4 kids and a clean house...How on earth is is possible?

Anyone with a kid who does anything other than lay there can tell you the house is pretty much a mess most of the time.....try multiplying that by 4. I don't really have a suggestion on how to whip the 9 month into shape and honestly, most 2 year olds are eager to help- especially if it means vacuuming or mopping. That kind of thing comes with the territory. But once they are school age and able to remember they need money for whatever-fundraiser-the-school-is-doing-this-week, or that they get a pizza party if they bring in box tops, they are plenty old enough to pick up their friggin' shoes!

Sadly, my 2 oldest kids think the kitchen is a great place for shoes, the bathroom counter is suitable for kindles and ipods and anywhere they can balance a cup or plate is a good enough place to leave one.

I finally had it during Christmas break. I clean one room, walk by and there are dishes, shoes and pure randomness all over my house. Not to mention that my 9 year old has recently decided to collect filth. Ughhhhhh.....Then Christmas rolls around, they cash out and each have over $100 to their names. My first thought was, 'pay me to be your maid.' But the reality is that their collective $200 would run out fairly quick, in no time I would once again be their maid for free and they would have learned absolutely nothing. Not to mention, I would feel like a huge douche asking my kids to pay me to clean up after them.

Then it came to me. Instead of a chore-reward chart....what about a chore-charge chart??

It goes something like this:

  • Picking up your shoes/food wrappers/cups or other randomness from living room- 10 minutes
  • Pick up your dishes/wipe the table with your drips and crumbs- 5 minutes
  • Cleaning your bathroom- 20 minutes
  • Bringing in your stuff from the car- 15 minutes
  • Cleaning your room- 5 times the time amount it takes me.

If I do any of the above tasks, they have to repay me in the corresponding time with work around the house. It is their choice on what to do, and they are unplugged and grounded until they pay their debt. The first week, I was living high on the hog. I spent a few minutes each day picking up after them, then submitted them a bill for time. 2 hours per kid. I almost had them washing diapers!

I am happy to announce that it only took a few days for them to learn I mean business. I may be able to charge them a few minutes each week for random forgotten things, but for the most part, my kids are no longer pigs!