“How DO you do it?” (Intro to our family Chore Chart)


I get asked that question often. When folks find out I have six kids and the first thing they blurt out is “How DO you do it?” Usually followed by some question of my sanity.

Yes, having a large family can be very busy, hard work, a bit chaotic at times. But the key to keeping things running smoothly is in making it clear to my children from an early age that we are ALL part of a family and we all need to help each other and work together as a well oiled machine. (Yes, I give my kids pep talks about this.)

Once a week, on Sunday evenings, we hold Family Meetings. We sit and discuss rules, chores, concerns, grievances, etc…. Each person has the opportunity to speak and we all respect that right. Keeping open communication is key! It also gives me a chance to find out what kind of choers my boys are willing to do and whether any of them have a complaint regarding a chore. I try very hard to respect them in that because I know if they HATE a chore, its goingto turn into a fight. You might think this would lead to me being a pushover and them being lazy, but you would be surprised how kids are usually willing to work and help when given the chance to act as adults and choose to do so instead of being FORCED.

Below is a copy of our Chore Chart. This is just an example of what works for us. We tweak it from time to  time. But here is where it stands thus far. Keep in mind, my kids are Z-12, A-10, B-8, C-5, D-4. The baby is exempt. He’s busy simply being cute right now. 😉


Daily: All boys: Make beds, Keep personal belongings picked up and put away, clear/rinse dishes from table after meals


Z-Pick up yard/porch (toys away, pick up loose sticks/rocks, sweep porch)

A-Vacuum boys bedrooms

B-Clean bathroom (toilet/sink/tub, empty trash, sweep/mop)

C-wipe down kitchen table/chairs after dinner

D-gather all laundry, put in main hamper



Z-Vacuum boys bedrooms

A-Feed/water pets

B-Wash dishes after dinner

C-pick up yard/porch




Z-Clean bathroom

A-Wash dishes

B- Vacuum boys rooms

C- feed/water pets

D-pick up yard/porch



Z-Feed/water pets

A-clean bathroom

B-pick up yard/porch

C-gather laundry and put in main hamper

D-sweep hallway




A-clean windows/mirrors


C-vacuum boys rooms

D-wipe down kitchen table/chairs



Z-make all beds(new sheets/pillowcases/blankets)

A-pick up yard/porch

B-feed/water pets

C-sweep hallway

D-strip beds (sheets/pillowcases)


I know moms who are pulling their hair out every day trying to run around picking up after their childrens messes. Doing so is doing a major disservice for your children. They need to learn to be independent, to know how to do basic skills as adults. It is OUR job as parents to teach them how when they are young!  I have always started my sons at age 18 months doing chores. Its simply a way of life for them. And this chore chart doesn’t include the fact that at times I have to ask one of the older boys to change a diaper while I am cooking a meal or help prepare dinner, etc……

The only way to keep a large family away from sheer and utter chaos and clutter is if all of the members work together. So, THAT’S how I do it. 🙂


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