I stare at my taunting list, acutely aware of the many items not crossed off. Deeply defeated, I sink into a chair, head in hands on the cold table, and wonder why I can’t get it together. After several minutes of silent self-criticism, I slowly pull my weary body up so I can go climb into bed, too discouraged to put forth any more effort.
After repeating the above scenario more times than I can count, I decided that chore charts and lengthy to-do lists simply weren’t for me. And for years, I did just fine without them.
But after I started working full-time again, I knew my family needed a very efficient system in place. I also knew the system had to be really easy or we wouldn’t maintain it. So I carefully created a simple chore list.
I determined two important details right away:
1) Our chore list will aide our routine, not dictate our schedule.
We have not completely followed the list one single time since posting it on our fridge. But our mornings run much smoother now because I can say, “Check the list,” to my kids instead of verbally running through every item repeatedly.
In the evenings, when my mind is tired, I just glance at the list. It tells me what to do. I can choose not to follow through, of course. But having that gentle suggestion ready when I want it is very helpful.
I really love that completing a couple of simple chores each day helps keep the home looking nice much of the time.
But we won’t play catch-up. If my family doesn’t scrub the main bathroom on Monday, it can wait until Thursday. If we don’t vacuum or mop this week, we can do it next week. No big deal.
Today I want to share my family’s lists with you. The first two pages, shown above, are exactly what we have hanging on our own fridge. The other two pages, shown below, are perfect for those of you who would like to write down different chores.
Print one to laminate and check off with an erasable marker if you need a simple routine. Print several if you’d like to vary your list each week.
Remember, though, whether you use a ready-made chart or create your own, you are in charge of your list, not the other way around. Don’t let any chart be be the boss of your family or tell you how to feel!
And for those of you with pre-readers in your home, I’ve got you covered, too! Print and laminate the chart below, and let your little ones put a sticker on it after they finish each chore. Remove stickers each day or once a week. Repeat.
Or just print it and put it on your fridge. No lamination or stickers needed.
Remember, you don’t work for the chart, the chart works for you. You’re the boss.
I’d love to hear – what chore chart tips would you like to share?