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Get your Family Racing to Complete Chores!

My family went on a mini vacation a few years back which included a stay at a very nice hotel. During our stay, I admired how clean the room was and wished my home could be that clean. We had a long drive home and I thought about how I could start keeping my home that clean or close to it. The reason my house wasn't as clean as I liked was because I didn't do everything that needed to be done when it needed to be done-in other words, I didn't have a system.

What I came up with was a chore schedule list. I started out by writing down every chore that needs to be done for each room in the house, then I labeled them with either a D (for daily), a W (for weekly), an M (for monthly) or 1-3 x a year. Then I went to the computer and opened up 4 new documents and saved them as Daily, Weekly, Monthly and 1-3 x a year. On each of these documents I listed each chore that needs to be completed in that time frame and left an area for checking off each chore on each day, week or month when completed.

It has been a while since I created these chore schedules and since then, I've come up with an excellent way to get my family to help. Here's what I did: I made the chores schedules into tables with spaces to write in whoever's initials completes the chore. At the end of the week, we tally up initials and we come up with 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th place winners (4 people in my family). First place is the one who has the most initials and so on. We give $10 to 1st place, $7.00 to 2nd, $5.00 to 3rd and a giant candy bar to 4th. To even be considered for a prize, a family member must have at least 7 chores completed.

This method has members of my family racing to get as many chores done as possible within a week trying to win 1st place! The house has been much cleaner and my kids are learning housecleaning skills while having fun trying to win. Of course it has been much less work for me so it is well worth the money paid for prizes. If you don't agree with paying money for chores, then you could give other types of prizes such as time spent with mom or a day at the park, etc.

If you'd like to cut the work of creating your chore schedules, I have them available here:

About the Author: Monica Resinger publishes an e-mail newsletter for homemakers that poses fun questions to readers about organizing, crafting, gardening, frugal living and other homemaking subjects; readers can respond to the questions and receive the resulting, very informative 'tip sheet'. If you'd like to join the fun, send a blank e-mail to: to subscribe.

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