Work for Hire DIY Chore Chart

Around our house, handling chores has been a tricky thing. One, they’re never ending, and two, I was conflicted on how to handle them.

I wanted to give our kids a way to earn money so they can learn how to save, give, and responsibly spend, but I didn’t want to just give them money for existing. (Though if someone wants to pay me for simply existing I’d be happy to oblige.) I also wanted some chores to be done without payment because they live here and should contribute to the family so I came up with this work for hire diy chore chart.

DIY Chore Chart

I was inspired by a few variations I’ve seen floating around pinterest. With this system, each child will have their list of required daily and weekly contributions (which I’ll share in another post), and once those are complete they can choose to do extra “work for hire” chores to earn money.

I had a few requirements for the system:

1. Chores that could be easily changed depending on what needed to be done.

I didn’t want to have one basic chart of a bunch of chores the kids could choose from because I knew they’d end up always picking the same chores or doing things before they needed to be done just to get money. Instead, I’m able to choose from my deck of chore cards and put the 8 that I’d most like to have done on the board.

2. Something sturdy enough to withstand little fingers pulling on it.

3. A chart that  could hold the chore card and money at the same time.

We’ve been bad about paying the kids in the past. We’ve tried keeping track and just paying them at the end of the week, but we’d end up forgetting or disagreeing on how much was earned, and it ended up being more trouble than it was worth. Plus, the kids didn’t seem too motivated by the promise of future money. I like having the money clipped to the board because the kids can see what they’re working for, and I think it will be a better incentive to get to work.

4. It had to be cute.

This one had me stumped for a while, but I didn’t want to make something that I wanted to hide every time we had company. I wanted to have a chart that could pass as decor, which is why I used  project life cards. They’re cute, coordinate, and are the perfect size for my board.

Work for Hire Chore Chart

These are some of the supplies I used (and a lot that I didn’t. Mommy got a kids-free trip to Michael’s and went a little overboard.) I found the framed bulletin board at Kohl’s, and the Project Life cards and metal clips at Michael’s. I used super glue to attach the clips to the board, and they’re holding up really well.

Putting this together was really easy. I just wrote the chores and what they are worth on each card, laminated, and cut them out, glued my clips to the board, made a little sign, and I was done.

DIY Work for Hire Chore Chart

In case you’re wondering, this is the list of chores and the prices we used:

  1. Wipe down upper kitchen cabinet doors ($3)
  2. Empty kitchen and laundry trash ($1)
  3. Vacuum family room ($1)
  4. Clean windows ($1+)
  5. Clean one bathroom that isn’t yours: toilet, vanity/sink, mirror, empty trash, sweep ($3)
  6. Give cats food and water (50 cents)
  7. Match clean socks ($1)
  8. Empty the dishwasher ($1)
  9. Load the dishwasher ($2)
  10. Wipe kitchen counters ($1)
  11. Sweep front porch (50 cents)
  12. Make sure all bathrooms have toilet paper ($1)
  13. Empty all bathroom trash cans ($1)
  14. Sweep foyer (50 cents)
  15. Wipe down lower kitchen cabinet doors ($3)
  16. Vacuum stairs ($1)
  17. Empty recycle bin (50 cents)
  18. Disinfect 5 door knobs (50 cents)
  19. Sweep garage ($1)
  20. Scoop the cat litter (50 cents)
  21. Change cat litter ($3)
  22. Sweep the kitchen floor ($1)
  23. Clean baseboards in one room ($2)
  24. Bring in the mail (50 cents)
  25. Vacuum family room couches ($2)
  26. Wipe down kitchen table and chairs ($2)
  27. Vacuum dining room and office ($1)
  28. Mop kitchen floor ($2)
  29. Pull weeds ($2)

We’re probably generous with some of those amounts and cheapskates with others, but this is our starting point. We can tweak things as we go. I keep my unused cards in a clip on the side of the fridge for easy access.

DIY Chore Chart Work for Hire System

I’m also leaving some cards blank so I can write on them with dry erase markers for random jobs that pop up.

My favorite parts of this system so far are:

  • It’s teaching the kids that the harder they work the more successful they can be. I don’t want to raise kids who just expect to be handed things.
  • It gives them some choice in what they do.
  • They were thrilled to get started! My daughter, who cries every time the work “chore” exits my lips, didn’t want to stop doing chores with this system. She was also thrilled to get the money she earned immediately afterwards.

I’m hoping our new routine will finally be the one that sticks. How do you handle chores in your family?

DIY Chore Chart Work for Hire System

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  1. says

    This is fantastic! It’s funny, just the other day we were talking about chores and how to do it so it really works with kids; I think this is an example of something that will work! While we don’t have any kiddos yet, I’m pinning this for the future and to share with Pinterest-land…because girl, you nailed it!

