Tuesday Tip: Household Help

Ah, the new year!! Lots of promise and commitment to home organization….ring a bell?  I am so encouraged by this new season of having four capable children that I am jumping on the home organization bandwagon lifestyle this year.

The idea for this started brewing when I saw my friend’s system for having her children help with chores around the house. She made hers super-fancy: typed out the chores, pasted them on colorful cardstock, laminated the cards…I am not very ambitious in that regard…I just wanted something that I could use for our Sweet Peas.

Daunted by the idea sitting down and coming up with a chore list, I did nothing.  Then along came a tweet yesterday, with a link to THESE amazing home organization charts from simplystacie.net.

I printed out the “Daily Cleaning Checklist” thinking that this would be a good list for my jobs to do after I finished homeschooling for the day…and then lightbulb!! Here was a good working list to start with for the chore rewards I had been wanting to do!!

So I sat down with my index cards from the Dollar Tree, a sharpie, and started writing.  I did not use all of them for the children…there are some that I want to do (sort mail) and some that are part of the daily chores they already do as part of helping out because we are a family (making the bed, clearing up after meal times).  I did put a couple of kitchen items in there so that the Sweet Peas would have incentive to really clean other areas in the kitchen after they had finished with the dishes in the sink.  And quite frankly, since little hands are typically helping with meal preparation (read: things get spilled), the kitchen floor can use a good sweep after every mealtime.

I started by making 15 cards so that each of my five homeschoolers can pick out three chores a day.  The expectation is that they will do their chores before our school day ends at 3:00 pm.  When they are finished, they hand me their cards, I check their work, and then record their daily “pay” in my planner as long as everything is satisfactory, or they get a chance to re-do it with or without my help as the case may be.  At the end of the week, they get to collect their “wages”.

And…I was so excited by our first day results yesterday!! I love having the house tidy, I love having the Sweet Peas help, and they are so excited to be earning spending money!  Puma and Busy Bee are saving up for their Europe trip, the boys want to save for Pokeman cards, and Otter just likes the idea of having money.

I hope that you are blessed by the handy charts as I have been.  I was also inspired by the chart on 31 days of decluttering.  After experiencing the loss of family members, and seeing all the work that goes into closing down their homes; and just the waste of energy and time trying to filter through all the accumulated possessions of our lives, I really want to get on top of this in 2016. I adjusted the 31 day chart for a year, and then every day THIS year, I will start paring down what we have.  I am looking forward to releasing the things that we do not use for someone else to enjoy who might actually enjoy them rather then letting them sit in a closet or drawer or box for another year.

Want more inspiration?  Here are some charts that show age-appropriate life-skills, kitchen skills, and chores from 30 Handmade Days: