Our New Plan for Summer Chores {and How It's Working]

This blog post was originally published on Chaos and Comfort, prior to the start of Mama Loves Well.  Enjoy!


Chores.  When it comes to my kids, I have a love/hate relationship with chores.  I recognize the value in teaching my kids to work hard, to pull their own weight and contribute to the family.  I appreciate the extra help around the house.  But lately it seems that I am spending more time organizing chore charts and reminding my kiddos to look at them then it's worth. This summer, I decided to rethink chores altogether.

When I decided it was time to mix things up, I knew I wanted to create a system that would require zero effort from me to maintain.  I have plenty of things on my list every day without adding "Manage chores" to it.  Every mom does, right?  We're all in the same boat.

So, I decided to just give my kids one chore this summer.

Yep, just one.  Now, that did mean that the one chore can't be "pick up socks."  That wasn't going to cut it.  So I made a list of larger, more substantial chores, and let my kids (ages 10 and 11) pick one.  Next, I made sure they knew that this was their only chore.  I explained that I expected it completed by 5pm every evening.  Finally, I told them there would be no reminders.

It worked.

Chores now get done every evening and I don't have to manage the process.  Rather then having to refer to a list to make sure they checked all the boxes, my kids can focus on one larger task.  Additionally, I've discovered and added bonus: they've taken ownership of their chores and pride in their work.  After all, everyone in the house knows who's responsible if they have clean socks or if the bathroom smells nice (rare, in house with 2 boys).

Want to give it a try?  Here are some examples of Age-Appropriate Summer Chores (some of these may not work for school days.  You know what works best for your home, so make them work for you!):

Age-Appropriate Summer Chores

Ages 14-18

  • Manage Sibling Bedtimes
  • Make Dinner (or breakfast/lunch) /Clean Kitchen
  • Maintain Home exterior (mowing, power washing, weeding, sweeping)
  • Laundry (for the family)

Ages 10-13

  • Pick up/straighten 1-2 rooms
  • Maintain floors (vacuum/sweep)
  • Wash dishes
  • Keep bathrooms clean (daily maintenance plus weekly cleaning)

Ages 6-9

  • Empty dishwasher
  • Fold laundry
  • Vacuum

Ages 2-5

  • Pick up toys
  • Put soap in dishwasher
  • Put away silverware

Imagine how much time you could devote to other tasks if your bathrooms were clean every evening and someone else handled the laundry!  It's amazing.  Really.  And it's possible.

Now that we've made the switch, I am not planning to go back to a list of small chores for each kid.  This system is so much easier, I'm going to tweak it and keep it.

How do you do chores in your house?  What tips and tricks have worked for you?  Drop me a comment below!

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