Friday, January 11, 2008

My Disease, part two

This post is for Crystal who posed a question on her blog about how to organize your kids' routines.

Well. Don't even get me started.

But since I am already started, here is a little peek at what has worked for us. It may not work for you or your kids, but seems to have struck a cord with mine. We've been doing a variation of these same job charts for about three years and the kids still diligently follow them.

I made these job charts out of foam board -I got two posters and cut each one in half, then drew the lines on with a Sharpie. Don't those straight lines just bring a little bit of pleasure into your heart? No?

Okay, then. Just me.

I used stickers for the kids' names and days of the week (covering with a large strip of packing tape to protect them). Each child has a chart of their very own:





And for my child who is just learning to read, her jobs also have wooden cutout pictures next to them so she knows what to do. I got all the cutouts and pieces in the little wooden aisle at Michaels. Very cheap. Very cute. Very easy.


Everyone has the same jobs (which I typed out, laminated, and adhered with velcro), except one "extra" job rotates each week between the children. One week, someone does the breakfast dishes. Another one empties all the bathroom trash cans. And another one cleans the kids' bathroom. Then they trade at the end of each week.

Now, before we go on, I must pause and explain something. BY NO MEANS do they clean the bathroom to my standard. But if they wipe the toothpaste out of the sink and off the mirror, then I can function until I clean the bathroom myself, which is about once a week. All of the jobs are simple and easily accomplished by even the youngest member of the family. I feel good because it teaches them responsibility, and helps me out a lot.

I used Velcro on the back of all the wooden pieces. Make sure to not put the same type of Velcro on both the wooden piece and your poster. They won't stick that way. Not that I'd know anything about that. Ahem.

I keep the job charts on the inside doors of our pantry in the kitchen (also attached with Velcro in case I want to change them out or bring them with us on an upcoming move - which in our case, seems to have been about every year. [Hopefully not anymore]).


Here is a full view. Thank you in advance for not commenting on the disorganized and cluttered pantry. Don't worry - it's on my to-do list.


But, when the doors are closed, nobody need know of the OCD that plagues my life. See? How pretty. Two doors. Nothing to see here. Move along.

So what do you do that works?

30 comments:

Celia Fae said...

Nag and whine, beat and bribe. That's what I do. I like your method better. So pretty and nice.

I'm worried about your syrup supply. Are you sure you ahve enough? I only count three bottles.

John Holly Levi & Faith said...

Celia is so funny. Her comments kill me.

All I can say is: Please come to my house and HELPPPPPPPPPPPP ME!!!!! How do you even have time to blog? Do you have a certain schedule for that because I can't seem to get any organizing done because of my blogging addiction.

Oh, and if you think your pantry is unorganized, you should see mine. You'd feel better. Yours looks TOTALLY organized. Can I borrow the OCD in you just for a couple weeks? Please?

Kimberly and Devon said...

What a great idea! I remember your mom always having the most clever work charts and such. We've been trying to figure out how to get the kids to help out more...this just might be the answer. Are there any consequences if one is not completed or a reward for completing them all for the week? Devon remembers his mom coming and getting him out of school to bring him home to finish his dishes that he didn't do before school, making him do them, and then taking him back to school. Funny, huh? Thanks for the tip!

Dancin Queen said...

I want that disease. Is it contagious?

Mahina said...

we tried a job chart last year and it worked great until we left on sabbatical. now since we've been back for 5 months we don't really do anything! i may need to try individual job charts like yours. there is much more space and it seems more organized that way!

that is if i can peel myself away from my blogging addiction!

J-Dude's Blog said...

I love you. I used to do things like this and then - my kids started to become TEENAGERS! We must talk sometime. It took me a while to adjust to someone not "liking" my organization - how could it NOT work for someone who grew up with these strategies their whole life. Sigh. My family needs changed. And so, I had to too. I covet those charts and may have to make them just for ME!!!!

Emily said...

Great charts. I use those same wooden cutouts on my toy baskets so the kids no which toys go where. It works great. Also, what is the E.M. website? and P.S. I was so sad to read your post about Casey. I remember when you called me that morning crying and asking where to buy fish for your kids since you had to return their puppy. So sorry--but you and they all made it through! I have been spending way to much time on the web puppy searching as well. My problem is we still travel for lengthy periods of time and we don't have a fenced in back yard. If you still really want a dog, don't discount the poodle. The real poodle. You can get them in a less frilly big size, they REALLY don't shed, and we had them growing up since my dad is extremely allergic to cats and dogs. Good luck!

Emily said...

I'm sorry, I'm not an idiot. That was supposed to be "so the kids KNOW," not "no."

