How to Create a Couples Chore Chart that Works – Housework CAN be Fair and Fun
Feel you’re doing all the chores at home and your partner gets to relax? Not sure how to divide cleaning tasks in a way that’s fair to everyone’s work and personal schedules?
Let’s show you how to create a couples chore chart that helps maintain a clean home environment, prevents misunderstandings and even improves your relationship.
Getting chores done is a hot topic in most households. And unfortunately, it usually comes with some conflict and frustration. While you feel you do too much, your partner spends hours relaxing in front of the TV instead of getting the vacuuming done. Should you give up the fight or is it possible to maintain a hygienic living environment without fighting with your partner? Our tips on creating a couples chore chart have helped many households win this battle—without anyone feeling they’re treated unfairly.
Household Chores in the 21st Century
Times have changed but that doesn’t mean people change with the times. In terms of house chores, women still spend more time on these tasks than men—as much as 22% more! This statistic is true even for men and women who spend the same time at their jobs every day.
Facts like these could be why many households experience tension with regards to getting household chores done.
Is there a ‘right’ way to manage boring, draining and time consuming chores when you’re in a relationship?
While gender roles may be a topic of debate now and for many years to come, your goal should be to minimize the conflict in YOUR home—not simply move with the trends. That’s what gets you closer to better quality of life.
An objective, honest discussion is the first step in the right direction. Also understand that you need a solution relevant to your unique situation and a detailed couples chore chart may be key to achieving this.
These guidelines will help you get there.
Tips on Creating Your Couples Chore Chart
Setting the Stage—Start with a Chore Audit
To improve a situation, know what you’re dealing with first. Instead of having a heated argument about how one person shoulders too much cleaning responsibility and another feels they contribute enough in other ways than cleaning, let a questionnaire guide you:
- Make a checklist of all the chores necessary to keep your home clean.
- Each person must have a copy of this list.
- From your perspective, write down who performs that task the most.
- Also, on a scale of 1 to 5, note how happy you are with this arrangement.
- Write down if it should change and how it should change.
- Give the task a rating, in terms of how much you like doing it.
Also allow each other to add items if you feel you contribute to the household in other ways. Perhaps you pay more for maintenance services, do the shopping or cover grocery expenses.
Now read through each other’s notes to gain insight into your partner’s perspective. Understanding can help accept someone else’s actions. You’ll also know what your partner would like to change and you can discuss compromises to keep both parties happy.
Be Fair—Consider Your Partner’s Working Hours
You may be part of a household where both you and your partner work and earn an income. Many feel it’s unfair to expect one party—often women—to perform all the household chores, simply because that was the norm a few decades ago.
However, a 50/50 chore partnership may also not solve the problem and meet everyone’s expectations. If one person works more hours than another, take this into consideration when dividing up tasks fairly. After all, everything you do—cleaning or sitting in an office earning an income—is for your household.
Create Balance—Work vs Chores
Taking a list of tasks and blindly dividing the tasks between two people is a quick way to delegate, but not necessarily the most beneficial. A proper audit (see #1 above) will reveal which tasks each person prefers. Why note customize each person’s chore list according to:
- Time available
- Physical strength and abilities
For example, someone who is on their feet all day may prefer sitting down and reorganizing a cupboard, rather than taking a dog for a walk. Or, your task list could include paying the bills and checking the budget. These responsibilities can be tedious or stressful to some, but enjoyable for your partner who loves working with numbers. And why not leave the cooking to the person who loves trying out Masterchef recipes, while his or her partner with a green thumb takes care of the garden?
Creating these person-specific chore lists is an opportunity to reduce your partner’s stress and make life a little easier—even more enjoyable.
So, how can your couples chore chart benefit from your specific skillsets and interests?
Be Realistic—Manage Your Expectations
During your discussion about your couples chore chart, voice your expectations regarding cleaning of the house. Do you want rooms to feel as if they’ve been deep cleaned every day of the month? Or can you live with a little dust on the bookcase until the weekend?
If both of you are working, there may simply not be time available to clean as much as you would like. Be realistic about the time both of you have available apart from work and how much of it you want to spend cleaning and doing chores. Remember to leave some time in the day to actually enjoy your home, your life and each other.
Add a Special Touch – Chores to Spoil Each Other
Instead of only discussing cleaning and chores, why not add a fun, sexy element to your couples chore chart? Along with getting the responsibility to take out the trash on a Monday, you can have the job of massaging your partner’s feet or simply complimenting him or her. Other options for these ‘chores’ include:
- Give a kiss
- Call them at work just to see how they’re doing
- Buy his/her favorite chocolate
- Wear a sexy outfit to dinner
In a busy lifestyle, this can be an excellent way of reminding you to focus on your partner and help cultivate habits of showing appreciation for each other.
Remain Flexible—Discuss Chores Weekly
Just because you found the perfect balance between home and work this week, doesn’t mean it will work out next week. Work requirements may change, some weeks have more business meetings than others, or a family or work crisis may occur.
Keep each other informed to discuss possible adjustments and be willing to take on a little more when your partner is going through a tough time. You may need assistance down the line as well.
Schedule a quick chat about house chores on a regular basis, so one party doesn’t end up neglecting the couples chore chart and frustrating the other like before.
How to Get Him/ Her to Do More
Even with you planning to solve your chore issues with these guidelines, you may still face multiple challenges. Your partner may be unwilling to take on more, or their methods for cleaning and completing tasks may differ from yours.
No matter what the conversation is, don’t become accusing or criticizing. Guilt isn’t a great motivator to get tasks done. It’s more effective to use positive encouragement than complaining all the time. Even just saying ‘thank you’ regularly could see more tasks being completed.
Remain flexible, because both partners’ viewpoints matter. Perhaps their way of cleaning the fridge is also effective.
Lastly, doing chores together can be fun, motivating someone to take on more simply to spend time with you. Put on some music and make it fun. You can even make it a fun family chore time!
Ways to Manage a Couples Chore Chart
An important aspect of your couples chore chart is being clear about each person’s responsibilities. Don’t simply talk about it—you need it in writing. Ideally, you must display the tasks on a calendar so both parties know when they need to do what.
You can create your own chart, or a chore wheel. A chore chart in digital format as an app like Enzo works wonders. You’ll get reminders, so there’s no more excuses about forgetting. And the app can aid in certain budget management tasks or communicating if you need to make adjustments to the schedule. Managing a home becomes much more effortless when you use technology.
We often avoid certain topics because we’ve had bad experiences talking about it in the past. Your next discussion about household tasks doesn’t have to be stressful again. Start with an audit, be open to each other’s viewpoints and create a couples chore chart that makes you feel good about managing your home—together. If you use the right conversations and tools—like Enzo—you’ll be surprised at how effortless housework can become.