With 4 kids our house gets MESSY. I mean, really messy. I used to be a total neat freak, now…I choose sanity. But, that does not mean I am going to let my kids get away with not helping out or have them thinking is okay to live in a pig sty.
I have taught my
slaves, ahem…kids, to work, and to do a pretty decent job on their chores. We call it “mom clean.” As in, don’t clean the way you would, or the way dad would, but clean the way mom would. Nothing shoved under beds, everything in its place, floor swept/mopped/vacuumed. Mom Clean.
In order to help facilitate “mom clean” I have come up with 5 things that make my life easier:
1. Set Expectations – My kids know they have chores, and they know when they have to do them. My oldest, for example, knows he has to clean out the dishwasher as soon as he is home from school each day. No food, play, or television before it is done. Having the expectation of chores cuts down on whining. It took a few weeks of doing this daily, but now he doesn’t even complain!
2. Make a list- You can’t just tell kids to “clean the bathroom” it is far better when you give them a specific list of what that chore entails. Scrub toilet, straighten towels, sweep floor, wash down counters, scrub sink, scrub tub, wash mirror. I love all of the great chore charts and lists you can find on Pinterest. I particularly like how detailed this one from Organic Families is. She sells her checklists, and will even customize them.
3. Keep things age appropriate- I love that all of my kids have different abilities. However, it can make chores challenging. Keeping chores age appropriate helps. Check out this list of age appropriate chores from The Happy Housewife. It includes a free printable.
4. Attach a compensation– I love the idea of having chores that are mandatory, and chores that they get paid to do because they are extras. For example, my kids have to keep their own rooms clean and do one or two chores around the house each day, but if they do extras I can compensate them. The compensation could be a privilege, money, or something else. I like these magnets that have the value of the chore right on them. You can buy them on Etsy from More than A Memory, or make your own.
5. Set a deadline- My kids are what I call “dilly-dallyers” if they do not have a set time frame for when a specific task has to be completed by, it TAKES ALL DAY. So, I say, “In the next five minutes I need you to take out all the bathroom garbage cans and put new liners in them.” Or, “You have until 4 pm to get the dishwasher cleaned out if you want (insert privilege) today.” This keeps them on task.
More than anything, I have found that consistency helps. If you consistently have kids do chores daily, it will become a habit, and maybe someday they will make fewer messes because they will realize that they have to help clean up those messes! Maybe.
What do you do to make getting through chores at your house easier? Do you have any favorite chore charts or printables you want to recommend? Share a link in the comments section below, or on Facebook.