A Chore System That Works

We’ve tried many different chore systems through the years, and none of them worked for us. Until we tried the Maxwells’ Managers of Their Chores system. We bought the book/kit right after it came out (seven or eight years ago), and we’ve been happily using it ever since. 
I have read other chore books since then and gleaned some helpful ideas from them, but I always just continue on with the MOTC since it works well for us.
One thing I do a bit differently from the recommended plan, is that we don’t use the little clip-on pockets the kit comes with. Back when we used those, my kids were constantly losing the cards unintentionally. They would set the little pocket thing down and then it would get knocked off and all the cards would fall out. Or they would accidentally set one down and then we couldn’t find it. It was very frustrating!
But I solved that problem by eliminating the pockets altogether. I bought some book rings and some magnetic hooks from Walmart.
I created the chore cards and then laminated them. (I like to add stickers to the younger children’s cards and I just happened to have some cleaning-themed cards my mother-in-law gave me!)
Then I cut out all of the cards:
Next, I punched holes in the top left-hand corner of the cards and put each child’s cards on a book ring.
And each child has a magnet hook on the side of the refrigerator to store their cards on. It works perfectly! No more lost cards, and everyone knows where to find and store them.
The first cards are the daily cards, and then behind those are the Friday chore cards. I like having them all stored on the one ring so I don’t need to change out the daily ones with the Friday ones anymore. This is much simpler for me!
My older two children have their chores memorized, so they hardly ever refer to the cards, but when there’s a question about what should have been done, it’s great to have these for reference. 
This system has worked so well for our family, and the only difficulty has been when I don’t check the chores! 
We have everyone keep the same chores for an extended period of time, which we have found helpful in each child learning their jobs and knowing how to do them well. We do switch them up from time to time, and I’ve even had children request to switch with another sibling, and I’m always up for doing that as long as both children agree.
We don’t give a weekly allowance at this point, but we do have optional chores available that they can choose to do for pay (these are bigger jobs, not the weekly maintenance ones). We also pay one of our older daughters and her 11-year-old brother to mow, since my husband (working two jobs) just doesn’t have time to mow almost an acre of grass! They enjoy being able to have a summer job right here at home.
And, we always have a treat on Fridays after all the chores are done! We all look forward to Friday and getting the cleaning done and enjoying our special treat for a job well done. And I enjoy going into the weekend with a freshly cleaned house!

Do you have a chore system that has worked well for your family?


  1. We used MOTC system when my big kids were smaller. Sadly, we got away from it and need it back for our β€œsecond set”. Lol. I love your idea of the rings verses the pouches. I think I’ll try that! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Hi
    I just found your post. This sounds like a great system. Can you tell me, did the “Managers of Their Chores” book say what age to start off at and if beyond a certain age, is there a best way to present it? I ask because we struggle with motivating our 9 year old to contribute to the family.

    1. Hi Kyla! The book has chore suggestions for kids of all ages, with lots of guidance for presenting and teaching the chores. It’s very thorough.

  3. oh yeah and I wanted tobtel you thank you so much for your awesome calender! I made it last winter after you told ne where to get all the good stuff;) and my whole family.loves it! you sgould sgow people again it is a good time.of year for it! thanks also for your testimony!

  4. I have the.motc too but we write them by hand because I am def a dreamer and we change our routine quite a bit! plus I dont like working on a computer much πŸ™‚ so.is there anyway to tell me possible who.made those stickers? I would love love love them? πŸ™‚

    1. Writing them by hand is a good idea, too! I need to change some things on a few of mine, and it's a pain to have to re-type them all. πŸ™‚

      My mother-in-law gave me the stickers, and I think she might have gotten them for free somewhere, since there was just the one sheet and they weren't in a package. Sorry I can't be of more help!

  5. Love the idea of laminating and hanging the cards on rings! We do Friday chores here too… but also they are not paid for them. It is a part of living in our home. As you said, a larger chore might receive compensation… We also have a Friday night movie when the house is nice and clean. It is a treat for everyone! πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing on the Art of Home-Making Mondays Joy!

  6. I have wanted to start something like this at our house. This is great! What program did you use to make the cards? Would you share the format?

  7. AWESOME!! I really need something like this. I love the organized aspects of this system. Thanks for sharing with What You Wish Wednesday. Come back this week!!!

  8. I have MOTC and have wanted to implement it but keep getting stuck on doling out the chores. I have 6 children, 10, 8.5, 6.5, 5.5, 3, and 1.5.

    Some of your kids' rings seem like they have quite a few tasks on them, can you give a run down of what chores your kids do?

    1. Hi Jenn,

      Well, our five children are 15, 13, 11, 8, and 4. So, we're now in a stage where we have several older ones, which means they are able to do more (and easier and faster!). Also, I have Friday chores in addition to the daily chores on the rings, so that may be why it looks like quite a few tasks!

      To give you an idea of what our kids do, I'll just list a couple:

      8-year-old's daily chores: Make Bed, Bible/Pray, Get Dressed, Put P.J.'s away, Pick Up Bedroom, Brush Teeth, Put Laundry Away, Pick Up Bathroom, Change Out Hand Towel in Bathroom. That's a total of 9 daily chores. She also helps the 11-year-old do breakfast dishes.

      Then she has 5 chore cards for our Friday cleaning day: Clean and Vacuum Girls' Bedroom (simple if they're keeping it clean on a daily basis), Dust Upstairs, Wipe Down Walls in Stairway and Hallway (these tend to get lots of fingerprints), Wipe Stair Rail and Entryway Walls, Change Sheets (Monthly, Week 2).

      13-year-old's Friday chores: Clean/Organize One Kitchen Drawer, Clean Main Bathroom, Straighten School Shelves, Pick Up Toys in Basement (only necessary if we're not keeping up with our daily chores and picking up as we go), Straighten Books on Shelves in Basement, Empty Trashcans in Basement, Change Sheets (Monthly, Week 2).

      I found all the lists and ideas in the MOTC book very helpful. I went through the whole process the first time, and then every time I've needed to update our chore cards I just make minor adjustments. Each home and family will have different chores that need to be done.

      I hope that's helpful!

  9. This looks like a great idea. I know I need to start implementing a daily chore system in my house for my 3 and 4 year old, but didn't really know where to start. They're great about doing jobs when I ask them to, but I want something more like this, so it is more structured. Pinning.

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