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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Truther Truther

I'm reminded an episode of The Cosby Show where, whenever daughter Denise would go off on one of her  endless, mindless tangents, Cliff and Claire would roll their eyes, shake their heads wearily, and sing, slowly:

Well I had a little talk with Jesus and I told him about my troubles..."          

nonmember avatar Ohplease!

Get real Kate! There are moms out there who work an 8 hour shift, and some who work 2-3 jobs, come home take of kids and CLEAN THEIR HOUSES THEMSELVES! NO CLEANING PERSON. You have 9 hour 5 days a week, your kids are in school, the kids are with their father on some weekends, you are by yourself, and then have hired help to take care of kids, when they come home from school. You must not be very good with time management, for a person who claims they are a great organizer. Stop complaining, about cleaning house. You don't work a 7-3, 8-4, 9-5 job, not even a part-time job. This blog is once a week! This is not a job, this is an interest,to some, Hobby, to others. Your past blogs, were written in 10 mins, and probably so was this, it does not take 7 days to write a blog. Some more bragging crap! (really thought she would have improved by now, still the same writing as Coupon Cabin)

YouOt... YouOttaKnow

Did some of you not know about a chore list or chore jar before today? This was really news to you?

Truther Truther

To Kate Gosselin's former part-time  "cleaning lady'  (I'm sorry Kate doesn't have the class or good manners to refer to you by your correct, professional title of "housekeeper.")

I'm sure Kate demanded that you sign one of her infamous 'confidentiality agreements' but for the good of those children, whom I'm sure you grew to love, please consider anonymously providing the authorities with any information you have regarding abuse and/or neglect.  

Think... ThinkSnow

Kate if you ate better, instead of being anorexic and devoid of cabs and protein you might have the energy to keep up their your household chores. Living on coffee with fake creamer, and wine is not giving you energy to run a household.

It's fine for kids to pitch in, but do they have any activities, sports, interests, outside of the home? You seem to have them locked at home anytime they aren't with Jon. Did you take them anywhere for fun, movies, skiing, sledding, ice skating, roller skating, indoor mini golf, a children's museum. There must be lots of fun activities in the area for expand their interests.  Children should have a well rounded balanced life. They should not have been born to serve you and provide for your luxury life style. Even the outside of your jars look like you are screaming at them.

Tal0n Tal0n

Seriously, go away.


BiBi Frederick Waltslady

I read your blogs specifically for.... the comments LMFAO they ALWAYS have me rollin

nonmember avatar Kelly

Hey Kate - could you tell us again how many kids you have?

Think... ThinkSnow

Kate, stop writing on your phone and invest in a  grammar and spell checker. You barely write at a high school level.  Your poor kids...!!!!

CJWho... CJWhodunit

We had cleaning ladies for a few years after my twins were born, they were so sweet, I sure do miss them now that the kids are bigger and MESSIER, LOL! :-)

Such a big task may seem overwhelming, but if you break it up into smaller portions, like you've done with the kids and the chore jar, it's great resource is Very encouraging to busy moms :-) with lots of great tips and advice on how to keep from being overwhelmed!

Now that my twins are capable of doing things on their own, think i'm going to try the Chore Jar idea here too! Couldn't hurt! And it will complement the "Honey-Do List" each week for my husband! :-)sweeping

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