific tasks based on their interests and skills.
  • Members of the family should work as a team when addressing these tasks.
  • The parents should instill discipline among all the family members.

References

Barsukov, Y., & Qian, J. (2013). Battery power management for portable devices. Boston: Artech House.

Blasch, E., Bossé, E., & Lambert, D. (2012). High-level information fusion management and systems design. Boston: Artech House.

Care, J., & Bohlig, A. (2011). Mastering technical sales: The sales engineer’s handbook. Boston: Artech House.

Kokt, D. (2013). A practical guide to guest house management. Bloemfontein: Sun Press.

Maltese, J. A. (2009). Spin control: The White House Office of Communications and the management of presidential news. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.

Rothwell, W. J., & Kazanas, H. C. (2010). Developing in-house management and leadership programs: Their creation, management, and continuous improvement. Westport: Quorum.

Appendix

 The Plan for the house

Appendix 1: The Plan for the house.

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