Is there anything in the world quite as good as when you find a simple way to keep your house in order? An idea that will help limit nagging and complaining? Sounds amazing right? Enter the magic of our new zone chart.

Our Zone Chart

I’d like to kiss the feet of the mother (or father) who came up with the tried-and-true “circle chart” idea.

Fed up with the way the clutter was building up in every room in our house, and also the way my kids eyes glazed over when I wanted them to help, I whipped up this little gem in desperation.

2012-10-08 zone chart 61942 We are using it for “zones” around here (after some serious need of re-vamping jobs) and it’s working some magic.

It is so important to have clear expectations both for parents and kids. We came up with lists of exactly what needs to be done in each of these “zones” so that it’s all clear. This takes out all the guess work when mom says “let’s clean up!” because kids know exactly what to do.

Sure, our zone chart could use one of those little brass “brads” in the middle to help it turn. But tape has been working like a charm. We just rotate that blue circle around each week.

When we are getting ready to pile in the car to go somewhere I yell out “let’s get zones done!”  And you know what? Those kids scamper off to tidy things up. Ok (ok, most of the time…if they’re not in the middle of an argument about something or other). I am in love with that little sucker.  It’s an integral part of this new whiz-bang system we’ve got going that I’ll have to explain when I’m not on my way out the door. Happy Monday!

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  1. Thanks for sharing! Such a simple idea, but one I think may work for my gang. I'm constantly yelling out chores before we leave the and so straighten family room, clean off kitchen table…Can't wait to hear about you new system

  2. I can't wait to hear about your system. We need a re-vamp too! Question for you though, when we have done "zones " in the past, there was always a complaint about someones shoes or book or toy in there. We have always said that when you get something out, it is your reponsibility to put it away. When you do zones, does the child who owns the "thing" have to put it away, or does the person responsible for the zone? Does that make sense? 🙂

  3. Oh so simple but fabulous. I have used so much paper rewriting the zones each time this is going to be a major time saver! Thank you.

  4. Shawni, I have to laugh at this because it couldn't have come at a better time. I was just telling my darling, rocket scientist husband (no really, he is a rocket scientist) that we needed to make some kind of chore chart for our children so that they each have a share in keeping our home going because I was getting frazzled trying to do it all myself. Being the very intelectually wonderful man that he is, he came up with something that looks exactly like a proposal he drafted up for NASA last week. When he presented it to the children and showed them how it would work, they all looked at me and gave me blank stares. After all the kids went to bed that night, I asked him if he would explain the system he came up with to me because I didn't get it.
    I'll tell you what, if you need a rocket to get from point A to point B in space, my husband is your man, but if you need a PB&J made or a chore chart, it takes about three meeting and several color-coded charts to figure it out. I'm enacting the "Zone Chart".

  5. I have to agree – there are many parenting things that have to be shaken up from time to time to keep it all workin', but the zone thing is one that we have done for years, and it still works amazingly well!

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