Brigitta said...

I am impressed and now I have been inspired thanks for the idea.

Amanda said...

I love the idea of the velcro! I am going to steal that...sort of. Right now I have their chores printed out and in sheet protectors and they can cross them off with a dry erase marker when they are done. The kids each have one chore per day plus 5-6 things that have to be done everyday.

Thanks for the idea!

crystal said...

Yay! An entire disease-oriented post dedicated to me! Are you sure you don't want to call in a song on the radio, also, and dedicate it to me?

These charts are so cute. Will you bring your ruler and your sharpie to my house? I'll provide cafe rio & diet coke and foam board and silly jokes.

You've totally gotten the wheels turning in my mind. So much so that I may have to curl into the fetal position and do my yoga breathing.

crystal said...

Okay. I've spent the last 10 minutes scrolling up and down your post, gawking at those amazing charts. I'm so jealous of your disease!!!

Why do you get to have a USEFUL disease that causes you to be organized and tidy, while is suffer with a USELESS disease like knowing the lyrics to every Beatles song ever written???

DanandCindy said...

Holy Crap, you are weird.

DanandCindy said...

I wonder where you get your jobchart wizardry from?

Marty said...

I used to love my job charts. I kept them because they were such works of art. I can't even remember if they helped the kids do their jobs. But making them helped me to NOT do my jobs, and anything to procrastinate the actual job works for me!

Bridget said...

I feel such a bond with you seeing as we eat so many of the same Costco foods. Celia- you wouldn't be worried about us, we have four gi-normous jugs of syrup.

You really should write a book Stie. An organization book. YOu should make money off your talent/obsession.

katie said...

YOU ARE AMAZING. nuff said.

Becky said...

I like your style! Good job. It always makes me feel so much better to just close the doors, too. So, just cross "organize pantry" off your list. It'll all be eaten and re-organized anyway. All you gotta do: SHUT THE DOORS. You got it, yes you do.

BTW, if you had organized your pantry for the picture, I would have been feeling a little, you know, bummed that my pantry wasn't the same. Thanks for keeping it real on some things for those of us without the extreme OCD. (you know I have spots of it here and there- but still can't get over the dishwasher thing.) laughing with you, right now.

Becky said...

Now, after taking a closer look, um...I am thinking your pantry is pretty organized. Please don't even THINK about doing any more than that, please, ok, just please. All the boxes are together, all the soup. It's all good.

Family Adventure said...

Awesome charts! I feel unbearably inadequate right about now...my method involves no velcro or sharpies, but lots of pleading and begging...

...so I thank any and all higher powers for celia and your brother and their hilarious comments.

Heidi :)

Diane said...

I think I still have the famous cleaning robots around here somewhere. Do you remember "Duster Buster" and "Comet man"? Looks like your childhood work games paid off. This has got to make your mom very pleased....except when you call it a "disease". I think this is one disease everyone wishes they could catch from you!

RobynandJoe said...

I seriously want a closer look into ALL the OCD areas of your life for inspiration. I LOVE the charts and can't wait for kids who are old enough to complete them. Actually, I think I'm going to make my husband a job chart...he'll love that!

Rosie said...

I love your job charts! I love that they are permanent and you don't have to make a new one every time they fill up with stickers. The next time your son harasses you about recycling your DC cans, you can point out that you are not filling our landfills with used up job charts~cute and eco-friendly . . .

Jessica said...

I do what you do. Exactly. I'm not kidding. I should take a picture right now and email it to you, because our charts are so much the same: velcro, rotating jobs, velcro-d completion pieces.

See, I told you, I can organize people and time just not stuff.

Which brings me to your pantry. Disgusting. Please take care of it. (and then send me your old "messy" one, so my husband thinks I did something today.)

Mom2My6Kids said...

I love the velcro idea. And my kids are always wanting a reason to buy those little wooden pieces from Michaels. These are great charts. I think I'll be letting my kids make their own charts this weekend! Thanks for sharing. I am always looking for things that work for other moms! And I like that when you shut the doors, it's all gone! Very nice!

Mique said...

Now I know what I have to look forward to doing when all 3 kids are in school. And I live in the Midwest (uh HELL NO).

Mique said...

P.s. No offense.
And just got back from San Diego. Sunny. Beach. Flip flops.
You know you wish we could trade places. Oh wait- then you'd have a totally unorganized house, enough laundry to suffocate you and an unhandy husband to boot. Darn, guess I'll have to stay in Sunny CA. How's that winter workin' for ya?

love.boxes said...

So organized. Love that pantry! Mine is always a mess.

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