Monday, September 19, 2011

How do I stay organized? Let me count the ways...

UPDATE!!!!
UPDATE!!!!
As of February 1, 2013
I have a new blog especially created for these chore charts, click on the button below!
They are new and updated and pretty awesome!
iheartchorecharts

I was asked the other day if I would share how I 'try' and stay organized with 6 kids so here is a little bit of what I do to keep our house up and running...

First things first:
I get up at 4:30 in the morning and go running.
Working out in the early am helps me get my workout done so it doesn't interfere with my day. I know this is an insanely early time to wake up but I have been doing it for almost 6 years and my day never goes as smooth if I miss it! If you take care of yourself first, you will better be able to take care for your family!

2.
If I had a penny for how many job charts I have done over the years, I would be a millionaire.
Nothing seems to work with my kids except these few things:

DETAILED job cards.
Every Saturday I hand out the cards , the kids check off their assigned jobs and at the end we have a clean house.
(it still takes some slight raising of the voice though!)

If you want a copy of the chore cards please click on the above I Heart Chore Charts link or visit www.iheartchorecharts.blogspot.com!

 I hang them conveniently on the fridge and have them mark off the completed tasks with a dry erase marker.


3.
Each week my kids have a different room they are in charge of, when I say 'Clean your house room' they know where to look and what to clean.
It simplifies it a little.
4.
Binder, binder, binder...
I have a binder for everything which keeps papers where they should be!
My favorite binder of all was inspired by my adorable little sis, Em.
When we were driving one day, I noticed a binder chock full of stuff and asked her what it was.
She then explained how she keeps herself organized with it and it goes wherever she goes, so yes
here is my version of the mommy planner...

I have a section for our future dream house...



Each of the kids have a section where I put reminders, papers, phone numbers, homework- you name it and it is there...
I have a 'to discuss with kids' section which includes, talks, thoughts, articles I feel are beneficial to my kids lives...
Then of course I have my phone number section, good articles to read when you have a moment section, projects to do section, coupon section and my kids favorite...
The reward section.
Update on Rewards HERE!!

5.
I do my never-ending laundry on Mondays,
pay bills on Tuesdays, plan my meals for a week and go shopping on Wednesdays...
6.
I have a master calendar that I put everything on...
And do you know what could condense all of this?
My cell phone.
I just haven't used it to it's potential and it drives my husband crazy.
I am trying though,
and I think every mother should have one.
You can keep lists, schedule appointments, have a ton of games for your kids to play when you are stuck at the doctors office, check email and countless, countless other things...
And even though I try and stay organized, my pile of papers always seems to look like this...
What are some of your tried and true organization secrets?????

73 comments:

  1. I love the Binder system! I too use it. I never thought of having a future dream home section. Whenever I find pics that I love for future house, I tape them inside my cabinet doors so I see them often, I also do that with my found good quotes, etc. But for notes and numbers for our future dream house I'm making a section for it now, thanku again Becki.

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  2. I touch the mail as little as possible, let me explain. I pick it up from the mailbox then I organize, throw and file what I can and then once bills are paid file the leftover pieces. It saves my counter from a huge pile by the end of the month and filing doesn't seem so daunting.

    I love Laura's idea of the Quote binder. I am so stealing that one. ;)

    Thanks for your fun blog.

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  3. I have a binder as well...but I've been in need of tweaking it, just wasn't sure what needed to be tweaked. ;) Love your ideas! Thank you for sharing them!

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  4. stumbled onto your blog after seeing your "ransom" box idea floating around Pinterest. Love all these ideas...and I am SO stealing a few! Thanks!!!

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  5. LOVE these ideas!! Do you or could you make PDF's for the cleaning checklists??? I so could use these for my teenagers! Thanks for the fantastic job!

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  6. How I NEED these! They are for 'grown' up kids that live here still....can't seem to get across to them that they need to be finding wives and getting their own homes to take care of....

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  7. love your job ideas...I'm totally sending my bloggy readers over here. thanks!!!

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  8. How inspiring! I saw you on tip junkie and came right over. One thing I like to do is put coupon flyers from stores that I may visit (Joann's, target, etc.)right in the door of my car as I come in from the mailbox. That way they are there when I need them! There is always a moment here or there in the car to go through them later when I'm waiting for the kids to load or whatever!

