Making a Mama Chore Chart

Your kids probably shouldn’t be the only ones in the house with a chore chart. In fact, by keeping what I called a "Mama Chore Chart," your house will likely be cleaner and neater and you will reduce stress and chaos in your life - and your family’s life. Although it may take a little time to establish a truly useful chore chart for Mama, I think you’ll find it makes your life as homekeeper considerably easier.

The trickiest part of having a Mama’s Chore Chart is that some household jobs might happen seasonally, others just once in a while, others weekly, and still others daily. But with a little patience and time, you can come up with a chart that really works well for you. (Although I'll let you take a peek at my chore chart, I'm not offering a free printable for this one. That's because every household is different, and a Mama Chore Chart that works for me may not work at all well for you.)

Making a list of daily chores is probably the easiest part of coming up with a Mama’s Chore Chart. Just jot down the household chores you do every day. Post that list on your refrigerator, and as you go about your day, add more chores as you think of them. Here are some things that might go on that list:

* Wash dishes.
* Clean kitchen counters.
* Clean the stove top.
* Clean the dining or kitchen table.
* Laundry.
* Vacuum or sweep floor.
* Empty trash.
* Make beds.
* Tidy each room.

Next, think in terms of chores that don’t need doing daily, but must be done at least once a week. These could include:
* Vacuum and mop.
* Dust.
* Clean the oven.
* Clean the fridge.
* Thoroughly clean one room.
* Clean the bathroom.
* Change the linens.
* Clean doorknobs and switch plates.
* Clean mirrors.

Now think of jobs that really only need doing about once a month. These could include:

* Vacuum ceilings, woodwork, lamp shades, couches, etc.
* Wash curtains.
* Clean ceiling lamps and fans.
* Turn mattresses.
* Clean baseboards and woodwork.
* Polish furniture or floors.

Finally, think in terms of seasoning cleaning. In some households, this might translate to “spring cleaning.” In other homes, you might do this sort of cleaning once in the spring and once in the fall. If you’re super-fastidious, you might do these chores with every change of season. These jobs might include:

* Clean all windows, inside and out.
* Clean screens on windows and doors.
* Dry clean draperies, wash curtains, clean Venetian blinds.
* Wash walls and ceilings.
* Shampoo carpet.
* Shampoo or clean upholstery.
* Clean out/declutter/reorganize closets and cabinets.
* Sort through clothes and stash what’s out of season.

I cannot stress enough that what you put on your Mama Chore Chart depends upon your family’s habits (Do you take off your shoes right away? Are your kids messy or neat?), where you live (Is it a dusty area? Is there a lot of rain and mud?), what kind of heating system you use (Do you have dust-producing wood heat?), and your personal preferences.

Once you have a fairly complete list of chores for your chart, type them up or write them neatly. Put the daily chores on one page, the weekly ones on another, the monthly chores on still another, and the seasonal chores on yet another. Stick these lists inside page protectors, then either tape them to the inside of some cupboard you frequently use, or keep them in a homekeeper’s binder. As you begin using your lists, add chores as needed – and feel free to remove chores or move them to a different page. (For example, you might move mopping from a daily to a weekly chore.)

Finally, you'll need to decide how you will fit weekly, monthly, and seasonal chores into your daily schedule. For most of us, the easiest way to do this is divide the number of extra chores into 6 days (leaving one day free for the Sabbath). Then add them to your to do list. (For a free, printable to do list, click here.) For example, let's say I have 6 weekly chores, in addition to my daily chores. I would then add 1 extra chore per day during the week, so I didn't have to do all the weekly chores in one fell swoop.

Of course, some of you may enjoy doing all the weekly, monthly, or seasonal chores in one day or on the weekend. If that works for you, that's fine, too.

Now, refer to your Mama Chore Chart regularly! I like to use a dry erase pen to put a check mark next to each chore as I complete it. If you like, you may also indicate chores you’ve passed on to other members of the family. For example, you might have your teenager do the monthly dusting - so write his initials next to that chore using a dry erase pen. Next month, should you both wish it, you might assign him a different chore - so erase his initials from "dust" and instead write them next to “shampoo the carpet.”

Once you have your chore charts handy, I'm certain you'll be thankful you took the time to make them! You can see mine in this .PDF file. If you want to use mine as a template for your own, try downloading it in Word format.


  1. I clicked the link for the list, but came up with an error code... :(

  2. Kelly, thanks for alerting me to this problem. It should be fixed now, but please let me know if you encounter any more difficulties. Thanks!