Making a chore chart is the best way to divide the many tasks that go into running a household. And they’re not just useful for people who are trying to make sure that their roommates are pulling their weight. If you’re a parent, you’ll find that assigning daily tasks to your children can teach them many important life lessons.
With that in mind, I wanted to share some of my favorite ideas for creating or otherwise obtaining chore charts. However, you might be wondering why anyone would want to put in all that effort in the first place. Sure, chore charts might help you divvy up the duties of running a household. But why should you go to the trouble of making one if no one is going to bother checking off their boxes?
The Benefits of Having a Chore Chart
Even if your kids prefer to laze around all day, you could use incentives to make them do their chores. Unfortunately, you probably couldn’t make your roommates do their share of the housework by dangling the possibility of a Disney World trip in front of them.
In that case, you’ll have to explain to your roommate why committing to the system is in their best interest. Luckily, I’ve got your back! The following arguments will spell out the benefits of using chore charts for kids as well as roommates.
Doing Chores Makes Kids (and Adults) More Competent
One of the best perks of using a daily task list is that you eventually start to build confidence in your ability to follow through on something. Best of all, this particular benefit doesn’t depend on whoever set the plan. Because of that, it should work for both kids and adults who decide to try out a chore chart system. But how would completing tasks make anyone more competent?
To begin with, let’s talk about how chores help kids build self-esteem. It all comes down to your kids believing that they’re perfectly capable of doing any task you set before them. However, to get there, you’ll have to work in baby steps.
If you start giving your children small tasks when they’re young, you’ll be able to control their rate of development. As you amp up the difficulty of their chores over time, you’ll see their motor skills improve. So if you begin your child’s training by having them help you straighten their bed, you should eventually transition to them doing the whole thing by themselves.
As I have said, completing these tasks will naturally increase your child’s competence and confidence. And of course, the same thing applies to adults. Wouldn’t you feel more confident, knowing that you have control over a small part of your day, too?
Those who are struggling with mental health issues or occupational burnout often lack the energy they’d need to tidy up. Having a chore chart can make those seemingly difficult tasks seem more doable. Furthermore, the very act of ticking those boxes off on your chart can make you feel like you’re being productive.
It Helps Kids Learn Valuable Life Skills
In addition to building competence, living with a chore chart can also improve many other life skills. It can teach children as well as adults how to handle day to day responsibilities and build good habits. Additionally, if you had the habit of doing household chores when you were a child, you’ll likely find it easier to establish a productive routine as an adult.
Even if you disregard those life skills, there are two other benefits of living with chore charts. To begin with, let’s talk about what can happen if you incorporate a financial incentive into this system. If your children know that their allowance depends on completing the tasks you’ve set before them, they’ll be more likely to follow through.
Better still, there’s another valuable life lesson you can tack onto this one. Teach your kids the discipline they need to avoid blowing through their budget as soon as they receive their reward. That would certainly show them what it means to work toward achieving financial independence.
Lastly, I wanted to highlight one more life skill you might develop if you commit to a chore chart system. Having a chore chart for every member of the household would, ultimately, encourage everyone to understand the importance of teamwork.
There’s just one catch you’ll have to keep in mind if you want to drive the point home. You can’t assign disproportionately difficult tasks to people who have the same level of ability. So don’t have one child on dish duty while another is vacuuming, dusting, and walking the dog. Otherwise, you’d just be sowing the seeds of discord and fostering an unfair environment!
Most Importantly: You Won’t Have to Do Everything Alone!
While we’re on the subject of teamwork, I have to mention one last benefit of implementing a chore chart system if you don’t live alone. Namely, if every member of the household pitches in, no one will feel like they’re doing the lion’s share of the work. More specifically, you won’t have to do everything alone — which is what I assume lead you to seek out articles about chore charts in the first place!
Hopefully, the arguments I’ve listed will be convincing enough for your family or roommates. With that being said, though, there’s one last thing to go over. Once you have everyone on board with chore charts — how do you make them?