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    1. Great idea!! I always save them, but end up throwing them away. Thanks:)

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  9. Seriously, this is brilliant! I love the detailed job cards. My son is high functioning autistic so I have to tell him every. small. detail. of a task so this idea will help with keep him on task without me having to tell him over and over and over again. I can use a combo of clip art w/words to get my 5 year old involved too. Thanks for the nifty idea! :D

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    1. I have a 2 year old and a 5 year old (who's learning to read) so i like your clip art idea!!!!

      thanks!

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    2. I too have a high functioning autistic. I made checklists for everything, laminated them and posted them in the appropriate room where he could check them off with a dry erase marker. The lists included what do do in the bathroom in the morning versus the evening, in the bedroom what need to be done in the AM to be ready for school or PM before bed. I added clip art too. I took it all the way up to doing laundry, etc. it is especially helpful when they hit puberty and don't want you in there with them, but they don't always put on deodorant or brush their teeth, or change their clothes daily. He is now a successful senior in high school who is responsible and a big help in the household. More importantly, he is ready to do all these things on his own one day.

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  10. Love love LOVE your blog!!! I am subscribing. I can't believe I've ever complained about trying to pull it all together with 4 kids and you do it so well and so gracefully with 6. Hats off to you!!!!!!! I would love the job chart cards and will email you about those. Thanks for all you do!

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  11. Thanks so much for sharing!! Lately I've been grumpy about getting up at 6:30am, but 4:30am!!! WOW, I can totally see that you'd get so much more done & simply be more prepared for whatever the day might throw at you. But seriously, what time do you go to bed??? I've been hearing God whisper in my ear to start getting up at 6:00 & I've been reasoning that away so far, but no longer!
    I'm a s-a-t-h mom to 4 kids so I'm thoroughly enjoying all your organizing tips & tricks!

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  12. There are some fabulously terrific ideas in here!!! You can bet I'll be using some (and emailing you soon)!
    You can check out my Pinterest board here or my organizing blog here for ideas!

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  13. I need to print this out and put it in my "to-do" basket!

    I am on a quest though, to get life back together. I had it together before school ended last year and then came summer! Which actually tells me, I didn't really have it together. I love the idea of this, but I'm the kind of person that needs step by step instructions, so maybe finally, with this I can get it done. Love it!

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  14. Yeah! I am so glad I discovered YOU!

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  15. I just stumbled upon this post... I too have six kids and so we have six rooms for six kids for six kids and they each rotate a room on each day of the week (minus Sunday). It's charted on a board in our kitchen. Then I simply taped the room list on the wall of the room. That way it doesn't "walk" off. I love that we have similarities in this, it works!

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  16. We use Cozi which is an online organizer. It has a calendar, for everyone, grocery list, to do list, etc. You can get a phone app so it all goes with you! The best thing is that I can put the grocery list on there and my husband can stop at the store on the way home to pick it all up. He also has our schedule in real time. No writing everything twice or reminding each other. It has been very helpful to keep the whole family organized.

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  17. I hope your not devoting too much of your life to organizing such mundane tasks: live your own life too! :)

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  18. How inspiring! I only have three kids and can barely manage-I give you LOTS of credit. Children are quite a blessing though aren't they? Love your clean up cards and binder system. Found you on Pinterest, thanks for sharing! New follower here!

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  19. Thank you so much for your cute cards! I just saved them and hope to use them this weekend! I have 3 binders - one for family fun ideas I see or articles I want to read SOMEDAY, one for recipes I want to try (or love) and one for finances. One BIG binder probably would've been smarter. ( ;

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  20. Thank you so much for the printables! We homeschool and do a point system instead of letter grading and this is going to fit right in! thank you thank you thank you!

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  21. Love your ideas. I have a "What's for Dinner" chart. Planned out dinners for the month. Velcro, easy to change. Print it out on my blog http://princessdanell.blogspot.com/2009/06/favorite-things-whats-for-dinner.html

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  22. Your husband is right about the cellphone! I started using it to calendar EVERYTHING! I dont' even use a paper calendar anymore. Best thing, is that it also reminds you when you have something coming up! Honestly, it's one of those things I don't know how I lived without!

