As soon as a child is old enough to walk and carry something at the same time, it’s time for chore charting. Charts don’t need to be complicated at the earliest ages, but all kids can benefit from an organized system of contributing to household maintenance.
Chore charts may include only traditional “chores” (like picking up and cleaning) but can also include other responsibilities, too (think: reading to younger siblings, shredding old bills for dad, clipping coupons, etc.). It’s up to you.
The formula for chore charting is as simple as making a list of everything you’d like for the family to accomplish (chore-wise) in a day, and then spreading the duties evenly among all of the members of the household who are able to contribute. Never assign any child too much, or this will have the dual effect of never getting done and making the process miserable each day. (How much is too much? You’ll get a feel for this over time.)
If you’ve never created a chore chart, where do you begin? Here are just a few examples:
- If there are pets in your home, and walking dogs is a daily duty, assign dog-walking to a child every day.
- If putting toys or books away in bins at the end of every day is a routine in your home, add that to the chart as well.
- If bringing laundry from the bedrooms to the laundry room is something that occurs daily in your home, add it to the chart.
- Emptying the dishwasher, setting a dinner table, sweeping a patio floor, making breakfast for the family, watching a toddler while a parent is in the shower are all chores, too. Decide how often these need to occur and write them on the chart, as well.
There are many ways to design chore charts. It all depends on the ages of the children, the number of chores on the chart, and the amount of time and creativity you are willing to put into it.
With chore charting, keep in mind that it may take a couple of tries until you’re completely happy with the system. Eventually, however, you’ll come up with a perfectly customized chart that works for you.
The time you put into charting will be multiplied over and over! You’ll not only be rewarded daily with a cleaner, more organized home, but the children will take pride and better understand how to contribute to making their home a nicer place to be!
[These charts were borrowed from HERE and HERE to give you an idea of the many printables available free on the Internet. But, chore charts are so easy to make, you can design one quickly on your own, too.]