Thursday, July 14, 2016

Family Chores

I feel like this post has been a long time coming.  Dave and I have intermittently given the kids chores, but it's always been more of just them helping us out when we're cleaning or doing other things.  No official list or chart or assignments.  We also haven't instituted any sort of allowance system either. 

When we lived in our old house we had a cleaning service come every other week and it was amazing.  When we moved we decided that we were going to turn over a new leaf and come up with a chore/cleaning system for our family instead of having a cleaning service.  We want our kids to have a sense of responsibility and pride in our home as well as a feeling of family teamwork.  Last year I read the book, "How to Raise an Adult", and Dave and I are determined to do our part to raise kids who are self sufficient, responsible and not afraid to clean a toilet :)

This whole thing could blow up in our faces :) , but we're committed to making it work.  

So, here's what we did.  Dave and I sat down and listed out the majority of the cleaning tasks that we do, then divided them up between us and the kids, assigning what we hope are age appropriate tasks to each of them.  Since this is brand new to all of us, there will probably end up being adjustments.


We split the house up into three days of tasks and are going to work through them on a rotation (with a break on Friday).  It seems like a lot of tasks for each of the kids and Dave and I know that they're going to require some help from us (especially Griffin), but in my experience kids are usually way more capable than what we given them credit for :) 


You'll notice a lot of "wiping baseboards" (and windowsills)... this is something that they actually really enjoy to do :)  They use baby wipes and it's a simple, easy task that they can accomplish and feel good about.




As far as allowance goes, the plan is $1/day for doing chores and the boys are PUMPED!!! ;)




The daily chore list is on the bulletin board in our laundry room and during the summer the kids and I will probably work on their chores whenever they want to, but during the school year the plan will be to get them done before dinner.  Also, once school starts if we need to scale back on the kids chores we'll make that call as well :)


So, does your family have chores?  How involved are your kids in the cleaning/housework process?

We're starting today and I'll keep y'all updated on how it works out - what works, what doesn't and what we learn in the process. 

Happy Thursday, friends!

PS - Tonight I am so excited to be heading to a local event with Shay, Erika and Narci to hang out with Erin Condren and learn more about her Life Planners!  If you don't have plans you should come by and check it out as well!  Event info can be found HERE.

43 comments:

  1. Yes! Yes! Yes! We've really started tackling chores this summer and it's working out really well...but I might need to switch it up like your system because that totally speaks to me!

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  2. You'll have to keep us posted! My family has been working on chores this summer and I think it just takes some time.

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    1. Agree! I know the novelty will wear off pretty quick :)

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  3. Great ideas! We're trying to work out a plan around our house as well. I read somewhere that on "payday", the kids have to put 30% into savings (in the bank or held by a parent, parent giving interest towards savings), 20% toward donation (donate at church or another charity), and 50% toward spending. Percentages can be adjusted, but this teaches the kids life skills of managing their money, as well as great math skills. We're hoping to implement a system like this soon.

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    1. YES!!! We were going to start with a pretty easy 10% to church (tithe) and 10% to donate... the rest for spending/saving. Love that idea!

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    2. I give my kids $1/day for their items in 4 quarters. One quarter must go into the give jar, from there it's up to them. Weekly, 10% of the give is tithed, but the rest is theirs to give as they please- to friends, to offerings, to the humane society etc. it's working so well and my kids LOVE their chart!

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  4. We just started a chore chart system this summer as well (my kids are 8 & 6). I bought cute chore charts from Amazon and the kids put stickers in the appropriate column once completed (they're all about those stickers)! The first week they were PUMPED! However, the excitement has dwindled. They get paid on Friday mornings (1.50) but I may disperse it out to get paid daily. If they do extra things or help out with a more difficult task, they can earn extra.

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    1. I considered a chart... but couldn't find anything specific enough for what I needed (hahaha). My plan was to pay out weekly, but it may have to be daily depending on excitement levels :)

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  5. What a great plan! All 3 of our kids can clean a toilet, fold laundry, etc. Plus, Jackson is quite the pro at the vaccum cleaner. Love that you are doing the same!

