Quality family time is invaluable and, for many of us, too rare. With all that we have to do and take care of, it can be difficult to find time to spend with our loved ones. And it can be even harder to focus on a to-do list when family fun calls, so why not whistle while you work? Make everything—even chores—into a family project. Here’s a fall chore checklist of tasks that you can tackle family style.

Outdoor Projects

Yard cleanup. If you’ve got yard space, the changing leaves also mean big work ahead for you and your rake. Make it a family affair by raking leaves into piles and cleaning up the yard together. Once the novelty wears off for the little ones, make things interesting. Whether it’s a race or a contest to see who can fill the most bags, try to create an incentive. Healthy competition makes for good memories.

closeup of a boy washing a windowExterior maintenance. With April showers long past, your exterior may be looking a little grimy. Tackle dirty problem areas like windows, siding, and walkways together. Let your kids help clean lower-level windows; it’s easy and safe. They can also help hose off dirty siding and pavement, but beware of the inevitable (but fun!) water fight you’re signing up for.

Cleaning the gutters. Clean gutters are a must-have all year round, but winter is especially important. Pay attention to gutters and downspouts that are likely to get blocked up by all those pretty falling leaves. This is a project that works for older kids because of the height requirement, but if you have a particularly large gutter cleaning job, it’s probably best to call in a professional.

Garden TLC. Most small gardening jobs are great for kids. Let your little ones help prepare the yard for the winter by spreading mulch in plant beds, pulling out weeds, or helping replace dead annuals. It’s a great way to let them get dirty with a purpose.

Indoor Necessities

little girl washing dishesChanging it up. The change of the seasons is a great time for a major cleanup. Get ahead of holiday and back-to-school madness by taking this time to clear out all the junk you’ve been meaning to get rid of. Make it fun for the family by changing up the routine. Play music to keep things upbeat. Try 15-minute power cleanups to keep from feeling bored, or make it into a game. Give every chore a point value, and keep track of who does what. At the end of your cleanup, give the family member with the highest points a prize.

It’s hard to make all chores fun, but it’s still worth a try. With the right attitude, you can carve out quality time that’s not only memorable but also helps shorten that to-do list.