One of the best ways we have taught our children to help with chores is by creating a Zone Cleaning System. This is a simple way to delegate chores in a fair way, because the chores rotate weekly and everyone gets a turn.
This school year has kept us busy, but it’s time to get back into our chore routines. The kids have been very good about doing chores when we ask them, but I’d like to teach them to be a bit more independent with chores.
I’m hoping that by creating a rotation system of chores the children will become more independent with their chores and take pride in their “zones” each week. Zone Cleaning is not a new idea, I first heard about Cleaning Zones from FlyLady.
The basic idea is to split up your home into zones. Each week you focus on deep cleaning one zone. I love this method and have used it for almost 10 years. I thought that since it works so well for me it might work well for the children.
Choose the Zones That are Right for YOUR HOME
Every home has its own ZONES. There is no one-size-fits-all method to creating zones for your home. You may want to create zones based on the spaces in your home or you may want to divide your chores by type. Below I’ll show you some examples of each ZONE method:
By Chore Type
Fill in each zone with appropriate Chores
Once you decide on a Zone Style that will work for your family/home you need to add the specific chores to each zone. I try to keep it to 5 chores for each zone. If you’re new, this will allow you to ease in with just one chore each day. You can then label each task “daily” if it’s a daily task or label it with the day of the week that the chore should be done.
Our bedrooms are each of our responsibility and we usually take time on Saturday to clean our rooms. Every few weeks we have a major bedroom cleaning session too.
Example zones with chores
By Chore Type
It will take you a while to iron out the details of your zones. You may find that your children just aren’t ready to vacuum on their own.
Find creative chores for your kids
One of my pet peeves is our shoe pile by the door, so I decided to add “tidy up the shoes” to one of our zones. Is there a chore you don’t like? You’ll be surprised how much your kids enjoy wiping down the baseboards (do people really do this often?!) Give it time and leave room for changes.
Use Cleaning Cards to Simplify Zone Cleaning
We now use Cleaning cards to make zone cleaning even easier. You can print out the chore cards and use them for the tasks that have to be done in each zone. And don’t think these cards are only good for children, the chore cards are a great tool for mom and dad to use too!
>> Get your Printable Cleaning Cards <<
Rotate the zones
Every Monday we will switch zones for the week. We started with 2 zones and worked with the kids until the mastered those zones. Yes, the bathroom zone is the least favorite but everyone has their turn.
We are flexible when we have busy evenings but for the most part, the kids know what they need to do after school before they can play. We also have a little after school routine that we follow. If you’re interested I have a handy printable After School Routine Chart you can print out.