10 Ways to Delegate Chores at Home (so you can stop doing it all)

We ladies sure love to be the caretakers for everyone.  But what happens when it goes overboard?  Well, for one, we are put into the position to have to do it.  Everyone around us is so used to used letting us do all the work that they have no idea how to do it themselves.  And for two, we burn ourselves out, getting angry at those we take care of because we need a break. And for three, we get so used to doing everything that those we take care of end up resenting us for it.  And we end up feeling like this:

So, how do we combat this?  How do stop ourselves from falling into the trap of over-caretaking?  

There is one word that can take care of every issue and every problem that can arise from this situation:


When we delegate the chores and services in our homes and lives to others, we can not only free up time for ourselves, but also teach valuable skills to those we love.  And it also says that you trust those in your house to care of themselves, the house, and each other.  Putting that kind of trust in people shows them that you see them as capable and they will begin to see themselves the same way.

The first step is find out what everyone likes to do in the realm of household chores.  Do you have a kid who loves to vacuum?  (I do, my kid is strange...)  Or maybe nobody in your house loves doing chores?  In that case, find out which ones they hate the least.  If you have two kids who want the same job?  Flip a coin and rotate.  My oldest son's job is to clean our first floor bathroom.  He makes the biggest mess in there so his job is clean the entire room.  Mopping, counters, toilet, shower, cleaning the window and mirror, cleaning/dusting shelves, etc.  I even took a posterboard and drew him a map (my kids are very visual, pictures work where words fail....no more "You never said to do that!", because he can clearly see on his map where to clean....the map is of the entire room with instructions where to clean).  He doesn't complain, he knows that's his job, and I inspect it when he's done (and he fixes what isn't finished--this part he complains about, but he still has to do it LOL).   Everyone in the house has at least one job they are responsible for at all times and one job they are never asked to do (their ultimate hated chore).  Everything else is rotated.

So, let's delegate some chores!  Here's 10 ways to delegate chores at home:

  1. Create a laundry schedule for every single person who's old enough to do laundry.  Each person has their own basket and does their own laundry.  You can rotate extras, such as towels or just do them yourself.  Whatever you like.  There's nothing like teaching your kids (and spouse) how to be in charge of their own clothes.  This teaches responsibility, and cleanliness.  make sure they follow through and fold or hang up their clothes when done.  Click here for a printable laundry schedule.
  2. Create a dinner schedule for every single person in your house who's old enough to cook (are you seeing a pattern here?).  Now, if you're just starting out teaching people to cook, then only ask them to cook 1-2x a week and make it something simple and familiar (I have a list on my wall of regular meals we make for them to choose from).  Also, consider OAMC (once a month cooking) ideas such as cooking all your bacon for the month in one day, crumbling and then freezing it in portion sized baggies for meals, that way when your kids are cooking and need bacon, they don't have to make it, which speeds up the process.  You can do entire meals this way (or cook double and freeze the rest).  Here's a great printable for dinner schedules!
  3. During the summer, create a mowing map for your family.  Hand draw the shape of your yard onto a small piece of poster board and then put the initials of the kids (and adults) where they are in charge of mowing.  If you have a small yard, rotate people each week (write it on your calendar).  Keep these available where they can be seen during the mowing season.
  4. Pick at least one chore for each person that they are always responsible for.  It can be something they love or not, depending on if others want to do it, too.  It can also have a logical reason behind it: like how I said my son is responsible for most of the mess in the bathroom, so he's responsible for cleaning it.  Make a house map and put their names on the chores they are responsible for.  Get your printable house map here!
  5. Pick one chore for reach person that they are never responsible for.  This will be each person's most hated chore.  If two people hat the same thing, then go to their second most hated chore and work it out from there.  You will usually find that one person will hate a certain chore more than the other, and the person who hates it the most won't be responsible for it.  Now, you may think this is teaching your kids to avoid what they hate, but what you are really teaching them is empathy.  If they have to do a chore that you ultimately hate, they are learning that families can work together to make everyone happy.  I assure you, there many chores your kids will hate that they will have to learn how to do that will teach them resilience.  But the worst one?  Use that to remind them how families can work together to help each person in the household. 
  6. Head on over to Target and find their large bath towels, which run around $10 each (this is what I do, you can buy wherever/whatever you want 😏).  Buy one towel for each teen/adult in your household (get smaller/cheaper ones for smaller children).  I don't buy them all at once, sometimes only one at a time.  We have 4 adults in our house, so this costs me (unless they're on sale) $40 a year (I splurge on nicer towels since each person only gets one to use all year long).  Most people won't have to buy new towels yearly, but that will probably be the most you'll spend.  And then put up as many hooks on your walls for each person.  Designate one towel per person (let each person choose the color they want), which will be washed every week.  Unless your kids are getting super nasty dirty, you can get away with once a week washing.  This will be a part of their laundry schedule.  Everyone is in charge of their own towel: to hang and to wash.  This eliminates a huge towel load for mom to wash and teaches a tad more responsibility to the kids. 

