Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Chore Boards

I've been working on these chore boards for the better part of a week now and they are finally finished!  I'm not quite sure why it has taken me this long to come up with this idea but I did and it's awesome!  Declan is now 10 months and I finally feel like I'm coming out of the new baby blur.  This is great and all - I mean I feel better, I've lost all the weight, I'm sleeping (sort of) BUT I also now see the disaster that has happened around me for the past 10 months.  The mess seemed insurmountable, espcially with everyone home all day long and making messes faster than I could clean them.  If I cleaned someone's room upstairs then they would all destroy the downstairs and so on.  I felt like I was sinking into the mess and I just couldn't get out.  It was really really really getting to me and I was feeling terrible about myself and my inability to even keep my house clean!

I'm not sure why I started searching around on Pinterest for ideas but all of a sudden I was finding ideas that were pretty good.  I didn't find anything that I loved but I got an idea of what I wanted to do.  I thought that it had to be something where the kids could flip over a marker of some sort when they finished the chore and it had to be flexible.  They would get really bored (like I do) if they had to do the same thing everyday.

So we made a trip to Hobby Lobby which almost put me in the mental hospital.  There are so many fun things to touch and pick up and most of them are incredibly breakable or would make the biggest mess you have ever seen if dropped.  Lord help me but we did make it out of Hobby Lobby alive and without serious incident.  So we returned home with wooden plaques, some paints, screw in hooks and a mother just that much closer to losing her mind.

That night I gave the plaques a light sanding with superfine sandpaper and then wiped them down with a slightly damp paper towel to get the sawdust off. 

 Once they were dry I painted about 4 thin coats of Antique White paint and let these dry for a day or two.  I'm sure they were dry before the next step but I was busy!!
 I painted the names on using a technique I found on Pinterest.  I printed the names out on the computer in the font and size that I wanted.  I lined the paper up and taped it to the board so the name was where I wanted to paint it - tip - if you center the name of the screen before you print it then all you have to do is center the paper and voila!  a perfectly centered name!  Then I traced the outline of the letters in PENCIL and since the wood is soft, it left and impression in the plaque.  After that I used a very small flat brush to edge the letters and fill them in.  It took 2-3 coats depending on the darkness of the shade of paint! 
 Once the names were complete, I sprayed the plaques with an acrylic sealer and let them dry for 24 hours.   This gives them a nice satin finish and protects them from dirty fingers or spills!  Then I measured out where I wanted the screws to be and screwed in the hooks!  I thought I would have to drill pilot holes but the wood was so soft that I could do it by hand!
 I found some cute cards with pictures on them to identify each chore. They range from brushing your teeth to walking the dog to reading for 20 minutes to cleaning the bathroom and lots in between.  I hung the chore boards up on the wall using 3M mounting tape - it's like strong velcro and it's really easy to use and reposition so they are all level!
They turned out really well and the kids think that they're great!  The cards change daily and some days they will choose the chores they want for the next day and sometimes I choose and it's a fun surprise for them in the morning!!  Even Aoife has really gotten in to it and loves to dust - maybe she just loves the feather duster but either way, the dusting gets done - which is better than before!!  Once they finish a chore they run to the board to flip over the card and then choose which one they want to do next.  Last Friday we went out for ice cream because everyone had done a great job and finished all of their chores and helped me with other projects!

This was a big success!  The kids feel like they are contributing to our household and shockingly they are taking care not to make as much of a mess!!  Imagine that!  I really wish I had done this years ago but here we are - better late than never! 

1 comment:

those Awesome smiths said...

Oh my gosh!! I love this!!! The girls thought it was a cool idea too! Kate said, "then we could know how many things we GET to clean"...WHAT?!? I like the sound of that! I really like the step by step instructions too!! VERY NICE!!!!