But we all know we are not the only people in our homes that are making the mess, at least if you live with anyone else. Instead, everyone who lives in a home, adult or child, contributes to the normal everyday messes that happen, and I strongly believe, therefore, that everyone should have a part in helping keep up with the household tasks and chores.
You, as a family or household, can divide those responsibilities however you think appropriate, but once you do decide who should do what, keeping track, and making sure everyone does their part, can itself be a bit of a job.
To help you track people's responsibilities, many people have relied on chore charts, and with good reason.
It is easy with chore charts to list the expectations of what should be done, the time period and frequency with which they'll get done, and to track, and therefore provide accountability, about whether those things actually do get done.
There's something especially helpful about tracking for accountability, and therefore to an extent, although the examples below
are focused on kids' chore charts, you could easily add yourself or other adults in the family to the chart as well, to make sure everyone in the household stays accountable.
You can make your chore system in your home as simple or as complex as you want, although my suggestion is always to start with something simple and only get more complex if you need to.
Below I've got quite a few examples from readers who've shown me how they assign their kids chores, and track responsibilities and rewards in their homes. I hope these ideas inspire you to give this a try for yourself.
I will say that what works in your family will be quite dependent on everyone's personalities, so don't be afraid to try various ideas shown below and tweak them to fit your lifestyle, goals for chores, and how much you want to follow up in checking what's been done.
In addition, don't give up entirely on assigning chores even if one method doesn't work for you. Instead, try a different one and do some trial and error until you find the right version for you.
So now, without further ado, here are some great ideas for real life chore charts and systems, submitted by readers. Do you have a great system in your home too? If so, you can submit your photos here and the best submissions may be featured here on the site.
Chore & Reward Systems Can Be Combined If You Wish
At a certain point there is a philosophical issue you'll need to think about when making your chore chart, and that is whether chores are a duty for all household members, or whether you would like to pay an allowance or give other rewards to kids who do them.
There are pros and cons to each method. On the one hand, we all know as adults we don't get paid to do chores, we just need to do them in our homes as a member of the household. On the other hand, teaching kids about the responsibility with money, and giving them incentives to get things done, can work to teach other life skills.
Some people have actually chosen a hybrid method of some required chores, without reward or payment, just because the kids are part of the family unit, and additional chores for allowance or other rewards.
Here's an idea, above, from a reader, Deb, who has chosen to use a reward system. She explained, "We have a system using Monopoly money. They earn bucks for rewards and for chores. Now the flip side is they know their chores, I give one warning, then I do the chore and they pay me."
Here's another idea from a reader, Kelli, who uses a hybrid system, and assigns chores using a white board. She said, "My children are 8 and 4 and have daily chores they are responsible for. In addition there are extra money chores they can pick from to earn for things they want."
This photo above was submitted by a reader, Liz. She explained, "I painted a section of my hallway for our chore board with chalkboard paint. It's up higher so the littles can't erase it and the bigs know better than to touch it! Each day has their initial, days with hearts are my days and days with an initial and a heart means Mommie helps out with that chore. I love it and so do they!"
Similarly, here's another idea from a reader, Jessica, who said, "Here is our chore chart. Turn them over and move them down when done. They love it!”
Instead of using a large chart, some people use chore cards. Here are some examples from readers who've chosen to do it this way.
First, the photo above is from Areli, who says: "I use the plastic collector cards sheets and tape it to the fridge."
In addition, here's a photo from another reader, Annette, who said, "We use index cards with any job that is considered extra home jobs, money makers. (These do not include dishes or laundry and any basic daily chore.) When my son wants something he goes to look for several items he can do. I have amount, job and any details about the job "how-to's" on the card."
Magnetic Chore Boards Work Well To Show Which Tasks Have Been Done
Having a system, such as a magnetic chore board, that allows kids and parents to track which tasks have been done, and which are still pending, can be quite helpful.
An example of one of these is the picture above, sent in by a reader, Chris. She explained how she made this board, saying, “I used a magnetic dry erase board (can write in "special" assignments), vinyl letters and magnetic label maker tape. This photo is from right after I made it, but the chores have since been sorted out, so each kid has their daily jobs, and the 'whole family' jobs stay under the Chores section.”
Stacey typed out a list of chores for her kids. She said, "I am a firm believer in teaching children responsibility early in life. I myself learned it when I was young and grew up better and stronger. Our daughters have been doing chores since they were little, 2 are in their teens, 1 is 11. This is a chore chart I made a while back. They don't always do a 'great job' at it but hey, any help is better than none, especially since I suffer from multiple medical conditions and at times can't even get out of bed."
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