I remember the very first chore chart that I ever created. As a young mom, with four children, ages four and under, I needed help. And while I kept waiting for the elusive Cleaning Fairy to arrive on my doorsteps, she kept passing over our home, so I knew I must get creative.
Two of our four kids were able bodied and more than willing to help, and even though it was quicker to just do it myself, I knew that part of developing character in our children was to help instill responsibility. Starting chores at an early age was a foundational value of ours: just a small part of the process of laying the building blocks of character.
Since they weren’t of reading age yet, I carefully looked through magazines and cut out pictures that could symbolize the assigned chore – a cute dog for “feeding the animals,” a toilet brush for scrubbing the toilet (yes, at four, they think this is a blast), a spray bottle for wiping down the kitchen cabinet fronts etc. you get the idea. As they got older, pictures turned to words and lists and charts.
Now that four of the five are teenagers, rethinking and re-strategizing the implementation of the chores is my goal. Sometimes, I’ll scribble To -Do notes and leave them on the counter when I leave, but somehow when I returned, the list had “disappeared.”
As much as the crafty side of me desired to really go to town on a ultra creative chore chart, I knew the best way to avoid any possible excuses for not getting chores done was to give them ownership. A simple solution came in the form of each child own creating their own personalized chore chart on a clipboard.
Since there was a lengthy decision-making process on supplies, I let the girls shop at The Home Depot for their supplies, and they picked out a few different colored spray paints, a 24-count acrylic paint sampler, and four different Duck Tape patterns.
While they got started creating art on their clipboard, my initial plan was to frame out a spot on our laundry room wall as the “command center.” I eyed an old frame that I had previously sanded and spray painted with my favorite color choice, Rust-Oleum Heirloom White, and knew this would be a great repurposing option. I always pick up old frames from yard sales or thrift stores because there are always great DIY options for pennies on the dollar. Ignore the color or even the ugly art that might be found in those frames and realize their potential. All they need is a simple clean up, sanding, possible priming and a few coats of spray paint. I am partial to the new 2-in-1s (with the primer and paint in one, amazing can of potential.)
Sometimes we imagine DIY projects to be harder than they really are. It’s just getting started that makes the difference.
What I love about my new chore chart set up for the girls is that it takes the guess work out of expectations. If I leave a note on the clipboard, they know to check it. If I leave a list of items that need to be tackled, they know where to find it.
It’s a win-win and super cute as well.
I have the chore chart situated right when we walk into our side mud room door. (I didn’t even clean up for you.)
As a reminder, I added “Every Day is a Gift,” because honestly, there is such a gift in hard work.
It was incredibly tempting to add my favorite whining sign instead, but I resisted.
Since the girls didn’t use all their Duck Tape choices, we got creative with other uses. I love it as a Duck Tape Frame and plan on doing that for our boys room. It’s definitely something my teen guys would go for.
I can’t wait to see what you all create.
Remember, doing it yourself does not have to be intimidating. The Home Depot workshops are the perfect place to guide you along in the process.
Jen Schmidt is a mother of five, motivational speaker and worship leader. She writes about her “never ending pursuit of balancing it all…for less money,” on her blog Balancing Beauty and Bedlam.
The Do-It-Herself Workshops are free, they’re very informative and a whole lot of fun. Go to The Home Depot’s Workshops page to find out more about the upcoming DIH Workshop and to reserve your spot.
Many of our DIH Workshops are inspired by the many great projects you pin on Pinterest. Be sure to follow our #DIHWorkshop board on Pinterest for more great projects and ideas.