It's Not a Candy Jar -- It's a Chore Jar! (PHOTOS)

Celebrity Moms 167

Our Chore Board
I just thought I'd tell you about our new chore system, because it's actually WORKING and working very well, I might add! If you're a parent, you know that with growing kids, the "systems" we put into place become outgrown, almost as fast as they outgrow their clothing! We have to keep up! Let me explain ...

A month or so ago, I lost my long standing part-time cleaning lady to a full-time office job! We were all very sad to see her go as she was perfect in her role of keeping our house as clean as possible with eight spinning tornadoes, one fast-moving busy mama, and one hairy dog under its roof!

This is the first time, since my littles were small, that I've been without someone to clean my house thoroughly each week, so I have to say, I was kinda nervous ... okay, I was SUPER PANICKED at the thought of adding "main cleaning lady" to my already way too long list of roles here in our home!

For the duration, it had been my cleaning lady's job to make sure that every nook and cranny (sounds like I'm talking about English muffins, no?) within each room was addressed weekly -- and it was my responsibility to clean and organize all of the areas in between that screamed for my attention as I flew by in my standard whirlwind of movement that I embody as a mom of eight!

I called myself the "SOS cleaning lady" -- and that role I've handled nicely while also being the chef, the scheduler, the personal shopper, the accountant, the story reader, the hug and kiss giver, the medical personnel on duty, the bus driver, the psychologist, the secretary, the personal assistant to myself, the quality control operator, the farmer, the teacher, and Ms. Fix It.

To add to the above mind blowing list: "THE ONE and ONLY CLEANING LADY" felt like it could be THE role to send me to dust and dirt H - E - double toothpicks (or H - E - double hockey sticks, if you prefer)! Oh crap ...

Following her departure, I made a mental note to get busy looking for a replacement, as soon as time allowed. Please refer to the above list of roles and allow yourself to try and figure out when THAT could be squeezed in!

In the meantime, and only because of mere coincidence, a friend happened to be telling me about a "chore jar" she put together for her kids when they were "bored" or when they needed to be "redirected."

She filled it with slips of paper. On each was a written important household chore that could easily be overlooked in any busy household, such as "dust all windowsills in the house," for example.
In essence, it seemed, the entire house cleaning duties were broken down into single duties, each on one tiny slip of paper!

I began thinking about this and soon had developed my own version of this method and my own chore jars -- two of them for my two different age groups -- and filled them with age appropriate duties for my kids to do. Each slip included instructions on how to complete each duty.

I went a step further and covered the outside of each jar with "the rules and reasons" a chore would be assigned. For example, unkindness.

Beyond that, I wrote a cash value on each chore and decided to offer the chores as an extra money maker for kids who weren't "in trouble" but who opted to choose chores in order to fill their piggy banks with spending money! (Our occasional trips to the toy store when our piggy banks fill up are a HUGE highlight in our house!)

My Little Kids' Chore Jar

Next, I made a magnetic dry erase board and placed eight magnetic clips on it, labeled with each child's name, to hold their assigned chores. I clip the chore slips onto the clips and on the dry erase portion, I can write the cash earned near their clip, if the chore was chosen versus assigned.

I couldn't contain my excitement as I presented the new "chore jars" one night as we sat together and ate dinner. There were groans and disgruntlement, I'll admit, until I mentioned the part where money could be earned by selecting a chore to complete! "You can make as much money as you want!" I announced! This part of the plan seemed to go over very well!

We are a few weeks into our new chore jar method and the house is still ... well, standing and even clean for the most part! Piggy banks are filling up and unkind or unacceptable behavior is being addressed. The best parts for me are the resulting clean house, of course, but most of all what I love is the family unity and values and the teamwork this system has reinforced.

And, I just have to add, normal kid "naughty" behavior is not nearly as upsetting when I can hand them a broom and end it immediately!


Images via Kate Gosselin

chores, organizing


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CAP1015 CAP1015

If  you spend as much time being a parent as you do patting yourself on the back and writing these pathetic blogs, you could survive without a cleaning lady (which since you haven't had a job I don't understand the problem).  This is my last comment, this is the third blog by kate........complete crap writing, complete inane crap.  I can't beleive she gets paid to write down the most ordinary stuff.

also you might want to read the articles about her in the "Imperfect parent" and "Examiner".  Neither very flattering. 

Bye Kate I hope you find help for your narcissitic, overblown ego and that your children survive and flourish despite you.

Also The Stir, I have now found another site and will not be visiting here anymore except on a whim.  You chose your fan base when you let this woman continue to write this crap.  You may not miss me, but I know I won't miss you! hahahahaha


nonmember avatar Cass

Geez, I dislike Ms. Gosselin as much as anybody, but there was nothing wrong with this article other than the overly perky tone.

nonmember avatar Iwana Upchuck

Wow. If my count is correct, there are twenty-three I's in this. Words fail me.

At least she finally admits she had a cleaning lady. Just like all moms of multiples, right?

Kate Gosselin is so unrepresentative of normal mothers that The Stir should be embarrassed to have her musings on their site. Truly embarrassed.

mamac... mamacalifornia

I have almost this same exact chore chart at our home and it works wonderfully! My children are 10 & 8 and I have it broken down into age ability chores also, the only difference is that my children have to take half of what they earn and put it into their savings account, the other can be saved or used for whatever they want. Chores are a great way to teach children respect for their home & responsibility!

marsh... marshsmom

Oh Dear Lord!  NO CLEANING LADY <*runs screaming*>.  lol


Laura... LauraB1212

Great post Kate with some good tips. I think it's important to have the whole family help out around the house that way everyone takes ownership of the home.


you rock

Cherr... CherryBlossom4U

I am absolutely loving the "chore jar" idea.  Also I get not being so resentful  when dealing with naughty  behavior if I'm handing the offender a broom or whatever.

Thanks Kate, Great Post and tip.

bowing down

the4m... the4mutts

I started doing this about 6 months ago for my 4 kids, and it has been a LIFESAVER as far as cutting down on whining & fighting. They get 1 warning, stop bad behavior, say youre sorry, and find something to do, or you will get a chore to occupy your obviously too busy mind.

Its been fantastic!

nonmember avatar Em

I couldn't get through this for all the unnecessary exclamation points. It comes across as phony & trying too hard. Tone it down a bit & you may reach more of your intended audience.

YouOt... YouOttaKnow

Everyone knows how to make a chore list for kids, and most know to give the child a reward for doing a good job. We are not idiots Kate.


blank stare

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