    • Emily says

      Thanks, Lauren! After 6 years of trial and error, I think we finally have something that will work. We’re only on day three, but my kids have been begging for chores. That has never happened before!

  2. says

    Really, really cute! And, yes, totally decor doable! Thanks for the inspiration – it is much needed in this house too! Happily pinning this one….

  3. says

    This is such a cute idea! My oldest is two so I’m starting to think of little chores around the house that he could do. I think this would help with my husband and myself. Maybe if I put clean the bathrooms with a $20 they would actually get done :) I’m glad I found you at #WhatILearnedWednesday link party.

    • Emily says

      Thanks, Nicci. “Simple as can be” is the name of the game around here. I’ve found the more complicated something is, the less likely I am to stick with it.

    • Emily says

      Thanks, Kristin! We’ve been using it for a week now, and it’s making a huge difference already. If you decide to make one I’d love to see it. :)

  4. says

    I have been sharing a tonne of chore ideas on my Facebook page Me and My Ready Made Family lately! Definitely need to share this one too. I love it! So glad I found you at ABFOL

  5. says

    I can’t wait to make one of these! I’ve always shied away from paying for work because I dread the day I hear “how much are you going to pay me for that?” but I love the idea of putting ‘extra’ jobs out for hire! Brilliant!

    • Emily says

      Thanks, Lizy. That was the exact problem we ran into in the past. My kids didn’t want to do any work without getting paid when they got a basic allowance, and when we had a cleaning lady they didn’t want to clean up after themselves because it “wasn’t their job.” Gross. Those were not the statements I wanted coming out of my kiddos mouths so we now have neither, and they’re much more agreeable, thank goodness.

  6. says

    I might venture out on a limb here and say that you might be a paper loving gal? I know for a fact that I am and I say this because those ‘project life’ cards are to die for, but the metal clips are amazing, but the thing that I love most is your requirement that “It has to be cute.” :) Visiting via “WakeUpWednesday” linkup.

    • Emily says

      You’re definitely safe on that limb. :) I love paper, and I’m actually thinking I may have to make other versions of this for the different seasons because Project Life has so many cute patterns (I’m starting to feel like I should be on their payroll haha).

    • Emily says

      I’m definitely a paper lovin gal. Actually, I’m pretty fond of all office supplies for some strange reason. I’m actually thinking about making other versions of this chart in other project life designs because they have so many cute patterns.

  7. says

    Hi, Emily! I previously commented on this post when I originally found it on the Thrifty Thursday link up and I just wanted to stop by again and say congrats on your feature on A Bowl Full of Lemons’ link party this week. Thanks for linking up at the Wake Up Wednesday link party. I actually co-host that one for the month of May and I hope to see you next week!
    Kate @ The Organized Dream (Co-host for WUW)

  8. says

    I absolutely, positively love this idea! This is so much better than the creative way I was going to try and organize chores and it’s very pretty, too! I’m definitely pinning and hopefully recreating soon.

    • Emily says

      Thanks, Amanda! I’m tempted to try other project life cards that have more color now that summer’s here. It might be fun to have different sets for the different seasons. Or maybe I’ll make my own… I think I just came up with a new printable idea! :)

  9. says

    This is BRILLIANT! My son is still a bit too young to do regular chores, but I cannot wait for him to get older so I can institute this chore chart. Thank you for sharing and linking up with Turn It Up Tuesday!

    • Emily says

      Thanks so much, Jillian. It’s so nice when the kids get old enough to help around the house (well nice to me, at least. I don’t think they’re the biggest fans of it).

  10. says

    I love the idea that they have regular chores (so they understand the responsibility of being part of the family) and paid chores (so they understand money). I haven’t incorporated this yet as my children are very young, but will be pinning this for later!
    Found you via Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop.
    Karen @ mummy do it recently posted…That was the month that was…My Profile

  11. says

    What a great idea. I love this system and if my kids were still home you bet I would be doing something very similar. Thank you for sharing it with Share It One More Time. Cathy
    Cathy recently posted…DIY Patio TableMy Profile


  1. […] Finding the best, most efficient way to track children’s contributions to a home can be a real task. Some methods work better than others and a lot of trial and error may go into finding the best method for your family. Emily, from My Love For Words, shared a wonderful post on how she keeps her kids chores in order so that they get done and the kids get paid; teaching them responsibility while engaging them in saving, spending and giving. See her thought process and final project <HERE> […]

  2. […] Katie chose Work for Hire DIY Chore Chart from My Love For Words. “This is a great idea! It teaches kids about money, it gets them doing chores and helping out around the house AND its adorable! When my kiddos get a bit older, we’re going to implement this great idea! Love it!” […]

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