Wednesday, August 27, 2008

How we handle chores

People freak out when they discover I have five kids. However, they forget that while big families make bigger messes, they also have more actual PEOPLE to clean up said messes.

So, here's how we do it.

I have a chart that hangs where everyone can see it.

It's pretty basic. Everyone has two chores a day on the chart, as well as cleaning up their room (they all share rooms, so they each have to clean up their own junk). I chose a number of chores, and grouped them so that no one does the same chore on the chart more than once a week.

We have a Swivel Sweeper, which is cordless and very easy for the kids to use. I have my homemade all-purpose cleaner (vinegar and water) that they use for cleaning solid surfaces.

Every weekday both of our eating-on tables get cleaned. The litter box gets scooped. Each bathroom gets the counters, sinks and toilets cleaned and trash emptied. The Swivel Sweeper gets run over the areas where we eat, the kitchen, the hallway and the living room.

No chores on the weekend, unless their rooms are a completely insane mess. At that point, we reserve the right to lock them in there until it would pass a health inspection. NOTE: this only happens with the girls.

Anywho, it's not spotless at. all. Yet, it functions and we only get buried in the filth on occasion. I can live with that.


Brenda said...

Our chores are very similar but they keep the same ones for a month.

Georgia said...

Tell me about vinegar and water. Will it clean the nastiness that is my shower? Or is it better for maintaining? We have a tiny bathroom with very little ventilation and the hardest water known to man. And scum. Lots of soap scum. Can vinegar and water restore my rental house plastic shower kit to its former glory, if it ever had any?

Lisa said...

Love the chart!

Shan said...

Nice one Christine! I like the idea of having charts but I have yet to make one that fits us just right (mostly because I lack initiative). I think I'll do better when the youngest one is more capable. For now I need a chart for him that says
PUT TRAIN AWAY AGAIN... and so on.
because the second I get that monstrosity picked up he gets it right back out again.
Of course I could make a similar sign for LEGO bricks and guys for the older one. :D

Glenn Beck was making fun of "family wipes" on the radio this morning and it was pretty funny. I would have stood up for you if it were a conversation though. ;)

Unknown said...

Georgia, I have to use baking soda and good old fashioned elbow grease on my soap scum.

Shan, I had a separate "chart" (hand drawn piece of paper) for my youngest ones for for-e-ver! It just had pictures: a made bed, a set of clothes, a clean cup and plate ... that sort of thing.

You could just draw a big train, screaming from the pits of hell. Maybe that would work?

Glenn Beck can lick my butt hole. :) Then I wouldn't have to launder the wipes!

It's OK to be WEIRD! said...

It's been ages since I was here. Glad I was urged to stop in today!

I appreciate this idea. I have thought about it, and attempted a chore chart a few times, but 'something' always seemed to happen. Even here in transition, though, I think I can make it work (or something similar). Thanks for the reminder.

It's OK to be WEIRD!

Georgia said...

A little off topic, but I think you have discussed this topic before. I know about the washable/reusable flannel in lieu of TP, but how about Cycle Pads? Wondering if you use husband sent a link to a place selling them, and I thought of you!

Unknown said...

Georgia, yes, I've talked about that WAY more than any of my friends care to count. I'm a Diva Cup gal!

Kandi said...

Nice chart...I wish charts worked for my crew. I have tried so many different ones.

Oh and speaking of our cycle...thank you for introducing me to the Diva Cup....I SO love it (as much as I can love that time of the year)

Kandi said...

oops.. I meant time of the month....gosh I wish it was only a yearly thing LOL

Georgia said...

I have seen some of the discussions of the Diva Cup but seeing a reusable pad was definitely new to me.

Cammie said...

Glenn Beck can lick my butt hole?!?

That friggin' almost made me spit my water out from laughing so hard!!!!! Thanks for that hilarious visual!!!!!

Jodi said...

Hi Christine,

I'm one of your daily faithful readers. I love your posts and your transparency. Thanks! You have mentioned previously that you think you have included everything from head to toe for body care. I have two more questions... :-)

What do you use for lotion? Do you make your own? I am looking for an all natural lotion that is not too expensive.

Question #2: What do you use for a body wash? I have been making my own from ivory soap, heating it and dissolving it in water (it's way cheaper than Dr. Bronner's- even tho I love it), but seems to be a little drying. Any suggestions?

Oh, and by the way, thanks for sharing about the "no poo" thing... I have naturally curly hair and have been without shampoo for about a month now! I love it and never plan on using shampoo again. My hair is soo happy!


Unknown said...

Jodi, I use Ivory in the shower. I do buy the occasional homemade soap. We have some that's local, here, and I also LOVE everything that Sara makes at (here shop is currently not open, but check back - here stuff is FAB!).

I don't use much lotion. However, I have three kids of color, so we keep a LOT of lotion in the house. Usually whatever oils we are using on the girls' hair, we just rub right in when we're done. Because we go through so much, we buy store stuff a lot (whatever is on sale, and I let the kids pick their own - don't force my crunch on them). Personally, a little water and olive oil suits me just fine.

Treehugger said...

thanks for all the great suggestions and advice, day to day. I have been visiting your blog for the last couple of weeks, and have enjoyed it immensely. It's obvious that you love to laugh, and that is clearly what helps keep you sane! :) When I saw your "schedule of chores", I thought of my brother's wife and 5 kids, as this is how they handle it as well. They home school, as well, and so it is even more important to keep things flowing smoothly around the house...

BTW, if you are looking for a good place to purchase home made products, like soaps, salves, lip balms, shampoos, and the like, check out this lady's on-line store (she makes her own stuff from what she & her kids grow on their Tennessee farm)...I have tried some of them, and they are genuine quality:

Tell her that Kristin sent you!!

Unknown said...

aww your too sweet. I do think that once this current fog leaves me the store will be opening up again. We can hope and pray right!? I do like a good ol' fashioned chart, we used one in the community we lived in. Though ours was a circle chart...wish I remember how it was partitioned out...