How to track chores?
January 9, 2017 6:33 PM   Subscribe

We're looking to formalize our family's assignment and tracking of chores. But how?

We're a family of four: two adults, two older kids (10 and 14.) I'll be honest, we're all pretty bad at cleaning and related recurring tasks. This means our house is always a disaster, and we have a bad cycle where we let everything get terrible and put in a heroic effort that doesn't last. (Or sometimes I soldier on by myself doing a bunch of stuff that is literally invisible to everyone else. Sigh.)

So I figure if we all develop some habits for teamwork, maybe we'll get to live in a nicer house, and maybe my kids will develop better habits than mine around cleaning and other domestic tasks! So I want some sort of... board... or chart... or system? That will be easy enough for all of us to see and understand, where we each have things to do, some every day and some once a week. Bonus points if there's a way to calculate allowance from this!

But I have no idea what a functional tracking system would look like. I've searched Etsy and Pinterest for ideas, or even something to buy and nothing seems quite like what I want. Most of what I see is tailored for little kids, getting them to do stuff like brushing their teeth and doing their homework. Or tracks for only one person, and not all of us. Or tracks done/not done but not who gets the credit.

Is the chore-tracking system of my dreams out there? Suggestions? Advice? I'm happy to buy something or make my own if anybody has a great suggestion.

Thank you!
posted by Andrhia to Home & Garden (10 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
Do you think they might like ChoreWars?
posted by foxfirefey at 6:38 PM on January 9, 2017

We use magnets (super Pinteresty glass bathroom tiles with magnets glued to the back--I used a label maker to label them, but a Sharpie works just as well) and a magnetic board. Every chore is either weekly, monthly or quarterly (color coded). The chore board is divided up so that each person has space for weekly, monthly and quarterly chores. We move the magnets around to assign chores.
posted by soren_lorensen at 6:43 PM on January 9, 2017 [2 favorites]

Get one of those big calendars and put in what has to get done each day. Cross off each task when done and note who did it (stickers!) each sticker is worth a dollar. Saturday is family chores day. We did this growing up n it instilled good habits in me.
posted by bleep at 7:17 PM on January 9, 2017

One of the bloggers I read posts about her kids' chores, and it seems like a great system. I think she switches them up every 6 months or so? There are some good ideas in the comments of that post too.
posted by hydra77 at 7:38 PM on January 9, 2017

You might have better luck searching for either roommate/housemate/sharehouse + chore chart. I did find a template here that looks like it might be a good starting place.
posted by stellaluna at 8:24 PM on January 9, 2017

Consider doing weekly and monthly chores together as a family. Chores are mysteriously easier when others are doing them too. You can crank up the music and have pancakes before or pizza after, plus all the chores are done at once for a clean house, instead of jiggled-piggledy throughout the week.
posted by ottereroticist at 9:44 PM on January 9, 2017 [1 favorite]

Novelty and ownership of the system are powerful motivators and should not be estimated. If your kids invent a chore tracking system, and they think it's cool, and maybe even if you all approach "create the best chore tracking system" as a family project, then doing the chores themselves becomes much more compelling.
posted by amtho at 9:57 PM on January 9, 2017 [1 favorite]

I haven't used it, but another online/app option is Our Home:
posted by limoncello at 11:01 PM on January 9, 2017

Seconding OurHome - we started using it but it was overkill for our two-adults-and-a-cat household. It is very definitely aimed at families though, complete with rewards and scoreboards and all sorts.
posted by Happy Dave at 12:29 AM on January 10, 2017

I meant "should not be underestimated." Geez I need to get more sleep.
posted by amtho at 6:15 AM on January 10, 2017

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