Parent PSA – The Chore Box

Rudimentary materials?  Yes.  But my floor is clear!

Rudimentary materials? Yes. But my floor is clear!

If you struggle like me on a daily – nay, an hourly basis to persuade bribe nag train your children to pick up after themselves, then





and make one of these.

I take absolutely no credit for this idea and, frankly, it’s Pinterest wildfire so I don’t even know where it originated (found it here).  But I can vouch for its effectiveness.  It took me a whopping ten minutes to put the box together and, once I did, the procedure is as follows:

1.  Parent steps on Matchbox car/barbie shoe/Play-Doh doo-hickey.
2.  Parent sighs, places offending object in The Chore Box
3.  Child realized s/he can’t find offending object and seeks out parent
4.  Parent directs child to The Chore Box
5.  Child reads New Rules, sulks, gives up and picks a chore
6.  Child completes chore, offending object gets returned, normalcy is restored.

A note about chores, they obviously need to be age-appropriate (I found good suggestions here and here).  Mine are four and seven, so I created one pocket per child and filled each with chore slips.

Now, could the child refuse to pick a chore?  Sure.  And if so, fine!  Either you’re encouraging good habits or you’re purging unwanted toys.  No reminders, no discussions.  Just a shrug and a pleasant, “the choice is yours.”

I’m a little giddy over this.

While I’d love it if this process immediately corrected my kids’ tendency to leave everything everywhere (hey, a mom can dream), I know this will be a gradual change.  What I love about The Chore Box is that, wherever we are in the learning process, there’s no downside for me.  Brilliant.

What do you think?  Would The Chore Box work in your family?


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6 thoughts on “Parent PSA – The Chore Box

  1. With A Spin January 17, 2013 at 5:03 pm Reply

    Good idea for older children. I just posted one literally minutes ago on the same topic. You are welcome to read on my blog.

    • Being June January 17, 2013 at 5:14 pm Reply

      Funny! I love this approach. It’s so simple, and (though they’ll never admit it) I can tell they take pride in the little chores they choose. It’s a win-win, in my opinion. I will definitely check out your blog. Thanks for stopping by.

  2. Jamie @ Thrifty Veggie Mama January 17, 2013 at 5:38 pm Reply

    I pinned this on pinterest ages ago. Thanks to you I might actually do it!

    • Being June January 17, 2013 at 7:04 pm Reply

      Hi Jamie! I am stunned by how effectively this works for the little Westons. Brynn wiped down the bathroom counter this morning so she could rescue her favorite My Little Pony – she was very proud of herself lol! If you try it, let me know how it works out.

  3. artclubblog January 18, 2013 at 1:53 am Reply

    I cannot tell you how much this made me laugh. It’s brilliant! Does it work for husbands too?!

    • Being June January 18, 2013 at 12:55 pm Reply

      Glad you enjoyed it! What a coincidence; this very morning, as I picked up a pair of black socks from the living room floor, I threatened my husband with a grown-up size chore box. 😉

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