I was looking around my messy house this morning trying to think of what actually works for me that I could share. I'm sure there are things I take for granted, but I was feeling pretty much dysfunctional. Then I remembered -- Chore Wars!
In case you're new around here, my husband and our 7yo and 5yo boys have been playing World of Warcraft obsessively for the last year. Some brilliant mother (I'm assuming!) realized the potential for a similar fantasy character-based system for getting stuff done around the house!
I'd avoided reward-based systems for most things (you know us crazy radical unschoolers), but the boys actually seemed interested in this. So, of course, how could I deny them the pleasure of unloading the dishwasher for "eXperience Points" and pretend gold?
Now, it does take some discipline on my part to actually sit down and enter their points on occasion (like, immediately after each thing they do because they're bugging me about it). But, when I'm willing to do it, it definitely works!
We started using it in January, and haven't been completely consistent, but even so, it has helped created new habits and encouraged them to be more helpful and aware of all that Mommy does to keep our home running. They unload the dishwasher nearly every day, put away their own laundry, help pick up their baby brother's toys, take kitchen scraps to the chickens and the compost bin, dust (when I remember to ask!), fold laundry (when they feel like it), and work on their own room.
Go check out some more awesome tips at Rocks in My Dryer's Works for Me Wednesday.