We hate chores. I can make excuses all day long -Jared works long hours, we are busy homeschooling, we are busy crafting, we have places to go and people to see, blah blah blah- but it really just comes down to the fact that we hate chores. Oh, and we are kinda lazy.
I realize that no one really likes chores, but I think most people happen to be more organized and are better at sticking with schedules than we are.
Don't get me wrong, we are not slobs (most days). We get the dishes washed just about daily, we take the garbage out daily as well (we use grocery bags in our trash cans), and we vacuum and sweep the main living area usually at least once a month.
There is room for improvement in our domestic tasks.
On top of the general need to be better at cleaning our house, we have a cross country move coming up in just...
(as of December 12th, 2015)
Yikes! That's not much time to get our house cleaned, organized, and purged before the big day.
So, when I was talking to my big sis last week and she mentioned that they started using a chore jar at their house, I was intrigued. I insisted she tell me more and she did. Thanks, Amber!
After I got off the phone with her (I'm sure I had chores that needed to be done), I sat down and created our chore jar.
First I made a list of all the chores I imagined should be done weekly (sweep each room, wash the sinks and toilets, vacuum, wash bedding, etc). I printed the list, cut out the strips and tossed them in a jar.
First Chore Jar
This were nothing fancy, but I wanted to see if they would be used.
Chores to do on the left, finished chores on the right.
Granted, it's been about a week, but still, that's a lot of cleaning that got done around these parts!
The way it works at our house is like this- Every day we are all responsible for loading the dishes in the dishwasher if it's empty/dirty and I run it if it's full. I also hand wash anything that needs it and set it next to the sink to dry. Emma is in charge of putting away the dishes once they are clean/dry, both from the dishwasher and the side of the sink. This typically happens daily or every other day.
Once the chore jars were up and running, Emma and I each took one or two chores from the jar each day and got them done after breakfast and school work. Some of the chores are super simple- sweep the kitchen- while some are a little more time intensive such as scrub all the bathroom sinks.
In just a few days we have gotten a lot of chores done with very little complaining.
I have a few theories as to why this helps us get chores done. First, it's kind of a fun surprise to see what you get for a chore. Will it be easy or not? Second, no one is TELLING you to do something. And third, seeing the little papers fill up the Chores Done jar is satisfying.
Because we have some specific stuff that needs to get done before we move, I decided to put the chore jar to better use.
After getting my chores done this morning (swept all the bathrooms and I helped get the living room floor picked up so Jared could vacuum), I sat down and revamped the chore list.
The weekly chores are printed on blue paper, the monthly chores on yellow, and the moving chores on white. I also decided that there are some things that just need to be done every day, so those are printed and hung up.
I also made prettier jars. Here is how it's set up now.
Examples of the strips of paper.
I did some math (my brain still hurts) and I realized we would each need to do one weekly chore a day to get all of them done each week. Once the week is over, the blue strips will be tossed back into the Chore Jar.
For the monthly chores, we each would need to do about one per weekend. Once the month is over, the yellow strips will be returned to the Chore Jar.
For the moving chores, I need to get two done each week to finish before we move. Once we move I will toss them.
Emma doesn't mind the the chore jars (unless she complains that she is bored and gets an extra trip to the jar), but Jared isn't convinced it's a good thing. He likes the way it was before (where he didn't have any chores). Nice try!
Seeing as he prefers vacuuming and scrubbing toilets, so we might just save all those chore slips for him!
I love the chore jars. It takes the pressure off of me to figure out what needs to be cleaned on which day, and it spreads out the chores. Also, if we have a crazy busy day, we simply pick more chores the day before or the day after. I'm sure there will be some kinks to work out, but so far, we like the system.
On a slightly related note...
While I was perusing the internet looking for a chore jar label (too lazy to make my own), I stumbled upon something amazing...