Chore charts can be a great tool, especially when teaching our children responsibility. Last year I created one for our family and it was fantastic. However, as time went on, schedules changed and the chore chart just sort of fell away. Sure, things are still getting done but not on a regular basis and often times not without a whine or complaint about who did it last or who does more work.
After arguing for the last time with my son about who tidied up the basement last, I felt it was time to revive the chore chart. It only makes sense, our daughter is now the age that she can really start helping out with more. Hubby and I could also benefit as we are both so incredibly busy that often times, days goes by before certain daily tasks get done and we’re finding the house becomes a disaster so easily now.
It didn’t take me long. I simply made up a chart with the days of the week at the top, and specific tasks along the side. I filled in each box with the name of the person who will be responsible for the task that day each week. I had our calendar open to know what will actually work as well – for example, my husband is home late on Wednesdays so I can’t expect him to give the kids baths that night.
Everything from who will sweep the floor, dust, fold laundry, make lunches, empty the dishwasher, tidy toys, take out the trash, etc etc etc… it’s all scheduled. In addition to the kids being scheduled to tidy their rooms every other evening, hubby and I have been assigned one child to help them maintain their room. Each weekend, I will make sure my daughters toys are not just put away but are in the right place. I will vacuum, change her sheets, and anything else she can’t do on her own. My husband will handle our son’s bedroom in the same way.
The kids don’t have a whole lot assigned to them. During the week between homework, dinner and bedtime routine, there isn’t really a lot of time. So I gave them simple tasks. Tidy their room, tidy the front entry way (basically this just involves making sure all of the shoes/boots are placed neatly and the school bags aren’t laying in the middle of the floor) and tidy the toys in the basement. I also gave our oldest an additional task of the weekly dusting – this is his task exclusively which he gets a) because he’s older and b) so that he feels like he has a task all to himself that is helping us with the household and isn’t simply tidying up after himself. I excluded tasks such as clearing the table because they already clear their own dishes every night without problem and I don’t see this as a chore. It’s a habit they have acquired.
In addition to this being a great tool for the kids, I love this because it also helps my husband and I really see how much we each do around the house. We may not always notice and there are days that I’m sure we each feel like we do so much more than the other. This way it’s all laid out. If we each do our tasks for the week, we really can’t complain. This schedule has the chores pretty much split evenly, with me exclusively handling the things he hates to do (ie: bathrooms) and him handling those tasks I can’t stand (ie: all outdoor chores). Some chores are split into smaller tasks. Take the floors for example. Hubby is in charge of all sweeping & vacuuming, and I’m in charge of mopping afterwards. Hubby is to wash & sort the laundry. I am to fold and put away the laundry.
As the kids get older and our schedules continue to change, I’m sure we will be reviving the family chore chart over and over. One little motto I have been saying since the day I became a mother is: that no matter what my kids grow up to be… they will be polite, have excellent manners and pick up after themselves. If they have all that, then I will feel like I did a great job with them. 🙂