Kids Helping with Housework

Flickr photo by D Sharon Pruitt

Very often my organizing clients are entrepreneur moms who complain that they barely have enough time to grow their businesses, much less keep up with all the household chores. Sound familiar? When I hear this cry for help, I ask the mom how old her children are. If the children are over 3 years old, we discuss ways that the kids can begin helping with the household chores.

Like most projects, the secret to success first lies in proper preparation. So plan ahead and pick a day when all family members can pitch in. Gather supplies together, including snacks and drinks. Then encourage the kids to pick out their favorite up-tempo music for the occasion.

Next, assign chores to family members. Here are a few age-appropriate ideas:

AGES 3-5

  • Pick up toys and books and put back on shelves or in bins
  • Put away folded laundry
  • Help feed pets
  • Dust with socks on their hands
  • Clear and set the table
AGES 6-8
  • Vacuum and mop
  • Take out trash
  • Fold laundry
  • Put away groceries
  • Help with meal preparations
AGES 9-12
  • Help wash the car
  • Wash and put away dishes
  • Clean bathroom
  • Help with laundry
  • Rake leaves and pull weeds
AGES 13-17
  • Wash and fold own laundry
  • Wash windows
  • Prepare meals
  • Prepare grocery lists
Also remember that teenagers are often eager to make a little spending money. You may consider hiring them to help with basic household management tasks such as filing and entering info into accounting packages such as Quickbooks.

Delegating chores teaches the kids valuable home and life management skills while reducing your personal workload and stress. And after the hard work is done, reward your helpers by going out to a favorite restaurant, ordering take-out, or renting a couple of movies that the whole family will enjoy.