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5 Family Traditions for a Cleaner Home


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Family Chore Chart
Kids' chore charts like these, available online from Parents magazine, can make it easy to set expectations of what housework should be done, as well as to track its progress.
Kids' chore charts like these, available online from Parents magazine, can make it easy to set expectations of what housework should be done, as well as to track its progress.

If uncooperative family members keep derailing your plans for a clean house, try creating a chore chart that sets clear expectations for each member of the family. Sometimes kids (and even spouses) can simply forget about certain tasks, and sibling arguments over whose turn it is to take out the trash or clear the table can leave any parent frazzled. A chore chart lists all the daily tasks that need to be completed to maintain a neat, comfortable household. Posting this list in a central location and teaching kids to check it at a certain time each day helps to remind them that everyone plays a role in keeping the house clean [source: Mallory].

Engage children in the process by creating the chart as a family, and decide together which jobs are best for each person. Include yourself and your spouse on the chart, so kids have a good example to follow, and make sure each child has a clear understanding of how to do each task. If your children are young, focus on simple, age-appropriate jobs that can get them in the habit of helping out around the house, even if they're not really much "help" right now. This can include gathering old magazines and newspapers for recycling, collecting dirty laundry from each bedroom and helping Mom and Dad put away groceries. Use stickers or rewards to reinforce a job well done, or allow the child who completes his list the most thoroughly (or fastest) each week to choose a special treat.


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