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How to Create a Household Management System: Simple Steps and Tips

Learn how to create the perfect household management system in six steps with the help of Motion.

Haylee Read
Writer at Motion
Mar 22, 2024
Table of contents

Household management involves all the difficulties of running a multinational corporation — but with none of the prestige or money.

Cleaning and cooking while keeping clutter minimal and ensuring you’re sticking to your financial budget is no small task. Fortunately, even the most overwhelmed can transform into organizational pros with the right household management system.

Read on to learn how to use technology to better manage your home. We also share a few bonus tips that will help you elevate your household management game.

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What is a household management system?

A household management system helps you handle all aspects of your home life and finances. It’s a plan that covers what you need to do, how you’re going to do it, and who’s going to do it.

Home management tasks

A household management system may include the following tasks:

  • Meal planning and preparation: Planning your meals so you know what groceries to buy and when you’ll prepare recipes.
  • Cleaning: Allocating time slots for cleaning the bathroom, fridge, oven, and other key areas of the house.
  • Budgeting: Breaking down your income and expenses and allocating funds accordingly.
  • Financial planning: Preparing for major expenses, like vacations or your kids’ college funds.
  • Family scheduling: Planning extracurricular activities, appointments, and down time.
  • Organizing belongings: Creating a system for where you store household items.
  • Laundry: Determining when to wash light or dark items, sheets, towels, and bedding.
  • Home maintenance: Hiring an HVAC company to perform yearly maintenance, changing fire alarm batteries, and keeping track of repair issues.

Why create a household management system?

Household management is just like any other professional or personal task — winging it almost always leads to stress and chaos.

Creating a system, on the other hand, gives you more control over the outcome of your household management — and, ultimately, your life. Here’s why:

Saves time

The average parent spends over 100 hours a week on household tasks and jobs. A household management system boosts efficiency by reducing mental, physical, and digital clutter.

A couple completing household chores

Plus, household activities often take less time overall when approached more systematically. Preparing 10 meals at once, for instance, is quicker than cooking them on 10 different days.

Boosts wellness

Many people overstress and underexercise. A household management plan makes it easier to organize your life so you have time for the things that keep you healthy, from getting enough sleep to exercising to practicing mindfulness.

Gets everyone on the same page

A household management system makes it easier to share the burden of household tasks.

For instance, you could create a plan that breaks down the weekly tasks of each person who lives in your home (bonus points if you make this plan easily accessible online). This is easier and more effective than asking Sandra to do the dishes and Brandon to vacuum on an ad-hoc basis.

A plan shared between family members

‎Keeps you organized

The organization that a household management system provides gives you more time for what truly matters, such as quality time with loved ones or professional success.

How to create an effective home management system

Using a digital tool is one of the best ways to create a home management system. It allows you to create a coherent, visually appealing system with minimal effort.

We’ll use Motion as an example in this case, but you can apply a similar approach using other digital tools.

1. Identify which areas you want to start with

Motion lets you create workspaces with different themes. For instance, you could designate one workspace for cleaning and another for meal planning.

These will become the “homes” of their corresponding tasks, helping you to find the information you need more easily.

2. Break areas down into tasks

Once you have your workspaces, you can add projects and tasks within them.

In the above example of a cleaning workspace, you might add a task for vacuuming the house. This task can even be recurring (e.g., daily or every Sunday).

Motion dashboard for task scheduling

‎You can also create projects if you need to complete multiple tasks as part of a larger goal, such as deep cleaning that involves wiping down ceiling fans, windows, and cabinets.

3. Customize your calendar

Once you’ve added a few tasks, you can check your calendar to see your schedule for the week (or month) ahead. This helps you visualize your system and makes it easier to figure out if you’re missing anything.

Remember to schedule life events, such as football practice or dentist appointments, in your calendar, too.

Screenshot of Motion calendar view

‎4. Add checklists

If your task involves many steps, you might prefer to create a checklist that breaks down everything you need to do. For example, meal prep for the week ahead may involve making five different dishes.

With Motion, you can easily add checklists to projects or tasks.

5. Stay up-to-date on what’s happening using the task changelog

Some people are reluctant to go digital with their household management systems due to fears of losing track of info once they tick off or remove tasks.

Motion’s changelog function takes care of this by showing all changes made to your tasks. This is invaluable if you want to remind yourself of what you’ve already done or if multiple people are accessing your workspace and completing tasks at the same time.

6. Fine-tune your system over time

When creating your household management system, you won’t get everything perfect the first time. It’s okay if you can’t always stick to the plan due to unexpected circumstances (like your washing machine breaking) or if you’re simply a bit overambitious with your tasks and run out of time.

Just keep fine-tuning your system based on how things go, and be persistent. Eventually, the perfect system will be yours!

