Tag Archives: Gottman’s Who Does What? List

Wives, Husbands, & Chores

Running a home has thousands of tasks and responsibilities and usually no discussion around who’s best suited for which jobs. Years can go by, with mounting resentments, chipping away at the emotional health of a marriage.

Instead, try having an explicit, clarifying dialogue about who does what in your house. There is no good reason not to become a badass team and have it be a point of pride in your relationship!


The following list is to help you get organized and be decisive about domestic responsibilities. Cut, paste & print. Its adapted from marriage scientist, John Gottman, and covers a lot of ground. Answer who is doing the task now, and then negotiate who should actually be doing it:

Who Does What Task List
Running Errands
Taking clothes to the cleaners
Washing windows
Planning the food menu
Going grocery shopping
Cooking dinner
Setting the table
Clearing the table after dinner
Cleaning the kitchen
Cleaning the bathrooms
Putting out clean towels
Keeping counters clean
General tidying up
Getting the car serviced
Putting gas in the car
Auto insurance, tags and taxes
Sorting incoming mail
Paying the bills
Balancing the checkbook
Buying birthday, anniversary, “thank You”, graduation, wedding and Sympathy cards
Writing and sending cards
Keeping the family address book
Handling phone messages


Returning family phone calls/email
Saving money/creating budget
Taking out garbage and trash
Washing the laundry
Folding/putting away laundry
Sweeping kitchen and eating areas
Mopping and/or waxing floors
Changing light bulbs
Managing repair of appliances
Making the beds
Cleaning refrigerator
Shopping for clothing
Planning travel


Home Repair
Home maintenance
Buying furniture
Redecorating home
Buying items for the home

Buying new appliances/research/shopping
Sewing and mending
Straightening kitchen cabinets
Yard and garden work Now: Lawn, tree & shrubbery maintenance
Errands to the bank
Houseplant Care
Straightening & rearranging closets
House ready for guests
Party preparations

Buying children gifts (Christmas & Birthdays)
Taking children to school
Picking children up from school
Child care after school :
Child meals and lunches :
Child homework
Child baths
Child discipline
Bedtime with kids
Dealing with a sick child
Handling child crises
Dealing with a child’s emotions
Teacher conferences
Dealing with the schools
Special children’s events
Child birthday and other parties
Child’s lessons
Child’s play dates
Shopping for children’s stuff
Buying presents for kids’ friends

Keeping in touch with kin
Preparing for holidays
Planning vacations
Planning getaways
Planning/initiating romantic dates
Planning quiet evenings at home
Planning weekends
Initiating lovemaking
Planning dinner out

Family outings, drives, picnics
Exercise & Fitness
Lead recreational outings

Initiating talks about the relationship
Get-togethers with friends
Keeping in touch with friends

Doing the taxes
Financial planning
Major purchases (cars, researching, etc.)
Managing investments Now:Legal matters (e.g. wills)
Coordinating family’s medical care
Coordinating annual physicals
Coordinating family’s dental care
Getting Prescriptions & other health areas