The chore chart that is saving my sanity!

15 Jun

OK, a little dramatic seeing we’ve only used it for 4 days. But let me tell you how amazing these 4 days have been! I can not believe I did not do this before.

Let me just state for the record: I have 2 very lazy boys who have hardly had to do anything around the house for their entire lives.  Their list of jobs included:

  • bringing their dishes over (is this a job? I think not.)
  • putting their clothes away. Sometimes. Most times they stayed on their floor until they were used again.
  • Cleaning out their bathroom sinks. Rarely. Not nearly enough.
  • Emptying their “bins” when they are overflowing. (We have a 9-cube bookshelf and each child has 3 shelves with cubes in them.)

That’s it.  Nothing real, nothing really helpful, nothing at all.  And here I am running around feeling like I can’t do anything since Cora’s come home (it’s getting much easier) and all I think is how I’m failing this house and how I can’t keep up and then when I have a second to sit down, I’m feeling terrible about what NEEDS to be done instead of how tired I am.

NO MORE, my friends.  In walks to capable and willing sons. Willing? Welllll….capable! For sure! (Pssst! And so are yours!)  Every year I try the, “you must make your bed and keep your room clean this summer and it never happens. I never enforce and they never remind me. ;)

Before we go on, I think I should note that I used to be creative. I used to be crafty (paper crafts, anyway).  I used to have time to make little touches stand out.  I used to scrapbook and make my own Christmas cards and birthday cards and elaborate birthday cakes.  I used to do a lot of things.  Today, however, I don’t.  I don’t have time, I don’t have enough arms and I don’t have the energy to do more than the bare minimum when it comes to my chore chart. I believe you could make this so much cuter than I did.

Also I should note that I got this idea from a few different chore charts on Pintrest. Thank you blogger who blogged in 2010. I think.

I used a 11 x 14 cheapy frame at Walmart.  I just filled the back with white paper, but I thought cute scrapbooking papers would look nice.  You’ll see 3 lines.  I also thought about labeling them with cute pictures or stickers, but let’s be real, my 10 year old and my 7 year old only need to be told once which row is theirs.  So, there it is! :)  Each row has 6 hooks attached. (You know, those Command strips hooks?)

Each morning, the kids have 3-6 chore charts on their row facing forward.  To make them, I just cut squares out, wrote the chore on a strip of white paper and used self-laminating sheets to seal them.  I punched holes in them (actually, Dave did. That was a HARD job.) and they were done! I realized that I wanted some doubles but instead of making more, I told the boys that if there is an empty hook on their rack, they have the same chore as the child above or below, like you see above.

Here’s a look at the squares. We needed 3 holes in each square to get them to fit on the hook.

Our morning routine (all 4 days of it so far ;) ) is after breakfast, around 9:00 or so, we do our morning homework and then our chores.  (I got the kids each one of these books and L and M this book for their appropriate age.  We do one page each morning in each.)

I bought a dish tub at the dollar store and filled it with everything they’ll need for their jobs, all put together.  Once they get done with a chore, they flip the card around until it all looks like this. (Minus Cora’s. We haven’t started anything real with her yet. She “helps”.)

The BEAUTY of this is that I’m asking the boys to do random little things mostly.  Little things that make a big difference. A HUGE difference.  And most of them are short and sweet and easy to do.  I haven’t had a single complaint.  The entire homework+chores takes around 30 – 45 minutes, but it’s only because the jobs are new to them and I have to help teach them. They will not take that long soon, for sure.

Here’s a list of jobs I have, but I am adding more often as ideas come up.  Each day I know that 6-12 of these will get knocked off depending on how many chores I have them do each day. (How busy is our day? Super? 3. Nothing on the schedule? 6. ;) )

  • vacuum your bedroom floor
  • vacuum living room
  • straighten shoe rack
  • wipe down light switches
  • organize colors and markers
  • sweep the front step
  • dust the TV stand
  • shake small rugs out outside
  • sharpen 5 pencils
  • water plants
  • clean glass front door
  • clean bedroom floor
  • put away toys on living room floor
  • dust piano
  • clean downstairs bathroom sink
  • clean hugo’s food and water bowl
  • unload dishwasher
  • do one load of laundry (Logan)
  • dust dining room chairs
  • clean bathroom counter
  • clean 2 bathroom mirrors
  • load the dishwasher
  • vacuum foyer rug
  • clean up toys in basement
  • dust dining room table
  • make a sweet treat (Logan. Trying to teach him how to read a recipe)
  • bring in garbage cans after garbage truck comes
  • vacuum the hallway
  • clean glass tables and lamp in living room
  • vacuum kitchen rug
  • sweep kitchen floor
  • clean kitchen table
  • mom’s choice
  • bring laundry down and sort
  • clean bathroom cabinets and walls (tell me your kids get toothpaste on the cabinets. HOW!?)
  • make your bed
  • gather garbages
  • clean kitchen stools
  • dust stairway
  • organize craft table
  • pick weeds for 10 minutes
  • empty 2 bins (toys)
  • restock toilet paper and paper towel holders

Last night, for the fist time in 8 weeks, my kitchen was CLEAN and I sat down happy.  The kids are happy because they are going to get an allowance now and dare I say, they feel good about helping me and starting off the day feeling accomplished.

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2 Responses to “The chore chart that is saving my sanity!”

  1. Patty Ziegler June 15, 2012 at 1:00 pm #

    Hi, Jen–This is so thorough and informative! You really put a lot of thought into this and you are getting your reward for it. Thank you for laying out these suggestions for chores, as well as learning books! I really appreciate you!

  2. Stephanie June 19, 2012 at 5:22 pm #

    This…is…amazing! I’ve done every crazy chore chart known to man..thinking I’ll start this summer and get it going and it never works (for very long at least!) I’m totally stealing your idea! Praying for your little one….

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