Cleaning is the worst. There’s no way around it. It’s uncomfortable, tiring, filthy, and time-consuming. And as amazing as Roombas are, they're still no Rosie the Robot.
That means it’s up to you. You control the keys to your hygienic destiny. You must lift yourself out of squalor and tidy those shelves.
Maybe you just need a little push in the right direction. Maybe all you really need is an app to help you organize your cleaning routine.
So here are seven of them. Yep, believe it or not, there are at least seven apps out there designed to help you put the mop to the floor and really get stuff done. Now you have no excuse.
Like a lot of the apps on this list, HomeRoutines lets you create checklists for chores around the house. With reminder notifications and alerts, this highly detailed app keeps track of the things you get done.
In that sense, it’s kind of like a mobile personal assistant—capable of tracking your responsibilities both at home and away—for the scatterbrained. You can also create “Focus Zones,” which breaks your home into manageable chunks with the goal of making cleaning less overwhelming.
Much simpler than HomeRoutines (and also free), Chorma is targeted squarely at roommate situations.
It establishes a points system for certain chores, and provides a platform for organizing group activities. The idea is that the users with the most points pay less, but until Chorma morphs into a mobile payment system, it’s not likely to play a huge role in settling the monthly bills. Still, for those in need of “organizational enlightenment,” it’s probably worth a shot.
Part cleaning app, part parenting app, ChoreMonster brings a Chorma-style point system to kids’ chores, doling out rewards if they get their chores done.
Parents establish scheduled tasks and assign point values to certain chores. When an pre-determined value is reached, kids can “purchase” a reward—like an hour of video games, a serving of ice cream, or a vacation. It's a really clever idea, if you ask me.
Tody is a lot like HomeRoutines, in that you can assign specific chores to specific rooms. Where it differs is in how it notifies you of the various tasks that need to be done.
Unlike HomeRoutines’ time-based alert system, Tody indicates how urgent specific chores are relative to others. You create an initial list of tasks or rooms to clean, and an indicator bar beneath each gradually increases over time, letting you know just how badly you're neglecting your chores.
In other words, Tody encourages you through passive-aggressive guilt trips. A unique idea, but I’m not sure it’s worth $2.99.
Like HomeRoutine, Tody, and others, BrightNest creates a platform for setting and managing household chores. Users schedule tasks themselves and the app alerts them when they need to be done.
That’s all well and good, but what really makes BrightNest cool are the resources available within the app. Powered by Angie’s List, BrightNest provides access to thousands of articles on cleaning, organizing, DIY projects, design tips, and home maintenance guides. Some examples include: upcycling wine bottles, how to change air filters, DIY disinfectant sprays, and jewelry organization ideas.
Unfilth Your Habitat
Probably the most in-four-face app on this list, Unfilth Your Habitat is actually called “Unf*ck Your Habit,” and their motto is “terrifying motivation for lazy people with messy homes.”
That should give you an idea of how profane and aggressive this app can be. It takes a fundamental approach to cleaning, recognizing that not everything should be done at once and that excuses are a sign of weakness. It’s as much a motivation app as it is a cleaning guide—great for the truly lazy and spineless among us.
Basic as can be, Chore Checklist is as dull and straightforward as its name. But sometimes that’s all you need—no frills, no gimmicks, just a task manager for doing chores.
Like others in this list, it sends reminders for certain chores, records completion dates, and calculates future tasks. The app design is a bit cluttered—not something you want in an app devoted to uncluttering—but it’s not a dealbreaker. It’s free, after all.