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    1. Me too! My husband converted me and I don't know how I ever managed without. We also use google to sync our calendars so anything I add to my phone calendar automatically goes on his calendar (and vice versa). It's AMAZING! Rebecca, thank you for these ideas - I absolutely LOVE your chore cards. What a wonderful way to help your children get the job done well and feel successful. They can get it all done right the first time as long as they follow the card - it's all right there. Love it!

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  23. Just found this post and would love to have the photoshop version if you are still sharing. I'm like you haven't started using my cellphone to its full potential but 2012 is my goal to start using less paper. joyscraps at gmail dot com

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  24. I am a full-time working mom who is also working on her master's! I use my phone & iPad religously. I have them synced so I only enter info in 1 place but can access it from both. I love the binder idea for those times when I can't avoid paper.

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  25. I honestly love everything you have here, but as I read about your binder I was thinking you need a Pinterest! :) If you don't have one already it's a virtual pinboard for ideas, thoughts, recipes, crafts, things for the home, etc. It's really addictive though so use with caution! Also, my husband synced our calendars to eachother so that when one of us adds something to one of them it appears on both calendars...I just had to cold turkey go to my phone and stop writing on my calendar. I do have to say though I'm a teacher and my desk calendar is my back up if I lost my phone I transfer everything to it just bc I look at it all day and don't use my phone at work so I still know what is coming up or what I have that day. Thanks for all that you shared though I found your blog so helpful and I sent you an e-mail asking for the jpeg of your chore cards :) Thanks again!

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  26. I loved your chore cards to much I included them as part of my 2012 New Years Goals! I'm so glad to see that you run first thing in the morning. Being more active is a goal of mine, but I've always been an evening exerciser and it's not working out so much with kids. I just may have to suck it up and set that alarm! Thanks again for sharing. You can find the link to the feature post here: http://beanbugcrafts.blogspot.com/2012/01/2012-and-new-years-goals.html

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  27. I used to make fun of my mom for having chore cards for 8 of us kids to do Saturday mornings. I am now a PT working mom to 3 children and think that idea wasn't so crazy (actually VERY smart!). So I, too, would love to have the PHotoshop version so that I can tweak them to match my needs.
    With regards to a master calendar, we use a Google calendar for each member of the family, then sync them to our Android phones, iPad, PC and Mac (yes we have them all...sheesh!) But with the hubby in stake callings for church and I am running the rest of the family around, it is always nice to know where he has to be to know if I need to do something different for carpool/dinner/whatever! Besides having a calendar for each member of the family, I have a dinner calendar and a training calendar for my running (early morning s are my friend as well!) that show up so I am never lost. Seriously, switching to your phone will be the most liberating (from paper) thing you will do. Good luck with that and THANK YOU for all your other tips. I am subscribing to read you more often!!!

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  28. Like you, a master calendar. I also have the detailed chore descriptions. . .I *love* your little "if it's worth doing, it's worth doing right" ditty on yours. . .may add that to mine :) I am still a little afraid of putting everything into my phone. . .when I have lists and calendar hanging and keep reward tallies on the chalkboard it makes more than just *me* responsible for the scheduling. My husband and son forgot about Cub Scouts *again* last week. . .but it was on the calendar. . .I didn't feel responsible for "forgetting" because I wrote it on the calendar when the schedule first came home. . .the rest of the family needs to learn how to use the tools (shopping lists, laundry baskets/system, etc.) too. But I would love the phone for the games and such :) Great post -- thanks for sharing all of your insight.

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  29. Great post!! I linked up to it in my recent post about my family organization binder: http://ministrymomma.com/2012/01/13/keeping-a-family-organization-binder/

    JulieAnn @ ministrymomma.com

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  30. I realy could use a printable copy of the chore cards for my mentally ill child it would realy help him when he can't remember. is there a printable version i could get sabrinanewman32@yahoo.com

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  31. I desperately need a copy of the chore cards not for my kids (they are too young) but for my husband. I ask him to clean the living room and he needs all the details every time. I would love to be able to hand that to him and he will know exactly what to do. kelli.burrow@gmail.com

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  32. Thanks for sharing your great ideas! I am going to take your cards and tweak them a little for my family. :) I have 4 kids, the oldest is the only one who can really read yet, so one thing I have done that helps us stay organized and makes it possible for them to clean up after themselves is put picture labels on each toy container that SHOWS what goes inside. No more excuses about not knowing where the stuff is supposed to go! :)

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  33. Hi, great post. I have 4 kids under 7 to organise. I like the idea of your chore cards. I would love the PDF version. Every one will be getting a card, inc hubby!! to help at home!! Thanks

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    1. I didn't include my email!! nonajoyroberts@hotmail.com and JPEG please.

