Chore Charts at PaintedGold

Chore Charts

Using chore charts to get fast results

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How to Use Printable Chore Charts for Children Effectively

Get the results you want. Fast!

A cleaner home.
Kids who do their chores without whining.
More free time (an interrupted bubble bath?).

As a busy mom, that's what you want. Read on and I will help you get closer to these goals. I have 4 children and have been running a household for over 30 years; I know some things work and other ideas just sit there looking pretty!

Below you find some simple printable chore charts and checklists you can print out and start using in your homelife today. Remember, all chore charts are really sample charts. You need to customize them for maximum effectiveness.

WARNING! The below printable chore charts for children and household checklists for families won't do you any good if you just print them out, hang them on your fridge, go over the new 'rules' with your family, then sit back and watch what happens.

You need a simple system when using your chore charts to get the results you want. Here it is.

  • Make a plan.
  • Gather tools (like a printable chore chart) and learn to use those tools effectively for your particular situation.
  • Add easy training, then motivate and be consistent.
  • Make adjustments over time, based on what's working and what's not. Add new chore chart ideas one at a time to avoid overwhelm.
  • Enjoy your success and celebrate!

"This is the best idea I've ever run across. Thank you so much. I'm a homeschool mom for a 10 and 8 year old and I have a toddler. My husband is a marine and gone a lot. I needed these charts and ideas. Thank you."
Amie R.

(Scroll down for more helpful tips below these free chore charts for families.)
Print this free chore chart or Family Chore Game or printable reward charts (Requires a PDF file reader such as Adobe Acrobat Reader).

free chore chart Free Chore Chart - Family Chore Game printable reward charts

Step 1. Make a plan for using your chore charts.

Decide what you want to accomplish with your chore charts and use that information like a road map to get you where you want to go.

Here is an example nearly everyone can relate to.

Desired end result:
A reasonably clean house on a near-daily basis.
Your kids helping without endless whining or nagging.
Using chore, behavior and reward charts plus other helpful resources, re-evaluate weekly
and you will be humming along in 30 days or less.

Sound good so far?

Step 2. Gather tools (such as kids charts) and learn to use them effectively.

Keeping in mind our desired end result (above), print out the charts or household checklists you want to use and gather lots of ideas on house cleaning/organizing to help you during the set-up phase. Set up a safe spot on each level of your home for cleaning supplies and buy enough supplies for each level of your home. Don't think you (or your kids) can be efficient if any of you have to run up and down stairs several times chasing down the appropriate cleaners, brooms and sponges.

Key Point: Ideas are your best friend at this stage.

Your household is unique, as well as your style of mothering. You need to discover the ideas about cleaning, decluttering, and motivating children (see my Mama's Stress Busters) that work best for you. I cannot emphasize this enough! If you don't take the time to customize your plan at this point, going beyond just posting a printable chore chart or checklist, you will probably experience another round of disappointment! This isn't as hard as it may sound, either. Get a reliable resource of organizational ideas (here's the declutter resource I use plus some simple declutter tips) that you can refer to on an ongoing basis for maximum efficiency.

Step 3. Add easy training, then motivate and be consistent.

Have a training week. Post example charts and go over how to use them. Clean alongside your kids, showing them exactly what to do and how to do it. You probably have cleaning standards (make sure they are reasonable) but your kids won't know what they are unless you explain them. For younger children, plan on working alongside of them indefinitely as training takes more than one session. That's why they call it 'parenting'. Frankly, if you consistently block out time to clean your home with your kids, you'll be surprised at how smooth and efficient your team will get over time.

Avoid nagging (which never works), by deciding on a simple system of rewards and consequences that supports your use of chore charts. A good rule of thumb is that every child's checklist or chart should lead to a reward in some way. For example, you might hold a competition that rewards the most complete chore charts with prizes of a day or week off from doing chores. Believe me, that will get everyone's attention!

An effective behavior or chore charts system must be age appropriate, which means you may need more than one set of rewards and consequences (you also may need separate printable chore charts for each person participating. Don't try to stuff too much on just one chart).

Now for the motivation part. Everyone should be working towards a goal that has meaning for them. A teenager appreciates a privilege when he or she completes a week of chores on time, with no whining. If he or she doesn't get the job done there needs to be a reasonable consequence, like no social life until the chores DO get done.

A five year old will be motivated by something different, like a board game with Mom or the chance to make a homemade pizza with Dad. You get the idea.

Key Point: Don't nag!

If the work doesn't get done, just point to the tasks chart and smile. You can say something like, "gee, that's too bad you didn't get your jobs done this week. I thought you were going to the movies with your friends this afternoon. I guess that will have to wait until you get done." And then walk away. But stick to your guns. Be consistent in your mothering! The whole ball game revolves around your ability to stick to your pre-set rewards and consequences as earned on the kids' charts. Hey, remember; this is how the real world works and chore chart ideas need to reflect reality to be effective.

Another key point here is something many moms never consider but which can really make a difference in how cooperative kids are around the house. It's called routines. We've always used familiar routines in our household to add valuable structure to our kids' daily lives. What does this have to do with our core topic, you ask? Good question. Printable chore charts for children are simply a tool to foster routine. But if that's the only routine you're trying to establish in your home, you'll probably find yourself fighting an uphill battle.

Step 4. Make adjustments using chore chart ideas and other techniques over time.

Be bold. In addition to a simple kids chore chart, try using your organizing and declutter idea resource (same resource I mentioned above) to introduce a new tip each week, keeping the ones that work and dropping the ones that don't. Fine tune them to fit your homelife needs. Use your previous weeks' chore charts to see where family members had difficulty keeping up so you can troubleshoot problems effectively, and then customize your kids' chore charts to reflect your household's unique needs. Ask your kids for their input, pointing out that the bottom line is to quickly keep the house clean each day without complaints so you all can get onto other activities. They may have great ideas of their own on how to accomplish this. In any case, they need to have a voice, but you get the final decision, Mom.

Step 5. Success using printable chore charts for kids!

While you may not think of success as a separate step, give it a try. This is where the fun comes in. Occasionally, have a celebration with your team. Post the winning kids charts in a place of honor and brag on them. Treat everyone to ice cream. Rent a movie together. Make a memory as a family.

Key Point: This step is the one that cements your kids' understanding of what is really going on here.

Sure, it's fun to check off items on the chore chart every day. And it really does (secretly) feel good to be productive. But when you, Mom, are enthusiastic about the whole process, your kids start to understand that the REAL point here is working together on a common goal. It's not just about filling out blank chore charts. It's about problem-solving. It's learning self-discipline. In other words, it's life.

Wrapping up all these chore chart ideas.

Once you get this process down pat, you'll likely see other areas in your household that can benefit from it, also.

Go for it! Using effective mothering tools like kids chore lists, plus developing a team concept with your family, can calm a frazzled homelife as well as free up significant time in any busy household.

Can you say 'bubble bath'?

Feedback from moms who have visited this page:

"Nice and full of informations for moms. I like your website. Thank you for all the tips and infos."

"I nearly started crying from excitement when I found your site you have so many useful stories!! Keep it up there are alot of parents that could benefit I am definitely one of them. Thank you."

"I'm using your charts and giving them to my friends. We-the whole family, not just mom are working on organizing. FAMILY POWER getting ORGANIZED this year!
Moms can Conquer Together.
Thank you,"
Cindi W

"I love your site! The advice is great! And the charts are awesome!  Thank you."

"This site is full of usefull tips to help my family get organized and to enjoy life with my kids with less stress..."

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