A house (or apartment in our case) doesn’t have to be spotless all the time, but life generally runs smoother when you’re not wading through legos or tripping over dolls. As we gear up for the start of school, I’m revising our chore chart to redistribute responsibilities and remind all family members of their inherent duty to pitch in. No more sleeping in and half-heartedly cleaning up. Once we start school, mornings are going to be snap-snap, let’s get moving.
Each of my children has a set of chores they complete each day. I keep a list of our daily chores to help the children remember what needs to happen each day and to give me an easy way to check-off their progress. I’m a list person. It may not all get done, but at least I know what I did and didn’t accomplish.
In the morning, each child makes up her bed, gets dressed, and puts up her nightgown. That might not sound worthy of a chore list, but since I have to remind them each day, as if getting dressed might be skipped one day, I added it to our list of daily chores. It builds a habit and saves my sanity.
My 10 yod cleans the kitchen after breakfast and lunch. Her 7 year old sister clears the table after meals. They work as a team to accomplish the cleanup. I would say it’s a harmonious team, but that would be a lie. However, in working as a team on a regular basis, harmony will develop. I can dream, can’t I?
The 13 yod fixes lunch three days a week and cleans the kitchen after dinner. The 10 yod sweeps the kitchen and does a quick vacuum around the table each night. The other children gather their widely distributed toys, clothes, and personal items to return to their assigned places, or the vicinity thereof. This quick spiff-up leaves the major traffic areas free from dangerous obstacles.
I think toddlers are magnets for messes. Mine just walks through a room and toys fly out of the toy box. Each child takes a turn picking up the rooms. I usually divide and conquer by sending a child to each room to pick up. This sometimes causes a chain reaction as toys and books are taken to another room, giving the cleaner- upper in that room more stuff to put away. So, I instituted a policy banning the chuck method, whereby the cleaner in one room cannot stand at the door of another room and “chuck” stuff from her room. If books go on the bookshelf in another room, take the books to the bookshelf and put them up. Sounds simple enough, but you’d think I asked them to walk a mile backwards.
That’s our daily chore list that keeps the our living quarters generally tidy. Each and every day these tasks must be accomplished or life as we know it starts imploding…or exploding. Both are accurate descriptions.’