Watch how Jeni keeps her house organized in the video below.
Video credit: The Bonell Family
An Australian mom of 16 has revealed the comprehensive roster she uses to organize her large household.
Jeni Bonell’s children are well aware of the importance of fulfilling their assigned responsibilities. They almost never forget what’s expected of them at any day, and if they do, there’s always a chore roster stuck to the kitchen wall to remind them of their duties.
However, it wasn’t always this way.
Initially, Jeni just relied on hastily written scribbles to assign tasks to the kids but it soon turned into a formalized thing, keeping her family well organized.
The woman, from Toowoomba in Queensland, started making formal schedules when the number of her children increased to seven and it started becoming difficult to maintain order in the house.
Now, the 49-year-old and her 16 children including – Sabrina, Tim, Brandon, Eve, Nate, Rachel, Eric, Damian, Karl, Katelyn, Jesse, Brooke, Claire, Natalie, Samuel, Cameron – pitch in to share responsibilities.
Jeni’s children, whose ages range from four to 29, get involved in household work after they turn eight.
The system works perfectly and the stay-at-home mom gets all the help she might need. For instance, her 12-year-old is now cooking roast dinners for the family.
And though the number of family members has reduced to 13 after some got married or moved out, their lifestyle is still the same and their chore roster still lives on.
‘We still have a lot of people in this household, so I think it’s really important to keep some order to the chaos,’ Jeni said of her family in a YouTube vlog.
She said the roster made sure everyone was doing their bit. ‘Our job roster came about back when we had six or seven children,’ Jeni said.
‘Dad was working hard trying to support us, and I was a stay-at-home mom. But I was doing all the jobs,’ she said of husband Ray, who works full time.
‘And even though the children were small at that time, I still felt like I wasn’t teaching them to do these jobs and how to give back to the family.
‘If moms are doing all the jobs all the time, then no one’s going to have any fun because mom’s going to be exhausted and everyone else is getting everything done for them all the time.
‘If you live here, you work here. You have to contribute. You have to do the jobs.’
The woman recalled how it all started from just a ‘bit of scribble on paper’. She said: ‘It was very time consuming to work it out.’
So, she decided to come up with a more organized plan and a formalized approach to factor in her teenagers’ part-time jobs.
‘We put our kids on the roster from the age of eight,’ Jeni said. ‘So from eight and upwards, they’re on the formal roster.’
The woman revealed how her family sits down each week to divide chores among themselves by working out the timetable of each member.
Laminated cards with job titles are placed next to the children’s names to assign duties. The jobs are rotated every day so that each person gets to do everything.
Jeni then takes a photo of the roster and prints it out before hanging it on the kitchen wall so that everyone can see their task for each night.
‘If you are struggling to get your kids involved around the house, then you might want to try a chore roster,’ she said.
‘We have very few complaints about it. Everyone gets on with it and accepts there are a lot of things to do in a family of this size.’
The roster has made the children less dependent on Jeni and her 12-year-old can now even prepare a roast for dinner with ‘very little supervision’.
‘I’m pretty proud of the kids. They’re pretty independent and very skilled,’ she said.
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