Organized Home: To-Do Lists for Every Household

There are projects around the house that you’ve been putting off for weeks. There’s still spring cleaning to tackle and it’s already June. You’ve forgotten what the kids’ chores are, so you just dish out allowance every week regardless.

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We all say we’d get more done if we had more time. The truth is you will see most around-the-house projects fall into place when you get more organized! To help you get organized around the house, we’ve prepared different styles of to-do lists for every kind of household.

The Big Family

So you have a few little ones and you want each family member to carry his or her weight? This is an old-school method of list organizing that will prove hugely effective for your family.

For each family member with a to-do list, purchase an index card holder and a stack of index cards. You can either color code the index cards, or just buy some dividers with tabs. The idea of the tabs or colors is to separate tasks that are done daily, weekly, monthly, and annually.

At the start of the program, every card in the holder will be right-side up. Say little Jimmy has a daily chore to unload the dishwasher. When he does so, he can flip the card upside down. At the end of each day, all the daily cards should be upside down.

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Make a stack of cards for you, your spouse, and each of the kids. At the start of each day, week, month, or year, put all the cards back to right-side up. Then the countdown to complete these tasks starts over again! This will help you ensure that no household chore gets lost in the shuffle.

The Individual

Even with nifty to-do lists on fancy index cards for the whole family, you can still feel like the only one in the house keeping everything together. For the individual who needs to get organized, stick to the classic pen-and-paper checklist. The only difference is, structure it by importance, not necessarily urgency.

You may be tempted to put the closest deadline at the top of your to-do list so that you take that burden off your shoulders. All this does is allow you to keep putting off the bigger, less pressing projects such as major renovations, etc.

In fact, you’ll prove more effective by breaking up your list by when you operate best. If you know you’re a morning person, put the tasks you most dread first thing in your schedule. If you’re most creative after easing into the day with a cup of coffee, then prioritize the tasks that require a resourceful edge for midday.

Don’t get bogged down in an endless list of chores and checklists. Instead, master your household by differentiating what is important versus what is urgent.

The Couple

If it’s just you and your significant other trying to organize the home, we recommend leveraging technology. You and yours organize most of your lives over the cell phone; why should household chores be any different?

Some apps we recommend include Astrid (for the minimalist who’s a little skeptical of technology) Workflowy (for big projects), and Wunderlist (for tasks with deadlines). There are dozens more quality checklist apps that can be shared between couples or families, depending on your specific needs.

Apps are great because you can organize specific projects. While most to-do lists involve day-to-day or month-to-month tasks, a shared app will help you tackle specific things like preparing for a move, organizing a party, or some other one-time occasion.

No matter what your home looks like, or the extensiveness of your task lists, we hope that this helps you get organized so that you can knock out the projects you need to get done to have the house of your dreams! Share YOUR home organization tricks in the comments below!