    Here is our towel holder that I bought at Old Time Pottery for around $10 and I drilled a screws into each corner so it doesn't fall off the wall (which it did once when removing a towel).  I then used a paintbrush and white paint to put our initials on each hook.  You can use a less permanent solution by buying removable hooks from 3M.
  7. Have a weekly housecleaning party!  Gather everyone and everything you need to clean the house and make it a party!  Everyone should put on their "house cleaning outfit" (something that puts you into the cleaning mood!), grab your housecleaning playlist, get all the supplies you need, and have a party!  Put out cold drinks and yummy snacks to much on while you clean and get going!  Make it fun 😁  Put out your cleaning lists (each person should get a list for where they are designated to clean and have them check off their list as they go.  This could be every Saturday morning, or whenever everyone is home together to get their chores done.  Here are some great cleaning checklists and here are some sample cleaning playlists!  Make sure to put the party weekly as a weekly standing appointment in everyone's phone, as well.  Click here for a House Map to help everyone know what to clean and how!
  8. Create a Daily Expectation Rule List on poster board and hang where everyone can see.  Mine has "Put All Dishes in Sink When Done", and "All Trash is Immediately Thrown in Garbage".  These are immediate concerns that I am trying to deal with, which is why I have a sign posted.  If I don't enforce these rules, then I am the one picking up all the stray dishes and garbage.  And that's not fair.  So I delegate those chores to the dorks who make the messes (aka, the kids) in the first place. 
  9. Teach kids to clean their rooms with checklists & instructions.  When kids have messy rooms, they will stand in the middle and think "Mom wants me to clean, but where the heck do I start?"  So, print out my checklist and hand it to your kid.  When you have a list that tells you want to do, your brain goes to autopilot and you don't even have to think about what you're doing.  When we think about cleaning?  We, as humans, tend to overthink.  "I could do this, but I also could do that...*sigh*", and you get stuck doing nothing.  But if you have a list that squarely tells you exactly what to do?  Then BAM!  It gets clean quickly and easily.   And if you have a visual map, that's even better!  Also, put a reminder on their telephones what day of the week/month is their room cleaning day and schedule it on the family calendar.  Click here for the printable on How to Clean Your Room.
  10. Create cleanliness rules that everyone has to abide by.  The easiest way to get the entire family on board with any new rules is to hold a family meeting and have everyone choose them together.  Ask everyone: if you were to have company come over, what would you be the most embarrassed by?  Then create a rule for it.  My house cleanliness rules are "No laundry on the floor anywhere", "No dishes in the bedrooms", and the rules on my daily expectation board.  I create rules as issues arise in the house.  These rules also help me not to overlook issues and then get mad later when they build up.  Instead, I address it immediately, which solves the problem at hand and alleviates any stress that it may cause.  Click here for a blog post about creating cleaning rules for your house!

Doing everything yourself isn't doing you or your family any favors.  Other than obviously stressing you out, it's teaching your family to a) be so dependent on you that they'd have no idea how to do anything themselves if you weren't there to do it for them and b) tells them that you don't trust them to do anything themselves.  Granted, things get done better and easier when you do them, but is that worth the anger that comes along with it (anger from resentment from you as you feel like being treated like a servant and anger from resentment as they feel you are controlling their lives)?  Yuck!  Nobody wants that!  So, delegate!  Get your family moving and learning to work together rather than learning to be lazy or to have someone else clean up their messes.  Cuz, mommy don't play that!

So, what are you waiting for?  Get to printing and get to delegating!

And when you get into a situation after asking your kid to do something for 100th time and feel like  yelling "Uggghh! I will just do this myself!", just remember:


Because isn't that what we want in life?  Children who turn into competent adults?  Because that starts with us.  And teaching them how to be competent in the first place comes with great patience.  So be patient, and know that eventually, this will stick and your kids will be better off because of it.  And, not only that, you can free up your own time to do more things you love! 

While you're waiting for your printer to print, check out these great quotes on delegation!

7 Leadership Quotes on Delegation

Have some great way to delegate chores in your home? Share them below!  I'd love to add some great ideas to my arsenal of home ideas!

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