When was the last time you looked around and noticed someone had emptied the dishwasher or taken out the trash without a reminder? If you feel like reminders to complete chores have become chores themselves, you’re in the right place.
Even if your kids are already pretty good at managing their household responsibilities, implementing a tool like a chore checklist is exactly what you need to create extreme ownership over this aspect of household management.
Without further ado, we’d like to introduce you to one of our favorite household tools: the Chore Checklist
Why We Love Chore Checklists:
Checklists make everything easier. Period. With four children and a business we run from home, we simply don’t have time to follow everyone around. Three of our four kids have weekly chore checklists, and it only takes about 15 minutes to update and print them each month.
Chore charts, sticker charts, chore checklists, and so on are all visual tools that serve to establish expectations while encouraging independence and autonomy in our children. The kids always know where to look if they aren’t sure what needs to get done, and that makes everyone happy. The concept isn’t new, but it sure does make our lives easier!
What Makes Our Checklists Unique:
Perfect Week Bonus
There is a space to sign off on each day once all chores have been completed. We offer a bonus ONLY if every day has been initialed. Get creative here! You could offer an allowance bonus, a special treat, some extra screen time, or whatever motivational bonus is most appropriate for your family.
Many items on our kids’ chore checklists are basic daily “to do” items and don’t change very often, but we like to rotate the bigger, whole-house chores. Our rotating chores are emptying the dishwasher in the morning, setting and clearing the table, picking up the mail, and vacuuming the kids’ bedrooms and playroom.
We are firm believers in batching (I wrote a ton about batching here) and these chore checklists are a great mini intro to that strategy for the kids! The most obvious example on the same chore checklist we shared is emptying and repacking lunch boxes after school, rather than emptying them after school and packing them before school in the morning.
One common reason people struggle with implementing tools like this long-term is the lack of flexibility. School year schedules change once summer comes around. We know this, but we don’t always PLAN for it. The beauty of a simple, no-frills chore checklist is you can change it as often as you need to. We changed our chore checklists a LOT this year. Thanks, COVID
Letting chore checklists float around the house willy-nilly is a bad idea. We use clipboards (each has his own) to keep the lists separate and safe. They also serve as an awesome little “home base” for the kids where we can leave notes. Fun fact, we have a lot of lefties in our family, so clipboards are extra useful for us because they’re comfortable either way.
A few checklist considerations…
Keeping It Simple
Chore Checklists are not a new or unique idea, but they take more maintenance and follow through than many people expect. We hear about great organizational ideas all the time, but what is important is finding what works for YOU and YOUR FAMILY.
It’s not always the prettiest chart or the strictest that works best – in fact, we find that rigidity makes parenting tools harder to maintain. That’s why we’re sharing the spreadsheet chore checklist and printable chore chart that our family uses every day, in hopes that you will find it as flexible and useful as we have over the years.
Keeping Children Accountable
Developing work ethic from a young age is key to happiness and success throughout their life. A structured way to develop that work ethic mindset is to be required to do household chores – and kept accountable to them! All children have the potential to be helpful, responsible, and accountable – but it’s structure that helps them to get there.
It’s not just about instilling the importance of work and finishing tasks – it’s also about helping children to feel capable. As parents we know many of you want to see your children become more independently responsible. Using chore checklists is one way to help them forward on that path.