HDYDI: After School Chore Checklist

You all know what a fan I am of our chore chart. It is heaven. We gave it a much-needed break this summer, but it is back in full session now that school has started. And, speaking of school, it was a great week. Well, mostly great, except I was already tired of announcing the “rundown” of after school things they needed to do. My kids have household chores which are found on the chore chart, but things like “put up your backpack” or “fill up your water bottle” didn’t really have a place on the master list.

Enter: the After School Chore Checklist

I whipped these up in InDesign (because that’s what graphic designers do), laminated them and prayed they would work. Four days in and so far, they’re a success. If you want to download your own PDF file, here ya go:  after school list_generic.  Let’s get into the details, shall we?

1. My kids got their own list, color coded using their family color. Every child in our house has a color and we use it for things like toothbrush holders, bean bags, luggage tags, mealtime glasses, etc. It will simplify your life. You can quote me on that.

2. I even made it SUPER easy and bolded the key word, allowed room for remembering school activities and made a space for writing down special things like “bring cookies Friday” or “show and tell on Tuesday.” You know, because a mom likes more than 15 minutes notice she was supposed to bring 400 dozen cookies to class.

3. I affixed them to the refrigerator, using magnets.

4. Each child is responsible for checking off their tasks, using the dry erase marker (also attached to the fridge with magnets).

5. How do I enforce it? You don’t eat dinner until all your tasks are complete.

Winner, winner. Chicken dinner.


  1. Cathy on August 20, 2012 at 9:31 am

    you are amazing Kathryn! Still struggling to get a chore chart going for my kids and they are 19, 17, 15, 13! Have always been a fan of color coding starting with their cups when they were young!

  2. molly on August 20, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    I pulled out the chore chart again too; however, I found it to be a bit more colorful. Lauryn decided to use PERMANENT marker on this summer 🙂 Yeah.

    • Kathryn on August 21, 2012 at 7:42 am

      Oh NOOOOOOOOOOO. Magic Eraser?

  3. Michelle on August 21, 2012 at 6:35 am

    I have 3 kiddos w/varying degrees/types of special needs. I would like to develop chore charts that not only assign a chore, but give the steps to complete it in simple terms. Do you have any suggestions or templates to offer up?

    Also, how do you get all these charts, etc., done and manage the house and kids and not collapse from exhaustion? I’d love to develop some, but never seem to have a moment to do it. Really wanting ideas here…

    • Kathryn on August 21, 2012 at 7:44 am

      Michelle, the quickest and easiest way is to set it up in Microsoft Word, create two columns and type your lists. Then, you can cut it down to 4×6 and laminate it, or you can just leave it as an 8.5×11 and laminate. I’d probably use cardstock if you have it so it’s a little sturdier.

      And, as for doing it all…I’ve been at the motherhood gig for over a decade and the organizing bit for a lot longer. You see everything I’ve done over that time, but I started with one project at a time. My best advice is to look at the part of your life that has the most chaos and tackle that area first. Then, work your way down the list.

  4. QOTW: August 24, 2012 on August 24, 2012 at 9:02 am

    […] the groove of school. Reentry is hard. But, the kids are really enjoying their teachers and those after school chore charts are saving my life. No really.It’s been a weird, surreal maybe, experience to just have one […]

  5. Alli on August 25, 2012 at 7:54 pm

    Kathryn, this is awesome!! I just made a version of these for my 5 kiddos in school or preschool and I am excited to use them. It may just be the answer to my after-school-chaos prayers…. I hope! 😉 For my 3 and 4 year old, I took pictures of what I wanted them to do and inserted them next to the wording (Put school bag in cubby, put shoes in cubby, show mommy my papers, etc). Fantastic. Thanks for sharing.

    • Kathryn on August 25, 2012 at 8:46 pm

      I’m so glad it helped. Love your idea. Email me a picture. I’d love to post it!

  6. Jen on September 11, 2012 at 1:00 am

    I am always impressed when I stop by! And inspired! These charts are so great!


    • Kathryn on September 11, 2012 at 2:00 pm

      Thank you, so much, Jen!

  7. HDYDI: Get Ready for a New School Year on August 12, 2013 at 9:23 am

    […] After School Chore Checklist Y’ALL. These have saved my life. Go ahead, download your own after school chore chart; and, you can click here for an explanation of how we use them. […]

  8. Lisha on August 25, 2013 at 11:27 pm

    Hi, I just happened to visit your page today in 2013. And this idea sounds fab. I do already have a checklist for my son but this sounds a bit more comprehensive, so will look into using this version this year. Also hope to share on my parenting page on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/ConsciousParentingApproach – inviting you and your fans to come visit us and say Hello!! See you there!

    • Kathryn on August 26, 2013 at 8:29 am

      Thanks, Lisha. You’ve got some great ideas on your FB page!

      • Lisha on August 26, 2013 at 10:08 am

        Hey, thank you for your comments and compliments! 🙂

  9. Sarai on September 11, 2013 at 7:31 pm

    What fonts did you use on the checklists? Could I have a copy of your original indd file (for personal use only)?

    • Kathryn on September 11, 2013 at 8:36 pm

      Sarai, I used Jenna Sue (handwriting font and it’s free on the interwebs) and Century Gothic for the sans serif font. As a matter of practice, I don’t provide my INDD files to anyone. Sorry!

  10. 10 Useful Back to School Organization Ideas on September 19, 2015 at 2:45 am

    […] With the school year comes after school chores. Help remind your kids what needs doing and promote better general communication with Team Whitaker’s handy free printable after school chore checklist! […]

  11. […] With the school year comes after school chores. Help remind your kids what needs doing and promote better general communication with Team Whitaker’s handy free printable after school chore checklist! […]

  12. Team Whitaker: 2012 in Review - Team Whitaker on March 25, 2019 at 10:34 pm

    […] HDYDI: After School Chore Checklist […]

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