26 Sep

Our house is a crazy, lived-in mess.  I spend my whole life tidying one room, just to come in and find the kids have trashed another one – arrrrgggghh!  A random conversation with a friend on friday made me have a think about what I can reasonably expect the kids to help with.  I got no sleep on friday night with so much stuff whizzing through my head, and ended up getting up at 6am to write it all down, then got side-tracked with tidying the kitchen…

I wrote a list of rules for each room, the jobs that need to be done, and when.  There’s like 2 rules per room, and jobs are divided between us all.  I went through them with E yesterday to see what she thought, and she didn’t seem to worried about, particularly when I added the bribery I was prepared to pay!  I talked to H about it too, and she seemed to be ok with it too.  So…we had a trial run.  OMG what a difference it made.  my kitchen was clean and tidy for breakfast this morning, the sitting room was tidy, and nobody even noticed that they’d done any work! It worked at breakfast again today too.  I’ve got bribery lined up for today, and for the end of the week if we keep it up.

The Rules:


  • after breakfast (wherever it is eaten – usually sitting rm), bowls to be returned to sink, cereal to cupboard, milk to fridge.
  • before lunch and tea, 1 person to clear and clean table, 1 person to lay table, 1 person to make the food
  • after lunch and tea, 1 person to clear food into the bin, 1 person to put unused food in fridge, 1 person to stack dishes by sink

Sitting rm

  • before tea 1 person to put all toys in a basket and take down to play room, 1 person to put books back on shelf, 1 person to put dvds back in drawer


  • morning – wake up, have breakfast, clean teeth, get dressed, put PJs under pillow
  • evening – get undressed, putting dirty clothes in wash basket, have bath, clean teeth, find PJs under pillow (!), stories, sleep

Wish us luck!


Posted by on September 26, 2010 in housework


Tags: ,

7 responses to “Rules!

  1. Claire

    September 26, 2010 at 11:32 am

    Rules rule! Sounds like a really simple plan. Everyone should help out, you all live there and you all want a nice life. I am off to write some rules, but I am mentioning the money 😀 We’ve slowly been getting more and more organised over the past few months and the secret is definitely to do it straight away as your rules set out, otherwise it just accumulates and then no one wants to clean it. Hope it works for you… : )

  2. Claire

    September 26, 2010 at 11:33 am

    That should say NOT mentioning the money :))

  3. Schools Out

    September 26, 2010 at 11:39 am

    Money? What money?! If you mean the bribery, its non-monetary, but they are easily pleased!!

  4. matt

    September 27, 2010 at 7:40 am

    This is really good – well done for standing back and re-focussing! This always an issue and i’ve been trying to get Jamie to put stuff back after using them etc but it’s a bit hit and miss. Also nothing wrong with ‘incentivising’ the whole process!

    Also, not sure when the whole pocket money thing kicks in but i’m planning on linking that directly to chores around the house – and not just a bit of tidying their room. Nothing wrong with an appreciation of work. hehe

  5. Schools Out

    September 27, 2010 at 8:47 pm

    Thanks Matt! H is quite enjoying the new rules as she feels like she has a little bit of responsibility. She’s also figured out that if she lays the table, she gets to choose which plate she gets, as there is nearly always a squabble over who gets the pink plate though I usually solve that one by giving it to baby L!! I wasn’t really expecting her to be able to contribute much, I thought E would be doing most things, but so far H has surprised me. She has stacked plates, put food in the brown bin, cleaned the table and laid the table.

  6. susie

    September 28, 2010 at 9:29 am

    how much are your consultancy rates? We need someone to come and sort out the routine/rules in this house!!!!!!!!!

    • Schools Out

      September 30, 2010 at 8:01 pm

      Ooo…will have to come up with a pricing structure 😉


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