It has been over a year since I last posted our chore assignments. For the most part, they have remained the same, with a few small changes.

After a while, everyone is ready for new chores. Changing the chore assignments helps alleviate boredom and more importantly, it helps children progress in their knowledge of how to run a household. One of the main reasons we have chores is to help our children grow into capable adults who know how to take care of themselves.

We decided to start new chores today along with our new school year. I asked the children what chores they didn’t want anymore and what chores they would prefer. Some of the answers for the chores that they wanted surprised me! They did a great job today in their new chores, too.

We’ve given more chores to our 6-year-old, who asked for three things rather enthusiastically, and then proceeded to do them rather well! I was very surprised and happy about that today.

Here are our children’s current ages:

Winter: 12
Cyrus: 11
Ezrom: 9
Liberty: 7 (almost 8)
Wren: 6
Elsa: 4
Ivory: 2

Ivory has been rather helpful in picking up the toy cars and people, and the blocks, and those are usually her mess. Unlike her 6 older siblings when they were her age (and some still!) she will go pick up the cars right away when asked, and will do a thorough job. She seems to understand that everyone cleans up, and she loves to help; she tries to fold laundry, but is still working on getting a washcloth folded (she has done it a few times).

Winter is assigned to make breakfast. She is learning to make more things this way. I’ll help in her this chore; sometimes she can simply dish up breakfast, but the main goal is to teach her to make a variety of things.

One thing we’ve changed is that instead of just vacuuming their rooms on Saturday, the children will now vacuum on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturdays.  This is just part of cleaning their rooms. Since all rooms are shared, they can trade off who gets to vacuum.

Our trash is collected twice a week. The job of taking out the trash includes taking the big cans to the curb on those days as well as bringing them back up; every day it includes emptying all but one of the trash cans in the house (the kitchen trash, three bathroom trash cans, and my desk trash; I empty the sewing room trash when it is needed).

Also, though it’s not on here, Cyrus cuts the grass each week as part of his chores. Winter helps in lots of ways that aren’t listed on here (she helps with Ivory a lot and all of her siblings love her a lot because she plays with them); they all help in lots of little ways each day as well (taking plates of food to the table or offering to help in other ways, etc.).

Here are the new chore assignments:

Before Breakfast:
Get dressed
Make bed
Straighten bedroom
Sort dirty laundry
Winter: Make breakfast
Cyrus: Take out trash
Ezrom: Put away Clean dishes
Liberty: Pick up living room
Wren: Set table
Elsa: Pour Drinks
Fold laundry
Put away laundry
After Breakfast:
Clear Spots
Brush teeth
Winter: wash dishes
Cyrus: Wipe table and chairs
Ezrom: Sweep the floor under the table
Liberty: Pick up girls’ hall
Wren: Sweep and mop the kitchen
Elsa: Dust
Before Lunch:
Put away schoolbooks
Winter: Sweep wood floor by piano
Cyrus: Clean boys’ bathroom
Ezrom: Pour drinks and set table
Liberty: Pick up library
Wren: Clean girls’ bathroom
Elsa: Pick up living room
Ivory: Pick up library
After Lunch:
Clear Spots
Winter: Wash dishes
Cyrus: Sweep both halls
Ezrom: Wipe table and chairs
Liberty: Sweep and mop under table
Wren: Vacuum Living room
Elsa: Clean bedroom
Before Dinner:
Winter: Pick up and vacuum living room
Cyrus: Put away clean dishes
Ezrom: Wipe and set table
Liberty: Clean Patio
Wren: Clean up by front door
Elsa: Pour drinks
Ivory: Pick up library
Clean rooms
5 minutes cleaning in the library
After Dinner:
Clear Spots
Put on pajamas
Brush teeth
Winter: Sweep and mop kitchen floor
Cyrus: sweep and mop by piano
Ezrom: Wash dishes
Liberty: Sweep under table

Wren: Wipe table and chairs

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  1. I remember when I was quite young helping with the wash cloths in the laundry. They were mine to hang up to dry on a line that was made especially for me where I could reach it and mine to fold. I was quite pleased at this young age to be able to help in this way. However, that wore off by the time I was a teen and responsible for doing all of the laundry. By that time, it was not fun but a chore. But by then I had learned that we all had responsibilities in the family and that was one of mine.

  2. Yep–it’s needed! Actually the kitchen could stand to be done three times a day, but twice helps.The living room needs to be done often, too. It just has a rug, but it gets really dirty. We’re not sure how well Wren will do with the vacuum cleaner, so that chore might change for her if she has trouble with it.

  3. Fantastic.. Your houses sounds really immaculate. And how wonderful that the children all have their own chores to be responsible for. Such a wonderful trait to learn. Your children will be the winners when they grow up, to have had this learning time with their parents.

