How to fairly split household chores across the family

How to fairly split household chores across the family

The burden of household chores can easily fall on one person, even in a family of four or more. That’s why learning to split tasks across the family is essential. Here’s how to make it happen.


Related: Guide on chores for kids



12 steps to fairly divide household chores

We all know that fairly dividing household chores is crucial for a happy household. However, it rarely happens as it takes a fair bit of organisation and time to set up. However, implementing a fair chore rota pays off in many ways.


  1. Talk about the importance of doing chores 

Start by having an open and honest conversation about household chores. Discuss what chores are, why everyone needs help, and the importance of shared responsibilities when you all live together. If your kids don’t feel having to do chores is fair. Have a chat about the importance of learning life skills through chores and discuss how responsibilities contribute to their personal growth and independence, which will be valuable in adulthood.

  1. List all chores

Create a comprehensive list of all the chores that must be done regularly. This includes daily and weekly tasks, such as cleaning rooms, changing sheets, cooking, grocery shopping, tidying up, laundry, bins and caring for pets. Then, think about how many chores your child can do without overwhelming or making them resentful.

  1. Assess Individual Preferences and Strengths

Identify each person's abilities, preferences and strengths regarding chores. This can vary from family to family, but most kids can start doing age-appropriate chores like putting away their toys or setting the table by ages 3 or 4 years. Some older kids may enjoy cooking, while teens can do chores with more responsibility, such as walking the dog or picking up shopping.  Recognising individual strengths will help distribute tasks more effectively.

  1. Prioritise and delegate

Prioritise the chores based on urgency and importance. Some chores will need to be done daily, such as making the bed, and loading the dishwasher, while others can be done weekly. Ensure that everyone has a mix of responsibilities every day and every week.

  1. Rotate responsibilities

Establish a rotating chore schedule to prevent complaints about unfairness. This ensures that everyone can have a hand in household upkeep across a range of age-appropriate chores.

  1. Have realistic expectations

Be realistic about the time and effort required for each task. Children always take longer to do things, so try to have achievable expectations and consider the time constraints of each household member, such as homework and other commitments.

  1. Create a chore calendar

Develop a chore chart or calendar outlining who is responsible for specific tasks on particular days or weeks. Having a visual schedule can help everyone stay accountable and organised.

  1. Have regular chore check-ins

Schedule regular check-ins to discuss how the chore division is working. This allows for adjustments based on changing circumstances and balances the workload.

  1. Express appreciation

Acknowledge and appreciate the efforts of each child. Regular expressions of gratitude help to create a positive atmosphere and motivate everyone to contribute willingly.

  1. Be flexible 

Sometimes, kids will start to hate the chores they do. Rather than make them stick with it, listen to what they have to say and be flexible to keep them motivated.

  1. Don’t micromanage

The aim of sharing chores is for everyone to play a part in the household. Avoid constantly correcting someone’s chore technique or redoing their chores. It demotivates kids and stops them from trying.

  1. Reward chores

If you don’t believe in rewarding kids for chores with pocket money, think of other ways to express how happy you are they are helping. Perhaps a family day out, a movie night, or something else they feel is fitting.



Things to consider

Of course, it’s never straightforward to set chores for everyone. There will inevitably be complaints, cries of unfairness and a family slacker who doesn’t pull their weight. What’s important is to nip these issues in the bud by spotting them early and finding ways to solve the problem.

Strive for fairness 

Some chores are harder than others, and just because older kids are able doesn’t mean it’s fair that they do longer and bigger tasks. When assigning chores, consider this and the overall workload to ensure that chores are balanced. 

Be open to feedback 

Address any concerns or feelings of unfairness because your kids may have a valid point. Work together to find solutions.

Remember why your kids are doing chores

Setting chores is about getting tasks done, fostering a sense of responsibility, and teaching kids life skills. They aren’t a punishment and shouldn’t be viewed that way.

Hold everyone accountable

From the smallest of your family to the biggest, ensure everyone does their chores, or you’ll have a chore mutiny.


How can GoHenry help

If you decide to reward your child for doing chores, the GoHenry kids debit card and app make it easy for them to keep track of their tasks and receive payment when they’re complete. It's a great way to keep kids organised and motivated. You can also use the app to manage regular pocket money, set spending limits, and monitor your child’s spending habits.




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Written by Anita Naik Published Jan 30, 2024 ● 4 min. read