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Monday, January 02, 2012

Chores Again...A New System for a New Year

I don't know about you, but Chores seems to be an endless battle around here.  Trying to figure out who does what, when they should do them...ugh...sometimes I wonder if it is worth it...and then when it all goes smoothly and I go to bed with a clean house I say "YES IT IS!"

Some of you might remember when I introduced a new chore system for us in is the post if you want to read it.  Anyway, it didn't really WORK.  I mean...the idea was good, but the follow through was horrible.  The kids never remembered to move their little slips of paper and we always forgot to put them back.  It just didn't work like it was supposed to - at least not for us!

After trying several different options last year, I decided why not ask the kids.  I is THEIR chores after all...why not ask them what THEY want to have to remind them of their chores.  I was sure they were tired of me harping on them all the time so...I gave it a try!

I sat the kids down and told them I was tired of harping on them and I was sure they were too.  I told them we needed to come up with a system that THEY would DO!  After several minutes of discussion, we decided to try note cards in envelopes.  

I wish I had pictures for you but I didn't think of taking them then because I wasn't sure how it would work. What we basically did was take plain old note cards and I printed a chore on one side (pictures for those that couldn't read) and a stop sign on the other side.  Then I taped three envelopes to the refrigerator and put their cards in the envelopes.   Then in the morning, I would say, "Chore Time" and it was understood that they went to their cards, did each one turning them so that the stop sign faced out when done and placing it at the back.  When all the stop signs were facing forward, their chores were done! worked!

It worked so well that we soon had to laminate the cards because of the constant use.  Then we had to replace the envelopes because the laminated cards were too heavy for the paper envelopes.  This was when I decided to start looking into making the system more durable for us!

This is what I came up with:

First I reprinted the cards
(most were unusable by now anyway)
 I chose to use the color coded system we had in the house (Abi - pink, Nate - blue, Jonny - green, E - yellow) to help them keep their cards from getting intermixed.  So I just bought a pack of colored index cards at the store and printed them from the computer.

Then, I took clear contact paper
and sandwiched the cards in between two sheets to laminate them good.
 See the brown scraper at the top of the above helped alot in getting the bubbles and creases out of the sheets for better laminating.  If I ever have to do this again, I will probably cut the width twice as big and just fold it over instead of cutting to similarly sized pieces.

Now that we had new fresh cards, the problem came with what do we put them in!  Fortunately, I was walking through the office supply area of our local Alco and I found these:

I cut off the top flap of these plastic envelopes,
and bought some self adhesive magnetic sheets to attach to the back.
The whole backside of these are magnet now so they hold pretty sturdily to the refrigerator.  You can see how they fit two sets of is for morning chores and the other is for evening cores.  I designated the evening chores with a star at the top so they could keep "brushing teeth" or other duplicate cards on the correct side.

It has been AMAZING!  No more constant instructing, harping, or griping (except for timeliness...if only I had a great solution for that!  Even Jonny can 'read' his cards with the pictures.  Morning chores run smoothly - though evening chores we struggle with when to start them...but I just introduced them with the new plastic I have hope!

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