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A bunch of cleaning supplies sitting in front of the washer.

Kids are back in school. You seem to be busier now, than during summer break.  That whole plan of getting the house back in order, declutter, tossing the random mess you have either didn’t get started or came to a halt.  Instead of tackling these projects you find yourself running around doing errands all day or picking up behind the kiddos who left a mess as they made the mad dash out the door to get to school on time.  Well, let’s chat.  Let’s chat about how your kids can continue to help around the house even during the school year.  That’s right, after-school chores for the kids.

After school chores are a MUST in our home.  Now, don’t get me wrong.  There are days our kids don’t want to do them or half behind complete them.  And there are times I ignore the lazy job they do.  BUT, they are to help clean up around the house.  And no! Going to school, homework or after-school activities don’t excuse them.

Hubby implemented zone cleaning.  When he first mentioned it to the girls, they all moaned.  However, it works and ensures the house is picked up (most days.  When I’m not lacking on the follow through.  We will talk about this in a future article).  We actually have a mixture of zone and team cleaning going on, but let me explain our family’s after-school chores for kids.

One child has kitchen duty every night after dinner.  They must unload the dishes from the previous day’s load (they are more than welcome to do this before heading off to school) and load the dirty dishes.  Clean the counters and table.  Wipe down the stove, fridge and any other appliances used.  The floor should be swept each night as well. I will help with the pots and pans depending on what was cooked and who has kitchen duty (this depends on if the child on duty can pick up the cast iron skillet, etc.).

Everyone helps clean the zoned room for the evening.  We have three kids, so this shouldn’t take much time at all.  No more than fifteen minutes in any area of the house. The child with kitchen duty usually gets the easiest task in the room.  Example: The living room is the zone for Mondays.  Whoever has kitchen duty will most likely have couch duty.  Meaning, they will wipe down the leather couches with the leather cleaner wipes.  The other two will split dusting (molding around the ceiling, baseboards, dusting the ceiling fan and tables, TV, etc.) vacuuming, removing any items that do not belong in the living room.

The original plan was to give the child with kitchen duty the day off from doing the zoned chore for the day, but they argued about how one always seemed to get the hard day off, etc.  So DadJonz stepped in and said there were no days off.  They do get Sunday off from doing any chores, well minus kitchen duty.  Since the schedule is rotated by jobs, they each get at least two Sundays off a month.

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These after-school chores are to be completed by 7:30 each evening.  Not because their bedtime is at 8, but because my bedtime is at 8:30 and I’m heading up to bed at 8:00.  After school chores do not interfere with our kids’ homework nor after-school activities.  It does, however, help teach time management and responsibility.

We keep these easy to grab cleaners around to help ease zone cleaning:
Weiman Leather Wipes – Clean and Condition Car Seats, Shoes, Couches and More – 30 Count
Weiman Stainless Steel Cleaning Wipes – Removes Fingerprints, Residue, Water Marks and Grease From Appliances – Works Great on Refrigerators, Dishwashers, Ovens, Grills and More – 30 Count (2 Pack)
Clorox Disinfecting Wipes, Crisp Lemon – 4 Pack – 105 Each
Pledge Multi Surface Antibacterial Cleaner Antibacterial Citrus Scent Aerosol Can 9.7 oz  –

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