The rockin’ spreadsheet chore chart.


The only way I know how to keep our lives from descending into mass chaos is by making lists. List-making is something of an obsession, actually. I jot down everything from carpool schedules, grocery lists, naptimes, chores, conversations, ideas, rhyming poems, things I should have said but didn't. 

Each morning I draw up my to-do list and check it off through out the day. I know, I know. This is a sickness. But it just feels so gooooooood.

Anyway, one of my lists was becoming repetitive so I decided to transfer it to a permanent fancy-shmancy Excel spreadsheet. You know you're a nerd when tinkering with a spreadsheet is the highlight of your weekend!

It took me about a month to fine tune the Chore Chart spreadsheet; but I finally finished it up this past weekend.  Oh, the tidiness! Oh, the cleanliness! Oh, the sweet delight of a well-executed spreadsheet!


Before I drew up the list, the older kids were already  working through their assigned duties. This new list simply combines and structures everything they've already been doing.

Mostly, it keeps them on task. They don't have to check in with me every five minutes. They know what to do, check off the list and by day's end–receive a sticker for a job well done. At the end of the week, the stickers can be redeemed for special treats.

Do the kids check it off every day? No. Do I give them a sticker every day? No. But that's beside the point. We have a plan and even if we veer off course for a day (or week), we have something to come back to.

In our house, the play's not the thing. The spreadsheet is!

  • Pat Mathews

    Liz! I finally realized why I feel such a connection to you…lists! I LOVE making lists. I have a journal with “lists of my life”, which is ongoing. I feel SO good after I make a list. List bliss. Needless to say I loved your post. Keep “listing”!
    Love ~Pat

  • Hannah

    Hurrah! Lists! I spent far too long last week drawing up colour-coded revision timetables – far more satisfying than actual revision!

  • MInTheGap

    And having a plan means less stress– nice work!

  • Ivy

    Lists are gifts sent from :)

  • hope t.

    Oh please tell me the secret of how you get your children to clean bathrooms and mop floors. What kind of rewards do they earn with the stickers?

  • mary bailey

    I think it’s time for me to try this kind of chore chart again. Last time I did it, Peter was in first grade and I had to have things like “Get Out of Bed When You Are Told”, “Eat Breakfast”, “Brush Teeth When You Are Told”, “Tie Your Own Shoes” and “Carry in Bookbag From the Car”. Those were the kind of struggles we had when he was that age! Things are so much easier now, but a chart would still help! I’ll need a category for “Wash Quickly and Don’t Goof Around in the Shower for Thirty Minutes”!

  • Elizabeth Esther

    Hope: It took some time to “train the workforce.” :) We had to teach the kids each skill needed. It’s been a process of several years. We started small–like sweeping or dusting and worked up from there. They still don’t do a perfect job but it’s good enough that it’s helpful.

    Rewards range from extra time playing video games to a special weekend dessert. We found that anything can be considered a “treat” as long as the parent gets excited about it. Even helping Dad with a task can be a treat! :)

  • Ann @ Holy Experience

    You make me smile…

  • Diana

    Ooh! I love your spreadsheet! Then again, I’m kind of a spreadsheet/list kind of geek myself…

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  • Christi

    Can we get this spreadsheet?? It would be great to have something this detailed for my little guy!! :-)

  • Meghan Jansen

    Any chance you could email me a copy of this chore spreadsheet?  Thanks! meghanjansen at yahoo dot com

  • Nichelleporto

    Yeah, me too!@dab469d2877c4ce1a3f187e472611a75:disqus  Your spreadsheet is awesome… please, please!

  • HORAK44