Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Chore charts: How I get things done around here.

It’s that time of the year again.  Time for me to focus on our chore chart and tweak the things that aren’t working for us anymore.  I include everyone on our chore chart once they start school.  That doesn’t mean that the little ones don’t help out because believe me, keeping this house running is a constant group effort.  So, here is what our chart looks like.  We rotate monthly because it takes me about two weeks before I can remember who does what without having to refer to the chart.    

Anny and Derek aren’t on there, but it doesn’t mean they don’t have responsibilities around the house.  Anny makes her bed and sometimes she helps empty the dishwasher or set the table, helps mop, sort laundry and puts away her toys along with Derek.  Keep in mind she is barely three, but of all the kids, she is my best helper and does it with the most joy…ok the only one who does it with any joy.

I have high expectations overall, but with each child, I know what their best is and that is what I expect.  I can’t assume the 8 year old can scrub the tub or mop the floor as well as the 16 year old.  I know my children and what they are capable of. 

My oldest is now an adult which brings on a different set of responsibilities.  He is rarely here because of work or school, but he is in charge of the maintenance on my vehicle (the one I let him use), his bedroom, his own laundry and a few assignments every month that can be done at his convenience, like cleaning the pool filters, pulling weeds, etc.

Daily chores are responsibilities that get done every morning before school and usually a touch up in the afternoon around dinner.  That person is technically responsible for their area all day.   So, if it is your job to do the bathroom, then every morning the towels get hung up, the dirty laundry put in hampers, the floor and counter cleared of clutter.  The sink and counter gets wiped as does the toilet.

When it is their laundry day, they are to bring their laundry to the laundry room, turn everything right side out and sort into the appropriate bins.  I will then put it through the washer and dryer and return it to the basket to be taken up later that day where it should be folded and put away.

Saturday is just a deeper clean than on a weekday.  For example, if you are responsible for taking out the trash, then on Saturday, you are also responsible for the trash around the front, back and side of the house and washing the kitchen garbage cans.  If you are over the playroom, on Saturday you will tidy up and then vacuum and dust the entire room, whereas on a weekday, you are only required to pick up the floor and put things away.

I’d like to say my house is always immaculate and the kids are perfect at their chores, but they aren’t.  In a perfect world, I would have a maid come every week just to get it done right more often, the carpets could use a good cleaning at least every month, and the dishes?  Well, sometimes I just have to let it go till it gets done.  It is a learning process for all of us.  I’m learning patience, they are learning responsibility. 

I had a pat on the back the other day when my oldest invited some friends to sleep over before taking a road trip early the next morning.  When I asked if he warned them about the mess up there, he responded that he scrubbed the bathroom and cleaned his room so he wouldn’t be so embarrassed. 

And I didn’t even ask him to.  Props to the mom…and the kid.

If you would like to see my complete packet on responsibilities, I can e-mail them to you, it includes instructions for each daily and Saturday chore.

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