Then I sat down with him (while he was playing one of his video games, so I didn't really have his full attention), and asked what he thought and if it was fair enough. I got a quick read through and an 'Uh hmm,' as if that was supposed to really give me the feedback I needed. Then I tried to ask if he thought I had forgotten anything, but the answer to that was a very simple and quick 'Nope.' But of course, after thinking for a few minutes and looking around the house some more, I had forgotten some things and proceeded to add them.
Then this morning, I woke really early (4:00 AM) and could not get back to sleep, so after some quick cleaning and toy pickup, I decided to do some Internet surfing. With the chore list still fresh in my mind from last night, I decided to read up on some household organization tips and such. Throughout my searching, I came across a wonderful review from Money Saving Pro about a unique and free website that helps organize family chore lists online! Hmm... that got my attention.
The website is called Chore Buster, and it is designed to help families or couples fairly assign the chores of the household. And yes it is 100% free. Although there are a few nice features that can be used if you donate to the site.
Even so, without paying anything, a user is able to enter the names of as many family members as they have, customize each member's chore settings (i.e. No chores on Sunday or 75% less chores for kids), and set a list of chores. This service is so helpful that it can email each member their chore lists on a weekly or even daily basis. Or you can simply print a master one out and hang it on the fridge for all.
It also lets you customize the frequency and desirability of each chore. Desirability? Yes, you can set things like pick up toys to 1 for easy and cleaning the bathroom to 6 for medium and then cleaning the gutters to 10 for extreme. You can also set certain chores as not being assigned to certain members, such as I won't let my daughter clean the cat boxes or the oven, and my hubby won't be paying the bills or folding/putting away the laundry (he can never tell who's is who's). Also, since I cannot clean the cat boxes because I am pregnant, that is all hubby's job.
You can also set rewards for each chore (dollar amounts only), and then there is a checklist that you can tally up the rewards for each person. I have this set for simple dollar amounts from $1 to $10 for each chore. Then instead of giving each person the exact amount they earned, I am using it as a percentage from our allowance fund. I am not sure about the nitty gritty just yet, but I will work it out once we get this more underway.
Some examples of my amounts are $1 for picking up and vacuuming a room, $2 for taking out the trash, $5 for cleaning the whole bathroom, and $10 for 'Surprise husband/wife with something nice.' (That last "chore" I found in the preset list, and just had to use it for us). That is another nice feature, you can search through a list of popular chores or look at other member's lists entirely. This helped me to find some things I was missing in my list.
Then after all that nitty gritty, Chore Buster will divide up the chores based on your settings for each (frequency, members, and desirability) so that each member will have a fair amount of 'points' for chores to do each day. *It even has an option to set a random quality for surprises.* The points are the ones you assign as desirability and difficulty. I set my daughter's chores to 75% less, because she is only 6 and has school. She also gets the weekends off from any chores.
You then have the option to create a chore list for 1, 2, or 3 weeks (and by member if you donate), and view it in web page, Word, or Excel form to print. There are many more unique and awesome features that are available if you donate to the site.
You can take a look at my chore schedule here, and sign up for your very own free account here. They have some advanced features, such as viewing chores via mobile or RSS feed, and also a dektop widget you can download. They also mention that soon they will be integrating Facebook with Chore Buster soon, so stay tuned on that.
Do you use Chore Buster? If so, what features do you like? If not, are you going to give it a go?