How to Make Chore Charts
If you’re not sure that this project will take root in your household, there’s no need to overinvest right off the bat. You can start by writing out your chore charts for everyone in your home on separate pieces of paper. Once the system has taken hold, you can use store-bought items like decorative cardboard or whiteboards to make the charts.
In fact, if you don’t feel like putting in any effort, you could always just get some chore charts online. On the other hand, if you like drawing rows and columns (and hey, I can’t blame you) — here’s how you can make charts for any member of your household.
Chore Chart Ideas for Kids
If you want to make individual chore charts for each of your kids and you have no idea what they should look like, start by browsing through some online templates. Generally, most people just make a table with as many rows as they have tasks and as seven columns for each day of the week.
On the other hand, if you want to keep the whole family’s chores in one place, you could have one big board with everyone’s names above a list of tasks they’re expected to complete. Remember, kids have a strong sense of justice — so don’t make one child’s chores too difficult to accomplish. That’s also why you should add your name to the group chart as well. That way, your kids won’t think you’re just being lazy while they’re doing all the work!
Some parents also use reward systems where every chore is worth a certain amount of points. At the end of the week or month, they calculate the sum of their child’s points and translate it into various rewards. For example, ten points might be worth an hour at the computer or preparing the child’s favorite meal for dinner. If the child is patient and racks up points without using them for a while, you could offer a bigger prize, like a trip to the zoo.
Whatever you do, don’t tie any of the tasks to a specific reward, like offering your kid a chocolate bar every time they finish their homework. That will create expectations you may not be able to deliver on every time. Instead, allow your child to choose between several rewards you’re willing to dole out.
Examples of Chores You Could Include
The best thing about chore charts is that you can personalize the tasks you include according to the capabilities of each member of your household. So if you’re making individual charts for your kids, even the youngest ones could pick up their toys.
At three or four, you could include basic tasks like brushing their teeth, washing their hands, and combing their hair for young kids who need those kinds of reminders. Anything beyond that will be something you’ll have to assign depending on each child’s aptitude and level of responsibility. Here are some of the things you can put on your child’s chore chart:
• Sweeping the floor, wiping flat surfaces, or dusting improves coordination.
• Cleaning their room builds the habit of keeping their space clean.
• Reading or doing homework develops their mind.
• Refilling the pet’s food and water bowls teaches the child to care about animals.
• Setting the table or doing the dishes after a meal involves them in the process of food production.
As your child grows older, you could add more difficult tasks to their list, such as vacuuming, doing laundry, ironing, folding and putting away clothes, etc. By adding to their list in small increments, you’re effectively preparing them for an easier transition to adulthood. However, making these kinds of charts can also help anyone who has recently moved out of their parents’ house.
Chore Chart Suggestions for Roommate Households
Establishing a chore chart system in a home you share with an adult roommate or partner could be difficult. After all, your roommate is not a child so you probably won’t be able to swindle them into helping out if they don’t want to. Still, there are ways to encourage a more equal division of labor between you and your roommate. For example, you can both agree to:
• Take turns doing the tasks neither of you wants to do.
• Have a set day for doing all the household chores together.
• Paying for a weekly visit from a housekeeper.
• Have a penalty for failing to complete their tasks within a certain timeframe.
Once you agree upon the ground rules, there’s the question of determining who gets which tasks. Some roommates find that conversation fairly straightforward — one likes to cook and do laundry while the other prefers doing the dishes and ironing clothes. Those cases are ideal but not particularly common. At some point, you’ll simply have to do tasks you don’t like.
On the other hand, you could ensure an even division of tasks across the board by having separate chore charts for every room. You and your roommate could check off the tasks in different colored markers to ensure that both of you are pulling your weight. At the end of the week or month, you’ll be able to see who’s been doing a certain task more often and adjust accordingly.
So there you have it! The longer you think about it, the more you’ll start to see the benefits of using chore charts. They can help your kids develop their motor skills and their work ethic at the same time. Alternatively, they can just keep things fair between roommates.
Even if you live alone, having a chore chart can be a good way to stay on track with your daily responsibilities. So now that you know that, won’t you give it a try? All you need is a piece of paper and you’ll be on your way to creating a productive yet comfortable routine.