Do you feel like you are the only one doing housework? Or perhaps it has been a “lost cause” and you live flustered, in the chaos of clutter. I’ve been there!
Either way, consider creating a system for your basic house responsibilities! I did this several years ago as my kids were growing and it has created a HUGE responsibility shift in my household.
Now, instead of mom doing all the work, dad and the kids contribute JUST AS MUCH. It’s wonderful! (And time for moms everywhere to put a foot down!)
But splitting up household chores doesn’t just help grownups. Chores help kids learn responsibility, teamwork, and hard work. Kids begin to understand that they are part of a larger team, and learn basic skills they’ll use for life.
So, it’s a huge WIN-WIN!
Now, when considering a chore system, here’s what to consider:
- What Needs to Be Done
First, you need a master list of chores that has all of the responsibilities that need to be done on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. And don’t just think of basic chores. Also include groceries, errands, and other household tasks that HAVE to get done regularly. See the link above for a great list of ideas and write it all down on a piece of paper before moving on.
2. Decide Who Does What
Now, separate that list and give every person above the age of 2 tasks to do for the week. The younger they are, the simpler they will be, but everyone can do SOMETHING. First, partners and roommates should get a good chunk.
For kids, I give mine one chore a day for five days of the week. It seems to be a good amount for us, but experiment to see what works for you.
3. Make Expectations Clear
Now, use a chore chart or poster to display everyone’s responsibilities, and on exactly what days they are expected. Before you begin, model the chore for your child (or partner). The first few times, help as necessary until the person understands exactly what to do.
4. Create a Routine
Next, put the chores within a routine. For example, everyone may know that chore time is right after school, or that everyone does their responsibilities after dinner. By creating a specific time for it, things will run more smoothly and it will reduce complaining when everyone is working at the same time.
*Note: avoid a time that is right before bed. Often, kids and adults are tired then and motivation will be low.
5. Use Rewards & Consequences
Finally, give everyone motivation that will help them follow through. (Plus, this works for YOU too!)
Consequences: For kids, tell them they can’t play with friends or use screens until it’s done. (For adults, the same could be true).
Rewards: Allowance, screen time, reward coupons, or stickers are great ways to motivate kids. For adults, reward yourself with a night of relaxing or a special coffee after following through for a week or two.
These are small, but they make a massive difference in your mood and momentum when moving forward.
There you have it! I hope you enjoyed this step-by-step process for building a chore system that lasts in your household. The work should never be done by only one person, so make sure to spread the wealth.
Also, if you still feel overwhelmed with housework, consider hiring cleaners, doing a big decluttering session, or buying more healthy pre-packaged food. There are lots of alternative ways to make your life easier and simpler. You just have to be determined!
Now, have fun with your new chore organization system!