The Chore Box

Over the summer, someone sent me a Pinterest link for a brilliant idea that I have found moderately successful.  I’ll tell you why it’s not 100% successful in a minute.

The Chore Box is a box that sits in my living room with a little sign on it that says,

“You’ve left it out,

mom picked it up,

she’s got your stuff,

you are out of luck,

to get it back,

must do a chore,

and then its yours,

just like before.”

Easy, right?  Kids leave stuff around, I throw it in the box, they have to do a chore to get it out.  I have a little envelope on the side with chores in it.  My house gets clean, and the kids learn do housework.  Awesome!

At the end of every evening, after the kids head upstairs, I do a sweep of the living room and anything that’s left goes in the box.  Usually, someone panics the next morning when they see their favorite shoes or DS in the box, and I get my windows cleaned or the dishwasher emptied.

However, as time has passed, the kids have seen it as a convenient place to store their junk until they need it next.  The box has gotten really full, and my windows are covered in fingerprints.  Hence, moderately successful.

So last night, I made the announcement that the box needs to be emptied today and whatever is left will be thrown away.  This morning the girls woke up in a cleaning frenzy and my steps have been vacuumed, my dishwasher filled, my fireplace dusted.  The delightfully decorative words written in the dust on my stairs have been wiped away.

However, one of my children, who shall remain nameless, instead chose to sort through the box to see what exactly was in there that was worth retrieving.  He felt only one item was worth the trouble, and chose the ticket that said ‘sweep the carpet.’  He showed up with a broom.  Moderately UNsuccessful.   Granted, I should have said vacuum, but please.  Who uses a broom on the carpet?

So, today, the box is empty with the exception of 3 things that Avery – I mean my nameless child – decided he’s rather have me throw out than deal with.  So whatever.  I throw them out and we start over.  That’s three less pieces of junk in my house.

Do you think a Chore Box would work in your family?

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