Chores are like the bane of my existence.
I hate them, Nathan hates them, Ella hates them and probably all our kids will forever hate them because they have a terrible example set in their parents. Don’t get me wrong here- I love me a clean house. I just don’t want to be the one to clean it. I fantasize about having a live in maid who constantly cleans up after my whole family. Then, instead of spending 70% of my day trying to keep things tidy, I could just… I dunno? Sit down and write? Nap? WHO CARES. I COULD DO WHATEVER I WANT.
Sadly, the #teampelzel budget isn’t equipped to cover live-in help. So I’ve come up with a system that mostly works for us and I wanted to share it with you today. I don’t think that this is a perfect system, or a system that will work perfectly for every family. But I have put a lot of think-work into this over the years and when I’m trying to get a system in place, “think-work” is always the hardest part for me. So I wanted to share all the thoughts/reasons behind this in hopes that it could lessen your think-load and help you out a ton.
We currently use this for our 6 year old, but it can be modified for any age. You could either give each child their own chart like this or collaborate all your children’s charts onto one poster board, giving each a different colored “Daily Schedule” column to operate under. The “Earn More” section can be a collaborative thing for all your children so you don’t have to kill yourself making tiny envelopes. WHO HAS THE TIME.
I should also mention that this was really freaking fun to make. I designed the stickers with my Silhouette Cameo and am including the free cut file for you, my friend! So that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. In the event that you don’t have a cutting machine, GIRL YOU’LL BE FINE. Get creative here- stickers, labels, dry erase- the sky’s the limit. Find fun paper to match your home decor and make it into something you won’t hate looking at every day.
Our chore chart is broken into these 3 sections:
Daily Chore Schedule:
I’ve settled on the following chores for Ella to decide between each week. Note that some happen multiple times a week while others happen only once:
- Tidying her belongings (3x)
- “Cleaning” the bathrooms (2x)
- Cleaning her room (2x)
- Cleaning the playroom (2x)
- Putting her laundry away
- Emptying the small trash cans from around the house
- Feeding the dogs (7x or every day)
I let her choose what order she puts these in, under these parameters: She has to do 3 every day and she can’t do the same chore on back to back days. For example, she can’t put both bathroom cleaning days on the weekend- that’s cheating. She needs to have at least 1-2 days between each chore. I also give her 1 day off a week where all she has to do is feed the dogs. She even gets to pick her day off, which is rocking her world right now.
I pay Ella $1/day if she does all 3 chores. So this potentially becomes $6/week if she actually follows through. We’ve been able to teach her about saving her money to buy the things she wants through this and it’s been so awesome to watch it click in her mind. This month I’m going to introduce the 10/10/80 concept of 10% tithe, 10% savings and 80% spending money. I plan to do this with jars… but I just haven’t gotten there yet. I’ll update this post when I do!
In the Earn More section of our Chore Chart, she has 3 options:
If Ella gets all her chores done, she is allowed 2 hours of TV time afterwards. This often equates to her doing her chores as soon as she wakes up because she’s eager to watch TV. I’m fine with this. If the girl is gonna work hard before I’m even out of bed YOU DO YOU GIRL. The things she can do to earn more TV time are all active/hands on type things. For example, 30 minutes of yoga gets her 30 mins of TV. An hour spent crafting buys her an hour of TV. Reading 3 longer books to herself or reading 5 shorter books to Emmy buys her an hour of TV. Things that take up time and attention to do so she won’t just be a couch potato- that’s what’s in her Earn More TV Time envelope.
These are things that I just don’t want to do, like brush the dog, scrub the shower, do some of my chores, etc. Shoot I’ll pay her to clean the whole house if I can, I HATE CLEANING.
Hassle Time is another post for another day and it’s pretty much the best thing that’s happened to our house since we started having divas. I wrote a little bit about it here. It’s essentially any time I’m feeling hassled by my girls, they owe me that amount of time in Hassle Time. With Emmy, who’s almost 2, it’s a spot facing the wall in the hallway, similar to a time out. For Ella, however long she hassled me is how long she owes me in chores. I FIND SO MUCH FREEDOM IN THIS. Around dinner time every dang day, our whole house starts to unravel. The girls can’t stop whining/yelling at me and I’m too done to put up with it. Enter Hassle Time. “I’m feeling pretty hassled by you, baby girl, do I need to start the clock?” “Emmy, I feel very hassled by you yelling at me. If you yell at me again you’re going to hassle time.” Suddenly I don’t have to be a victim anymore- IT’S AWESOME.
The Earn More Hassle Time envelope is filled with preset chores: MY CHORES. That’s right, folks, if my kid hassles me too much they do my chores for me. HAS ANYTHING ELSE EVER BEEN AS GREAT? NO. NO IT HAS NOT.
Track Your Own Dang Earnings:
I am a hot mess mom and I make no apologies. As awesome as this whole system is, it was a mess without this small factor. I included a calendar at the bottom that Ella has to check off on the day she’s done her chores. It’s how we keep track of her “pay days” simply because I couldn’t remember how long it’d been since I paid her. Poor girl probably went 3 months without pay because I just straight up forgot. So this helps us both keep it straight. Here’s the catch though: if she doesn’t mark that she did the work, she doesn’t get paid for that day. No going back and marking previous days, just the one. Now I don’t look like the bad guy for forgetting, and it helps Ella remember to complete a project and not leave something done half way. Maybe this will help her later in life so that she won’t be as hot messy as her mama.
What are your cleaning schedules for your family? How are you setting your family up to thrive and not just survive? Team work makes the dream work, so let our tribe know!!