Like everyone else...the house is always a mess and there is always some kind of chore to be done. After trying lots of things...here is our new attempt at family clean up.
I made a Chore Chart. It lists specific chores for each child for each day. Our 11yo has 3 each day, the 4yo has 2, and 2yo has 1. Nothing takes more than 5min. These are in addition to anything we ask them to do (e.g. pick up anything they took out, put meals away...). Somedays they luck out...there is no dishwasher to be emptied...it rained so no watering needed...Dad swept the floor already. And sometimes we give them credit if they helped out some other way. If they didn't do something, they have the week to make it up.
If, overall, they did a good job and most of the things got done...special dessert on Sunday! (this week, they picked Jello!)
My 4yo helped me make it...listed chores that needed to be done, cut it out, taped it, decorated it. I made a week-list on the computer and printed several copies (a new one goes up each week). The first week, we had it up and talked about it but didn't actually start it. This week was the first week that we really used it. It went really well.
It has really helped me out, I feel like I have more time to relax and play...and we all feel like we have a collective responsibility to the house...our 4yo loves being a good helper...and we think our 2yo has even caught on. Our 4yo is also really into learning the days of the week.
So we are determined to be consistent about it throughout the summer and then re-evaluate it.]
*List of chores
Toys in living room
Toys in dining room
Toys in kitchen
Clean up DVD/videos/games
Clean up books
Sweep kitchen floor
Mop kitchen floor
Wipe kitchen cabinets
Dust dining room
Dust living room