Cleaning Schedules

Recently I had had enough of my kids not doing their chores and getting frustrated realising it was easier to do things myself than go behind them and do them...then I got behind on MY chores! I needed to figure out a way for all of us to keep things in order and to keep track of who wasn't doing their chores!


I took an idea from what Martha Stewart used to do in her magazine and made a calendar chore list. Although her lists were things such as planting a certain herb, clipping a certain flower or giving her dogs a bath...I was able to use the same idea and put it to use!

I devised a way to have a cleaning schedule that rotates each day so that one child is not stuck doing the same chore each day. The children have enjoyed this way of doing chores because it is specific and only has 3-5 chores a day for each child (I have five kids so more gets done) on top of their daily chores such as making their bed, putting away laundry, etc. This also allows me to add in weekly or monthly chores as reminders for them to do things such as put their sheets into the laundry, etc. Each chore only takes 5-10 minutes to complete. It may be sweeping the kitchen, cleaning the bathroom mirror, etc.

I made up a schedule for Feb. (the only 28 day month), one for the months with 30 days and one for the months with 31 days in them. This way the hard work is done and I can just pull out my list for the right days in the month.

To start, I went room by room and listed each item I needed done daily, weekly, bi-weekly, monthly or bi-monthly. Not all rooms had all of those categories, but some did. I then put into a spreadsheet each chore, the children's names and just wrote a number for the day of the month they have that chore.

Example: Child #1 takes out the trash on the 1st of the month, Child #2 takes out the trash on the 2nd of the month, and so on...

This list I keep in a notebook for myself for reference. I took it a step further and typed out a numbered list of chores to tape near the calendar and then took a large desk calendar that I taped inside my pantry door and in a different color for each child, I write what number of chore they have for that day.

It saves having to write the same thing over and over and saves the younger ones having to figure out what my abbreviations mean. I keep a highlighter clipped to the calendar and they can highlight their #'s as they complete the chores. But it is just as simple to make copies of the original list and having them mark off of that too, but I had already bought the calendar prior to coming up with this plan.

I found that if most of the chores were completed Mon-Thursday, they tended to get done better. By the time the weekend comes, they are having friends over or going places and tend not to get things done. They still have some chores on the weekends, but mostly it is taking care of pets, etc. The rule is if they are gone for the weekend they must find someone to fill in on chores such as feeding the dog, trash, etc.

I have since made a list for myself and this helps greatly on getting things done around the house. I tended to avoid doing things such as cleaning windows or dusting when it was easier to spend my time doing other things. This way I have a list to go by and doing 5-6 things each day, verses trying to do it ALL in one day a week or whatever, it helps a lot.

I broke the kitchen chores down into zones. Zone 1 is the far left of the kitchen, Zone 2 is the sink area, Zone 3 stove area and Zone 4 is the refrigerator area. On one day I may clean out the cabinets in Zone 1 and wipe them inside and out, another day I may clean out the drawers and wipe them out in Zone 1. It is up to you on how you want it broken down. Those are once-a-month chores and I divided them up throughout the month.

I know that it is time-consuming at first to get the lists made up in the beginning, but it is well worth the time spent once you have it already figured out!

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January 20, 20080 found this helpful

This is a good idea. I really need a chore list going because its too chaotic around here and stuff goes undone way too much.


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