Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Chores, aka beat the two-year-old

Not beat as in abuse, but as in get clean faster than he can mess up. Which is difficult, let me tell you.

I have gone through many different chore methods trying to get the kids to do chores. Chore charts with stickers, chores rewarded with money and/or prizes (both clutter and more work for me), assigning individual jobs, you name it-we've probably tried it. None of these things worked long-term for us.

We have come across a system that has worked really well in our family for the last few months. It's no big deal but I just recently thought of doing things this way. On Saturdays (or whenever a chore needs to be done) we draw rooms out of a bowl. Everyone picks one except Dr. D. Little Miss gets mom or dad as a "helper" for her job, but everyone else gets their own. I have found that it is just better to have the jobs chosen this way so it seems more fair and it's a little "surprise" to see what you're gonna get. Here's the part that has really helped-- I have typed out what needs to be done for each room and I print off and tape that list up in the room. It is broken down into specific steps. The younger ones (8 yr. old and 5 yr. old) have to cross off each step as they do them, and I inspect each step. Otherwise they seem to forget where they are and what they are doing. And it's a good chart of accomplishment they can see.
The older girls hardly need the lists anymore, and things are getting done the way I want them to without nagging from me or complaining from them! It's wonderful! For example, I haven't had to clean the kids bathroom in months, because they get it done quickly and beautifully now. Well, I can't say I don't do anything in there, because I do deep scrub the bathtub and mop the floor. But the regular cleaning in there is not my job anymore! Wahoo!

What I want to do is use popsicle sticks and write each room on a stick and make a little drawstring bag to keep them in and draw them out of. I saw a similar idea on "Clean House". That will save me writing the jobs on paper each week.
To show an example, here is my list for the bathroom:

1. Tidy up
  • pick up toys and put away
  • dirty clothes in hamper
  • hair stuff in drawer
  • toothbrushes put away
2. Take rugs outside and shake them out.
3. Use cleaning wipe to clean counter and wipe out sink.
4. Use paper towel and Windex to clean mirror.
5. Use cleaning wipe to clean toilet.
6. Use cleaning wipe to clean around the tub.
7. Move the laundry basket and trash can and sweep.
8. Take out trash (put clean bag in can)
9. Put everything back in and make sure it looks great.
10. Pat yourself on the back for a job well done!!

Now, this may not be as thorough or whatever as some people like, but for me it looks and smells clean and I can come in and mop after they are done. I am so in love with this system and love my kids for being so helpful. And if we beat the two year old, we have a lovely clean house for at least a few minutes until he dumps something out that we just picked up. :) The kids just love that.

What kind of system do you use in YOUR house?


Melinda said...

What a good idea Sally. Glad it has been helping you. We use a rotating chore chart M-F. Kids rotate between living room kitchen and bathroom. The chore chart list the desription of what needs to be done in each room Thursday is Bedroom cleaning day. If its not done then no going out on weekend. Saturday is deep cleaning I just assign what needs to be done.

For the most part we keep up with schedule.......very nice to have a clean house.

RhondaLue said...

the charts worked for us for a while but then the "it's not fair" complaints started rolling in. We had an uprising against the chart.
So now I just tell them what to do. I end up still doing most of the cleaning because my kids are gone so often with school activities, sports and church stuff and I take pity on them. Plus when the dishwasher is run three times a day and nobody else is home...well, I gots to do it! I like your system though, we'll have to give it a shot!

*Katie May* said...

system HA I wish I had one :)

tdljld said...

I like how you tell them how to do each part. I wouldn't have thought of that

Lorie said...

That is a good idea! I might have to modify that for my family.