Friday, August 30, 2013

Using Art for a Clean House: Chore Chart

Today I am going to switch my usual vintage illustration post with a home project
because I wanted to join in Kelly's Korner blog and share a post on "cleaning tips."

Trying to keep the house clean with three little kids on a farm can often seem overwhelming.  I quickly realized that a great way to try to keep up with the house
is to encourage a bit of help from the little folks themselves.

Last year, I created some images to use to make chores more fun for the kids
and easier for those who aren't reading yet to see what everyone is supposed to do.

I affixed the images to used canning jar lids and put magnets on the back.
We used an old tray to put them all on.
At the end of the day, the kids got "tickets", little colored papers, that they could save up to use in the 'Attic Store.'  The 'Attic Store' is a space we cleared out in the attic and have some odds and ends I have picked up on sale, at the second hand store, and at yard sales: games, art supplies, hair things, little toys, videos, etc.  Each item had been priced 25 - 100 tickets or so, depending on the child who they were intended for and how many jobs they were expected to do (otherwise, my youngest would take a year to be able to purchase her items).  On occasion, we would change the target goal to a breakfast out with dad or some other fun adventure.

Before Christmas, I can change the tickets to money rewards so they can save up for some Christmas shopping.

Here are the images I made for their jobs
(yes, there are some that are not really "jobs", like reading some of the Bible everyday,
but it is a good habit that will help them through life, so I made it as well.  Certain of their jobs are much harder than others, but I figured the easy job tickets make up for the harder ones,
and they knew that they had to do certain jobs in order to get any tickets each day,
like making their beds: that had to be done or no tickets would be rewarded.)

The kindness award was given when I saw somebody doing something that I thought was especially kind.

 I need to made a few more to add to this list: my daughter occasionally helps with hanging/taking in laundry, helping with lunch, and I want to add watering the house plants to somebody's job list.

Here are some colorized versions I made using Copic markers,
 but kids could color their own in as well.


 Some of the jobs are seasonal, like the hauling wood happens more in the fall and winter.
Helping with plants happens mostly in the spring.

Vacuuming and the stairs are done on Saturday morning, and only one room is necessary at this point.

If they want extra tickets, they can do additional work at their choosing,
and mom is always happy to give them extra tickets!

This year I changed up the structure of our chore chart. 

I shrunk the images down when I copied and pasted them into Word
and copied, pasted, and cropped a few extras of the jobs I needed for more than one child.

I cut them and then put them into contact paper.
I got some velcro tape at the dollar store and put one section of that on the backs of each chore.

For the chore chart board, I painted the middle section of an old cupboard door using Annie Sloan's Chalk Paint in Ambusson blue,
 which can be used like a chalkboard. 

I painted the edges in a cheerful yellow.
Color is always fun on a chore chart.

 I put the other part of the velcro tape down the front side of the painted board,
and will put each child's name on the left side of the tape.

On the right side, I will use chalk board pens
to create a graph for the days of the week so that those lines won't have to be written in every week
but they can be washed off when I need to alter something.
(These look like chalk marks but stay on well unless washed with water).

The chart is leaning up against the wall in the living room that is painted in chalkboard paint
so it will be easy for them to mark an "x" on the chart when they complete their jobs.

 I put another strip along the bottom to hold the extra chores.

It is always fun to have a new chore chart at the beginning of a new year.

I found this system to be very effective, jobs getting done everyday without my even having to ask.
It's amazing what just walking by a straightened boot box will do to a room...
especially when I don't have to ask anybody to do it.

But even better is the sense of responsibility and help the kids get from being a part of keeping the house running smoothlly.

You are free to use the chore pictures I have made if you'd like,
as long as they are not for resale.

If you would like me to create certain chore pictures for you,
just leave a comment and I will post those here as I finish them.

Have a great weekend and thanks for stopping by!

Linking up to:


Thanks for your thoughts! If you have a question, I'll try to answer it.