Phase 1: Operation Restore Home Sanity

For a few weeks now, we’ve had all 6 of us in our 1000′ house…all the time.  And since we’re contemplating homeschooling this summer/fall, that won’t change anytime soon (see next post).  Perhaps you can imagine that organization and home cleanliness would be beneficial to this process…:P  So this week we started on phase 1: reclaiming my sanity by getting the kids all on-board with regular, non-nagged chores that will keep the house at a tolerable level of “lived-in-ness.”

I have done chore charts in the past and found them somewhat tiresome and non-motivating for the kids.  So this time I did some googling and found this idea.  I really like the idea because the kids are in charge of doing the chore and moving their stick from the “to-do” to the “done” bucket, and because it looked like something our kids would actually buy into.  Here is what I ended up doing:

Isn’t it cute?  I found the buckets at Target and they were only a $1, which was worth saving me the aggravation of rinsing out and decorating soup cans.

Each child has two buckets.  The ones in front are the “To Do” chores, the blue ones in back are the “Done” chores.  Here is what they looking like halfway through our Saturday:

As you can see, the only sticks left are blue.  I decided to use colored sticks to color-code the time of day that a chore needed to be done.  Some chores (like teeth brushing) got two sticks, one for morning and one for evening.  My color code was: yellow sticks for morning chores, green for lunch-time and blue for evening chores.  The red sticks are chores that don’t happen every day – today’s features a rake because it’s Saturday and the kids did yard clean-up.  Here is what one looks like close-up:

I made them this way:  Find cute clipart related to the chore (the toys are for toy-pickup), print out a sufficient number to have two pictures for each stick and for as many sticks as we needed (ie, four children brushing teeth twice a day = 16 images), print them on cardstock, draw a 2″ circle around them and then cut each circle out (I totally would have bought a 2″ circle paper punch for this if I’d thought about it!).  Then I colored the pics a little, something the kids could do for themselves, and used a hot-glue gun to glue two round pics to each stick.  I used clear contact paper to cover them and hopefully extend their lifetime.

We decided to have the chores on a rotating-child schedule, which brought a new level of complexity to the game.  So I made up a master chore chart where I will keep track of which child is supposed to do which chores on which days.  At the end of the day, all the sticks get moved back into “to-do” and the kids might get a star or something to show that they finished all their chores for the day (the reward system is still in the works ;P).  Here is our families’ master chore chart weekly list:  Masterchorelist  And here is a messy page (it didn’t import well) that shows what my print-outs kinda looked like: imageschores

The kids seem to have like it, as of day 1, and there’s been very little nagging….so all the work looks like it might have been worth it!  😀  I also REALLY like the flexibility of this system, sticks just move if the day needs to change, chores are super easy to add or change child, as each child grows more self-sufficient I just add or remove sticks!  I’m in organized-mommy-bliss….:D

About nathankathy

Nathan and Katherine Born are two Christians trying to serve God as best they can.
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5 Responses to Phase 1: Operation Restore Home Sanity

  1. Yvonne says:

    Cute idea, Katherine. I think I need a couple of buckets for myself! Well, it would work for adults too–I’m a “list” person, I need motivation in some things too–Good job. Hope it continues to build momentum for your children. Hope all is well with you and Nathan. Blessings to all of you.

  2. You are a wonder! I saw that idea, but thought it would be far too complicated and the kids would just end up moving sticks around and fighting over it. That said, my current chore chart has been massively UNsuccessful in motivation or efficiency. So let me know how it’s going in a couple of weeks, and I may have to convert!

    • nathankathy says:

      Funny you say that…prelude to WWI broke out this morning over the sticks…because Jonathan had started ADDING chores to his “to-do” bucket for the day and started doing them!!! LOL!!! So we had to lay down the law – only Mommy gets to add chores or take them away, and the kids only get to touch their own sticks. Peace is restored. I’m just finishing the reward system and will post it, because it’s another cute idea I stole off the net. Finally, some usefulness comes from hours of wasted time!!! 😉

  3. Pingback: House Cleaning Part 6 | Nathan and Kathy's Blog

  4. Pingback: Home Organization and Rewards, Again | Nathan and Kathy's Blog

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