Chore Pockets and Chore Tickets

Two posts in one day. Lucky you. I’m making up for my long silence, brownie points for me, right?

Actually, my last entry was just getting so long, and I wanted to make sure to give my little sewing project (and by “little” I mean it took a mere five hours to complete) all of the limelight it deserves.

Please clap loudly so I can hear you. I swear, every time I make something like this I am left with greater respect for the lovelies selling handmade stuff on Etsy and elsewhere. I like sewing and crafting, but sewing and crafting a whole bunch all the time to try to sell and make a profit on? Oy, pass the duvet cover, I’m going back to bed!

I mentioned last week, my interest in Diann Jeppson’s Chore Pocket system. I’ve tried lots of different things over the years to get organized and stay organized as well as different methods for staying on top of housework. I’m a Fly Lady dropout many times over! So, I’m just saying that as I start trying this whole Chore Pocket idea, I’m keeping in mind that there is a very high chance I might abandon the whole thing in a week or two.

But. There must be part of me that is always interested in the next big idea, because I’ve had an awful lot of fun putting this together. Diann describes her own system in the Home Companion book. Her pockets are made of paper, as well as her chore tickets. A friend I know locally has done something similar. Well, of course I can’t do anything the easy way. I had to make something I wouldn’t hate looking at hanging in my kitchen.

As I wrote earlier, I was very inspired by Sally of Shim + Sons and her beautiful wall pockets, especially this one, as I would need to make mine to hang horizontally like that in order for my chore tickets to work properly.

Whenever I go south to visit family, I always try to stop in at Material Girls in South Jordan, Utah. They carry the wool felt I love to make toys out of. I’m a total sucker for fat quarters too, and several leaped into my shopping bag, I reasoned I could use them to make my wall pocket.

And I did.

Wall pocket close up

Using some lovely textured linen-like fabric I found at Hancocks I got to work. Please don’t ask me for a pattern or instructions, because as usual I totally made it up as I went along, and I don’t think I could duplicate it. I use a very scientific method of measuring called using my eyeballs.

I started with plotting out my chore tickets. I wrote down all of the major areas of my house and gave them a color code. There are 14 including the backyard and garage. Then, I wrote out all of the chores that needed to be done in each area and assigned them a level of difficulty. A for hard, B for easy. I knew I needed two rows of 7 pockets each to hold the chore tickets for each of the 14 areas in my house.

Chore tickets

Since I dislike my handwriting greatly, I designed the tickets in Photoshop and made them to fit on 3×5 cards. Of course, my printer hated 3×5 cards so I ended up grouping a bunch of them together and printing them on cardstock, then cutting them apart.

Chore tickets

Below, there needs to be a pocket for each member of the family. Each person (even the tiniest ones!) need to have an “in” pocket for chores that need doing, and an “out” pocket to move tickets to once the chore is completed. Each family member needs to complete four chores each day (A tickets are worth two B tickets. So four B chores, or say, two A chores). Everybody has all day to complete their chores, until 4pm which is the chore deadline.

I’m sort of regurgitating what I’ve read as we haven’t put this into practice yet. I’m still working on the tickets themselves, I need more printer ink. I also need to figure out a way to label the family member’s pockets with their name and “in” and “out” but the bulk of the work is done. I bought a large cork board from an office supply store, yanked the crappy wooden frame off of it, and glued and stapled my fabric around it after I’d finished sewing on my pockets.

Wall Pocket for chore tickets

The very bottom row is just kind of extra. I left room on the off chance that I have more children so I can make more family pockets. But it can also hold grocery lists, notes, and since the whole thing is a cork board, I can use it to pin artwork and reminders up should I feel the need.

I plan on laminating the chore tickets, and I’ll certainly report back with a fully complete system and let you know how it’s working—or how soon I abandon it and go back to the “I’ll mop the floor when my feet stick to it” method.

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