Do you know how long it REALLY takes me to wash a sink full of dishes? About 10 minutes. It’s one of those chores that I don’t like to do and I put it off. But it has to be done, so I put it off until bedtime. It doesn’t take that long, but I still procrastinate. Just imagine how much could be done if everyone in my family did household chores for 10 minutes each evening. With 4 of us in my family, that would be a total of 40 minutes of housework done each evening.
Wow! I wouldn’t feel so frustrated and out of control with how the house looks. Why didn’t I think of this before now? 10 minutes! No one can complain about 10 minutes of dishes, folding clothes, sweeping, vacuuming, wiping off counters, picking up toys, taking out trash, cleaning mirrors, etc… Let’s start a timer, turn on some music and see how much we can get done.
Here are some great ways to encourage them and add some variety to their 10 minutes.
Chore Jars – Decide on seven 10 minute chores that each child needs to do each week. Give each kid a jar with his name on it. He will draw a new chore to complete each evening. After he finishes, he will put a quarter in a “night out” jar. At the end of the month, the family can use the “night out” jar money to do something together. Try to come up with some fun things that you don’t normally do like: go to the ice cream shop, pizza night, popcorn and movie, toy store… Here are some ideas for the jars: Chore jars
Family Focus – Everyone can work on one room each evening. Divide the house into 7 different areas: kitchen, bathrooms, living room, laundry room, porch, yard, garage, den, play room…. Then you set the timer for 10 minutes and everyone focuses on that one area together. After you finish the 10 minutes, then do something fun together (play a card game, go for a walk, play ball, ride bikes, etc…)
Dinner/Chores/Dessert – Create basket/tubs with cleaning supplies for each family member. After eating dinner, set a timer, grab a cleaning tub and work on a specific area for 10 minutes. As they return their tubs, they get to pick a dessert. Here’s an example of the tubs: Chore Tubs
It will be helpful to actually time some basic chores to see how long they take. Sweeping or vacuuming the floor doesn’t take as long as we think it does.
If you have younger kids, you may need to do the chores together, but remember that you are training them for later. Older kids can do most housework on their own. We just need to give them the incentive.
These 10 minutes need to be household chores that are basic to being a part of the family. They don’t need to be tied to an allowance or extra money, but you might want to tie them to some kind of family incentives.
How can you use 10 minutes a day?