Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Works for Me: Summer Chore Jar

Right now as I type, my children are happily setting about getting their morning chores done. Did you get that? They're happily doing their chores. In fact, breakfast is rarely over before they start asking about the special chore for the day.

How do I do it? A "chore jar". Each week I make a bunch of slips of paper containing the chores that I want my children to get done for the week. I usually use flylady's zone for the week as a starting place and often follow her suggested zone chores (if you haven't checked flylady out, she has a great method for simplifying the job of housekeeping). I put in enough chores for each child to do one a day, minus one day off (so with 3 children times 4 days, I usually come up with 12 tasks). Every week I also put in a slip that says "bye" - meaning no chores for the day. If one child draws that slip, all the rest of the slips go back (except for the "bye") and we take the morning off.

So here's how it works: each child draws a chore. I keep them simple like "wipe the baseboards and door frame", "dust the fan blades", "clean the bathroom sink". And with using one zone/room for the week, a lot of those putzy spring-cleaning type chores get done. They're allowed to trade if they want (rarely) and they get one "do-over" for the week if they really, really don't like the task they drew.

And that's all it takes to get some happy workers. I think it's a combination of the element of surprise and the simple tasks that make it work. They know once they've done their regular morning routine (get dressed, make bed, collect laundry, etc.) and completed the chore for the day that they are pretty much free from work. And me? I make myself available to assist on the daily chores, but usually I also manage to get in one or two cleaning tasks too before calling it a day on house cleaning.

It works for me and it might work for you too. For more Works for Me Wednesday tips check out the list over here.

1 musings:

{ L } said...

This is awesome!!! Thank you for sharing.