Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Determining the Tasks and Starting a Chore Chart

Back to chores... Every time I create a new chart, I start with a list of the tasks that need doing, and determine how many times a week they need to be done.  I make special note of any that must be accomplished on a certain day, like getting the cans out to the street for garbage pick-up. 
I usually do this by hand and it looks something like chicken scratches by the time I'm finished, but it's a necessary step and helpful tool.  I can't possibly chart every task that ever needs doing around our house, but I decide what jobs are most crucial to the running of the house on a weekly basis, things that fit the kids' capabilities, and things that they won't hate too much.  A challenge is OK-- can be good, in fact, but frustration is definitely not the goal.
3 Bathrooms, each cleaned twice a week

Vacuuming hardwoods isn't the most favorite,
but a chore that needs to be done daily

I used to try to add monthly tasks, but it made things too complicated.  Occasional and rare household or yard tasks can be assigned as extra chores, as an afternoon or weekend project, or exchanged for one of the routine chores, as needed.
Princess Artiste does routine kitchen clean-up, while
Prince Inventive helps Hubby with the dish hutch,
a rare or one-time home improvement task            

Chart style examples
After I've made my list, I choose an attractive chart-making template from MS Word or, of course, now edit one I'd made previously.  I fill in the names of each child old enough to be capable of any chores.  Even the youngest kids like to be included.   Then I start to distribute the chores...More on that tomorrow.


  1. Sounds like you make the chores start off as fun. So smart. Jane

  2. Young kids always think doing a new task is fun, so that part is easy...It's after the first couple times and especially when they get older that nothing of a 'have to' nature is fun! Then it just has to be quick and painless. ;-) If it's painful for them, it somehow becomes painful for me...

  3. Speaking of kids always thinking a new thing is fun. I've been having WD warm up the car when we have someplace to go. He's loving it. I wonder when he'll realize that trudging out into the snow, brushing & scraping off the car, just to push in the clutch and turn the ignition really isn't that exciting.

    The problem of assigning chores for me has always been that they don't get done as well as if I'd do them myself. And then it's annoying when I see dirt that noone else sees. (actually the 6yo is a very good cleaner, it's his brother and father that don't seem to be able to see dirt.)

  4. Some of mine will do chores as if I'd done them myself...Well, make that 1 of them, and part of the time. But I just have to deal with it, because it's the way they learn and the way it goes, and I'm sure not prepared to clean up after 10 people by myself! But the problem is partly addressed by repeating certain chores during the week, so that when one misses a spot, hopefully they or the next person will get it the next time.

    Of course I do have to point things out if the miss is too bad or carried on too long, and every once in awhile, I have to do things myself so we're starting from 'clean' again. I'm sure the dynamics of such things are quite a bit different with my multi-kid crew compared to 1 or 2.

    I had to give up 'perfectly clean,' though....Not that I was ever quite there. I find that I can get more anxious about keeping something that's spotless in that condition than if I allow a bit of clutter and comfort. Then I'm afraid of getting too crazy and giving the impression that the house is more important than the residents. I've learned to accept a low level of chaos... and to appreciate a stray shoe or dishes left where they shouldn't be, because one day there won't be any of that, and I'll wish to have it back!

  5. I love your attitude. I've been working on not needing "perfectly clean." In fact, the other day when WD asked if I wanted to play foosball, I set down my microfiber and played.(Resolution's still going strong.


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