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  • Elisa Brazell

CHORE SYSTEMS THAT KEEP MOM SANE

Updated: Aug 13, 2020

I have always believed kids should learn to clean up after themselves and take part in the household chores and responsibilities from a young age.


I appreciate the advice this site ⤵ gives for age appropriate chores:

AFRICA STUDIO/SHUTTERSTOCK


Learning how to do chores is helpful for them so they can learn this important skill early on, and it's helpful for us as parents to not have to clean up after them (well that's inevitable, but at least it limits the amount of cleanup!)


One part of my personality that I have really appreciated over the years of raising our children is my need to be scheduled and organized. When I have a good balance of

>a great, inspired idea,

>the motivation to carry it out, and

>putting my chart and schedule making abilities to the task,


I've been able to turn out some pretty useful tools for our family. I am excited to share what has worked so well for our family!


 

One of the saving graces of my sanity as a mother, is the...


🍽 Dinner Chore Wheel



We've been using the same design and chores on a hand made, thrown together wheel since our youngest was about 3.

There are 6 dinner chores, one for each person:


1️⃣ Dinner Helper: Helps with dinner preparation or makes dinner for the family depending on skill level of cooking. Sets table. My 7 year old son loves this chore, and my teen girls are kind of liking the option of choosing what to make for the family.


2️⃣ Clear and Wipe Table: This person puts all the leftover food in containers and takes the dirty dishes to the sink. Everyone takes their own dish to the sink so they do not have to worry about that. They clean and put place mats, salt and pepper and condiments away, and wipe down the table.


3️⃣ Wash Dishes: This person loads the dishes from dinner and throughout the day into the dishwasher and washes the larger pots and pans.

4️⃣ Pick up Floor: This person picks up everything on the floor and puts it away in both the kitchen and adjoining living room. It's a great way to keep the main living area tidy, and a good reset for the next day.

5️⃣ Sweep Floor: This person sweeps or vacuums the kitchen floor and spot mops if needed.

6️⃣ Clear and Wipe Counters: I am so grateful for this chore! With 6 people in the home, the counter becomes the gathering place for anything and everything throughout the day. Some of my kids are still learning how to not leave trails everywhere they go, so there's often spilled jam or bread crumbs (or some other clue a kid was there) on the counter. This person clears everything off and either puts it away or asks the owner to put their belongings away and wipes all the counters.


I feel so grateful for my family every time we do dinner chores together. It literally only takes 2-10 minutes to tidy up the main living area when everyone is working together.


I also don't know what I would do without our



🚽 Weekly Chore System 🧹




Here's how it works:


We have all of the chores that ever need to be done in our house or yard (whether weekly or monthly or quarterly) on blue papers with magnets on the back. It's not fancy, but has worked for years.


They are stored in a common area on a magnet board behind (attached to) a barn window, which gives each kiddo a square section for keeping track of chores. If the chore doesn't need to be done that week, we store it in a little plastic pouch with a magnet on the back.


Every Monday, each of our 4 kids and I, choose 3 chores to complete. We bring the blue paper down to our square and then when it is completed, we slide it past the line into the done ✅ section. We try to do them all on Monday, but there is leeway for those who may have a heavy load of homework- sometimes they trickle into Tuesday. This visual system works well because I can see who had which chore and can double check on their quality of work if needed.


The rule is that we don't get to move onto free time until all 3 chores are complete.


This system is versatile


⇛ We used this magnet board to get our kids into the habit of other routines as well, like doing their daily reading, practicing their instrument, and getting homework done. You can see the marbles we used for those in the image. Those are just paper mod-podged onto glass "rocks/marbles" with a flat side, from the dollar store.


⇛ We have a marble that travels from kid to kid as they take turns unloading the dishwasher.


⇛ There is a marble for whoever's turn it is to feed the dog that month.


⇛ We used laundry magnets to establish the habit of doing laundry on their assigned laundry day. Our kids are trained to do their own laundry around age 8. Once it's washed they also put their own laundry away.


Because our kids were trained in these systems from a young age...like 2 or 3... they just know these chores are a part of living in our home. There is sometimes argument over which chore to choose, but very rarely argument over doing them.



 

What a good feeling to have systems in place that just run.



 

You may ask, "What if I didn't introduce chores early but I want to now that my kids are older?"


My suggestion would be to explain to your child(ren) how you're feeling about your workload around the house and explain why you need help and why you think it would benefit them to learn certain chores.


You can consider using an incentive at first to motivate them and get them used to the new system. Start with shorter term incentives with a reward, such as "When you're done with your chores this week, you get _________" (whatever motivates your kid(s) the most)


Move to longer term rewards as soon as they seem to be getting the hang of it.

Parent hack- think of something you already plan to do with your kids and use it as an incentive: "If you do all your chores well over the next 4 weeks, you can earn:

amusement park tickets or

a trip to the frozen yogurt shop

A new X box game



As a busy mom of 4 who runs businesses from home, I am beyond grateful I have made the effort to train my kids to do chores and help around the house. It has definitely saved my sanity and helped us keep a decently orderly home without a ton of work on my part.


⇨ Keep your eye on my FREE DOWNLOADS where I'll be adding helpful systems and charts that keep moms sane and even happy 😃


And, watch for my next post later this week in which I'll be discussing kids' screen time and an idea to help kids choose growth activities in their free time rather than vegging in front of screens! 😵





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