Should You Make Chore Charts for Yourself?
Chore charts. It seems that for each expert that recommends them for our kids there’s another who says they’re not helpful in the long run. Chore charts, complete with stickers for chores completed and rewards at set intervals, can help kids get more done around the house. They also have the potential to take away a kid's natural tendency towards helpfulness and push them towards seeking stickers and rewards rather than doing their part around the house just because they should. While each family will have to weigh the pros and cons of chore charts for their kids and make the choice that feels right, it might be time to think about chore charts for a different member of the family: Yourself.
As a parent, it can seem like you have an endless to-do list and that as soon as you get one load of laundry folded another has miraculously appeared. What if there was a way to organize yourself so that your chore time was more productive and your rest time was actual rest time? Parents, it might be time to consider a chore chart for yourself and yes, it should be complete with stickers and rewards.
A simple chore chart can help you stay organized by breaking down your tasks into daily, weekly, and bi-weekly chores that you can complete on a schedule instead of always feeling behind. To start, make a list of all your chores, then break them down into daily, weekly, or bi-weekly categories based on how frequently you need to complete them. For many, the list will look something like this:
- Pick-up and put away
- Wipe surfaces in kitchen and bathrooms
- Pack lunches
- Pet care
- Take out trash
- Sort and handle mail
- Clean bathrooms
- Mop floors
- Change sheets
- Meal plan/grocery shop
- Clean microwave
- Clean stove/oven
- Clean refrigerator
Monthly (or more):
- Clean windows
- Clean closets and donate/pass on clothing
- Clean furniture
- Clean fan blades, light fixtures, door handles, light switches, baseboards, and other overlooked areas
- Clean dishwasher/washer/dryer
Once you break down your chores, take a few minutes to note how long they typically take to complete and think through how much time you have and want to commit to doing chores each day. After that comes the fun part: making your chart. Break down your chores into manageable daily chunks and add them onto your calendar/chart.
Whether you chose to create a chart on poster paper or go digital, having a visual representation of your chores is important. You’ll also need this so you can check them off!
Organizing your chores onto a chore chart will help you balance out what you need to do each day and week so that you never end up feeling buried under chores or needing to spend hours playing catch-up. It also allows you to see your progress and know that your hard work matters.
Just like when parents make chore charts for your kids you’ll also want to find a way to reward yourself for a job well done. Consider a few of your favorite things, like going to a movie solo or taking an hour to shop without the kids and list them as your rewards. Be sure that you actually follow through and reward yourself too parents, it’s easy to forget to treat ourselves but doing so will make the drudgery of chores feel well worth it!