Sunday, February 10, 2013

Chores are the key

I was getting all overwhelmed the other day, trying to keep up with everything there is to keep up with. May have had something to do with the fact that one of my sisters was sent to the hospital with pneumonia last weekend. She's doing a ton better now, but really had us all worried for awhile.
Her white blood count was up over 20K. Crazy. Scary.
So I was all overwhelmed and a little weepy, and it didn't help when I made my To Do list for the next day. I forget things easily, so this is a standard nightly activity for me.
Anyway, I crumbled up and threw away the first list, as it was simply ridiculous. And decided to make a NEW list, of everything that *should* be accomplished in a day. Not things that MUST get done, like eating (wish I could add it to my To-do list, just to check another item off, but that kinda seems like cheating...), but rather things like sweeping and dishes. It won't kill me if it's left undone, but it'd be a lot nicer and more relaxed if these things happened.
Then I divvied up that list!
Why hadn't I done that before? I don't know.
The kids have always been expected to tidy their own rooms, put clothes away, etc, but the vast majority of house stuff was falling on me and I wasn't keeping up well.
After dividing the list, I wrote each child his/her own list, stuck them in page protectors, taped them on the fridge and-- voila-- daily checklists, to use with dry erase markers. Nothing fancy.  
Every day, everything on their list must be checked off.
So NOW, I have a kindergarten who vacuums every morning, scrubs the bathroom sinks and counters, takes out the recycling; a 2nd grader who empties all trashes, straightens the living room, and so on; a 5th grader who empties the litter box (ew, I know, but it's good for him to learn!) sweeps the living room and kitchen, gathers dirty laundry, etc. The 7th grader does the most- help with dishes, start laundry, sort and fold laundry, etc.
The best part? Most of them LIKE lists. They LIKE checking off their chores. (Well, except for that stubborn middle boy who doesn't care, but he doesn't need to like it to do it. Such is life.)

Look at that happy munchkin, feeling such a sense of accomplishment.
Makes me happy, folks!
(and, yeah, it's February and he's wearing a Halloween shirt. Whatev'.)
The "free time" we ALL have now in the evening is wonderful!
I don't sit still well, and without laundry to fold during a movie, I found other fun things to do. I painted myself a simple little "Laugh" sign for the kitchen, and papered the inside of my cabinets!

Simple, easy, fun. My favorite kind of activity!
I really, really like having my fun dishes visible now! {happy sigh}


Jenny said...

I love the cupcake paper!

ayersfamily said...

My kids LOVE this chore stick system. I know there are a million ways to divy chores, but even the neighbor kid begs to pick one of our cute chore sticks so he can do one too. I only put in the jar the ones I need done that day.