There is no way I can do it all.
With a big family comes big messes, and lots of laundry and dishes.
The secret is . . . everyone helps! And because everyone helps, they all learn how to do the things they will need to do to keep their own homes running when they are adults.
We’ve made some recent changes to our chore assignments.
I’ve assigned more to Ivory, who is now 4 and can do quite a few things to help.
I also added a few new chores, such as wiping the kitchen cabinets and counters. The job to wipe the kitchen cabinets is to do just one section a day, so that within a couple of weeks, everything will have been wiped down. I added this after reading how Yvonne at Stonegable wipes down all of her kitchen cabinets once a week. She says it’s a fast job. I’ve never been able to do it quickly, and I certainly don’t get it done that often! They could use it more often, though, so I added that chore. One section takes about 5 minutes to wipe well.
I also ended up with a few gaps in the chart; four, to be exact. I had nothing for those times. After discussing it with my husband, we decided to create a new chore that we named “Special Assignment.” I choose something that needs to be done (but not done every day) and the child will work on that. I choose jobs that take 5-10 minutes to finish. A few things I’ve chosen so far for this are:
Organize a drawer
Straighten the pantry for 5-10 minutes
Dust a specific piece of furniture
Dust a ceiling fan
Clean the toaster
Wipe door handles
My children are Winter, 14, Cyrus, 13, Ezrom, 11, Liberty, 9, Wren, 8, Elsa 6, Ivory 4, and Octavius, who is 4 months now (and whose only job is to look cute).
On a normal day, we have 4 loads of laundry, run the dishwasher after every 2 meals (because that’s 18 plates/bowls, etc.!) , and wash a good number of pots and pans. I wash the pots, pans, mixing bowls, and do the laundry washing and drying, cook, clean, garden and sew (and everything else mothers d0).
Here are our new chore assignments:
Get dressed, brush hair and wash face
Sort dirty laundry
Winter: Help with Breakfast
Cyrus: Wash two doors
Ezrom: Put away clean dishes
Liberty: Take out trashes
Wren: Pick up living room
Elsa: Pick up and Sweep East hall
Ivory: Pour waters and Set Table
Fold and put away laundry
Winter: Sweep under table
Cyrus: Wipe table and chairs
Ezrom: Wash dishes
Liberty: Sweep and mop kitchen floor
Wren: Special Assignment
Elsa: Tidy mudroom
Ivory: Pick up living room
Put away school books and pencils
Winter: Pick up by front door and Vacuum kitchen rug and rug by front door
Cyrus: Sweep and mop wood floor by piano
Ezrom: Special Assignment
Liberty: Pick up living room
Wren: Set table and pour drinks
Elsa: Help Mom with lunch
Ivory: Pick up Library
Winter: Wipe Kitchen counters and cabinets
Cyrus: Special Assignment
Ezrom: Clean Bathroom
Liberty: Wash dishes and Run dishwasher
Wren: Sweep and mop under table
Elsa: Clean girls’ Bathroom
Ivory: Wipe table and chairs
Winter: Pick up and sweep West hall
Cyrus: Put away clean dishes
Ezrom: Sweep under the table
Liberty: Pick up and Vacuum living room
Wren: Tidy backyard
Elsa: Special Assignment
Ivory: Wipe table, set table and pour waters
Clean and vacuum rooms
5 Minutes cleaning in the Library
Put on pajamas
Brush teeth and wash face
Winter: Sweep wood floor by piano
Cyrus: Wash dishes
Ezrom: Clear and wipe table
Liberty: Sweep under table
Wren: Vacuum Library
Elsa: Sweep and mop kitchen floor
Ivory: Wipe chairs
Looking for more chore ideas? You can read about some of our past chore assignments here.