Training Kids to Clean [Part 3]

*Warning: This post may overwhelm those who are new to this!*

I have 4 chore lists. Don’t freak out. I’ve worked my way up to having this many in the same way I worked my way up to having 5 children. I birthed one after the other until I had my collection of favorite people. As they grew, I trained them how to do new chores and eventually had a list. 

I love the idea of autopilot. I have my lists so that I'm not having to "think up" all the chores they should do. They are posted on our fridge, so everyone knows.

In each of these lists there are 5 chores, one for each of my 5 children. When it was only 4 kids working, there were only 4 chores in each list. When there were only 3... well, you get the point. I started with the Dinner chores because I just couldn’t do it all myself.  (So this is in order of how I added them to our lives.)

List 1: The Dinner Chores

These chores swap out weekly. I’ve tried to have them do the same one for the whole month, but they get seriously bored and refuse to do them after a couple of weeks. So we change it up to keep them fresh. Because there are certain chores that no one likes! (Loading the dishwasher.) I have friends who rotate monthly. Try out both and see what works best for your family.

This chore list has been in place for years now, even when the kids were in public school. It was, in fact, their only chore list for quite some time. It runs rather efficiently (unless Daddy turns on a good movie while they are trying to complete their chores.)

Kid 1: Load the dishwasher.

Kid 2: Wash extra dishes and wipe down counters. (This is the newest one, whereas I was always doing it, but Queen Vee is in the rotation now.)

Kid 3: Unload the dishwasher. (The same person does it for the morning chore too.)

Kid 4: Clear the table and sweep the floor.

Kid 5: Set the table

List 2: Friday Home Blessing

This is our weekly household "deep" cleaning. We have been doing a “Home Blessing” for quite a few years now and it really helps me keep up with the dirt in this little 3 bedroom house with 7 people coming and going. (We used to do this on Saturday mornings when the kids were in public school.) I’ve also posted about Friday Home Blessing if you’d like to read an expanded version of it. This chart is on the fridge, but also they have a cleaning checklist for each room so they don't forget anything.

Kid 1: Clean the Bathroom (Toilet, sink, shower, floor)

Kid 2: Clean the Living Room (Vacuum, dusting, ceiling fans)

Kid 3: Clean the Kitchen (Sweep, Mop, Wash cabinets & counters)

Kid 4: Clean out the Truck and pick up the Outside toys

Kid 5: Clean the Hallway and Laundry room (Vacuum, Sweep/Mop)

List 3: The Morning Chores

When we started homeschooling, we rarely had clean clothes. I was concentrating on teaching and not laundry. This started as an effort to have clean underwear and has turned into a way to get our household up and running in the morning. These chores are supposed to be completed before breakfast so that their hunger motivates them to get it done. These jobs change weekly and if they aren’t done, they don’t get their daily gaming time. (See Dinner Chore picture. They are listed in the smaller boxes under each day's Dinner Chore.)

Kid 1: Change out the laundry and start new load.

Kid 2: Sort one basket of laundry.

Kid 3: Unload the dishwasher (So we can load it throughout the day. Same person does it for dinner.)

Kid 4: Feed the chickens, dog, and goats.

Kid 5: Sweep the kitchen floor (because it is always dirty!)

List 4: Rescue Your Zones

Daily tidying. This is something we started  only just last year because I was sick of my house not only looking lived-in, but also looking like a bomb went off. So we tidy up every day by picking up anything on the floor and surfaces (coffee table, kitchen table, shelves, etc.) Here is my post on Rescuing Your Zones for a better explanation. Basically, each kid is responsible for one room to tidy up and we only neaten for 5 minutes. It gets cleaned up really quick. Lastly, we rotate these jobs monthly.

Kid 1: Tidy the Living room

Kid 2: Tidy the Homeschool room

Kid 3: Tidy the Kitchen

Kid 4: Tidy the Hallway and back porch

Kid 5: Tidy the Bathroom

I know this is a lot. I also know my kids can handle it right now. We are at home 24/7 with homeschooling and all of these things need to be done for our house to be tolerable to live in. I cannot possibly clean up after 7 people all on my own. Especially after the year of pain and inflammation in my wrist.  

Take your time building a routine with your children and trust them to complete the job even if it is only half as good as you want it to be. It discourages kids for us to go behind them and redoing what they just did. Patience mommy. (After they go to bed you can make it perfect.) Add to your chore list gradually. Eventually, you will be sharing the responsibility of your home with all the kids in your family. You can do it! And when they grow up, they will know how to keep their dorm, appartment or new home clean! Thanks mom!

Other posts in this series:

Training Kids to Clean [Part 1]Are they old enough, Where to start, How much work

Training Kids to Clean [Part 2] – Apprenticing cleaners, Don’t REDO it, Chore rewards, Chores as punishment

Training Kids to Clean [Part 3] – Our Chore Lists (WARNING: May be overwhelming to newbies!)