  4. Haha! It only SOUNDS that way! It’s not, believe me! If you came over you wouldn’t think so. We still have a long ways to go before child clean is really clean (especially when it comes to sweeping) but they will get there one day.

  5. It is often hard for me to remember that “child clean” is good enough. *smile* The big struggle this summer (they were learning to cook) was what was meant by cooking. My granddaughter is 10 now and my grandson will be 7 this Sat. so cooking was something they both wanted to learn.Both of them struggle to understand that cooking doesn’t mean you leave the kitchen in a wreck when you are done. They are cooking…they can’t clean at the same time. They look at me like I’m crazy when I explain that if you use the milk…put it right back in the refrigerator. Do you have any pointers on teaching them that part of doing a job is cleaning up after yourself?Both children are very black and white about things. If you tell them to get the dishes for setting the table they get the dishes. You have to tell them to set the table with ALL of the items needed.I don’t remember my kids being this way. *laughing*I can’t seem to find the right way to encourage them in the kitchen without it becoming a total frustration for all of us.

  6. They have to learn all the steps of setting the table. I usually have to remind them each day.You just have to show them your methods and then remind them when they forget all of the things that are just second nature to you. You had to learn those things long ago; they will take time getting there.

  7. My children are the same! I have had to tell them each and every step for completion and define what a statement means. After a while, when I know they know it, I give them the “Look” and remind them to do it all, not just the short bit I said. Sometimes this helps, sometimes not. I have heard of people taking a picture of what things should look like and using that to show the children the goal they needed to accomplish. I never did that, because I don’t feel like we have ever gotten it good enough for a picture.

  8. Thank you, ladies, I appreciate your time.I do remember it takes time to learn, but find it frustrating that they “don’t remember” from one time to the next.I do like the picture idea. They are very visual kiddos.Thanks again.

  9. I enjoyed reading the chore lists. Yes it sounds like you have the “perfect” picture but I know there is no such thing. 🙂 When my sons were young and at home I had them learn all of the processes of cooking, cleaning and laundry. My son’s ex wife was raised in the “magazine clean” home. The problem was mother did it all and she never learned really anything. The home was not a home it was a house and cold. Not a place for a family to laugh and enjoy. My son in the marriage did the cleaning. Now I am trying to work with a poorly trained grandson. Step by step we are getting somewhere. I have to remember where we were in the process to see the great improvements he has made. I love the book. I hear so many people searching for happiness. I read recently and agree with it that a project with steps and a successful completion brings true happiness. I am working on the Genesis Weekly Plan. We had our first official [it lasted 5 minutes] family meeting Sunday evening. We all know where we are going and how we are going to get there this week. Friday night I plan a celebrating candlelight dinner and a toast. I know I do not celebrate successes even small ones as much as I need to. I am finding my grandson just like the poodles thrives on praise. I will be ordering the book. I need the inspiration to stay on track!

  10. Chocolate chips! Why didn’t I think of that? I am reminded of my next door neighbor when I was a teenager. She had six children and washing the kitchen floor came right after finishing the dishes after dinner every night. As with your family, it ALWAYS needed it by then. I don’t know how they managed, but every one of those kids got at least a 4 year college degree, and most of them got a master’s degree too. The father was a firefighter and the mother stayed at home with the kids, at least when I knew them. They moved in when she was expecting the twins, which were her last two.She was never frazzled, either—busy, but not frazzled. I don’t remember her sitting down much.

  11. Thank you so much for sharing! I love seeing what older kids are capable of. My kids are still very little, three and two, but I try to find things that especially the older one can do consistently. They both take their own clothes to the hamper (in theory!) and Big Brother clears his spot after each meal. Little Brother doesn’t seem to have quite the height (to reach the sink) or coordination yet. I also try to have them clean up their own messes, like when Little Brother insisted on trying his sippy cup without a top (we;ll be waiting a few months to try THAT again) or Big Brother threw his plate full of bread pieces into the sink instead of shaking it over the trash first.

  12. When mine were younger we had a calendar with rotating chores. They all had to keep their own rooms clean- I inspected them every morning, and as soon as they could use the washer they had to wash their own laundry and hang it on the line- we did not have a dryer. They each had a morning chore and an evening chore which rotated between kitchen helper/dishes, feeding animals/barn cleaning (sheep, horses, chickens, rabbits, dogs, and cats), an “inside helper” who did whatever chores I needed done inside the house, and an outside helper who carried wood when the weather was cold and did other outside chores when it wasn’t. They also all worked in the garden, planting, picking and helped with canning when that was going on. It was a good system, I kind of miss them being here!!! lol

  13. I too separated areas or rooms for my three children. they have chore sticks that rotate weekly so no one has to a job they do not like more than once or for a week.once a week: dust: house, addition, bedroomsvacuum house, addition, take out garbageclean bathroomclean bedroomoutside chore: lawn mow, sweep sidewalks, weed eatdaily:set and clear table, empty dishwasher, load dishwashersweep floor, mop floor, clean microwaveHopefully now that we are back to teaching and going to school we can back into a routine. I also hope to do more cooking with each of them.

