Ah, back to school. The season of epic busyness. And what’s the first thing to go when we’re busy? The house. I mean, it is for us anyway. And there’s that struggle between wanting the house clean but being too darn busy to do it all yourself, but keeping your kids motivated to do their part is equally exhausting. Reminding them what they need to do, knowing whether they did it, and making sure responsibilities are shared between everyone in the house. How do you do it without becoming a nag and how do you do it without making it feel overwhelming for everyone? My answer: a chore chart.
Specifically – a chore chart for your kids. It is important for kids to have responsibilities around the home, but it can be a real challenge to get them into a routine and to keep everyone on the same page. So I came up with a customizable chore chart for kids that tells them what they need to do, allows them to keep track of it themselves (and for you to check), and for responsibilities to be switched around so everyone is doing their equal share. It also breaks down all the weekly to-dos into small little daily chunks so that things can stay done instead of piling up into an overwhelming to-do list that just ruins any hopes you had for a real break this weekend.
This chart is basically my own weekly cleaning chart that I keep for myself, broken down to make it easier for both mom and kids. My family has kept a routine like this for over 2 years now and breaking the household responsibilities into manageable chunks really helps us keep on top of things without the whole family having to set aside a huge chunk of time each week to do it. (See my own cleaning schedule here and how it keeps my house clean in 30 minutes a day!)
The chart starts over every week, on Monday, and is as easy as filling in the blanks. There’s a table for daily things, like making beds and feeding pets. A table for things they’re responsible for once a week and which day they should do it – like gathering recycling and which night they’re responsible for after-dinner dishes. Then there’s a spot for extras that come up every so often like backpack clean outs, etc.
You can of course make your own, but I went ahead and made a blank one for you to print and fill out for your own kids. You can either print a new one out, or you can have it laminated at your local printing store to use over and over again.
You can keep it on the fridge, hang it on the bathroom mirror as a friendly reminder while they brush their teeth, or – my personal favorite – in your family command center so everything is in one convenient spot.
(Psst. See how I made a renter friendly chalkboard wall in my kitchen here!)
It may take a little coercing to get the kids into a routine with the chore chart but it really can make a difference in how they approach their responsibilities around the house.
- They know exactly what they’re to do every day alongside their homework
- They learn to keep track of things themselves
- There’s fewer conflict between you because you’re not the one directly giving orders, it’s the chart
- It keeps everyone on the same page, without having to repeat yourself or keep track of more things.
And if you really want to make it fun, get some cool stickers and instead of and X, have them mark it with a sticker when something is finished. When they’ve gone through a whole sheet of stickers, maybe they get a special dessert or a new book or toy. Wins for everyone. Especially Mom, who gets to think about one less thing today!
To get your free printable of this chore chart you can either click the following link to download the PDF: Back to School Chore Chart
OR! You can click this image below and save the JPEG. Either way, they’re ready to print on 8.5″x11″ paper.
And if you’re interested, here are a few posts I’ve written about keeping my house a little cleaner with less effort.
So, how do you keep on top of the house during the busyness of the school year? Do your kids have responsibilities around the house? What kinds of things do they do? I’d love to know! Comment below and tell me!