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Adult Chore Chart

This might seem silly to other "grown-ups," but it's something The Man and I have learned we need.  Our adult chore charts aren't about telling each other what to do or proving someone does more or less.  They're simply a communication tool so that we both know ahead of time what we have to get done during our day.  When I wake up, I can quickly look and see that I need to empty the trash or make dinner that night or clean the shower. I can fit it into my schedule.  Also, our chore chart ensures that we're not spending a whole (valuable!) day off doing chores.

We did agree that we needed some sort of incentive to make this work.  Positive reinforcement isn't just for children, right?  We agreed that, if we successfully completed all of our assigned chores in one week (on the right days), we would get a star to put on our name.  Each star at the end of the month equals $5 cash.  That cash can be spent on anything a person chooses that is a "fun" item.  The money does not come out of any special budget, but it can be added to any budget in order to gain a nicer item.  For example, I could use my $20 toward a cookbook, treat us to a movie out, or maybe buy some Legos.  He might spend his money on computer peripherals, books, or music.  Failure to complete a task on any given day (barring reasonable excuses or being able to move a chore to the next day--like cleaning the shower) results in the loss of that week's star and the potential to earn $5.

A few notes about how I made the chore chart:

I used a 12" x 12" piece of metal flashing (purchased at Creative Crafts in Corvallis--support your local craft store!) behind the scrapbook paper inside the frame.  The frame is also a 12" x 12" black wooden frame with glass.  I hung the chore chart using Command picture hangers with stabilizing strips.

The blue background paper has no printed text on it.  I printed the grid with our (real) names on a sheet of transparency, then cut it close to the outside edge of the grid.  I used mono adhesive to stick the transparency to the blue paper.  I then cut a 3" strip of the flowery paper for the top.  The title is on transparency as well (since I didn't know how or where I'd want it).  I printed the days of the week on a strip of paper using my printer.  Both the flowery paper and the strip are adhered using the same mono adhesive.  I ran yet another color through my printer to get the chores and the stars.  Both sides of that sheet were laminated using what is essentially super thick, paper-width packing tape.  I used my 3/4" paper punch upside down to center the text and punch it out.  I used, yet again, that same adhesive to stick the circles to cheap black ceramic magnets.

A word of caution: my original intent was to use the glass half-marbles (mancala stones, anyone, anyone?) to sort of magnify the text on the circles, but ceramic magnets just wouldn't hold up the marbles.  I didn't want to shell out $50 for neodymium magnets, so I just cut out the glass bits and laminated the paper instead.

I suppose I could have skipped the magnet part entirely and just printed the chores on the grid permanently, but I wanted the flexibility to switch up who is doing what and when.  Aside from The Man vacuuming and me mopping, we do change things up from time to time.

You might notice that some of the phrases on my circles are odd.  "Grocery shopping" wouldn't fit on the little circles, so I had to substitute "get food."  "Clean stove" is different than "clean kitchen" since cleaning the kitchen is more of a general all-over wipe-down.  Cleaning the stove involves pulling out the elements and scrubbing the pans (not an everyday thing at chez Jaggy).  We don't have assignments for the dishwasher, trash, or taking out the recycling yet since those don't always happen on any given day, yet they could happen on any day.  Those things get assigned pretty quick when they need to happen.

Are we crazy for using an adult chore chart?  Do you have any suggestions?  What do you use to keep chores straight in your house?