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  34. I'd like to have a PDF file of your chore cards, as well. We just moved to a new house and I want desperately to keep it clean and organized. Thanks so much! gothompsons@cox.net

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  35. I would like a PDF file of your chore cards please. stearsmanc@yahoo.com Cheryl

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  36. Your chore cards are great! Can I please have a PDF version e-mailed to me: wendal15@aol.com
    Thanks so much!

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  37. I also would love the chore cards. What a great idea. I am not very organized and my two kids are following in my footsteps. I want that to change! I do not know what way to send the cards would be best?? PDF seems to be ost popular way. Thanks Wilkara@cox.net

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  38. GREAT ideas! Thanks so much! I have emailed you about the chore cards. LOVE them! I keep all my calendar & lists on my cell phone. "Out of Milk" is a free to-do & shopping list that I LOVE!

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  39. I would love a copy of the chore cards! I have been searching all over the blog-o-sphere for just this thing! I knew Pinterest wouldn't fail me! I already had your "Ransom" box idea pinned and didn't see this one. SO happy a friend pinned it. I could really use the pdf version. katesue@me.com Thanks!

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  40. THanks for ideas! My kids do chores, but not as well as i would like them to. AWESOME!

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  41. I would love your chore cards in pdf. Some how the kids can't remember from week to week what it means to clean a room. A check list is a great idea.
    Thanks a bunch!
    jmkarnold@gmail.com

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  42. I think a lot of your idea's are great, except I feel you over load your kids with all the house work.
    I don't feel my kids need to be the one to clean master bath. If they use it then yes they should be
    the one to clean it. I notice it on one of the kids weekly charts. Have they ever said this isn't fair?
    From reading job chart they pretty much do it all. Just wondering, I believe children should have
    responsibilities just seems to me you do the chart they clean

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  43. I love the chore cards. I think that is what I need to do for my kids. I don't think the anonymous person that says you over load your kids is right. A lot of kids now days don't have enough responsiblity and think they should be taken care of. If they don't learn as kids how to do things and take care of things they turn into entitled adults. My daughter uses the master bath for her shower. I love all of your ideas and am sure that your house runs pretty smooth most of the time. Thanks for sharing Becki!

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  44. hi could you please email me a pdf of your chore checklist please as i think they are wonderful and may help my kids with the hore around the house.louisea555@hotmail.com

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  45. Thanks for sharing your system. It took me a long time to use my phone for organizing more. I started using cozi.com a few months ago for to do lists, shopping, and a calendar system. I love that my husband can be on the free account. We can then see everyone's schedules (different color for each person) and better know what we can commit to. Best wishes in the journey!

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  46. We, too, have 6 kids and I solely use my cell phone. I've tried binders out the wazoo and it was just too hard to maintain...to time consuming. I use Google's calendar. We're a blended family, so I have my calendar, the kids, a separate one for a couple of the kids' dad, a separate one for a few of the kids' mom, and one for my hub. It made it so much simpler.

    For menu planning, I use an app on my phone (again) called Menu Planner. SAVED.MY.LIFE. And the developer is really great and has added some of the things I wanted to see. Awesome.

