Every household has its own personality, its own dynamic, and members who make their own contributions--or not. And hey, let’s be honest--we’re not always as on-task as we’d like to be, either.
Whether your house is full of unruly children, an absentminded spouse, or lazy roommates, there’s a chance you’ve passed a sink full of dirty dishes one too many times and muttered to yourself, “I’m DONE doing this alone.”
While your smartphone can’t roll up its sleeves and do the dishes for you (at least not yet), it is equipped with tools that can encourage responsibility, participation--and even fun--amongst the other members of the household.
From game-like chore apps for kids, to sleek task visualizers, to funny, expletive-filled reminders that are guaranteed to catch the attention of your roommates, here are 10 household chore apps that can help turn your messy abode into a clean, organized home.
OurHome keeps the whole family on the same page by offering a single, syncable app for all lists, chores, tasks, and responsibilities. It has a cool feature where you can view your days on a calendar view and really gets your family playing like a team. If one person can’t complete their chore, another family member can take it over and complete it for them. And best of all, OurHome includes a fun point system that gamifies chores and rewards your kids for chipping in.
Home Routines turns your overwhelming mental checklist of chores into a simple and approachable routine. By dividing up tasks into “focus zones,” you can categorize each chore by room or area of the house and tackle your chores one at a time. The app provides customized to-do lists, calendars, reminders, and built-in timers that together make your home feel less like a single chaotic mess that needs immediate attention but rather individual projects that are cleanly delineated and fully manageable.
Tody is a smart chore assistant that creates hierarchies of chores based on their frequency and estimated investment of time. By compartmentalizing the tasks needed to be done in the home, the app keeps you from feeling overwhelmed and is key to breaking down each chore into an achievable unit. Tody makes it easy to designate roles to family members, with each child knowing exactly what they need to do and how long it will take. Lastly, the clean, eye-catching interface will help declutter your mind before you begin and provide even more inspiration for straightening up.
If we’re being honest, earning the respect of parents may not be enough of a reward for most chore-averse kids. Enter Chorma, which lets you designate chores to your kids and reward them points based on how many tasks they complete. They can then redeem their points to unlock custom rewards. Chorma is a popular, incentivized chore app that can make your life easier-and maybe even teach your kids a thing or two about responsibility.
Like Uber for home improvement tasks, Handy features professional cleaners, handymen, and other home improvement experts in your area ready to show up with the tools and know-how necessary to tackle whatever chores you need. Great for emergencies, last-minute cleaning needs, and those times when your schedule refuses to cooperate with your goals, Handy is an app worth having on hand for when your hands are busy with other things.
Sometimes a polite letter to your roommate won’t cut it. In those cases, Unfilth Your Habitat serves as the bossy, snarky, expletive-filled taskmaster you wish you could be. This app is decidedly not for kids--it uses profanity and crude jokes, combined with timed challenges, to inspire the lazier amongst us to get off our rear-ends and show some responsibility. Edgy, R-rated, and wickedly funny, this could be what gets those empty pizza boxes tossed out after every other attempt has failed.
To bleach or not to bleach? Hot water or cold? Machine-dry or hang? Laundry Day offers the answers to all of these questions with a simple solution: just scan your laundry tags right into your phone and the app will provide you all you need to know about how to launder your garments. Quick, easy, and affordable, this app can prevent any future shrinkage incidents or color-running disasters and perhaps turn laundry day into laundry hour.
A good way to track your kid’s chores is with an app like Chore Checklist. This app, available on iOS and Android, is a no frills, to-the-point, chores list. You can set chores and assign recurring reminders depending on how often they should get done. Tasks like “Make your bed” or “Clean your room” may be daily, while “Clean the car” may only be weekly. The app comes with a pre-loaded checklist that makes it easy to add tasks, though you can also customize specific chore lists for different family members. With Chore Checklist, no chore will get forgotten, as you get daily reminders, and all chores can be marked as completed when done.
Designed by teachers and parents, Chore Pad is a colorful, game-like app that turns chores into fun activities with prizes and incentives. Well-organized charts with customizable tasks are loaded with enough colorful animations, fun sound bites, stars, trophies, and fun fonts to engage your child and show them that doing their chores can pay off.
Done is a sleek, eye-catching clinic in self-discipline. Designed to help you break your bad habits, this app incorporates an array of color-coded charts, graphs, and progress-reports that together help you refine your cleaning habits and build on your strengths to be more productive. A sort of hybrid between personality test and task manager, Done can help you discover insights into your own habits and teach you how to refine them so that you can accomplish more without stepping too far out of your comfort zone.
Having a tidy house can have a large impact on your overall happiness and success. But that’s easier said than done--it’s a Sisyphean task to keep the sink empty, the laundry clean, and the floors mopped day after day after day.
The above apps focus on all the obstacles that interfere with that ideal state of domestic bliss, from messy kids to lazy spouses and roommates to your own tendencies to procrastinate. So when chores get to be too much, check out the above apps and then revel in the cleaner, saner environment that you so richly deserve.