After a discussion on Facebook led to a few mamas asking for resource suggestions on this topic, I decided to do a quick post for all of you who are interested in implementing a chore system in your home. First, let me say: We are not perfect and I am most definitely NOT the most organized, perfect keeper of my home–anyone who visits my home knows that it is WELL lived in! Our home is filled with second-hand, scuffed, VERY used furniture and things. We are not at this time trying to reach a magazine-worthy environment, most days, I’m just trying to keep things running smoothly and the following resources are what help our family do just that. We make messes rather quickly in our home, so it was truly out of desperation that I began implementing our home management systems. Thanks to our system though, the messes get picked up pretty quickly! We have always homeschooled, that means my children are ALWAYS here, which means that I don’t have regular blocks of time to ‘just clean’. Our system has had to be a total team effort because we all share this space 24 hours a day! Things like chore charts, standard sheets, and meal planning can benefit anyone, but for the Kilcoyne home, it is a true necessity! Over the years, we have tweaked our own system in our home to be very specific to what our family needs. But I was really blessed years ago by the following resources when I was getting started:
Managers of Their Homes from Titus2 ministry– This is a great system for training littles, oh my how I LOVED this resource! The chore packs make it so easy to train the children in their chores, plus it helps the children take ownership over their own work.
Flylady— this has been my number one resource to gain control over our home. She just speaks my language! She has some great advice for helping kids ‘FLY’ with their chores and schedules– definitely check them out!
We have a pretty large family by today’s standards, so we also have a master chore chart on poster board that is located on a wall in a main section of our home. The number one reason that I have this on the wall is to eliminate disputes about who does what and to help everyone work together as a team. There is something about having it in writing for all to see that helps hold us all accountable. This also helps to eliminate the need for mom and dad to always ask the children to do their chores. We have a designated chore time in our house, so when we say, “Okay everyone, it’s chore time…”, we all glance at the chart and start working through our chores that are listed. The chart is divided into sections with each of our names and two columns underneath each name. One column is for “Dailies” –these are the tasks that each person is expected to do to ensure that our home remains in decent shape on a daily basis. The other column is called “Weeklies”– these are the deeper cleaning tasks that help us keep up on our cleaning schedule, tasks like cleaning the fridge, outside work, cleaning base boards, etc… Each person has Dailies and Weeklies. When we are following our chore chart well, our home runs like a well-oiled machine. There are some tasks not listed on here that are in my home management binder, but these are the dailies and weeklies that keep us on track.
I also post a master schedule that includes when each person does their laundry, we have 2 baking days in our household, so those are on there as well, an office day for billing and home office tasks and errand day. For example, if it is Wednesday, then my whole family knows that is Office Day– by looking at the master schedule, we all know that mom will be working in the office and will most likely be unavailable while she is doing her tasks. Tuesdays are the day everyone knows that mom will be making most of the baked goods for the day, Fridays are Sabbath Prep and another baking day in our home and so forth… this helps to make sure we are all on the same page every day and that, for the most part, there is limited chaos. Because everyone knows what to expect, I don’t have to field certain questions over and over, week to week… Because Sunday is generally our family day, for example, the children know that having friends over or going out and about is generally not allowed. Of course, there are sometimes exceptions to that rule of thumb, but we try to consciously rest, be mindful of the Lord and spend our time on family on Sundays.
We also have what are called “Standard Sheets”— which brings me to today’s printable! I have these for every.single.room. in our house. Having these magical, laminated sheets transformed our chore time from stressful and challenging to (mostly) peaceful and productive! I even have one for Cleaning the Car and Yard work. These beauties eliminated arguments and half-done work. At the top of the page, It reads : Cleaning Your Room Means… And a simple list, which I try to make in step-by-step efficient order, follows. This list gets laminated and placed in each room it will be used in, I also have copies that go in my home management binder. We use it for training a new chore, to teach each child what needs to happen in that room in order to be considered ‘clean’. We use it for accountability. The children know that if they do not complete the standard sheet, it essentially ‘tattles’ on them by showing what they did not complete. Finally, it is a checklist, checklists are much easier to follow, especially with children, it teaches an efficient way to get the tasks done, and organization skills. If you click on the above image at the top of this post, you will be taken to my printables page where you can download the children’s room standard sheet. Everyone’s homes and standards are different, so make ones that fit your family and home well.
So, that’s the core of what we do in our home– and it works really well for us! Remember to be patient with little ones, I take my time training them to do it right, no matter how long it takes, we are committed for the long haul… don’t get discouraged if your children are less than enthusiastic at first, just keep at it, give them LOTS of praise when they do a job well or give it their best and work alongside them until they are ready to do it on their own. Soon enough, they will start to see the value of hard work, and you might even be rewarded with a goofy smile once in a while! Blessings!