How to Make an Effective Chores Calendar That Actually Works
Does your chores calendar and list simply not help you keep order in the house?
For families or flat mates, use our tips to avoid common mistakes and use a chores calendar to everyone’s benefit—for a cleaner, more comfortable life.
Did you know a clean home environment has both physical and mental health benefits for those using the space? That’s enough reason to try and manage chores a bit better around the house.
Unfortunately, in many homes and apartments, a chores calendar simply doesn’t help. Often, one person ends up doing all the work, or spending all your time reminding others to do their share. Worse yet, you encounter conflict and misunderstandings with those who are supposed to help.
Can you manage it better? We’re here to show you how.
To ensure task lists and chores calendars work, is avoiding the common mistakes that easily prevent success.
Firstly, many people—parents and roommates sharing apartments—forget that you need everyone’s buy in if you want them to stay committed to their tasks. So, rather than one person compiling the chores calendar, make sure everyone plans together. There will be fewer comments about work allocation being unfair.
Also, apart from listing tasks, you need to clarify your expectations. Everyone should understand what you require of them when it’s their turn to clean the fridge or grocery cupboard. If you want them to check for expired items, stipulate it somewhere.
In addition, you need clarity on what happens after people complete—or don’t complete—their chores. Will there be consequences like paying a fine or not earning their monthly pocket money? Talk about all these details beforehand, so kids or flat mates know what’s in store. Implementing consequences without discussing it first can lead to bad attitudes and negativity about housework.
Lastly, can you honestly say you’re consistent in managing tasks around the house? Perhaps you don’t keep the list up to date? Or you don’t really enforce consequences—such as paying fines or losing out on pocket money—for not completing tasks. You may even neglect your own tasks at times?
Unfortunately, these habits communicate that you’re not serious about the chores calendar. That easily leads to everyone ignoring the work list completely.
If you’re managing a household with kids, it may be necessary to help them learn new habits of completing chores, so pick a time when everyone needs to work at their chores. It may take some time, but your effort will bear fruit in the long run.
Now, when compiling the chores calendar, make sure you incorporate these guidelines.
How to Make Your Chores Calendar for Best Results
Confirm the List
Start out with a complete list of all tasks the calendar must display. If you forget about something important on the property, it could lead to unnecessary repair costs later on. For example, forgetting to clean certain damp areas can lead to mould growth.
Use a checklist of chores as a starting point and also ask others’ input in terms of their expectations. Make sure you’ve covered all rooms and everybody’s needs, because people do have different preferences in terms of cleanliness. The calendar must work for all individuals involved if you want their buy in.
Keep it Simple
Keeping it simple isn’t only important for working with kids. If your system is too complicated or too difficult to understand, there can be misunderstandings. Imagine a tired roommate trying to decipher your handwriting on a note stuck on the fridge. He or she is very likely to simply ignore it or leave it for later. You can use chore chart generators, but make sure your method is easy to follow.
Also, if certain tasks rotate between different members in the household, use a simple system so there aren’t any confusion about who has to do it next.
Make it Visible or Accessible
A helpful solution to many problems with a chores calendar is to use a visible system, such as one on the kitchen wall. This prevents anyone forgetting about it. The only drawback is that you can still ignore it if you really want to—and many teenagers would want to, right?
This is where technology comes in handy! With an app like Enzo you can make sure everyone receives reminders about their tasks and they simply need to look at their mobile phones to get all the information.
Also, to help with tip #1 above, Enzo makes it easy to manage recurring tasks and display it on a calendar. No one will ever be confused about what their tasks are for the week.
Review for Fairness
Always give the chores calendar a final once over when you’re done with it. Be honest about how much effort and time goes into each task. Did you distribute the tasks fairly?
Your kids or your roommates will be very quick to point out any unfair scenarios and take it personal. Prevent it so you can manage their attitude towards their tasks. Displaying fairness at all times will be to your benefit.
One approach is to rotate the more strenuous tasks or use a number system to help manage this situation:
- Allocate numbers to each task in terms of the time and energy it takes to complete.
- Add up the score for each member of the household, based on the tasks you gave them on the chores calendar.
- Is there someone who will spend a lot more time or energy on chores than others this week?
- Swap out chores to balance it out or promise to give the heavy duty jobs to someone else each week.
Tip: remember that older kids will most likely take on more than their younger siblings. This is the type of details you need to discuss with everyone when you compile the calendar, so no one is upset later on.
Add a Few Easy Wins
Now, let’s be honest: no one really adores house chores. This makes it unlikely that everyone will be excited about completing each item on their list. However, most people do like ticking items off their to do lists, since it can bring a sense of satisfaction.
If you help them experience a few of these moments without exerting too much energy or time, they may stay in a more positive mindset. This can produce some momentum and a good attitude for the rest of the work. This is why easy wins are important on any chores calendar. For example, make sure each person has simple but necessary tasks each week, such as:
- Watering a house plant
- Feeding a pet
- Placing a garbage bag out for collection
- Checking for post
- Picking what to watch on movie night
Add a few easy, fun ones and everyone will be more excited about their tasks.
This also shows you how helpful certain features on Enzo can be. Instead of just knowing they completed a task, house members can confirm when a job is done via the app.
This physical action provides that sense of relief and satisfaction and they may feel good knowing that everyone can see they’re doing their part. For both young and old this can be a great motivating factor.
Don’t Forget About FUN
So, we’ve mentioned fun already and you should see how much of it you can include in your chores calendar. For families, look for ways to turn chores into games or add a dramatic element to engage youngsters’ imagination. Even on your chores calendar you can keep it light by naming chores in a unique way:
- Cleaning the kitchen: Kitchen Fairy for the Day
- Bathroom cleaning: Going to the Spa
- Vacuuming: Make Some Noise
- Making dinner: Masterchef
- Mowing the lawn: Chop Chop
See people break a smile and turn to their tasks in a positive mindset.
Is That a Weekly or Monthly Chore?
Remember your chores calendar must accommodate different types of tasks. Some happen every day, others only once a week and some may require monthly or annual attention.
On your chores calendar, clearly state the frequency of each task. This way, no one will perform a task more often than is necessary and then get upset with you about them wasting their time.
Roommates can get disgruntled very quickly when they feel there’s confusion or unfairness, so learn to manage their expectations.
You can enjoy a much cleaner household without investing more energy. You simply need everyone in the house to do their part. Use these guidelines to create a simple but effective chores calendar that will help everyone in getting things done.
Many people are already experiencing the benefit of using Enzo as part of this process. From sharing house rules to clarify task details to displaying tasks on a calendar, you have it all in one app. It couldn’t be simpler!