That’s right, schedules. If you have a large family or even if you don’t, organisation is the way to go. Rotas, charts, whatever you choose to call them, it makes daily life a whole lot easier when you see exactly what chores and errands need taking care of, and who’s turn it is. Dish washing, vacuuming, feeding the dog, wiping the worktop down, it all adds up and it’s easier to keep on top of it if you give everyone in the house jobs to do.
You can get round the grumbles from the kids if you give them little jobs relating to their lives, for example you could give them the job of gathering their own laundry and loading the washing machine, because if they don’t they won’t have any clothes to wear – the threat of going to school in their little sisters clothes is too much to bear for some kids! – or you could tell them that they can have the Wi-Fi password in exchange for a few little jobs around the house such as tidying shoe racks or helping put the food ship away.
Another idea is to write all the chores down and put them in a jar, and ask everyone to pick three. You can time them, and yourself, by putting the timer on the oven or you phone, then putting music on to get everyone in the mood. Doing things in bitesize pieces makes everything easier and less tedious.
Try not to give out chores or housework as punishment, because kids will learn to automatically assume that housework is something not fun (okay housework isn’t exactly a barrel of laughs but it needs doing) and they’ll grumble no matter whichever way you spin it.
With little kids it’s easier, because we all know that dreaded ‘clean up, clean up’ song on the channel that shall not be named, and it’s easier also to make it into a game for toddlers and little ones under six especially. Older kids can be harder to persuade but with a little creativity you should be good to go.