Zones – Rated Pg-8

Take a walk through your home, and take serious note of what you stop and take time for… What you are hearing around you?
.. and what you are thinking while you go from room to room?
I will find myself multi-tasking at every turn.
As I walk, I am handing out instructions to at least three children at once, picking up crayons, toys, refilling the toilet paper roll, putting a cereal box away, swapping out the washer/dryer, marking something on the calendar, straightening the rug by the sink, putting a pile of things at the bottom of the steps to carry up the next trip…etc.
That was all in a 5 – 7 minute period.
So, what’s a parent to do?

Zones- PG-8!!
PG-8 – Requires Parental Guidance, and usually an 8 year old and up can handle this.
( We use other helpful alternatives for 8 and  under.. another post )
Yep- This is what we call our attempt at keeping this home somewhat manageable – Zones.
We have used this system for years. Tweeked it over and over, and we find it to be the best bet for us.

Here is a quick rundown on how we operate The Zone Technique:

-We broke the areas of our home into 6 Areas( zones):
EVERY PERSON DOES A NEW ZONE EACH WEEK – Every day of the week they manage their area.
1.)Living Room/Loft Area
2.)Entryway/Dining Room/School Room
3.)All Laundry
5.)All Bathrooms
6.)Kitchen – All Day
( Your home would, of course, have a different lay-out, and size than ours,, and so, your Zones would be somewhat different.)
( Also, please note, that we incorporated this method of responsibilities in our home after the oldest was about 8…this seems to be a good age for this type of cleaning,, and accountability.)
Every child is on a rotation list. Starting at the top.. fortunately, we have many children and so the rotation takes longer.,,, but either way…

On Sunday, the rotation begins, and ends with a wing-ding of a job finish on Saturdays. Then the list rotates, and every person rotates to the next Zone on the list.

On our Zone Chart,,, we have it broken down under each Zone Heading the respons. Of each area, and what is expected.. with a more thorough finish on Saturdays,, before they hand it over to the next person.

Here is a Sample of Our Zone Chart:
Every Zones is done a few times a day, or completed thoroughly by the end of day:
*Living Room/Loft : Pick up toys, clutter, books, under furniture, etc..vacuum every day, tidies before bed again.
*Entryway: Hang Coats, Clutter off floor, Pick up Shoes, Tidy all rooms, wash and clear dining room table, vacuum and sweep daily. Tidy before bed.
*Bathrooms: Empty Trash cans -new liner in each, Using cleaner -wipe down sinks, door knobs, light switches, and toilet area. Tidy area. Refill TP every day.


To top it all off…. I will occasionally throw in a surprise contest for zone efficiency, and reward them with a special acknowledgement.
We do not give an allowance for zones. We never have. Our family works together to create an atmosphere that we all desire, and that would please God.

We do, however, give our children opportunities to earn spending and saving money,, outside of their zones. A healthy alternative to expecting to be paid every time they help keep our home running with efficiency, and care for one another.
Zones – I love it. To know that yes, my house may be somewhat clean,,,
But more importantly – That my children grow to have an understanding of hard work, perserverance, thoroughness, and unselfishness…For what they leave undone, another would have to pick up the next week.
Great opportunities for growth in all of us… This Zone Thing,, as we call it.
Yep.. ALL of us… especially me.. the MOM..
Putting God’s standard of love and communication above my desire for perfection.
Zones- My home AND heart…. Under construction!

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  • Reply
    Kari @ p.s.
    February 10, 2010 at 9:40 pm

    First of all – yay – I can read your blog on IE now. I still can't get itthrough Firefox without it shutting it down, but I tried on IE tonight and it hasn't done anything! Yay!

    Love the zone idea. I really like that. My four year old does pretty good at chores and right now we use a calendar as a chore chart and a sticker chart for how well she did during the day. I know that this system will not work as she grows older – so thanks for the info on this!

  • Reply
    February 10, 2010 at 10:38 pm

    I love the zone idea! I'm starting to work with Elayna on chores and helping out around the house. We won't use allowances either for household chores… I like your explanation for that. Great post!

  • Reply
    February 11, 2010 at 1:13 am

    I love it! I don't have kids at home anymore, but I sure wish I would have implemented something like this when I did. I love what it teaches your kids. I, however, do put stuff on the stairs to take up or down whenever I go that direction next. Some days there is quite a pile on the stairs. LOL Thanks for sharing this!

  • Reply
    February 11, 2010 at 11:07 pm

    This is just an awesome idea, September. Honestly, you inspire me so much! I NEED to do this!

  • Reply
    Jessica Faith
    February 12, 2010 at 5:27 pm

    wow sounds awesome!! haha…

  • Reply
    February 13, 2010 at 11:31 am

    Very good tool…we also used charts, and delegated responsibility when the kids were young….also didn't give an allowance for household chores..they pretty much had to get a job at a young age (as young as 14) to earn money. It's encouraging to see your family values put into practice…when the whole world tries to steer us in the opposite direction. Love your blog.

  • Reply
    February 14, 2010 at 1:45 am

    I love this idea. We are probably a ways away from it yet, but I will have to tuck it away in the back of my memory for later! This would be good for me, too, because my perfectionism causes me to be a bit of a control freak (at least when it comes to my house). 🙂

  • Reply
    Sandy Hall
    February 16, 2010 at 1:03 am

    We did this too when all of our children were home and it worked great. Each child had an area of jurisdiction he/she was responsible for each day. I would post a chart in each room that told all that needed to be done in that room for quick pick up or thorough cleaning.

  • Reply
    Jessica (Pfiffer) Culver
    February 18, 2010 at 9:26 pm

    September, this is a creative idea and I plan to try it! I'll let you know how it turns out. Thanks for sharing…~Jessica

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