Keeping our home tidy with 4 kids

If you’ve followed me for long, you know that we had 4 kids in 5 years. To say that our home was hard to manage on 3 hours of uninterrupted sleep is an understatement. Then, add homeschooling on top of that and I have felt as though I am drowning in a sea of clutter, fingerprints, and STUFF EVERYWHERE!! This was made even more challenging as our home is around 1000 sq.ft.

When the kids were little I tried EVERYTHING, and with consistency (most of the time 🙂 ) We had little chore charts with pictures on them that they had to cross off, dresser drawers with pictures of clothes so they knew where everything went. Our house was still a mess – all of the time. ALL. OF. THE . TIME. I felt as though all of the training we were doing was for nothing. I feel as though we are beginning to see the fruit of those hard training times.

Fast forward to now – the kids are older (11, 10, 8, 6) we have cranked the responsibilities of each child up a notch.  Now, each child has an area of the house that they are totally responsible for every day for a week. Our home has been broken into 4 “Zones”.

  1. Kitchen – Wash dishes, clear off and wipe down all counter tops, wipe kitchen table and stove. Use a cloth to wipe fingerprints off of fridge.
  2. Bathroom – Clean toilet (Bottom, under, behind), wipe down/clear clutter off of countertop, clean mirror, wipe door handles. Then go and help someone else.
  3. Vacuuming/Other – Vacuum both sets of stairs and landing. Vacuum all main rooms. Sweep Kitchen floor, Straighten shoe rack.
  4. Basement – Pick up everything off of the floor, put all pillows back on the couch, pick up any trash, vacuum.

Our youngest, who is 6 is able to do every job except for the dishes. So, every week we rotate these jobs for the kids to do. The benefit of breaking the house up this way, for a week at a time, is that the kids have all realized how much work it takes to keep the house clean. They understand, now, how frustrating it is to spend time cleaning an area only to have people come through and leave something laying out. It has also freed my time to do other things in our home that I have been unable to get to over the years (baseboards, cleaning out closets, and attic storage spaces, writing this blog post, running my shop)

The benefits for our family have been great. The kids are learning to be hard working individuals, to care for the things that God has intrusted to us and to be active members in the caring of our home. I still have to go around the house and straighten things and make them “mom clean” but I am praying that these harder days of training will reap our kids the benefits of being reliable human being as adults! 🙂 *here’s hoping!

What do you all do in your homes? I’d love to learn from you and see if there are methods that you are implementing that I could add to our routine! What works for you? What hasn’t worked for you? Are you on the otherside of training and have seen the benefits of it all? Help us moms have strength to get through these years.


  1. Clutter drives me crazy!! I think different personalities deal differently with clutter than others. I have one son that likes to organize (like his mom). My other son likes to dump and then move onto something else and dump that out! I can’t stand piles, but my husband keeps a stack of paper for a while before he has to go through it and put things away.

    We started working with our kids at 18 months to put away their toys into the right bin and carry (or push) the bin back to their rooms. All toys must be picked up before naptime (when they napped) and bedtime. Cleaning up seems to comes more naturally to one of my children than the other. Our oldest (6) started vacuuming and cleaning the bathroom a year ago. He thought it was great fun at first but I think the novelty has worn off on that! He is looking forward to his brother (4) learning how to clean to share the load.

    • You’re right! Each of our kids has a different personality and can make implementing something like this challenging. I was encouraged to spend the first week really training each child for each job so that they knew what to expect. If all the expectations are laid out for them in the beginning, then no one (in a perfect world! HA!) is disappointed!

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