How to Organize your Family Chores using Trello
Chore organization can be challenging- there’s so much to do to keep a household running, and when you throw little kids into the mix, it can feel like an insurmountable mountain!
While I can’t promise to make it perfectly easy (because it’s just not an easy thing), I’d like to introduce you to my favorite way to organize the family’s chores into a manageable system: Trello!
(Be sure to read all the way to the end for your very own EDITABLE Trello board for Family chores!)
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The Problem: Too Many Chores, Not Enough Mama
Do you feel like you’re the only one doing all.the.things around the house? I certainly have felt that way in the past. The mental load of running a house (not to mention the actual doing of the household tasks) takes a lot!
Whether you’re a stay-at-home, work-from-home, or work-outside-the-home mom (or a combination, as many of us are), there’s just never enough Mama to go around!
As a result, many of us end up feeling frustrated and overwhelmed with our lists, our homes, and ultimately those we love when we feel like the load is unevenly on us.
The Mental Load of Organizing the Family Chores
Often the actual list of chores is not even too unachievable (if doing the work is shared)- but part of the difficulty can be the mental load of it. Who keeps track of when the fridge needs to be cleaned out, or when the dishwasher filter needs to be emptied, or when the sheets were last washed? Usually the Mama.
We may not be able to change how often the kids insist we make them a snack (if they’re like mine that’s about 98347x a day), but we *can* control organizing our household tasks/family chores in a way that makes it easier to focus on what needs to be done and reduces the overwhelm of all the thoughts of things that could be done.
It’s not enough to get your husband or kids to help with the chores.
Let’s just throw this out here in the open: it’s easy to get irritated at your significant other and your kids when it comes to the family chores, because it can feel like no one does (or knows) what you do.
A quick stroll through Facebook mom groups tells me I’m not the only one who feels this way, either!
Maybe you’re in a situation with your family where you really can split up the chores in a more even way and it actually would work out- but the reality that I think most of us live in during this season (the pregnancy/baby/little kid years) is that there is never enough time, and that extends to the other family members as well.
In our home, my husband is very willing to help, but by the time he gets home, we eat, we both help get the kids to bed, there’s just not a lot of time to do anything before we fall into an exhausted (and likely interrupted) sleep, and repeat again the next day.
He’s willing to help, but the time just isn’t there- for either of us.
All that to say- the suggestions I’m going to make below probably aren’t going to solve all your family chore problems and give you a sparkly clean house where everyone helps out all the time- I think it’s okay to accept that the little years are just hard to keep clean, ha!
But hopefully it will do two things:
- Help you to understand what you do and what you need to do (and when)
- Help you communicate what needs to be done (and what you can pass along to others)
And hopefully all of that in a way that is easy to understand and track so that there is less on your mind throughout your day.
The Solution, Part 1: Figure Out the Family Chore List using Trello
What is Trello?
First off, what is Trello and how can it help you get organized?
Trello is a productivity app/platform- which maybe sounds scary, but I promise it’s not. Think of it as a to-do list in app form, but one that is very intuitive and easy to make work in a way that works for you.
You can sign up here (it’s FREE!)
The video below gives you the basics of how it works (it’s only a couple minutes long!).
Because it’s basically a to-do list on steroids (but one your kid can’t spill their milk all over), it’s perfect for keeping track of things like family chore list.
Pro-Tip: If you find you like using Trello, be sure and check out this post for more ideas on organizing your mom life with Trello!
Getting Started with YOUR Organized Chore List!
So here’s how to get started.
First, GET IT ALL OUT.
Get your free Trello account and then make a list of all the things you do (or wish you could get to, or wish others would do).
This might take awhile because if you’re like me, you’ll make the list and then spend the next couple of days being like “oh! and this! Also this thing. And yeah, that!” So I suggest you make the list, then let it sit for a day or two before moving on to the next step.
The Solution, Part 2: Organize the Family Chore List using Trello
Divide into Yearly/Quarterly/Monthly/Weekly/Daily Chores
Ok, so here’s where it gets fun (or feels like more work, depending on your personality, ha!).
Now take that list and divide it up into Yearly/Annual chores, Quarterly Chores, Weekly Chores, and Daily Chores.
If you don’t feel like you need to be reminded about the daily stuff, you can always leave that one off.
The end result should look something like this (except maybe you don’t know how to do the pretty pictures yet ;-)). I’ve also incorporated labels to help me quickly see what each person has been assigned or is being trained to do.
If that looks overwhelming or confusing to you- no worries! I’ve made a template you can play with and a video explaining how to use it in more detail and you can get it for free by tossing your email address in the box below!
The Solution, Part 3: Delegate the Family Chore List using Trello
Communicate with your team (your family) about the chore list
So now that you’ve got the Family Chore Board all nice and organized in your Trello, it’s time to communicate with your team- in this case, usually that’s your family.
As far as communicating within Trello itself, they’ve got some cool internal features, like creating team boards, inviting people to your boards via email, and the ability to tag people.
But for our purposes, I’m mostly talking about communicating the old fashioned way- talking. Once you’ve got your board made, it’s time to sit down with your spouse (or whomever is on your team) and talk through how to prioritize what needs to be done (you may need to agree on some adjusted expectations!) and who is going to do it when.
Create lists of what chores can be done by the kids (even if they need to be taught)
You can also assign tasks to your kids and/or decide what chores they’ll start to learn to do and eventually take on for themselves. Even little ones can learn to bring over their dinner dishes or put their dirty clothes in the hamper- they may be little things, but that’s one less thing for you to pick up!
Use Trello to create team members and add spouses and older children to their chores
One of the features I love in Trello is the labels- it’s very easy to make labels for each member of the family so their chores are easy to spot on your nicely organized board. If your spouse is game and/or your kids are old enough, you can also invite them to the board and they can access it from their own devices.
Or, you can do things the old-fashioned way and talk and make lists- but knowing that the master plan is still nice and organized in your Trello board.
The Big Picture- Family Organization is about Communication (Trello just helps you do that)
You may have noticed there’s a theme here- reducing your mental load by organizing your family chores with a Trello board (or any other method) is not going to make the chores magically go away.
No flying broom is going to come sweep your floor and no magic potion is going to compel your kids to make their beds (I know, bummer).
Dividing up the chores and reducing your mental load as the Mama is ultimately going to be about communication. Things like Trello won’t communicate for you- but it certainly can help facilitate the discussion by putting everything in one place, easy to see, and easy to arrange to make it work for your family.
Want more help getting your Trello board set up?
I’ve made a FREE editable template for you to make your own board, and a simple video explaining how the board is set up and how to make it work for you.
In the video I’ve also added some extra suggestions about how to communicate with your family about which chores are the most important to each of you so that everyone gets done what feels most pressing!
To download the template and the video, simply enter your email below and it’ll be whisked to your inbox in all it’s organized glory.
And if you find out organizing with Trello is your jam, be sure and check out this post with more ideas on how to use Trello to organize your life!
I want to know: Does this system work for you, or does it stress you out completely? What would you do differently? Let me know in the comments below!
If you enjoyed this, I think you’ll also like:
- Learning Time Management Strategies for Moms
- Learning how to Simplify Your Mom Life with this guide to automating and organizing your basic tasks– free up your time to do more of what you love!
- Using Trello to organize your mom life in over 10 other areas (with more templates!)!
- Design Your Homeschool with Trello- a simple course in organzing your homeschool year using Trello!
- This super simple method of prioritizing your tasks using an Eisenhower Matrix!