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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nonmember avatar StepRightUp...

Real moms fiercely cherish and protect their kids' privacy. Kate Gosselin treats hers like they're animals in a zoo and she's the zookeeper selling tickets for the public to gawk. These children should not have been born to be entertainment for the masses.

nonmember avatar sarah

I can't imagine raising 8 children as a single mom. You are doing a great job! No one is exempt from the normal "woes" of raising children, but I think you'll handle it well. I LOVE the way you all chip in and support each other as a family.
As for the negative cruel comments we read on every site that reports on you, Well you only have to read these peoples words to know who the real problem lies with. I've noticed their cruelty has intensified over the years. I suppose that's to be expected since they spend most of their waking hours finding ways to say more and more hurtful things.
I wish peace to their tortured souls .
Peace and maybe some shock therapy.

nonmember avatar Angela

I love the chore jar idea! We will be using this soon.

pryar3 pryar3

Native1111, if Kate is that bad of a mother, then the state would have taken the kids away from her. 

Jolee Summerville

Kate I love your blogs and always enjoy hearing about your life as well as the 8 (count them!) 8 children. However, having been a fan for over 6 years I know how many kids you have and you never fail in hammering that fact home. We KNOW babe, we KNOW! Please stop telling us how many kids you have and how hard it is! We know that is is hard and stressful, therefore we read about it. We want to know how you deal with 8 kids because we already know you have them. I hope you get the point and strive to make the blog better. Stop mentioning all the kids and mention what you do to teach these kids about life. Thank you!

Nativ... Native1111

Pryer3- they have been there 3 times - just because they don't live in filth and don't have black eyes doesn't mean they are not abused. Have your read her new book coming out - " how she fooled the world " it's her words it's disgusting how those babies were treated. Deplorable behavior from kate. She is all smoke and mirrors that Katie krieder - you'll see- very shortly you'll see.

nonmember avatar StepRightUp...

No kindless or affection, no smiles, no kissing a kid on the head as he/she does as asked; only barked orders. She speaks to those kids just like she spoke to her ex-husband and she will get the same results. They will leave her as soon as possible.

Londo... London420

Kate's gone into platitude overload .  You'd think she'd be embarrassed that she can only retweet what  others  say and can never come with anything  creative herslf

Londo... London420

Yes, if you watch the years of her TLC shows you'll never see Kate affectionately appraoch one of her kids with a kiss or a hug or any affection at all.  That was the red flag for me.  I can remember several when a kid was cryinbg and Kate neverr did anything to sooth the child that was crying and calling for mommy.  Ice Queen. 

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