Looking for a chore system to help your kids take ownership of their jobs?
With four boys, I am all about chaos management.
You are going to love this simple tool.
Ever the optimist, I believe this new Clothespin Chore System is going to revolutionize my house cleaning. And family relationships. And possibly bring world peace.
Because you know that thing where every day you say, “Hangupyourcoatandputawayyourshoes?” No? Just me?
As a Mom, my words are tired.
Are your words tired too?
It only took my son’s Kindergarten teacher two days to whip 28 kids into a routine. Seven months into the school year and I am still a waffling nagster with my smaller brood.
So I decided this Mama needed a system. If my chore system was going to sit on my counter, it had to be pretty.
I wish I could properly credit the wise creator of this clothespin chore system. If you are the creative genius – message me and I’ll gladly offer you credit and a chocolate bar.
Today I put the finishing touches on this project, and I can’t wait to show you.
The Reveal of the Clothespin Chore System
Please celebrate this small victory of crossing the finish line. With the help of my 5 year old assistant who kept me motivated.
- Tin bucket from Michael’s (with a 40% off coupon, of course)
- One different colour of acrylic paint for each child: so many colour choices here
- Plain clothespins like these
We painted half the clothespins so there was enough room to write on each one. I tried really hard to not micromanage and my boy proudly painted his colours all by himself.
Each child chose their own colour clothespin. After the paint dried, I wrote down all the daily tasks my kids need to do without ever being reminded again in their entire lives. Never. Ever. Ever.
There are so many other things you could add to the list of expectations, depending on the stage you are at. Brush teeth, get dressed quickly, wake up without complaint…..
I kept it pretty simple for our launch.
Explain the System
Every child is responsible to move all of their coloured clothespins into the bucket by the end of the day.
So Orange Boy will make his bed in the morning. Plink (clothespin hitting the bucket bottom). Then he’ll put his shoes and coat away after school. Plink. Then he will empty his lunch box and put it in the dishwasher. Plink.
At first, the delicious sound of the Plink had a lot of buy in, especially with the 6 and 12 year old. But as this began to lapse, I switched it up a bit. I required all pins are plinked before dinner time.
When we implement new systems, we need to be flexible and adapt them over time.
And the best people to brainstorm what to do when a system is not quite working? Our kids.
At a quick glance, I can see that Orange Boy has not practised piano, finished homework or put away his laundry yet.
Get going Orange boy. I know you’re hungry, so plink those pins!
Create Bonus Clothespins
Those few leftover clothespins that did not get painted will serve a purpose with unlimited options. You can assign 1 daily task to each child and put it beside their painted pins. So they know they need to do their daily coloured task PLUS 1 extra task of Mom’s choice.
Or it could be an empty clothespin that means, “Ask if there is anything I can do to help?” after dinner time.
Oh yes. That’s a good one.
The possibilities are endless.
Orange Boy just begged me to let him close his eyes and randomly select his extra job for tomorrow, which is another great idea.
Really hope he gets the one on the far right. I am not above assigning “Hug Your Mom” as a chore. Humour is the secret sauce to survival around here.
In less than half an hour have created your own chore system. Or even faster, if you use washi tape instead of paint.
And when you feel optimistic about the changes coming your way, don’t worry – it’s not just the paint fumes.
What chore systems have worked for your family? Share this simple tool with other parents?