Skunk said…
I think its brilliant, and I will probably steal it. :)
Anonymous said…
This is timely. I am trying to keep the house in order with my wife but we have failed with it. I will try this method. It sound great. Let me know how it works for you.
Anonymous said…
This is amazing. The biggest issue at our home is my husbands lack of awareness to chores that need to be done and I am tired of always having to do everything (including also working a full time job and being the main caretaker of our child when he's not at the sitters). My husband is a workaholic. Sadly I see our relationship heading in the direction of divorce if I can't get him to participate in anything more at home. Hopefully this helps! Im at my wits end and when I googled 'adult chore list' this was the first article that showed up. Thanks for your suggestions!
cjrensh said…
I thinks it's awesome! I've been looking for something like this for along time now.
Thanks for the instructions!
This is a fantastic idea. I would like to do something like this for my children--I love the flexibility and the fact that chore assignments can be removed upon completion. It is easy to look at the chart and see who needs to what chores still. You are a genius!
RD said…
It would be nice to see a list of the chores you put up on the board. I keep feeling like I'm leaving something out, but when I try to make up a list, it either looks too long or I can't remember the tasks I really need to add.
Jaggy said…
Make Bed (7)
Make Dinner (7)
Dinner Dishes (7)
Clean Kitchen (7)
Dishwasher (5)
Trash (5)
Recycle (2)
Get Food (2)
Clean Toilet
Clean Stove
Clean Shower
Jacy said…
When I was a kid, my mom used a notebook (turned sideways) to assign us chores and times for different subjects since we were also homeschooled. When I got married, I took this idea and made a combo family schedule & chore list notebook, where each page is a week. I check it more consistently than my husband, but he's pretty on board with it. :) I like your incentive idea, and your chart is very cute!
Unknown said…
I absolutely love this, but I'm so not the crafty type. Would you ever consider selling one?
Jaggy said…
I'm sorry, but I don't foresee myself selling chore charts. I've placed enough information on my blog to pretty much walk a person through the process. If you are not crafty and find yourself needing a more thorough tutorial, leave a comment. I will try to work with you to make your chore chart happen.
Anonymous said…
I love your adult chore chart idea... I will be making one in the next week or two! Also, I love your blog rules!
Anonymous said…
My daughters do almost nothing at home to help keep the house clean & organized, neither my husband. I used to do everything for everyone at home, cleaning, cooking, wading clothes, ironing,etc. but the lack of appreciation and respect for my time invested made me stop doing lots of things. I want to try a chore chart for the 1st. time but my daughters they are not happy about it. Must of the times if they don't do their a few chores I do it, wrong, my husband does nothing around the house except leaving everything messy, he cuts the grass & that is it & complains that nobody help him. I am going to try to follow your great idea hoping it will work it out. I have and advice for parents, something I should've do and I didn't, involve your kids since they are little, that way it will become a habit like brushing their teeth or taking a shower, it won't be a horrible thing to do as they grow up. :-)
Anonymous said…
I like the flexibility of moving the chores around. I also really like the presentation, it is professional and I would feel proud to have this displayed in my kitchen. This also demands a level of respect and it is fun and more likely to be read/used. It is an ongoing struggle for many working women to gain the help of other family members surrounding household tasks...

I read and understand that you might not want to produce and sell this item, you could sell the patent however and have someone else make them. Just a thought.

Well done!
Anonymous said…
WOW What a GREAT idea Unfortunately I live alone so no one to share chores with @ my house.. I was thinking it might HELP ME keep the house tidy by just making one for myself & posting it on the Wall ... but... on 2nd thought I guess I already KNOW what I have to do & KNOW which ones I AVOID .... so on the days I am Lazier than normal I just won't answer my door **smile**.. ok maybe Not smile :(
Anonymous said…
I LOVE this idea. My husband and I were looking for something like this, and making it looks fun. As I am attempting to make the chart and circles, I was wondering what font size you used and the size of the chart and how you did it. I was attempting to do mine in Word, but it wasn't letting even 4 circles fit in the columns. Thanks for the great idea!
Jaggy said…
Hi Anonymous,

The final size inside the frame is 12x12. The circles are 3/4", and I just used a round punch. The font, I believe, is Arial Narrow (small caps, possibly bold), and I probably made it a size 7 or 8 to fit within the circles. I used Microsoft Publisher, not Word. (Tip: don't "add text to shape." Instead, make the circles and the text boxes separately and edit the text to fit 'over' the circles.)

If anyone else has questions, let me know! Thanks for reading and commenting.