How to Create a Chore Chart that Works


There are so many chore charts for kids out there today! But you know what? Almost none of them work perfectly. You know why? Because every family, every house is different. Nobody has the exact same circumstances. If you’ve ever tried to find the perfect chore system for your kids you know what I’m talking about.

So the best thing to do is just figure out a system that works for your kids, at their level, in your house. But where do you start? I’ll explain how I planned out a system for me and my four kids, and you can give it a shot and hopefully it’s something that will work well for you, too.

Supplies you need for this project:

1 pen

1 notepad

(Yeah, I like to keep things real simple!)

The first thing you will need to do is write down every chore you can think of. Don’t leave anything off because you want to make sure you have thought of every possible chore. You can read about how to complete a weekly and monthly chore chart for yourself here.

Once you have your list complete, write next to each chore whether it is something your kids can handle, or if it’s something that requires your personal attention. For instance, my kids are older and can handle just about everything, so they are responsible for cleaning the kitchen, the bathrooms, vacuuming, dusting, etc.

However, if your kids are younger, then you will probably need to break each room down and consider things that they can do, like dusting, picking up, sorting, etc., and things that you have to handle (mopping floors, and all that other extra fun stuff).

After you have designated all of the chores for your kids and yourself, you are going to separate them out into tasks. There are a couple different options that I have come up with. The first is to write each task on its own individual index card, listing the detailed instructions on the back. Store the cards in an index card file box, or in a baseball card storage sheet, and keep it within the kids’ reach. When they know the chores they are assigned they can grab the card they need and take it to the room they are working in, and use the instructions to make sure it is completed to your expectations.

The other option is to do what I did for my kids: I separated all of the tasks into separate zones. I have 4 kids, so I created 4 zones. I divided tasks up so that each child is completing an equal amount of work each week. Here’s a basic breakdown:

Zone 1:

  • Clean out fridge
  • Clean Microwave inside and out
  • Toilets

Zone 2:

  • Shower & Tubs
  • Vacuum bedrooms
  • Sweep porches

Zone 3:

  • Bathroom sinks
  • Vacuum stairs and upstairs hallway

Zone 4:

  • Vacuum living room and den
  • Dust both areas
  • Sweep and mop kitchen and bathroom floors

Each of these zones is on a sheet of paper and the instructions are listed under each task. I placed them in plastic page protectors so that they could carry them around the house and they would keep from week to week.

Also, this list of chores is completed once a week. During the week they are responsible for keeping their bedrooms picked up, tidying up the house once a day (which is basically just cleaning up their shoes, toys, school books, etc.), and they wash the dishes after dinner. They are also responsible for washing their own dishes after breakfast and lunch. It probably sounds like a lot, but it really isn’t.

Your list will most likely look different than mine. I don’t have pets, so there are no chores in regard to pet care. But I encourage you to build your own chore charts. For one, it builds character and responsibility in your children. It also teaches them to take care of their own house when they are on their own. And two, it frees you up from handling it all yourself, allowing you to focus on your own chores.

One important note: perfection is not the goal. The first few times your children work through each of the tasks you may have to guide them through each step so that they know how to do it, and what you expect of them. Once you do that, they should be able to work independently. At that point you can do an inspection of their work to make sure it is up to par. But as they are young, you should not expect absolute perfection, and try to remember to encourage them along. If you’re a perfectionist, this will be especially hard. But it’s for your kids’ good, not particularly your own good.

I hope this helps you! Good luck! I would love to see what ideas you come up with when you complete your own charts! I am not crafty or artsy, but I love seeing the work of those who are! So please share in the comments.