We’ve officially revived our morning chore routine, just as I said we would back in February, and I could not be more glad. I wanted to give a little update on how we do it, what works for us, and why I love it.
Every morning, each child has a single chore that takes no more than 10-15 minutes to complete. All my kids have that much spare time in the morning, so having a chore to do doesn’t infringe on their ability to get ready for school. It keeps them occupied, actually, which is good when I am still nursing my coffee.
Morning chores work best for us because in the afternoons there is no single time every day when everyone is guaranteed to be home, so chores would get skipped and missed a lot more frequently. If your kids had to be out the door to school at 6:45AM, morning chores might not work for your family, but for us, this has been the best option.
I created a simple chore chart and hung copies in two places — one on the laundry room door off the kitchen, and one on the kids’ bathroom door upstairs. Now no one can complain that they don’t know what they’re supposed to be doing.
On top of their single chore, they have an additional list of morning responsibilities:
1) Make Bed
2) Clear floor of all clothes/shoes/books/toys/etc
3) Open shades and turn off lights
4) Clean up after your breakfast (plates/food/crumbs/etc)
It’s not much, in my opinion, to require that the kids keep their rooms neat. Messy rooms make me cranky, so it’s in all their best interest not to have a messy room. Some of my children are naturally neater than others, and require little to no assistance or reminders to clean up. The messy ones have a bit more oversight from Matt and I, but regardless of their natural tendencies, all my kids are required to have clean rooms.
We started this new chore chart nearly two months ago and I love it. There are the obvious benefits: when the kids clean up, that is one less thing I have to do AND by doing these simple chores the children are learning how to keep a house neat, which will come in handy when they’re grown and have a home of their own. In addition, I have found that it makes the kids more thoughtful in general about keeping the house neat; because they are responsible for certain parts of the house, they notice when other people don’t clean up after themselves. They are self-policing more and they are reminding each other to pick up and keep things neat. I don’t even think they notice it, but I do.
I’m so glad we brought back our morning chore routine! Do your kids have chores? How do you manage them?