Responsibility Charts

Here’s a Creative Solution that attempts to decrease nagging and yelling by using Responsibility Charts.

My oldest has a lot of ADD (ADHD-inattentive) tendencies, so remembering to follow directions (or follow through… or focus…) is an ongoing struggle.

We have the expectation that everyone in our home contributes to the responsibility of maintaining the home, and we also want to raise self-sufficient kids.  For a kid who can’t-gotta-wanna focus, this is very hard.  For his Mom, this involves a lot of yelling.  My basic problem was that too much of my interaction with a kid I love involved yelling–just to remind him to do the things he knows he needs to do.

I needed a Creative Solution to help remind my focus-challenged kid.  Writing down a list helps tremendously.  It focuses attention on the things that need to be done with clarity.  Thus was born the Responsibility Charts.

Basically, I…

  • brainstormed a list of the things I need each kid to do,
    • in different rooms,
    • at different times of the day,
  • printed them up (with words and a small clipart image to act as a visual prompt),
  • laminated them, and
  • hung them throughout the house using Command 3M hooks.

And it worked.  Kind of.  In a better-than-before-but-not-perfect kind of way.  It helps remove my nagging voice from what needs to be done.  Both kids have a better grasp on what needs to be done.  I do still need to remind them to check their lists, but it all involves significantly less negativity.

Brainstorm a List

Think through your day with the beloved kiddo; what are the things he/she needs to do (that you end up having to remind him/her to do)?

To get you started, here’s a look at mine.  Use them as your baseline.  If you’d like a copy of any chart, contact me and I can send you either a PDF or a Word doc that you can edit and come up with your own Creative Solution.

In the bedrooms, one side has “Morning/Bedtime Responsibilities” and on the other is “How to Clean Your Room.”

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For the bathroom…

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In the Playroom, one side walks the boys through every thing that needs to be picked up, and the other side includes a list of jobs the boys could do (to earn extra money).

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In the Kitchen, I post their mealtime responsibilities as well as what they need to do before they are allowed to play.

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Recently, I created a new variable responsibilities chart, for things that they may or may not need to do in the morning.  Instead of me leaving a note, this is reusable.  Sometimes they need to shower in the morning; sometimes they shower at night.  And at this moment in their lives, they need every reminder to hang the gosh darn towel.

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Laminate & Hang

Because I am an office supply geek, I have a laminator (which is technically called a laminating machine and sounds much less super-hero).  I got mine on a super-amazing deal on Amazon and paid $17.49.  Currently it’s $30.  I also buy the generic laminator sheets from Amazon… 100 sheets for $9.78.  If you are not an office supply geek, it’s ok.  You don’t need the laminator.  Mine makes me happy.  Live and let live.  (If you live close by, I’m happy to lend you mine!)

If you want a sign that can have two sides, a laminator is helpful.  Other options include using a sheet protector or simply stapling/taping it to the wall.

Once I laminated it, I punch a couple of holes in the top, loop some ribbon or yarn through, and hang it on a 3M Command hook.

Cleaning vs. Painting Grout

I’ve got tile floors with what-was-once-white grout.  My Creative Solution for nice clean, white grout is to paint it.  Here’s why:


I’ve seen the Pinterest pins for cleaning grout.  I further researched grout cleaning formulas online.  I tested methods side-by-side (the one time I cleaned the grout myself, several years ago).

Here’s my findings:  The best way to clean grout is elbow grease.  A lot of it.  (Wrist-throbbing elbow grease, at that.)  It hardly matters which concoction of cleaner you use.  It is remarkably satisfying–instant (cleaning) gratification–since it looks awesome once you clean it!  However: once you clean it, you will need to seal the grout or it’ll get dirty again super-quick.  

It was that unpleasant truth (needing to add a sealer) that prompted me to consider painting grout.

The paint comes with a sealer built right in.  One bottle will be enough for an enormous amount of space.

Funny story: When I went to the Home Improvement Store to purchase the grout paint, I followed the instructions on the back of the bottle and calculated the square footage I would need… except instead of square footage of grout, I calculated  square footage of floor.  Pro-Tip: one bottle will be more than enough for two rooms.


Supplies you’ll need:

  • 1 bottle of grout paint
  • 1 old toothbrush (perfect for “scrubbing” the paint into the grout)
  • (optional) paper plate to pour some paint on to… or just repeatedly dip your toothbrush in the bottle
  • some wet rags

Wash the floor really well before you start.

  1. Scrub paint into a grout line
  2. Wipe the excess paint off the tile with your wet rag… careful not to wipe up the paint itself
  3. Repeat for all the other grout lines

The paint dries relatively quickly, but you really shouldn’t wash your floors for 72 hours (following the directions on the bottle).

It does take a long time to complete, but looks amazing and is far less painful on your wrists than scrubbing.