diy: family chore charts

This Wicked Wednesday brings about a post I’ve been meaning to write for years. Yep, it’s taken me that long to figure out a chore system that works for my family. Topher and I have been living together for about four years now, so we’ve had the time to figure out what works for us as a unit.

Chores are a small thing in the grand scheme of life, but I learned the hard way that the small things tend to pile up and cause the most stress. Especially with a family, you’ve gotta get a hold of the little things before they compound into bigger problems. My stepmother taught me that–if handled well–the small things like chores can even be a joy to do. Chores, a joy?! Well, they’re not my favorite thing for sure, but I do feel a certain calm wash over me now when I’m almost done with them. A sweet form of small recompense.

So this post is here to show you the ways we’ve organized our chores. If you aren’t familiar with my blog, know these chores are split between two adults but could easily be assigned to children as well if you have those to think of.

1.) The first way: Weekly & writable chore charts for each of us

I made these dry erase charts with scrapbook paper and a laminator. This set up allowed us to also write out to dos and appointments, which was helpful at first. However, the board became overcrowded quickly and, in its lack of specificity, led to us forgetting to write down most chores that needed to be done.

2.) The second way: Weekly, non-writable & shared chore chart

I made this sheet with cardboard stock, some scrapbook stickers, and glue dots. I didn’t laminate it because it had too many layers. This system focused on one room and/or item per day. This did the job of simplifying the chores, for sure. We found in time we were still missing things. Sure, we picked up everything laying around in the bathroom, but when did the harder stuff get done–scrubbing the tub, rearranging under the sink, etc?

3.) The final way: Daily, weekly & monthly magnet-per-chore chore charts for each of us

This is our current method and is working so far. Each stickered magnet represents an individual chore. I used whatever stickers I had around, but you can order custom stickers for this kind of thing. Get as creative as you’d like. The top magnets need to be done every day, the middle ones every week, and the bottom ones every month. We each have a side (mine’s the purple hearts, his the bird) and move our magnets from To Do to Done.

I thought about whether to include a list of our chores, but I think I’ll save that for another post. Mainly because our chores will vary from your chores, as will the timeframe we complete them. We live in a one bedroom apartment; that leads to fewer bedrooms to clean. We have three shedding pets; that leads to everyday vacuuming and sweeping. Point is, the specific chores themselves will vary for your family’s situation. If you need help starting out something like this, just look for lists of chores online. That was a great starting place for me.

Whatever method you come up with for organizing chores (or any familial responsibilities, really), it’s always most important that you communicate honestly with your partner. Even if traditional gender roles don’t suit me, I don’t diss them if they work for you. As long as whoever’s cleaning is 100% okay with having that responsibility, then cool. But if either partner questions it, it’s time to question it together as a family.

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