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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Todd Vrancic

@the4mutts, wouldn't that be "not busy enough minds?"  My mom always gave us chores if we said we had "nothing to do."

Crick... Cricket178

Methinks Kate's old cleaning lady was replaced within HOURS after the last one quit.

As for a 'Chore Jar'? SO not original.

Neither is the fact that all moms have as many duties as Kate, who can't seem to stop herself from listing them. Many can add one more thing to their job description as a mom. It's call A JOB OUTSIDE THE HOME.

nonmember avatar vik

For all you "KateHaters" why did you read it? Duh.I think I will try this, sounds like a good idea.

nonmember avatar Jackie

Well after watching your kids beat the crap out of each other, the family dog, belittle your friend's kid, Clay, and hearing that TWO kids got expelled from Kindergarten, we are all so relieved that it only took 8 years that "unacceptable behavior is being addressed." She's a quick one that Kate. Oh, and do you address the unkindness before or after you ask and endorse teenagers to "Take down" and empty the bank accounts of anyone not agreeing with your awful parenting?

nonmember avatar Snow Day

Another Kate blog, another round of hilarious comments. This has to be pure entertainment. And, of course they're not jealous when they criticise Kate for having a house cleaner. I say, anyone that can afford it is crazy not to have one. Personally, I hate the yard work so I hire someone to do that.

And, just call be stupid, but I have never heard of a chore jar. Chore list yes, jar no.

Keep those comments coming! I need a good laugh today.

nonmember avatar Snow Day

And I see we have move on from attacking Kate, to attacking the kids (Jackie). Nice, go onto a public forum and rip apart someones children. but, of course you all are doing it to help those kids, right?

nonmember avatar gobsmacked

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

Because it's HILARIOUS to read about her wholly fictitious life! Everything she writes is in direct and obvious contradiction to her reality, a reality that was spoon-fed to the masses as the "realest reality show ever" but which has been proven to have been as fake and scripted as her upcoming wife swap will undoubtedly be. THAT's what keeps us coming back, to see how she can top herself this week! Oh and to snark about her overwrought and juvenile writing style. You know, with a little work, she might become as polished as a 10th-grader at her kids' tony private school.

Crick... Cricket178

Sheer Logic: 

All the name calling, overgeneralizing, profiling folks calling people Haters MUST be Haters themselves. Truly they are laughable. LOL!

nonmember avatar dan

please just go away, your blog is an insult to real,hardworking moms

nonmember avatar Milo&JackMeOff

PLEASE answer my DMs!!!!!!! I left my husband for YOU!!!!!!!!!! I'll be your new cleaning lady and your new lover!! Im all YOURS!!! kissy kissy.

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