Planning an Organized Home
It's a short, six part series that I want to share with you on how I started to get our home organized and in a better routine than we have had in the past. The more routine, the less whining "why do we have to??". It becomes a part of every day life for every one in the house.
The first thing I worked on were chore charts: one for the kids and one for the parents. While I have a pretty good routine for my own household chores, having it in writing and staring me down keeps me from falling off track so much. I searched online for different printable and customizable charts, and ended up finding some pre-loaded with my ancient laptop under Microsoft Works. If you have Microsoft Excel or Word, you can do the same thing. I attempted to copy our chart to this blog but it doesn't pull it all in. Essentially this is what I have in an Excel format:
Chores Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
Laundry (25 cent)
Dishes (25 cent)
Pick up Living Room (10 cent)
Trash Out (25 cent)
Cans & Bottles Out (10 cent)
Boxes Out (10 cent)
Feed Animals (10 cent)
There are boxes under each one for every day of the week. I use colored ink pens and write a "C" or a "J" (my kids' names) for who does what each day. I also have a list under the "Paid Chores" labeled "Every Day Chores". Every day chores that are a must but they do not get an allowance for are cleaning their rooms, putting away dirty clothes, doing homework, reading, etc.
When a chore is completed I put little stickers in the box. I have one set of stickers for each child so it's easy to keep up with who did what. The chore chart stays on a clipboard and hangs on the wall in the kitchen. Every day they come home from school to see what is on their list for that day. They have actually become excited to see what they have to do, since they now earn money for it (albeit very minimal). They both have "wants" all the time (what kid doesn't??) and I have refused to keep buying "junk" toys every time we go out. They now have a list of things they would like to buy, know how much it costs, and are learning to figure out how long it will take them to buy it based on their chore allowance.
Oh, and there is one other section I have added to the chore chart. Deductions. Oh yes, I am deducting for whining, back talk, fighting, yelling, lying, and asking WHY. All I have to do is threaten to take away from their allowance and it curves the behavior. Most of the time.