5 Strategies to Manage your Family’s Chores—Permanently!

Photo Credit: D. Sharon Pruitt, Pink Sherbet Photography

1. Use the Web
Chorewars.com – Yes, someone has turned chores into a video game. If you have kids that really cannot keep focus, this will help.
Mozilla Sunbird– an amazing way to keep track of all scheduled maintenance things in your house. It is a really easy (and free) way to manage Weekly, daily and yearly chores and tasks
ChoreBuster – Another easy and free website to manage the chores online—and as they stress a very fair way to delegate household jobs.
Payjr – Same kind of site, another name.

2. Make an Old Fashioned Chore Board
If you don’t want to use the web. Make a big Board that you can post in a central location in your house. Sit everyone down and talk about a fair and easy way to assign everyone chores. Write it down on the schedule and have people check them off when they do them.

3. Make a Rewards System
As mentioned in the previous post. Make allowance dependent on chore completion. If your child starts with $5 per week, when they complete a chore add on 25 cents. If everything on the board is checked off (and actually completed) then they get to choose what is for dinner on Sunday—anything as long as it can be looked forward to.

4. Keep it Permanent
Do not keep changing around who does what and when. This is confusing and is
just asking for people to forget.

5. Be Consistent
I have helped families implement these chore boards or set-up a online account at chore buster and the family did great for about three weeks. At about the fourth week, the someone forgets to mow the lawn because of a birthday party or a house guest is in town so the sheets do not get changed. Occasional changes or day switches or fine—but they have to be occasional, and ‘I forgots’ and ‘slip-ups’ have to be immediately remedied. If you let it continue, the whole system will crash and in two months the house will be filthy, the yelling will be rampant and nothing will be getting done.

If you liked this article you might also like…

Radical Family Workbook

Strict House Chores Schedule

Tags: Chores, Family, Home

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4 Responses to “5 Strategies to Manage your Family’s Chores—Permanently!”

  1. Britax Boulevard CS
    May 18, 2009 at 10:39 pm #

    I think the best way to do all chores is assigning each member of the family a certain chore so that everyone will be busy doing their assigned task. In this way, one will never worry if a certain task is not accomplished because that task is assigned already. Giving rewards will be a good way to motivate someone.

  2. Barb Desmarais
    June 19, 2010 at 10:13 am #

    Vanessa, I have to respectfully disagree with your suggestion to pay kids for doing chores. I remember about 20 years ago listening to Barbara Coloroso giving a talk to parents and someone asked about allowance. She asked the audience: “How many of you got paid to do the dishes tonight?” Her point was, in a family everyone does their share and no one gets paid for doing things that are expected. It made perfect sense to me. We want kids to contribute around the house simply because it’s the right thing to do when we live in any kind of community. I’ve raised 4 kids and when the two older ones were young, they were paid for doing chores. As they got older, when they were asked to do something, they wanted to know how much they’d be paid. Kids tend to develop a “What’s in it for me?” attitude when they get used to being paid for doing chores. When the younger ones were growing up, I learned effective ways to get them to help around the house but they didn’t get paid for any of it unless it was something I’d pay someone else. They got an allowance to learn how to manage money. It wasn’t a lot so once they tured 16 they were very motivated to get jobs because they soon learned the money they got from us didn’t go very far.

  3. Vanessa Van Petten
    June 21, 2010 at 8:23 am #

    HI Barb,

    Thanks for this addition. I think you are right it is not always a good thing. In some families they have found this work for them. I like to put all of the options out there and have people decide what is best for their family. Thank you for adding your story to benefit others.


  4. Floor Steam Cleaner
    November 6, 2010 at 1:46 pm #

    The five points laid out above can really be effective when it comes to managing chores. However, as with everything else in life, it’s not the rules by themselves that make difference. It’s the discipline and the strength to stick with the rules that will bring positive results. That’s where people rarely succeed.

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