Saturday, January 2, 2016


My doctor says I have to try to make my life less overwhelming. Part of that is making sure my kids do household chores to prevent my surroundings from feeling... chaotic? out of control? or yes, overwhelming.

Over the years we've had chore lists. For the most part they're effective. With child #2 leaving for college, my breakdowns, and life havoc, we haven't made a new one to account for our familial changes.


I made chore lists. (Typo's everywhere. Please pardon those, as I honestly have a hard time finding right words and letters while I'm thinking. Even proof reading more than once, my brain says it's correct. My kids know what I mean, though, and I'm not wasting paper printing new ones.)


These designs are somewhat creative and somewhat drearily-burn-your-eyes-out boring. I'm fairly certain my Typography teacher would roll her eyes at the gazillion different typefaces I used. There's no color. Because no color printer. blech. BUT, we have crayons and colored pencils and markers. The kids have each decorated their own chart, so they're much more fun in real life.

This one goes in a picture frame with dry-erase markers so it can be reused all year long. They can track the dates for each week, what their Sat job is, and what reward they're working for.

Some days I honestly cannot summon the energy to make the kids do their homework and chores. Therefore they each pick a reward, I buy it, and they know they can claim it at the end of the month. I need the rewards to be visible and believable so the kids aren't working for an empty promise.

I don't know if this will work. If not, I get some My Little Ponies, KreO Transformers, and a Barnes & Noble gift card at the end of January. I'm claiming them if the kids don't earn them. I think. Not sure, really, how we'll handle that. If they'll roll over to the next month, if I save them for Christmas or birthdays or something?

Not really sure how I'll handle missed days, either. If there's a mulligan, a pre-set of days they can miss, or something? Maybe I can hand out mulligans as a reward for extra awesome behavior? I have no idea.

This may or may not make sense if you look at it. On our calendar, sundays get marked with the A-F, and Saturdays get marked with the 1-6. That way everyone knows what they're expected to do during the week and what their Saturday job is. This is posted next to the calendar. And yes, mom and dad are on the rotations, too. We all live in the house, we all have to pull our weight. 

This page tells the kids exactly what is expected to consider their job done.  My 9 yr old suggested that Kitchen include wiping out the microwave. I am wondering if I should have added vacuuming off the couches to the vacuum chore. This is posted next to the graph that details who has what job on what week. That way no one can say they didn't know.

My son can read, so even he can't say we didn't tell him. And at the age of seven, yes, he CAN clean bathrooms. He may not do it perfectly, but he CAN do it. I refuse to have a child head off to college or live on their own and not know how to care for themselves, their home, or their bathroom. ICK.

And this. This one is for me. I am super forgetful, and I tend to avoid things that are good for my mental health and self-satisfaction. So here it is. Me talking to me. I have put a sketchbook by my computer, by my bed, in my backpack, and am planning on putting one at work. I need new ones, most of mine are full or almost full, but I am attempting to make that happen. The writing thing shouldn't be impossible either. I am addicted to my computer and sit here all the time. In fact, I hung my job chart right here on the wall next to me so I can see it and not forget.

Now that I think about it, I need to figure out a dinner schedule. Who makes snacks for after school when I'm at work, who makes dinner on what days, and what days I am expected to crock-pot.That feels extra complicated right now, so I probably won't do that yet. But we need it. Dinners are the hardest thing after cleaning house.


  1. For missed chores perhaps you could come up with a list of oddball things to be done within a certain time limit to make up for those missed chores? It could be anything you've been thinking might be nice to have done but isn't really a daily or weekly or even monthly thing.

    Also, you probably already know this, but in case you don't, microwaves are super easy to clean / wipe down if you first microwave a bowl of water for 3 - 5 minutes. :)

  2. The oddball make-up chore is a really good idea.

    on a side note, We decided on weekly chores instead of daily chores because if someone didn't do dishes on Monday, the person on Tuesday ended up having to deal with all of them, and that wasn't fair.

    I'm pretty sure this month will be a lot of trial and error, but as we work out the kinks, I think it will make my house feel much more manageable.