I never would have imagined cleaning the house and keeping it that way would be so easy. It’s not a miracle at all and it does take some consistency and time but if you at all struggle with keeping it clean or involving the family to help you clean, this will for sure help. I “almost” guarantee it.
About two years ago I was standing in the kitchen doing dishes AGAIN all by myself and cleaning up all the dinner mess and such while my family members went on about their day. (My husband always asks if I need help with dinner, but at this time he seemed to not think about the mess after dinner) I think I just had enough of feeling like I was the only one responsible for keeping the house clean. So I got this great, wonderful, amazing, fool-proof, surely no one will complain idea. LOL. That, by the way, never happens when you introduce new chores to family. They never jump up and down all excited as my daughter once pointed out by saying “you want me to be happy about doing chores.” Okay that’s fair. Though I will say, two years later, they don’t complain when we pull chores. They may gripe a bit about the one they pulled, but they still get right to doing it. Let me explain.
Our first method my husband actually came up with and that was drawing straws. We wrote chores on a piece of paper for after dinner that needed to be done. Things such as, clear the table, put away leftovers, load dishes, clean counters, sweep the kitchen etc. You can adjust that for the number in your family as well as your needs. It turned out that we made just one chore per person and then hubby and I picked up the slack of whatever was left. It worked out great. They complained about the first few weeks but then we noticed they started getting up right after dinner and grabbing the straw cup to draw chores. (at that time we had a rule that whoever finished first could draw first, as long as they actually ate their food)
It’s been some time now and it works without glitches. We do change the chores up occasionally to fit the family needs and as it stand right now, we each draw two chores a piece. That includes vacuuming the living room as well cleaning cat boxes. I will say that we don’t have to fight to get the kids to help after dinner and I’m no longer the only one responsible for clean up. It’s also a remarkable way to keep the family time going a little longer. (I’m big on family meals at the table with no TV or complaining)
Here’s our little chore holder for after dinner chores (we have other chores I’ll get to in a second)
I know crazy right. Inside this cup are our little papers that tell us what we are in charge of. After we have ate we toss them into the middle of the table and the two closest to you are your chores. If we are in doubt dad handles the divvying out of the papers to ensure no fighting.
You’ll notice this one has two on it and that’s due to how easy both of these chores are when compared to say loading the dishwasher. So we try to make it fair with the amount per paper. Though our kids are still really happy when they draw table. All they have to do is clear, wash and set the table. Happy little ones when that’s pulled. Again you can customize to what your family needs. If you notice after doing it that something isn’t getting done, my suggestion would be to have a parent take it over for a week or so then redo chores adding it in. If you let the chores be pretty consistent for a bit at the start before changing it you’ll likely get a better response from your children.
Now that we’ve covered how to get the kitchen and dining area cleaned up after dinner lets figure out the rest of the house.
I know I’m not the only Mom out there thinking, I’m not a maid. If only everyone would help this would be so much easier. Even little kids can get involved in cleaning the house with you and are more than capable of handling little chores on their own. So for our family (my youngest is 10) I was able to break up any chore needing done in the house. I picked a few things that should be done every morning that normally doesn’t get done and made those daily chores. Then I picked enough chores for each of us to pick two chores in the morning. (this is completely different from dinner chores) We do have things like unload dishes (from last nights dinner chores), load dishes (from after dinner snacks), clean up the backyard after animals etc for daily chores. Again these are things that need to be done everyday. Depending on the ages of your children and how many in your house this will be different for you but who ever does most of the house work will know what they do everyday to keep up.
From here I added something big to do at least once a week. Clean bathrooms, scrub toilets and showers things like that. Stuff that doesn’t have to be done every day but maybe once a week is good enough. Then I the number of chores even per day. Me and the kids pull chores first thing in our morning. I say “our morning” because that’s at 10:30 right now with us not being in school. We each have two chores a piece and it doesn’t take any longer than 30 minutes to get them done and everyone is free to play and move about their day from there. It has helped a ton with keeping up the house this summer and I am no longer spending hours and hours cleaning the house unless I just want to. “Want” being the key word here.
Here again is our wonderfully expensive freezer bag holders with folded up paper. 🙂 Yes of course I have separated them by day so that we don’t clean the bathroom two days in a row. It just makes it easier to maintain the house if things are done on a schedule.
Now of course for the extra’s. You know those things that build up and no one thinks about like The front of the kitchen cabinets, vacuuming under the couches, baseboards, those types of things. Well with what’s going to be a very busy schedule with work and school etc we are not going to have as much time to notice these little things. I’ve decided to make these a way for the kids to earn extra money. Not a lot of money. We made the list to fit into our budget. But enough that the kids feel it’s worth it to actually work on these chores.
There are still rules with them. They are only allowed todo the chores listed once a week. So if someone does the chore on Friday then that chores is not allowed to be done again until the Friday after. Very simple to keep track of though. We put the chore list into page protectors then use dry erase markers to mark the child who did it, the day it was done and that the chore was checked by a parent to say it was done correctly. They have to do it right in order to get paid for it. (just like in your job)
Again nothing to the cost. It’s a three ring binder we already had from the school year, normal paper, and page protectors. I hand wrote all of them only because I’m out of printer paper. You will notice that I have week 1 and week 2 wrote in because we get paid every two weeks and that is when the kids can get paid too. Once we’ve paid them then the sheets are wiped clean and they start over.
It’s a very simple plan and I was really shocked at how well the kids took to it. It keeps the chores from being monotonous and drawing stuff is always a bit of a surprise. We really enjoy it and the only thing we will change when school starts is we will use a Saturday or Sunday (We only do dinner chores on these days, everyone deserves a weekend) and we will pull the chores from the bags for the entire week. The children will then be able to choose to do the chores before or after school. They have to have them done before going out to play or watching videos though. Aside from that, welcome to a much cleaner house and a less stressed Mom / Dad.
Worth the shot.
Thanks for reading