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Picture this: it’s not even 10 AM and you can smell a fresh, clean load of laundry coming out of the dryer. The dishes are all put away from the dishwasher. You see the sunlight coming in through your clear, sparkling windows, and don’t trip over any Lego as you walk through your house (because they’ve all been picked up).
And the best part? You only did one of those tasks yourself.
You’ve successfully implemented a system with clear expectations that has your family working together to complete household chores and tasks. Your kids are sharing the load with one another, and learning some great life-skills along the way.
And that means your mornings are running much more smoothly (way to go!).
We’ve been using the Zone Cleaning Chore Charts I created in our home for the past couple of years now, and I’m sometimes still a little amazed at how well it works (and how it has really taken the stress out of chore time!). There is something to be said for consistency and routine, and setting clear expectations for accountability and responsibility; over time, it just becomes second nature.
If you have grabbed the Zone Cleaning Chore Chart printables from my shop, I’ll show you how I fill them out in this post. And if you haven’t grabbed them yet, click here to do so!
This system not only helps bring structure into our mornings, but it also helps us avoid power struggles regarding chores; all of my expectations are in one place, easy for the kids to follow and manage. Plus, everyone gets to pitch in on the work it takes to maintain a clean and tidy home.
How to Use Your Printable Chore Charts
Once you have your charts, you’ll want to print out the sheets that work best for you. There are two color options, and you can use the pre-set zones or fill in your own.
Tip: I recommend either laminating your charts so you can use dry-erase markers on them, and re-use them week after week! If you don’t have a laminator, this one is a great option.
Add Your Daily & Weekly Age Appropriate Chores
Next, even though this is zone cleaning, I started by including chores that needed to be done each day/week that weren’t necessarily zone-specific. These are things like unloading the dishwasher, picking up their toys, washing and putting away laundry, etc. It could be anything really that you want to make sure gets done on a regular basis.
Each week, there’s a row for both AM and PM chores, so there are lots of spots to fill in! The chores do not have to be long; most days, my kids spend about 10 minutes or less on each chore (typically only 20 minutes or less per day).
Add Zone-Specific Chores
Next, I took my own zone cleaning list (that will eventually be a whole other post!) and decided what chores the kids could do to help in each zone. If you need help deciding on chores, the printable pack comes with some great suggestions for both zone and age appropriate chores.
Don’t forget to get the kids involved! We took a look at my list together and they picked out the chores that they liked doing and/or wanted to do.
On my charts, I actually wrote in the zone-specific chores in a different color; this helped remind my kids that they needed to check to see what zone they were supposed to be working in for a specific chore.
The kids mark off completed chores with an “X” with a dry erase marker, which makes it easy to wipe-off and reuse the chart when the month is over.
What About Weekend Chores?
You probably noted that I left Sundays blank on the chart; I do give the kids a day off on Sunday if they have completed all of their chores. Sunday can also be used as a day to catch up on anything they might have missed during the week.
Motivation to Complete Chores
As far as our routine goes, the kids know that they are not allowed to have their electronics time each day until their chores (both AM and PM) are completed, and all their schoolwork is done. For them, that is a big motivator to get their chores done, but you might choose some other requirement.
Some kids do really well with a reward as a motivator; I’ve included a reward chart in the bundle as well! Your kids would get a sticker each day they complete both AM and PM tasks. Decide how many stickers they need to earn their reward, and what the reward is, and you’re good to go!
A few other tips:
- Our kids get an allowance each month, and if they do not do their chores appropriately they know they’ll lose some of that money – it’s been a great motivator, because I’ve not had to take any of their allowance away yet! If you give an allowance, you may decide how to tie in the chore charts with that.
- If you have multiple kids, create all of their charts at the same time so you can see what chores you are assigning and not overlap any.
Finally, remember that it’s ok if the chores do not get done perfectly or if it takes a little bit of time to teach your kiddos the new system. Be prepared to walk through the chores with them, possibly for the first couple of weeks (or even the first month). They will have it down in no time, and it will become a habit!
Be realistic about their abilities when you are assigning the chores, give grace, and work as a team to accomplish the tasks your household requires. It has become a rewarding experience overall for our family, and I hope it is for yours as well!
Grab Your Printable Chore Charts Today!
To grab your own printable copy of our chore chart for kids and start putting this into practice in your home, click below to view the product in my shop. I hope it is a game changer for you as well!
Zone Cleaning Chore Charts
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