Thursday, January 3, 2013

New Year, New Chores

I had an epiphany yesterday. I realized that my kids no longer need "little" chores. See, I used to assign things like, "clean off coffee table", or "sweep front hallway", or "wipe off light switch plates." But it occurred to me yesterday that they are quite capable, after being home with me all these years, of cleaning a whole room with very little instruction.

In fact, they hate for me to point out what needs to be done. It frustrates them. They see what needs to be done and want to do it in their own order. Fine then.

So yesterday I assigned a room to each girl. It is their job for the year. (At least for the rest of the school year.) Sweetheart, age 13, is in charge of the laundry room. That means:

1. keeping the room clean and picked up (a lot of clutter accumulates on the dryer)
2. washing her own clothes start to finish
3. washing the family's towels, napkins, and washcloths start to finish.

Basically anything in that room that needs picking up or cleaned is her job. I will still do our laundry, and Bee's laundry, and will help Little Bit with hers, but keeping stuff sorted and all is Sweetheart's job.

Sweetheart at the children's Christmas party at church.

She cleaned the room up today and it just makes me smile that it's not my responsibility anymore!!!

Little Bit is in charge of the front room. This room has been everything from a
play room to our homeschool room. It currently has a few uses. Our big black shelves are in there, so it's kind of the family library. All our books are in that room. Also, S's desk is in there for his preaching stuff. And also our TV/VCR/DVD player and Wii are in there. And the birds.

The beach tree we made for Daddy sitting in the front room in front of our bookshelves.

Little Bit's job (age 9) is just to keep the room picked up and tidy. She's to make sure the bookshelves are straight, the floor is swept (birds are very messy), and mess stays out of the room. It's the first room guests see when they walk in and also Daddy needs a neat room to work in. So that's her job.

The living room remains a whole family job. We pick it up everyday at 4:00 before Daddy gets home and again before bed. The girls both also clean up the dining room after meals and take turns cleaning their bathroom. Of course they are in charge of their rooms.

So that basically leaves me the kitchen and my bedroom/bathroom. Such a burden lifted!!

Does that sound like a lot of work for kids? Well the basic premise is: pick up after yourself. The rooms they are in charge of shouldn't take but a few minutes a day to tidy up. Of course they should be in charge of their own rooms--that's called responsibility. I'm working more to having them helping with things for the whole family instead of only worrying about themselves all the time.

Now I'm off to try to locate our bedroom under all the laundry. I just know its under there somewhere!


  1. Our girls can talk to each other about all the chores they have to do. Such a hard life being a part of a family and having to be involved in the day to day workings like cleaning!

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I don't get to talk to a lot of actual grown-ups during the day, so your comments make me really happy! :)