If you have children, the best thing you can do for them and for your housework management, is to assign them chores. But if you’re short the six helpers I have, you can still benefit from the two approaches to chore management I use.
By far and away, my favorite chore management program is Managers of Their Chores at www.titus2.com. The Maxwells are homeschoolers, but designed a chore system that can be used by anyone, including a distracted single! The book is key because it provides the motivation we all need to create, implement, and oversee a chore system. The system itself uses clip-on badge holders that hold numbered cards listing one chore each. Their chore website allows one to create neatly printed cards and picture cards for preschoolers. If you or a child is easily distracted, wearing the chore list and moving chores back in the pack as they are completed is the solution! The only downfall to the system is the fee. But I believe the program is well worth it. I laminated the cards for my little ones. The unlaminated cards were quickly water damaged. Managers of Their Chores works best if you and the kids keep the same chores for six months to a year. If you don’t change your routine, you may find you no longer need the chore pack to keep you on track.
I recently found a free chore managing system on the excellent website www.organizedhome.com. Check it out for great no-nonsense tips. www.chorebusters.net is a FREE system for generating chore lists. Chorebusters can schedule chores for one person, but the real advantage of the program is it rotates less-desirable chores among family members. You can specify workload for each person. For example, I assigned my 3yo a 25% workload. You can also indicate which people can be assigned a particular chore. You can have lists emailed or you can print them directly. You can even print cleaning assignments by room! I spent the time inputting all my chores into the system and the kids are enjoying a little change of pace. The advantage again is it is FREE! The disadvantages are there are no pictures for preschoolers and I can’t seem to figure out how to print only a.m. chores or only p.m. chores. It may just be that I missed that option. One plus for us has been that I’ve put all my chores into the rotation, too, as a reminder to teach my kids how to do them. If I were to become seriously ill, it would be wonderful to know that all the housekeeping chores could be completed! They probably wouldn’t be, but I’m talking theoretically…
If neither of these approaches work for you and you have children, I’ve also enjoyed the peg board approach at www.familytools.com. Check it out! Chores don’t have to be so much of a chore.