Category Archives: chores

Getting a Clean Start in 2014


We’ve taken the last couple of weeks off from school… and been sick every. single. day. We’ve had stomach bugs, croup, colds, etc. It’s been miserable. BUT… nothing motivates me more to clean than being in a sick house. I wanted to clean and organize the house before we start back to school. The main part of the house that I want taken care of is our kitchen… it serves as the kitchen, school room, sewing/ craft room, office and laundry room. I really need this area to be clean and accessible. This week, I’ve been utilizing tips from Pinterest as I tackle the task of getting things in order.

First off, here are my top 5 tips for cleaning:

1. Purge without regret.. go through cabinets and drawers. Be real with yourself… if you haven’t used something in the last 6 months to a year… are you really going to use it? Toss it or pass it to someone who WILL use it. I applied this to the many, many workbooks and coloring books we have lurking in our supply closet.

2. Deep Clean… while you’re purging, take time to pull things out of cabinets and wipe down shelves and drawers. Give the kids some Clorox wipes and send them around to clean cabinet doors, bedroom doors, shelves, etc.

3. Plastic tubs. I have the Sterilite shoe box size tubs EVERYWHERE. I use them to organize our school stuff. I have them for paint, play dough, language arts manipulatives, math manipulatives, markers, crayons, glue, puzzles, flashcards. They are all clearly labeled and easy to access in the homeschool cabinet.

4. Rearrange. I always feel like my house is clean when I have rearranged a little. It makes you move things around and clean areas that don’t usually get a lot of attention. Change the seating in your living room. Rearrange some kitchen cabinets to make things more accessible. Reorganize your pantry and throw out dated things away.

5. Unsubscribe… go through all those daily emails that you get (and don’t read), scroll to the bottom and click unsubscribe. Now you don’t have tons of emails vying for your attention and you’re not tempted to spend money you don’t have!

And now… here are my top ten cleaning tips from Pinterest (many I’ve been doing this week):

1. Clean the oven without chemicals!

2. Cleaning Microfiber Furniture

3. Cleaning the Top Loading Washing Machine (this one is happening right now!)

4. Homemade, Natural Cleaners

5. Wool Dryer Balls (this isn’t cleaning… but it is money saving and something I’m using when doing laundry)

6. Recharge your Towels

7. Cleaning Hard Water Stains

8. Uses for Dryer Sheets (other than softening clothes)

9. Cleaning the Microwave without chemicals

10. Organize your Cleaning Supplies (I haven’t done this YET!)

What are your favorite/ go to cleaning tips?


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Filed under chores, cleaning, DIY, pinterest

Chores- This is How We Do It

We are constantly trying to figure out how to give our kids more responsibility around the house. I’ll admit it… I’m a control freak. I want things done my way or the highway… which usually results in me doing all the work. With three kids and one on the way, I have got to be willing to give up control. I have to be okay with things not getting done perfectly.. or not getting done at all. PS… if you came in my house, you would not believe that I am a control freak… it’s not tidy… it’s only somewhat organized. There is evidence of little people everywhere. And just when I think I have things looking good and feeling good about myself, someone spills something, breaks something, poops on something…

Ok… I think I’ve started rambling.. let’s get back on track. Everyone seems to have a different way of doing chores. I have seen lists, charts, rewards, etc. I know families that use Saturday morning for everyone to do their chores… other families have daily chores.

I wrote this post last year about the method we were currently using. When we moved over the summer, the chart got put to the wayside, but I am still trying to get the kids involved. Here are a few of the chores that our kids are required to do:

– Each night before bed, they must tidy their rooms, gather toys from the living room and put them away. I don’t ask for perfection each night.. just that the floors are cleared (we have a lot of getting up in the middle of the night in our house… so this is basically a safety precaution).

– Clothes in the dirty clothes basket

– personal hygiene…. like tooth brushing, hair brushing, etc.

– dishes in the sink

– Occasionally (I need to be better about handing this one over), they put their own laundry away

The house we moved into has hardwood floors and no dishwasher or garbage disposal. The kids have been really excited about helping with sweeping, washing dishes, etc. I don’t make them do these things, but if they ask if they can help clean up after dinner, I will ask Big Brother to scrape the dishes into the trash can and Big Sis (formerly Little Sis) to help rinse the dishes. I have found that the silverware is a manageable project for learning to wash the dishes. I also let them help with drying the big things.

I do think there is a window of opportunity with our children when they are eager to learn, moldable and wanting to help. We must take advantage of this so they don’t take advantage of us! It will be messy, water will be wasted, spots will be left behind, dishes will break, stains will remain.. but still… we must press on and train these kiddos in responsibility!

Here are some other resources I’ve found:

From It's Almost Naptime

From Pinterest

How do you do chores at your house? I’d love to hear back from you!

Hip Homeschool Hop Button


Filed under children, chores

Chores for Everyone

These children of mine are getting bigger and able to make more messes. They are able to reach things on higher shelves… build higher towers… get more toys out of more spaces. I can’t keep up. I shouldn’t have to. They have to take responsibility for their living space. I struggle with knowing what chores are age appropriate. I also struggle because I know that I can do it faster and better… but really… what does that teach the little monkeys? It teaches them that they can play and do whatever they want and not have to take any responsibility. It teaches them that someone else will always come behind and clean up their messes. It teaches my son to find a wife that will serve him and do everything for him… and he doesn’t have to do anything for her. It teaches my daughters to be door mats… whose only purpose it to cook, clean and do laundry. I do want to teach my children to have servant’s hearts. I do want to teach my children to think of others before themselves. I do enjoy (for the most part) serving my family by caring for our house. But I also think that I would be doing my children a disservice by not letting them do chores.

¬†First we’ll start with the four year old. Her chores include taking care of baby girl while big brother does school, sweeping the back patio, putting dishes in the sink, putting clothes in the basket, picking up 10 toys before bed, putting away her laundry and wiping the table.

 Big brother, who is about to turn six has chores like dustbusting under the dinner table, putting away laundry, watering the plants, picking up 20 toys before bed, putting dishes in the sink, putting away the silverware and putting dirty clothes in the basket.

I usually try to rotate chores. Each child (for now) has four main chores they have to do each day for reward. The other chores still must be done, but don’t always make it onto the chart. The Monkey Dad and I go back and forth about allowance and giving children money for chores. While we feel that children need to learn how to handle money, we also feel that the children are part of this family and because of that, they need to do their part. With that being said, the kids don’t get rewarded for every chore. Each chore done on the chart earns a star. At the end of the week, each star earns a penny. For right now, the kids have been saving up to 100 pennies and then heading to the dollar section at Target. We will be introducing soon how to save, give and spend. I was proud of the little monkeys last week. They took their chore money and gave it to a family who are raising money toward Ethiopian adoption.

The chore chart pictured above came from Target. It is a dry erase, magnetic board. I like that I am not wasting a lot of paper with lots of charts each week. I have each child color coded and with pictures so Little Sis can understand. It came with a black dry erase marker and lots of star magnets. When baby girl gets a little bigger, I’ll have to revamp the chart, but for now, it works… and so do the kids!

At this age, they like doing chores. They get excited about new chores. They start looking for more things they can do. This is the age to train them (even though they won’t do it perfectly) so they will be prepared and ready for bigger tasks as they get older.

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Filed under children, chores