As a parent, it's so important to teach kids personal responsibility and life skills. Always seeking out a magical chore chart or system to help me, I consistently came up empty. About a year ago, I became determined to create a family laundry system and chore chart that would serve us well. To my amazement, it truly was a success and I am here to share it with you!
Like many families, our children have always done the basic age appropriate chores. They have to brush their teeth and hair, get dressed, feed the cat, etc. However, since they've always been on the younger side, Mom (me!) would do the majority of the laundry for the household. As a result, the laundry felt OUT OF CONTROL at all times, and often felt like a stressor.
Last year we made a big change. Now each child is responsible for their own laundry. For reference, we started this when their ages were 2, 4, 7, and 9--obviously the toddler is off the hook for chores! I've been amazed by how well this chores system is working!!
Now with our current Family Laundry System and Chore Chart, every child is assigned personalized daily chores, a laundry day, and a bathroom to clean once a week. I'll share all the details next!
BENEFITS OF A FAMILY LAUNDRY SYSTEM AND CHORE CHART
- Although it might be more work on the front end with the training, you can take solace in knowing that you are investing in your family now to learn these life skills, so that in the future they will be able to contribute around the home independently.
- Children will show more respect for their space and the home in general, when they play an active role in maintaining the tidiness and cleanliness.
FAMILY LAUNDRY SYSTEM
Each child has their own laundry hamper. I ordered these off of Amazon, because they come in multiple patterns so its clear whose is whose. On their laundry day, they bring their laundry hamper to the laundry room, and then tell me its ready for washing. With my supervision, they put in the detergent and push the buttons to get the machine started. Then, at some point during the day we go down and switch the wet laundry to the dryer. They usually are the ones reminding me that its time to switch the laundry! Once its dry, they put the clean laundry back into the hamper and bring their clothes to their room to hang up/put away. The goal is that this is all done on the SAME DAY, so we don't get the whole family behind on laundry, and it works quite well!
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FAMILY CHORES SYSTEM
Daily chores should be the basics...brush teeth, brush hair, get dressed, make the bed, etc. However, I also tagged on one DUTY for the year depending on the child's ability. Rotating duties gets tedious, so each child simply gets one for the YEAR.
My oldest (9) is in charge of breakfast dishes because mornings are chaotic and it is super helpful. Another child (7) is in charge of tidying up the living room and emptying some of the trash bins. And, our preschooler is in charge of tidying up the mudroom/shoes area.
If you need help thinking of age appropriate chores, check out Pinterest for a plethora of ideas. My goal is not for our kids to clean the entire house. My goal is for them to contribute to maintaining a tidy home. By, doing their laundry, following through with their assigned daily duty, and cleaning their own bathroom once a week, we are able to accomplish just that.
Walk through the detailed process with each child and tell them EXACTLY what to do. Model it for them for a couple weeks, and then let them begin to do it. For example, I showed them how to take the trash out of the bin and replace it with a new trash bag. Then, they tried it the next week.
HACK FOR CLEANING SUPPLIES:
All the cleaning supplies they need are in ONE bin. Since I have a preschooler and an older child sharing a room, their cleaning supplies are up high on a shelf. I get it down for them when its time to clean to avoid problems!
READY TO MAKE A CHANGE? START HERE.
Introduce your chore and laundry system with enthusiasm, so that everyone gets excited about their new responsibilities! Download, print and fill out the chore charts. Then, gather all the cleaning supplies, chore charts, and new hampers to lay out one morning as a surprise. Remember, the first couple weeks are all about training! This is more of a marathon than a sprint, and will pay off in the long haul!