Apps that can help with home management

Motion lets you create a system and put it on auto-pilot, but you can also use other apps to help with specific areas of household management. Here are our top recommendations:


You Need a Budget (YNAB) is — you guessed it — an app for budgeting. While there are endless budgeting apps, YNAB stands out due to its unique system. It prompts you to allocate every dollar to a specific purpose, break down non-monthly expenses into equivalent monthly costs, and adjust your budget depending on your progress.

This is a much more proactive approach than simply looking at numbers on a spreadsheet.

The annual membership fee is $99, but YNAB offers a generous 34-day free trial. It also claims the average user saves $600 in their first two months of using the app.


PlateJoy helps users organize their grocery shopping outings and meals. If planning an entire week of meals in advance is daunting to you, then a tool like this could make all the difference. Platejoy’s software suggests meals based on what you like to eat and lets you build a digital pantry so you can stock up on groceries accordingly.

You can even order groceries directly through the PlateJoy app using services like Amazon Fresh and Instacart.


Tody is dedicated to managing cleaning tasks and taking care of clutter. Recognizing that cleaning rarely requires hard deadlines, this app doesn’t make you choose arbitrary “due dates.” Instead, it lets you manage your cleaning chores based on their importance. Specifically, you can select an urgency level for each task.

Tody offers a ready-made breakdown of relevant cleaning tasks on a room-by-room basis. This saves you time when creating your household management system — although you can still customize it based on your needs.

There are also handy visual tools that come with the Tody app, such as a progress meter.

Phone screen showing organization

‎Must-know tips for effective household management

You know what a household management system is, why it’s so important, and some ideas for starting one of your own. But we’ve only scratched the surface of how you can fine-tune your system to make it as effective as possible. So, here are some extra tips to keep in mind:

Think through your routine

The more specific you are about what your routines involve, the better your chances of creating an effective system. To do this, you’ll need to break things down.

Think of which tasks you do every day, every week, every month, or every season. For example, you might wipe down the kitchen counters daily but only give them a deep clean once a week. There may be other routines you do even less often, like cleaning the oven.

Your system needs to reflect this. If you’re simply setting yourself the task of “cleaning the kitchen” every couple of days without being specific about what that involves, your system may not work.

Personalize your system

To boost your chances of sticking to your system, align it as closely as possible with what you currently do.

Trying to reinvent the wheel and create a system that a “perfect” person would follow might sound like a good idea. But if that system doesn’t work for you and your life, then you’re probably going to fail at the first hurdle and revert to your old ways.

It’s best to view your system as a more effective, systematized version of what you already do. For instance, if chicken is a staple meal for you but you never plan what you cook ahead of time, create a meal plan that frequently uses chicken. Don’t incorporate foods you never usually eat just because they sound good in theory.

Similarly, if you like doing all your cleaning on Sunday, you don’t suddenly have to start breaking down your cleaning tasks throughout the week just because someone else swears by that system.

Keep collecting inspiration

As mentioned earlier, you’re unlikely to create the perfect system from the start. Instead, a household management system is a process of continual improvement.

So, embrace the process of collecting inspiration over time.

Pinterest is a great resource for this, as many bloggers upload their posts directly to the site. For instance, try inputting a search query like “quick family meals.” You can then start “pinning” your favorite ideas.

You can create Pinterest boards dedicated to different areas of your household management system, like recipes and cleaning tips. This allows you to collect ideas in one place and refer to them in the future.

YouTube is great for meal-prepping ideas and recipe tutorials that you can follow along with. For instance, The Domestic Geek shows step-by-step videos on how to make quick meals, snacks, desserts, and more. There are options to suit all culinary preferences.

Another option is to follow thought leaders in household management on social media. Marie Kondo is a great one for getting organized, while James Clear shares good ideas on building systems and habits that you can apply to not just household management but anything.

Man using apps on phone

‎Incorporate some fun

For most people, doing tasks around the house is a chore rather than a hobby. But that doesn't mean you can’t add some fun to it!

Remember, the ultimate goal of a household management system is to improve your quality of life. Part of that means using it to plan for activities that will motivate you, such as:

  • Vacations
  • Self-care time
  • Family bonding days
  • Creative ventures
  • Passion projects

Schedule activities like these into your system to remind you why you’re working so hard to get things done.

Build your household management system with Motion today

An effective household management system gives you more control over your life and frees up time for the activities that really matter to you.

And thanks to tools like Motion, household management has never been easier. With features that automate your tasks so that you can visualize the week (or month) ahead, Motion makes organization easy.

Ready to get started? Give it a go with a free trial of Motion today.

Haylee Read
Haylee is a versatile writer with ten years of experience. With a background in marketing and writing for large SaaS companies, Haylee brings her passion for the written word to diverse projects ranging from blog posts and ebooks to direct marketing campaigns.
Written by Haylee Read