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

 "make sure that every nook and cranny (sounds like I'm talking about English muffins, no?)"


nonmember avatar H. H.

This blog is such a joke. Many parents have already thought about chore jars. They probably have even thought of an even better way to get their kids to do chores. Kate is not relateable to her target audience. There are many families that have as many kids as she does and a big house and they don't need housekeepers. It is called time management. Kate does not have it!!

Mocha... MochaCocoaBean

These comments are funnier and more well written then the orignal post.

nonmember avatar Go away

I will clean your house free for a year if you go away and seek help for your issues.

nonmember avatar Kar

I'm confused at how this helps promote teamwork/family unity, (she states at the end that one of the best parts is "the teamwork this system has reinforced"). However, the can says, "You may not have help... or you earn 2 additional... what jobs?". Sounds like there is no teamwork promoted and you may even get punished if there is?

handy... handy0318

It's good to see all of Kate's enemies back here helping her to remain as one of the top commented bloggers thus ensuring her continued success here at the Stir!!!

Let's tally shall we?

Week one, the haters pushed the comments to a stellar first blog comment tally of 286.

Week 2 remained strong at 229.

Week 3 slammed it out of the park at 300!

Week 4, 145, well above average, but slipping... 

Now we're at Kate's 5th blog here... Haters, y'all slipped last week with the 145, let's do better this week and attack Kate's wholly innocous blog about keeping a house clean with 8 kids via the chore jar... I know you can do this because we all know that the more comments Kate gets, the more popular her blogs are and the more the Stir will want to keep her around!

Do YOUR part!

nonmember avatar Ohplease!

The nooks & cranny mean, moving furniture, cleaning every corner, sounds like: "Mommy Dearest". Or that episode, when Kate was looking to hire a cleaning person. Kate complains, that she can't clean that house herself, but it's OK for the part-time cleaning person to clean the whole house, by herself(cause Kate would not lift a finger and break a nail)including moving furniture, but Kate can't do that herself. What happen to Can-do Kate, fix-it Kate, super mom Kate? Lazy much?

nonmember avatar Gypsi001

Over the years I've tried so many chore charts, lists, maps, magnet boards. We don't pay our kids allowance to do chores because 1st, we don't really have the extra money and 2nd, we all live here and should work as a team. I don't get paid to clean house so I don't really make it an option to pay the rest of family to clean house. But I think the little clip board u have is cool. I think I will make labels with each chore and clip under the kids names. Ya never know... Maybe this will finally prove to be the most popular of our chore managing... :) thank you Kate. Another great blog. Of course I had no doubts it would be.

Pinkmani Pinkmani

Kate, this is a wonderful idea. Mom of one here, and I work part-time now that she is in school and yes, I have a cleaning lady that cleans every Tuesday. 

If you "hate" Kate, why do you even bother reading...

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