I try to keep my house fairly clean. At 1932 square feet, with (currently) 12 people living in it, this can be tough, but important. It isn’t easy for sure, but it can be done, and with the help of the children.
Years ago my husband started something with the kids called Jurisdictions. This is just basically an area of the house/property that they are in charge of for the week.
The Start of Our Week
Every Monday each of the children, from the oldest down to my six year old (currently eight children), choose their Jurisdiction and write it down on our white board. I use this white board for tracking everything by the way, schoolwork, morning chores, piano practice, Jurisdictions, etc. More on that in another post, I think.
The Jurisdictions in our home are:
- Three Rooms: Family room, Living Room, and Dining Room. This means sweeping/mopping, vacuuming, dusting, straightening up the bookshelves, cleaning the light fixtures, dusting the piano, making sure the toys are not left out, cleaning the windows in those rooms, etc.
- Bathrooms: We have two bathrooms. Everyday I require them to be lightly wiped down (Swish & Swiped, see The Flylady for details), kept stocked, and twice in the week, deep-cleaned.
- BirdRoom: I have an enclosed back porch that get dirty very quickly. Not only is it the home of our two messy parrots but we have two messy rodents and two smaller birds in there as well. We also keep all our animal food and I grow our Fodder System and MealWorms in there for some of our animals. It also serves as a mud room. It’s quite an intense room that has to be constantly swept, bird paper changed out, and animal food kept cleaned up. It’s also fully enclosed in windows, so lots of cleaning there.
- Kitchen: The kids have separate chores when it comes to meal clean-up, so this is separate. Here the kids wipe down the fridge, pantry, cabinets, sink, garbage can, etc.
- Hallway/Porches: This is sometimes two separate Jurisdictions as usually my two little boys take these two jobs. It was originally intended this way though. The Hallway consists of sweeping it, keeping our linen closet clean and organized, keeping the games in the game closet clean and picked up, and keeping the coat closet floor swept and clean. If the games and towels are really out of hand then I have an older kid help them as this is pretty overwhelming for a six and eight year old. The Porches are just keeping the front and back porch swept and cleaned up.
- Garage: This is a big job. We have a lot of activity that goes on in our garage; laundry, food organization, electronics projects for my 15 year old and the work bench for my husband. We don’t actually park our cars in here, like normal Americans. Usually one of the older children take this job. They keep the washer and dryer cleaned up, shoes picked up, organize our food, sweep the garage, go through a lot of our fresh food that I’m in the process of canning, etc.
- Laundry: Everyone does load transfers, down to my ten year old. However, the one who has chosen this job makes sure the laundry gets folded and put away, including the socks. This doesn’t mean they are the only one folding laundry but they are in charge of it. You can read more about our laundry system here.
- Outside: This includes mowing our two acres, cleaning up the yard of toys, keeping the grass and plants watered, etc.
Some Jurisdictions are harder than others so the older children usually choose them. Occasionally the little ones will try to take them. I do let them occasionally as we do try to encourage them to be ambitious but I require an older child to ‘help’ them.
Not everything is going to get finished in each Jurisdiction. Therefore, depending on the child and the job we require them to spend 15 minutes to an hour each day on their Jurisdiction. After they’ve done this they can initial on the white board that they’ve done their Jurisdiction for the day.
We have an award system in place for those that finish all the requirements of the white board, usually roller-skating or something like that. We call it the Cristero’s. If you’ve done your duty for the week you are a Cristero, if you haven’t then you’re not. Another post should be written on that though. 🙂
I usually don’t have to do much but remind the children about their Jurisdictions. This is mainly because if they want to watch a cartoon or ‘big kid’ movie that evening (family event) they must have their Jurisdiction completed and signed off on the board.
How Are Chores Set Up In Your Family?
What do you do in your family to keep your home straightened up? Do you have set chores for each kid? Do they rotate? I always love hearing how others manage their homes!
God bless. 🙂