my home (mostly) organized: a report on week one

Update: A few of you asked where I got my template. I went into the “project gallery” in MS Word and tracked down the “Daily Household Chores” template that’s under “To-Do Lists.” However, I needed a setup that would let us see the week at a glance, so I modified it myself. Click here to download my template of the homemaking checklist. It’s not perfect; my formatting skills are primitive! But it gets the job done. You’ll need to cut and paste your own goals according to your house, of course. I doubt many of you have dogs that drool as much as ours (which is why we have a listing for “dog towels” in our template). Enjoy! –Mary T.

Well, I said we were going to do it, and we did. Following the lead of Homemaking Organized, I put together an inaugural schedule for housekeeping chores, and my husband and I actually — drumroll, please — followed it! The schedule itself was easy enough to put together; all I did was modify an existing homemaking template in MS Word. The most challenging part was figuring out how to fit all the chores we have into the template. For instance, I found myself trying to figure out if it would be feasible to put out the garbage and recycling, clean the litterboxes, tidy the laundry room (where the litterboxes reside), clean out the fridge and vacuum the main floor all the same night. The scary thing is, that’s a pretty typical amount of chores I try to fit in every day between 5 and 8 p.m. No wonder we’ve been feeling overwhelmed! And yet, for the most part, it worked. Click the link to see what worked for us with the schedule and what didn’t. –Mary T.

With a homemaking schedule in place, it became a lot easier for us to divide and conquer. It was fun to cross off items as we got them done. And with four long-haired animals, it was wonderful to actually wake up to freshly vacuumed floors on more than one occasion. Best of all, because the schedule was there on the refrigerator with chores dispassionately listed in black and white, we were able to get things done without one of us feeling resentful (“How come you never notice when the dishes need washing?”) or underappreciated (“How come you never notice what I already did around here?”) We found ourselves getting things out of the way in record time so we could sit down and have an enjoyable dinner — and it was more enjoyable, knowing that we didn’t have to do everything RIGHT NOW — we’d get to it on its appointed day.

What didn’t work? Even though I tried to curtail the schedule some on the weekend, we ended up having two unexpected, very full days of fun. We are all for fun, but we simply didn’t get to half the chores I had listed to tackle on Saturday. Friday was a tough one, too — it looks like all we accomplished was to wash the dishes! But that’s okay; I’d just washed the sheets, so I wasn’t going to change them that day just for the sake of adhering to a schedule.

So it looks like I’m going to have to noodle the schedule to better fit our lifestyle — and live with the fact that I just don’t like to clean on Fridays. All in all, I would consider that a rousing success!

From our partners

Which template did you use? I’ve been browsing through the many templates online, but nothing seems particularly appropriate.


I found a bunch of Templates in MS Word that I didn’t know where there! Planners, Lists, Schedules – awesome!


I second Amber’s question. I want what you have, MaryT!!!

Tiffany S.

The Virgo in me is so happy for you!

I have a more general weekly list from, but I think your more specific approach is better.


I have found that, even though we are all tired on weekday evenings, it’s much better to try to cram chores in then than it is to try to do them on the weekend.

All I want to do on weekends is play.

Mary T

Okay, someone try downloading that checklist — ask it to save to desktop and see if it does. I want to see if it works! Thanks!


Download worked!


Thanks Mary!!!

Thanks so much!

Thanks Mary! I don’t have MS word, so I used an appleworks calendar template and color coded daily tasks by person, so it alternates and is fair. I hope this system works for us because chore division has been a major point of contention in our household.

Chore division sounds like a great name for a band… :)

I think it would also be good to laminate a sheet, then you can use a dry erase marker on it to cross of chores and wipe it clean each week. This will save paper and be simple to use!

What a brilliant idea. I personalized mine and printed it. Thanks!

shelterrific » Blog Archive » blogwatch: where we were clicking this week

[…] Real Simple’s got some great advice on a href=""target=blank">how to help relieve stress and arguments about chores. We can ALWAYS use more help with this, chore charts and all! […]

Friday Top Five: Quick Clean Tips

[…] 5.┬áDaily cleaning checklist {Shelteriffic} I personally can’t commit to cleaning every day, but maybe it’s something I’ll aspire to one day! Honestly, even the thought of posting this list on the refrigerator kind of stresses me out. Unchecked boxes would make me feel guilty for not cleaning! […]