  14. What do you use for mopping that is so easy to get out and use? It seems you are mopping multiple times a day. I have a large mop bucket on rollers but it is a pain to get out so we only mop a couple of times a week, even though it is needed everyday with four boys and a dog.

  15. Heidi, that is a great question! We have a wood floor mop that you just put a cloth pad over. We wet the cloth pad with water, wring it out, and then they go over the floor with that. Some of them find it easier to just use a rag and do it by hand, so several of them do that. It’s just water, so I’m not buying cleaner, but with wood under the table and marble in the kitchen, that’s the safest thing for both. Our “rags” are actually inexpensive washcloths and bar mop towel (just a bit bigger than a washcloth); Sam’s Club sells them rather inexpensively. I wash them on super hot with bleach (my only hot load) and all other cleaning cloths go in that load (we use the swash cloths for wiping counters and tables, and the bar mops for bathroom cleaning and cleaning up spills). So everything is washed a few times a week; I have a 3-gallon bucket that sits on top of my washer for cleaning cloths; I wash those with the children’s thick bathmats when the bucket is full.The wood floor mops have changed the design since we got ours. But they have some that do the trick still and look pretty similiar. Ours was made by Bona, but there are several out there; I just did a search on Amazon and Scotch Brite makes a wood floor mop that looks like you can just clip a rectangular cloth into. Our floors get a LOT of traffic every day and they are always so dirty, so they really need the mopping.

  16. It is admirable how you have such an organized system for teaching household chores. My mother had to work outside the home and didn’t have the time or energy to be so efficient. My assigned chores were setting and clearing the table, helping with dishes, straightening my room and helping with my little brother. As soon as I was old enough to drive, I was taught to shop well so that she didn’t have to do that all the time.Because I had an inborn desire to be organized and have a clean home, I mostly taught myself to clean and run a home, pretty successfully. Inborn desire was the key here. My brother wasn’t wired the same way and is messy to this day.Like several others, I’m truly astonished by this constant mopping. It would drive me nuts. I’m very particular about stopping dirt at the source before it gets in the floor. Mats at all the doors, shoes left at the door if they are wet or dirty. Clean counters and table at once before any crumbs can land in the floor. It works for me, although I don’t claim you could eat off my floors.

  17. Seven children means a lot of crumbs make their way to the floor. When they do dishes, a good number make their way to the floor, too. Also, because we live in the desert, there is a lot of dust; in 3-4 days, you can write your name on the floor if you’re not sweeping it up. The children play outside barefoot every day and the floors get incredibly dirty with 9 people in and out of the main living areas. The kitchen gets not just dirt, but spills; it is sticky if not mopped every day.

  18. Very impressive list! I am happy if I get to clean the kitchen floor ONCE a day and the rest of the house twice a week… Our children are still quite small (7, 4.5 and 2) and just starting to help. This month I started with a very simple chore-list that basically includes only setting the table, clearing the table and drying dishes. We will see, if this will work for us. I grew up without chore lists, but it was expected that we help. Our kids volunteer sometimes to do other things- helping with the laundry, cleaning the bathroom, sweeping the floor. I always praise them for jobs well done. My goal is to add slowly more chores as they will get older. My oldest is clearly ready for more.

  19. Remember, it’s not me doing the floor–I don’t have time to get to it each day. The 6-year-old and 12-year-old are doing the floor. My children fold all of the laundry and hang the children’s clothes. I just hang mine and my husband’s shirts. From the age of 3, I have them help fold laundry as a regular chore; before that they help some but I don’t require it.There are plenty of things that don’t get done as often as they should (like bathtubs and my bathroom) but the main traffic areas are always messy and dirty, so we cover those often. It’s still not perfect, but child-clean is better than not swept at all 🙂

  20. I believe it! 🙂 Sometimes my eat-in kitchen looks like a vacated cafeteria of an elementary school by the time my kids are all finished with a meal. Luckily I have a kitchen clean up chore assigned to one child for the week so I do get some help in keeping up with the necessary cleaning after meals. Our R.S. Pres. recently taught a class on cleaning routines and she reaffirmed that she cleaned her kitchen floor just as often when her kids were all at home.

  21. Brandy, [reading the older post, and really enjoying.]You are so right. Starting early is the key to teaching children. Sometimes we look at them as babies, and think they are not capable of doing chores. My children are grown and have children of their own.. But, I am so happy that they learned to be self sufficient.And know how to keep their homes. I look back now, and wish I would have done more…Our homes are never picture perfect, but the regular pickups , sweeping, dusting..are so important. It is just hubby and myself, and I still sweep a couple times a day, and mop on an average of 3 times a week. Dirt finds it’s way in.ha.Thank you for sharing.

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