Four years ago, I made a complete list of our household’s chores and maintenance. I posted a weekly task list on the fridge, so Rom and I could use it as a reference and get things done. It lasted until we developed a routine. Our lives have changed a lot since then, because Rom has retired and Link has moved in. We needed a new system.
I copied one directly from Fiona at the Declutterer blog (now offline). Her system is a Kanban board: each regular task is written on a sticky note. Tasks “to be done” are grouped in one area, and finished tasks are moved to another area, like so:
The board has gone through a couple of versions. First, I used dollar store sticky notes which kept falling off! Then, I upgraded to brand-name “super stickies” with adhesive on the entire back. Initially I put small daily jobs on small sticky notes, and bigger, weekly or monthly jobs on large ones. They took up too much room for the space we had. And the small jobs like putting away dishes and sweeping the floors were so repetitive that we couldn’t keep up. So I colour-coded instead: different colours for small tasks, big jobs or infrequent ones. I didn’t include any seasonal jobs – who wants to look at an undone task for 3 or 6 months! They can be added on the week they need to be done.
When we’ve done a chore, Rom and I place our sticky notes in different areas of the “completed” side so we know who has done what. I find this helpful – since he is home during the day now and does a lot of chores, I want to ensure I’m not leaving everything for him! I can visually check if I’m doing a good share.
Rom and I like this system. We almost feel like we are earning stickers or stars for our work! It is a good feeling when the majority of the housework is actually done at the end of a week or month.
A white board with a list of tasks and a bunch of checkmarks would work fine too. I think the key for us is to have it on display in the kitchen.
Link’s situation is different. They are basically self-sufficient. They make their own meals and clean up, do their own laundry and clean their own bedroom and bathroom. We collaborate on grocery lists and a few shared jobs. Their presence is not much of a factor in the amount of work we have to do. Plus, they bake for us regularly! (When Link is living on their own, they often find housework overwhelming, but the environment is more structured here).
We’ve been using our Kanban for six months, so I’m calling it a success.
Do you use any shared lists, apps or systems for housework sharing?