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    1. Love that! I'm always shocked by how many kids don't know how to do those things!

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  6. I love this! I'm a huge fan of your blog but have never commented before, but thought I'd start today! My family did a similar thing when my brother and I were younger and I always took so much pride in seeing that we as a family made our beautiful house even more beautiful by cleaning it ourselves. It also definitely taught us about responsibility. Can't wait to see how this works out!

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    1. Thank you so much for reading and taking the time to comment! We're excited to start this as a family :)

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  7. My kids have always helped around the house. This summer, I am using a free ap called Chore Monster and they love it!!! They get points for all the chores they do to earn rewards, new monsters, carnival spins..... I also tied it to earn device time. They love it and scramble to get their chores done!

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    1. oooooh!!! So fun!!! I'll have to check it out! Thanks so much for the tip!

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  8. What a great plan! I wish I had done this when my kids were younger.

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    1. I wish I had as well. Both of my girls are grown now but my youngest just graduated college and has boomeranged back home while looking for a job. I am having anxiety over the fact that while she is working for the family business, she seems to not want to complete her chores at our home. It is very frustrating to say the least. I feel like I need to get the chore chart out again for a 23 year old!

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  9. My boys are 8 and 11. They have jobs that they are responsible for. 11-year-old: emptying dishwasher, taking out trash, replacing trash bags, bringing in groceries. 8-year-old: feeding dogs, clearing table, taking out recycles. They both do extra as needed around the house. They get a commission. If they work, they get paid. If they don't work, they don't get paid. We keep it simple and when my husband and I get paid, they get paid. We do most of our life in cash so we get their commission in cash. The kids have the envelopes for their money. A dollar goes on the give envelope, one dollar goes on save, and they can put the other 4 dollars wherever they want or into their spend envelope. We follow Dave Ramsey and have the kids on his plan as well. My oldest is saving for a car and had several hundred dollars already at 11! Pretty straightforward and works for us.

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    1. Love that idea! We had plans to have them tithe 10% and donate 10%... but since they're earning $6 and it may get confusing with all the change we might just have to do $1 donate, $1 tithe and $4 to keep. I need to think about that! Thanks, Heather!

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  10. Great post! We still have our cleaning service but I have a chore chart that includes daily tasks (unloading dishwasher, putting away laundry, feeding pets, trash cans from curb, etc.). My son, 7, really thrives using the chart and it helps Mom out too! We do $1/day and he has the ability to earn more money with "bonus" chores (sweep back patio- $2, fold towels- $0.50, etc.) I also use the chart as a discipline helper because if he's misbehaving he loses a day (read- $1). The baby is still too young but we'll get her started someday too. Thanks for sharing your method, I look forward to hearing how it's going!

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  11. If I can get my girls to clean their rooms when I ask we will be happy here! But my oldest does love to clean toilets!

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  12. That's great! We need to start doing this with Sadie and well, also as a family. We are NOT good at cleaning and we both work full time so things definitely fall to the wayside without a set cleaning schedule.

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  13. My girls are 15, 13 and 10 and during the summer they do all of my cleaning and 80% of our laundry! They scrub floors, vacuum, clean bathrooms, the whole kit and kaboodle. Our 15 year old also mows lawn. Makes our lives SO much easier during the summer, especially since we are driving them all over for activities!

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  14. My daughter just turned 5 in May. She cleans her room and her playroom. Feeds the dog twice a day, always puts away her dishes from every meal, washes her hands and face after every meal, folds and puts away the dish towels and cloth napkins. So far she doesn't get paid to do these things. If she doesn't want to clean her toys or her dishes I say, "well...did I make that mess. No. Do you help me clean up my messes? No." If she did other things like baseboards or that type of thing I may consider some type of reward.

