Starting a new school year can be a difficult transition for everyone. It can be especially difficult on the house, because chores often get pushed aside in favor of school, homework, extracurriculars, and all of the other activities kids are a part of. Here are some of our best tips to establish a cleaning schedule that works for everyone in the family and that everyone will participate in.
Decide What Battles to Pick
When you have kids, in most cases you are never going to have a perfectly clean home. Instead, it’s important to decide which chores are most important to you and which you can let slide. Maybe it’s important to you that the dirty laundry is in the baskets, but it’s okay if beds don’t always get made before kids go off to school. Maybe the bathroom gets cleaned a little less often than you’d prefer. Everyone is busy during the school year, so making compromises can help everyone to be happier with what they are able to accomplish in the time they do have.
Let Kids Decide the Chores
Once you decide what needs to be done and how often, call a family meeting to discuss chores. Present the list to your children, and let them know what chores everyone is expected to do, such as taking care of their bedrooms. Then present the family chores, such as sweeping and mopping the kitchen, and taking out the trash. Let each of your kids pick one chore that they are willing to do, and one that they absolutely don’t want to do. Assign out the rest of the chores, making sure no one gets the chore that they said they don’t want to do. This allows your kids to feel like they have some ownership in their chores, so they’ll be more likely to do them.
Establish a Reward and Timeline
Now that everyone has been assigned chores, establish a timeline for how often chores need to be done. Also come up with a reward system for getting chores done on time. In order to keep track of who is getting chores done, it’s a good idea to make some sort of chart. A whiteboard or laminated sheets that you can wipe off and a dry erase marker are great for keeping track of chores. Be sure to stick to the rewards. If you promise everyone a treat on Saturday if chores are done, then you better follow through. Otherwise, no one will be encouraged to actually follow through themselves.
Outsource Big Chores
There probably are a lot of big chores that need to be done around the house that no one has time for, such as cleaning the carpets. Instead of stressing out about them, just have the professionals take care of it for you. This will save your family time and help you have a stress-free, clean home.