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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Off-Topic Tuesday Tips and a Freebie

Last night for family night, we had a really fun activity.  Some families like to hike mountains, some like to camp in the  mountains.  Well, we decided to tackle a mountain, too... this one:
I know, I know, what am I doing blogging when I have mountains like that in my living room?  I really should have had one of the kids stand next to it so you could really get an idea of the size.  I'm surprised anyone in the house had clothes left in their drawers to wear when this many were piled on the couch waiting to be folded.  It would have taken me all day of folding, while watching a few of my favorite movies -- really not such a bad way to spend a day.  But instead, we gathered our gaggle of girls and got it all folded and put away in less than an hour.  Even all the socks from this mountain and the mismatched sock basket got mated and deposited into the correct drawers in that time.  I wish I would have remembered to take an after shot when half of the living room floor was full of piles.  I did make some chocolate cupcakes to sweeten the night, and so I could feel better about myself as a mother. 

So here's my off-topic question today for off-topic Tuesday, how do you handle chores in your house?  Obviously I could use a lot of improvement in this area of my life, so give me some pointers.  I don't necessarily need to live in a museum, but we probably shouldn't have mountains of unfolded laundry taking up all of our seating space.  To get things started, I'll share a tip of my own.  One thing we do well is morning jobs.  The kids have their morning routine that they do pretty well, and part of it is one little job.  We keep track of whose turn it is with this adorable job chart. 
I just love how happy they look to do their jobs!  The circle of heads rotates, and when we first started it they were so excited to see where their head was pointing that morning.  I always love the start of a new gimmick.  Now it's lost some of its novelty, but it's still working.  What I love most about it is that it keeps on working without me having to do much of anything.  We've tried many, many chore charts in the 10+ years I've been a mom, and sometimes they're so complicated they take more time than they're worth.  This one is simple and effective.

I would really love to hear your tips.  How do you handle the chores in your house?  Or do you do it all yourself?  How do you do that without getting upset with the people who are making all the messes?  I went to a class once where a lady was teaching about this subject and said we need to remember when we're cleaning our teenagers' rooms again that we're doing it because we love them.  I'm sorry, but I don't believe in cleaning my teenagers' rooms and I think it would be more loving of me to teach them how to work for themselves.  Of course, I don't have a teenager yet, so it's easy for me to say that now... 

Leave me a comment and tell me what you think, offer a tip, or just mock me for that mountain of laundry I made my family fold for family night. (It was my husband's idea, by the way... He was probably tired of searching through the pile for matching socks every morning.)  I changed the settings so it's easier to leave a comment now - no code word to type, no pop-up boxes, no excuses.  :)  Make sure you leave me a way to contact you, and here's what I'll give you in return... the template for my chore chart!  
Yay for templates!  It's in .psd format in layers so all you have to do is insert your pictures and print it out.  Just make sure you use really happy pictures of your kids so they think doing their chores makes them happy! :)

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