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  15. There is an app called Chorepad that you can make a profile for each child and enter their chores in. They go in and check off when they get their chores done and earn stars (you can assign star values to the chores), then they can "spend" those stars on rewards that you also enter. It is a fun way for kids to keep track of their chores! We don't do allowance, but each of our 5 oldest kids have assigned chores to do and then if they want to earn some $ I will give them extra jobs they can do. I have also done all sorts of cleaning plans, some with a bit each day and other times with one big cleaning day. Depending on our season of life I implement what works best for our family at that time. Right now we do one major cleaning on Thursday afternoon where I assign point values to all the jobs that need done. The kids and I pick jobs and start earning points. They turn in their points for stuff like chocolate chips, hot chocolate, etc. We clean for a couple hours and if we don't get it ALL done, I don't fret and I just try to hit those spots first the following week. Right now this system is working well for us! Here's to hoping we are raising responsible adults!

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  16. Yes. My kids are 17, 12 and 11 and they have all done official chores since they were about 3. Now that homework and activities takes centre stage through the week during the school year, they do very basic (make bed, tidy room, clean kitchen etc.) during the week with 3-5 "big chores" on the weekend. I make up a list on Friday night and they have to be done sometime on the weekend. (Sometimes I "star" if something has to be done earlier - like making a dessert when people are coming over on Saturday night.) I totally agree that kids can do much more than we are capable of. I think you also have to have standards but loose standards - LOL. I don't stand over my kids to do their chores. I trust that they will do the best they can - sometimes we have to remind them that part of vacuuming is putting away the vacuum at the end! LOL. Of the 5 chores, there are usually 1 "crappy" chore that they don't like - but need to learn how to do to help run a house someday. I also really try and give as many chores that they like (because that is real world - my husband and I divide up based on skill and interest also). One loves to take the dog for a big walk, another loves to be in charge of making muffins and another one LOVES to organize cupboards etc. Good Luck! My kids are now very proud that they know how to do some "adult things" totally independently. My youngest (and only son) loves to see the look on people's faces when he tells them HE made the dessert for a dinner with friends!

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  17. Yes. My kids are 17, 12 and 11 and they have all done official chores since they were about 3. Now that homework and activities takes centre stage through the week during the school year, they do very basic (make bed, tidy room, clean kitchen etc.) during the week with 3-5 "big chores" on the weekend. I make up a list on Friday night and they have to be done sometime on the weekend. (Sometimes I "star" if something has to be done earlier - like making a dessert when people are coming over on Saturday night.) I totally agree that kids can do much more than we are capable of. I think you also have to have standards but loose standards - LOL. I don't stand over my kids to do their chores. I trust that they will do the best they can - sometimes we have to remind them that part of vacuuming is putting away the vacuum at the end! LOL. Of the 5 chores, there are usually 1 "crappy" chore that they don't like - but need to learn how to do to help run a house someday. I also really try and give as many chores that they like (because that is real world - my husband and I divide up based on skill and interest also). One loves to take the dog for a big walk, another loves to be in charge of making muffins and another one LOVES to organize cupboards etc. Good Luck! My kids are now very proud that they know how to do some "adult things" totally independently. My youngest (and only son) loves to see the look on people's faces when he tells them HE made the dessert for a dinner with friends!

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  18. I think this is great! My six year old has chores around the house and I think it gives him responsibility as well as a sense of accomplishment. Most tasks he enjoys. I remember in college meeting other teens that had never scrubbed a toilet or done laundry and I was floored! I was determined then that when I had kids they would learn household chores.

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  19. Also, I remember as a kid that Saturday morning always started with cleaning. My mom assigned dusting or vacuuming to me and my sister and then we each had to take a bathroom. We hated it then but I'm so glad I learned those things.

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  20. You are a rock star! It's like you read my mind! WE have been discussing giving implementing a system for chores in our household as well and I just don't know where to start. Our kids are only four and two, so obviously the two year old won't be able to do much, but we at least want to go ahead and get them both started on the basics. I like your system a lot!

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  21. I love this and it encourages me to get our kids involved. We tried a few years ago and they were just too young, but at 9 & 7 I am pretty sure they can handle some responsibility and will also appreciate earning an allowance for it!

