If you've got kids, you know that part and parcel of having kids is having messes. But did you know that kids can not only create the problem, they can also be part of the solution? There are many ways to involve kids in maintaining a clean household. One method that works well is having a Daily Chore Chart.

A Daily Chore Chart assigns specific chores to individual children, with different chores assigned each day. The chores can be tailored to each child's age and abilities. Even children as young as two or three years old can be included in a chore chart, and will usually be excited to join in and clean up just like their older siblings.

The first step in creating your Daily Chore Chart is determining which chores will be included on the chart. List these chores on your Master Chore List. The foremost consideration is to list those chores which need to be done every single day. If a chore is needed very irregularly, it would not be a candidate for the Daily Chore Chart (but could possibly be included on a weekly or monthly chart). Also important to keep in mind is that the chore must be within the abilities of the child to whom it will be assigned. Good examples of chores to include on a Daily Chore Chart are: clearing the dinner table, washing dinner dishes (or loading the dishwasher), taking out the garbage, sweeping the floors, straightening up the family room, etc.

To fill in your Daily Chore Chart, create a table with eight columns across, and as many rows as you have children who will be included, plus one additional row. Label the column headings -- starting from the second column -- with the names of the days of the week. Label the row headings – starting from the second row – with the names of the children who will participate. (Some families include one or both parents on the chore chart; if you will include parents, add two additional rows.)

Now you will need to fill in the blank spaces beneath each day's header with one of the chores you have entered on your Master Chore List. Keeping in mind the different ages, abilities and temperaments of your children, assign a chore to each child for each day. You may find some children work best when given the same one or two chores repeatedly, while others enjoy the variety of having a new chore each day. Some parents like to give each child a "day off" or "free" day, and finds that the children are more eager to help on other days when they have had one day off-duty.

Regardless of precisely how you set up your chore chart, the chances are that a Daily Chore Chart can help your family. A Daily Chore Chart lets your kids know exactly what is expected of them each day and can help eliminate nagging (on your part) and complaining (on theirs!). Start working on one now, and enjoy the benefits every day!