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, “Hangupyourcoatputawayyourshoesandbringmeyourlunchbox?” No? Just me?
It reminds of a time one of my sweet ESL students asked me to spell a word I use all the time. “What word?” I queried. To which he replied, “Herewego.” Bless him. Apparently my pep talk to get teenagers to begin Math questions smushes together as much as my nagging does.
As a Mom, my words are tired.
Are your words tired too?
It only took our 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.
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: purchase here
Or if you prefer, head to the dollar store and see what you can find there.
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 hiting 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.
I am praying that the delicious sound of the Plink will be addictive. And they will keep coming back for more. Or, more likely, I may require all pins are plinked before screen time is allowed. Probably that.
At a quick glance, I can see that Orange Boy has not practised piano, finished homework or put away his laundry yet.
No screen time for you yet, Orange boy!
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.
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 you can have a chore system created. Or even less if you use washi tape instead of painting pins.
Due to my excitment over creating this clothespin chore system, I had to post this right away. It has not even been tested. But I know it will work. So I’ll post the successful results on the Lightly Frayed facebook page in the next few days. There’s that optimism brimming over again.
Hope it’s not just the paint fumes.
What chore systems have worked for your family? Share this simple tool with other parents?
Could you use a bonus tool to make Mom life easier? To cut down whining and squabbling and increase the peace in your home. This FREE ebook is packed with ideas to survive our craziest time of day – where we try to flip pancakes while the kids are FLIPPING OUT (sorry for yelling). Solidarity, Moms.
So happy to have you here – stay a while. There’s a blend of help and humour, infused with hope for our unique calling as Moms. Frazzled? Messy? Trying to cling to humour and lightness? Welcome to Lightly Frayed.