Ready for a chore system that works for kids to be independent and learn responsibility. This is it.

{Post by Heather}

When you’re growing up there are so many things you become accustomed to because your parents do them. For me one thing my parents instilled in me was doing daily and weekly chores. Getting kids to do chores takes a chore system that works.

When I was growing up chores were an integral part of my childhood. They helped me learn the value of hard work, how to be responsible, and time management. I still remember Saturday mornings were for cleaning our rooms and bathrooms from top to bottom.

Now that I have kids finding a chore routine that is easy to stick with while balancing our crazy schedules has proven difficult. We’ve tried many different chore routines, but unfortunately nothing was really seeming to stick.

We’ve tried having a rigid schedule.

We’ve set specific chores for each of our daughters.

We set a specific day for chore day.

We tried only doing chores on the weekends.

We tried varying days.

We contemplated just throwing in the towel, I mean who needs chores anyway?

Just kidding…but wouldn’t that be marvelous?

I had to really narrow down what exactly I wanted, and more importantly needed, from our family chore routine.

Key points in a chore system that works:

1) Simple to follow
2) Ensured consistency
3) Ensured chores were accomplished
4) Built in reward system
5) Teachable moments
6) Not rigid

I kept searching and found some great ideas. After all of my searching, I landed on something that stuck.

This chore system that works is super easy to make. You might even have some of the supplies laying around the house.


Clipboard or chalkboard
Wooden clothespins
Paint markers
2 Jars (any size you want)
Marbles, dry beans, “fluffies” (see picture) anything you can use to tally up chores completed.

Ready for a chore system that works for kids to be independent and learn responsibility. This is it.

How to make the chore chalkboard:

1) I used permanent paint markers to write each of my daughter’s names on their personal chalkboard. I then labeled one side TO DO and the other side DONE. I let them decorate their boards, but be careful it can get messy if they accidentally wipe their hand through the paint like mine did!

2) I then labeled each clothespin with each individual chore/responsibility I wanted them to accomplish. For example, brush teeth in the morning or put clothes in the hamper. (I realize some of these aren’t chores per se but it can work for both chores and personal responsibilities.) I made two sets, one for the morning and one for the evening.

4) I also included a section in the middle for a chore of the day for them to focus on such as setting the table or cleaning up the bathroom.

Ready for a chore system that works for kids to be independent and learn responsibility. This is it.

What about the weird “fluffies”?

1) I labeled a large jar with four different lines. This jar is for the girls to put their “fluffies.” (That’s what my girls call them, and what can I say, it just stuck.) You can use whatever you want to use to tally up the chores they complete. For each chore or responsibility they complete they get to add one fluffy to the large jar.

The different lines on the jar help to show them how well they’re progressing. And let me tell you that was important to their little minds. If I had left just a large empty jar I’m pretty sure I would never heard the end of it.

“When are we going to reach the top?”

“Why isn’t it moving faster?”

“When do we get our reward?”

Instead they felt accomplished every time they reached one of the lines. It was manageable for them to accomplish and fun to see their progress. I also purchased another smaller jar to hold our “fluffies” that weren’t yet “earned.”

How we make this chore system work:

Each morning the girls take their chalkboard down and look at the chore/responsibility they need to accomplish. They then set out to get them done.

It has worked wonders for our family because the clothespins act as a reminder of each thing that needs to get done, but without me having to keep reminding or nagging them. That’s definitely a win in my book. They also seem to like the independence it gives them because they’re really empowering themselves to get their chores done.

After they finish all six things they have to accomplish in the morning they move the clothespins from TO DO over to DONE and then add six “fluffies” to the large jar. The same thing happens at night time.

Then in the morning I move all the clothespins back to TO DO and we start over again.

They keep adding until they reach the top of the jar. After they fill the jar with “fluffies” they get to choose a prize or activity as their reward. You can either pick out the prize/activity beforehand so they can look forward to it or you can decide as a family afterwards.

Basically do whatever works for your family. Sometimes they tend to drive me crazy asking about their prize and sometimes we don’t decide what we’re going to do until later.

And let me tell you, my girls look forward to earning their “fluffies” so much and take it pretty seriously. They understand that if they don’t do what they’re supposed to they won’t be able to earn them and that their reward will be further away.

This system, although simple, has really made it easier for my girls to understand the basic premise of chores and personal responsibility. It’s also something easy we as a family can be consistent about even with crazy work and activity schedules.

This is probably the most important reason we continue to use this system. I like that it’s flexible, able to teach my girls while simultaneously getting things done around the house, without me having to nag, as much.

That, my friends, is what I would call a success!

A weekly series of motivation for moms brought to you by stay at home mom bloggers at The Stay-at-Home Mom Survival Guide.

What chore system works best for your family? Do you have a system you love?

If so tell us all about it in the comments below.

Heather of Just Becoming Me contributor to Mom Motivation Mondays series at The Stay-at-Home Mom Survival GuideHeather lives in Florida with her husband, two girls and two pups. She is a lover of most things in life, too many to name here without scaring you, but a few include working out, learning new recipes, Pinterest, organizing (yes, it’s true!), home decor and learning to lead a more minimal and purposeful life.

She started Just Becoming Me as a venture to better understand herself and what will lead her towards a more fulfilling life. Her motto is: “We only have one life, and I want to learn to live mine in a way that gets me excited to jump out of bed.”

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