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  22. A pediatrician came to our church and did a seminar and gave a talk on chores and has a great idea for "chores" but I feel like its for when the kids are a little older (mine are 9 & 6). But basically you give your kids certain amount of money at the beginning of each month (I think he gave his kids $150) and with that a list of chores you expect them to do. With that money they buy everything (clothes, jewelry, perfume, specialty shampoos and cosmetics, lunch with friends, movies, etc). He buys all essentials (food at home, regular shampoo, deodorant, etc). The premise was that you can buy the cheap shampoo and conditioner, wait till things go on sale, etc or you can blow it all at the beginning of the month and then you are out of money. Obviously they will have all essentials but he says it only takes a very short while before they are waiting on sales or not begging for the most expensive mascara or tennis shoes! And if they don't keep up their chores and he has to do something for them (make up bed, take out trash, laundry) he takes it out of their next months amount and they don't get the full $150. And he says its pretty expensive for a doctor to make up your bed, ha!! It teaches responsibility and smart shopping pretty well!

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  23. I love this idea! I just have to say - I wish I was local! I would love to come to the Erin Condren event and also have the chance to meet you! Have a good time! :)

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  24. I love how you wrote it out for each day. We have a 6 and 9 year old and they have chores too (make bed, put laundry in laundry basket, clean litter box, set table, clean off table and put their own laundry away). We have to do a lot of reminding but there's some progress since we first started.

    Obviously every family is different and you have to do what's best for your family but I just wanted to share that while our 9 year old gets an allowance, we don't make it dependent on whether she did her chores or not. We tell the kiddos that everyone in the family lives in the house, makes the messes and wants it to be clean, so everyone in the family should play their part in keeping it nice.

    I'm looking forward to hearing how this works out of you!

    Thanks for this great post! Your blog is one of my absolute favorites to check out each day!!

    I was in McKinney just last month visiting some friends -- went to the square and kept hoping I'd run into you:)

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  25. I went hard core on chores this summer! My 13 yr old knows there are no electronics allowed until they're done! I did lots of research on age appropriate chores and came up with a plan. I bought magnet boards and some chore buttons on etsy. Works fantastic for us! I have a 13, 3 & 3 yr old so we've got quite the span of chores. One other thing we do is we don't call it allowance, we call it commission and they have to put in good effort to get paid. Helps give them ownership of their jobs 😀! Good work!

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  26. I tried what you are doing and failed miserably no matter how I tried to adjust it. Hopefully you will have much more success!

    What did work for us, was giving the kids a set allowance (whatever their age is) per week. They also have specific responsibilities as members of our household (aka chores). I did this largely because I didn't like it when I would ask them to do something and I'd get "how much are you going to pay me?" Overall it's worked as they have set chores that rotate (one kid unloads dishwasher M,W,F and the other does T,Th,S) so I don't have to remember AND more importantly I don't have to keep track of who did what and is owed X amount of money.

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  27. Awesome idea! We also add small picture cues (or photos of them doing chores) for nonreaders so they can feel independent in 'reading' their list.
    Love me some Erin condren!!!

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  28. Great start!!! We have always done chores with our kids but once they got older and sports started. . .well. . .consistency is the hard part. I saw an *awesome* idea on a friend's FB page the other day. . .her kids have wooden door hangers. One long side says "do" and the other "done". One flat side says "morning", the other flat side says "night". Clothes pins are attached to the "to do" side with their chores listed. . .as they finish (this is basics like making bed, brushing teeth, clothes away) they move the clothes pin to the done side. They get screen/tech time only after all clips have been moved. Thought for G you could add pictures or something? Thought it was a neat idea for kids. . .

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  29. Thank you so much for this post Andrea. It motivated my kids (ages 7 and 9) and I to sit down yesterday and make our own chart. Here is a random question that I didn't see anyone else ask in the comments. Does anyone have any tips for cleaning products for little ones? As much as I love the idea of my nine-year-old scrubbing his own bathtub, I don't love the idea of him inhaling harsh chemicals because there is no window in that bathroom. What do y'all use? I might run to target and try Mrs. Meyers as that seems to be pretty natural? I don't feel like I have the time to dedicate to making homemade cleansers but I want something that really will deep clean. Thanks for any tips!!!

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    1. We use magic erasers for tubs and toilets. They are chemical free and a simple Seventh Generation wipe after can do the disinfecting part. I sware by magic erasers for almost everything! They eliminate "elbow grease"!

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