    For chores, we call them responsibilities...I have a chart per child that is posted at their backpack station. It contains the things they are responsible for on a daily basis (homework, cleaning room, putting clothes away, etc), things they are responsible for on a weekly basis (cleaning the kitchen, the bathroom, taking out trash, etc), and a spot for their behavior, if necessary. I slip the chart into a plastic sleeve (think of those sleeves at the tire store of oil change shop) and they mark them off with a dry erase marker. They earn 'stars' for completing their weekly stuff ONLY, daily stuff just has to happen...no reward. The stars are turned in when we take our family vacation and they can buy souvenirs, etc with it. Works well because they know they're earning money to enhance their fun on vacation. ;)

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  47. Ilove your ideas!!!!! from some one who struggles everyday with organizing you are inspiring

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  48. Do you still email the editable format of these? I would love to have them! I love your ideas! Melissa in Iowa. Muphigh@aol.com

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  49. Just ran across your post while searching for ideas to save my home from my teenagers. I think this idea would work wonders. School is almost out and I want them to take on more responsibilities at home to help me and their dad. If you can email these in a PDF or in an editable format that would be great...sflannery@nc.rr.com. Thanks!

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  50. Try Cozi.com - great way to keep everything in your phone if you have a smart phone. We love it. We have the calendar for everyone in our family on one calendar, to-do lists, grocery lists and you can even journal. In addition it will send you reminders for appointments or send your grocery list to your phone. it is GREAT!!!

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  51. We've just moved and have more rooms to clean! My 4 kids would love your descriptive chore cards, if you're still sending out copies. I created a chore chart with a magnetic board and labeled cute magnets with scrapbook paper of the chores needing to be done. If we're going to look at a chore chart, we thought it should look good! It's time to revamp again, though, so your help is appreciated. k2homesearch@gmail.com

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  52. I just read your blog and would love editable pdf's of the chore chart cards. They are great and I can see our family using them!! glkammers@yahoo.com

    Thanks so much!!
    ~Lisa

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  53. I loled when I got to the end and you said you could use your phone for all this... because that's what I was thinking the whole time. A year ago my mother in law overheard me saying I wanted an mp3 player for when I'm in class working (I'm a jewellery and metals student) and gave me her old 1st gen iTouch.

    At first I was like "hey, I can fit my whole music collection and a bunch of TV show episodes on here!" Then I started using the calendar... then the calendar wasn't enough and I started using an app that let me schedule sub-tasks for my tasks (I don't think I would have done very well in school without it). Next thing you know I've got a recipe app, a menu planning app, a grocery list app (with prices - it's awesome) and suddenly I'm using all these apps more than I'm listening to music, the worst thing that can possibly happen is me realizing my itouch isn't in my pocket (or it is and the battery is dead!), and I'm begging my hubby for an iphone for my birthday because too many things need the new OS.

    But I've never been a paper and pen type of person. I've never been organized enough for that. I like apps and computer programs that do the organizing part for me... even better if it can send me e-mails. I very rarely look at a piece of paper again after I've written on it, even if it's in an agenda, but I check my e-mail constantly throughout the day.

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  54. Awesome post...I think that you must wear a cape! I would love the chore cards as well. chrissiedcohen@yahoo.com
    Rock on super mom!

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  55. LOVE all your ideas. I would love the chore cards if possible - sendloripictures@yahoo.com. Thank you!

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  56. Glad I stumbled onto your site... the chore cards are an AWESOME idea because it breaks the tasks down and is very specific :-)

    Thanks - will be printing them out ASAP or making my own!

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  57. Awsome idea for my three kiddos

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  58. I would like to have a printable file too,if you are sharing! My e-mail is Kreiserdk@embarqmail.com. I love this idea and have a friend using it right now.

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  59. I Love this idea. Can I please have the PDF file on the job descriptions. I think that is brilliant. Thanks for sharing your great ideas. tayloka50@gmail.com

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  60. Great ideas for my three little ones to help out around the home-thanks!
    Can I please have a PDF or Photoshop version of the Chore cards-
    amandamiller@iprimus.com.au.
    Thanks! :)

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  61. This is GREAT! May I also have the PGF file of the Chore Cards? jenalee.dawson@gmail.com

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  62. Hello,

    I love your ideas...I could totally do this. My house would run so much smoother. May I also have a file of the chore cards? bridgett.bynum@gmail.com

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  63. I love it! I am a big supporter of the job cards, mine are minus the parent check. For me, I believe that with the job description/duties card a child (or anyone else) can see exactly what is expected every time. Why challenge them to guess what mom expects! Thank you.

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  64. Its amazing post....i love these cards...thanks for sharing...!!!!!!! Plastic card printing

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  65. This is great work....thanks for sharing...these cardsinfo helping me a lot about different usage of cards...!!!!

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