Get Household Chores Finished In Record Time

February 12th, 2013 posted by Ashley Buffa

Household chores can be a real downer. They have to be completed monthly, weekly, daily, sometimes multiple times a day. If only one person, usually mom, is responsible for all of the chores, burn out is inevitable. I am the mother to six children, and up until two years ago, I was doing all of the household chores by myself. Finally, I woke up and realized that I have a small army of willing helpers who just need to be taught how to properly maintain the home along with me.

Proper Chores For The Proper Person

One of the biggest obstacles that I ran into when assigning chores was figuring out which chores should go to which person. To make this job easier for you, give this list a quick read.

  • All jobs requiring heavy duty chemicals should be assigned to mom, dad, or a responsible teen.
  • If the child is walking, he gets chores. There are chores compatible with every age.
  • If you smile and have a good attitude about chore time, your child will too.
  • Spread the chores throughout the day and week, instead of one huge block of time.
  • Incentives are a good idea, but not if they are expected. Keep rewards random.

Chores For Toddlers And Preschoolers

My toddlers and preschoolers are my most enthusiastic workers. They really enjoy the responsibility, it makes them feel like they are a part of the team. The most important things to remember when dealing with this age group is praise, encouragement, and more praise. Every time you witness hard work, good attitudes, going the extra mile, or extraordinary skills, heap on the praise, big time. My toddlers also really enjoy clean up time when I put on some peppy music. So, what should you expect from your toddler and preschoolers? Well, remember that each child is different, but these are some jobs that I assign to my littlest children.

  • Making the bed. (They spread their quilt out smoothly)
  • Picking up their room, and toys in other areas of the house.
  • Pushing in the chairs after a meal.
  • For older preschoolers- emptying the bathroom and bedroom trash cans and replacing with a new bag.
  • Organizing shoes in closets.
  • Cleaning the baseboards with a damp washcloth.
  • “Sweeping” the porch. They have fun doing this, so I oblige!
  • Feather dusting.

Chores For Five And Six Year Olds

This group is also heavy on the praise, and I like to reward at least once a week spontaneously with a sticker or a treat. It is especially important with this age group to make sure you have a good attitude about cleaning. The newness and excitement have worn off by this age, so it’s up to the parents to set a good example of good attitudes. Some of the jobs that my five and six year olds do are as follows.

  • Empty silverware basket from dishwasher.
  • Replenish toilet paper in bathrooms.
  • Begin learning to vacuum.
  • Organization of children’s books on lower bookshelfs.
  • Making bed, and changing own sheets. (We use the Sealy Soybean Foam Core Crib Mattress on a toddler bed for this age. It’s an extremely lightweight mattress, which makes changing sheets easy. If you have a heavier mattress, I would just have this age group making their bed.)
  • Washing baseboards with a damp washcloth.
  • Helping preschoolers with their chores.
  • Collecting dirty laundry in an empty basket and bringing it to the laundry room.
  • Putting away clean laundry.

Jobs For Seven To Ten Year Olds

Seven to ten year olds should begin learning to do just about every job in the house, at the least they should learn the mechanics of each job in the house. I spend a lot of time with this age group making sure they are working diligently, and skillfully. I always start my seven year old children with putting away clean dishes from the dishwasher, and lunch dish duty. At eight years old, the child then progresses to breakfast dishes, which are a bit more detailed in our house. By the age of nine, the child should be skilled enough to successfully complete dinner dishes. My husband and I always take over dish duty on the weekends to give the kids a break. They really enjoy their weekends! Here’s the list of chores for this age group.

  • Dishes (Emptying dishwasher and refilling it)
  • Vacuuming
  • Start learning to clean the bathroom
  • Wiping the table off after meals.
  • Making bed and changing sheets.


By the time children are teens they should have the skills to complete any household task, and they should be assigned their fair share of work. I like to start teaching my children to cook around the age of seven. By the time a child is a teenager he may be interested in cooking a meal once a week, or once a month. I think it’s a great idea to allow the teen to choose the meal, plan the shopping list, along with other jobs that go into making a meal. This is great practice for when they are on their own.

Fostering A Helpful Attitude

Whenever my children are doing chores, I always make sure that I am working alongside of them. Teaching them, talking to them, modeling good behavior and more. It should never be our intent as parents to have our children do all of the work for us. But instead, they should be learning the skills needed to run a clean, organized home. Attitude is everything! When children learn to work hard and well at a young age, it becomes second nature.

Ashley Buffa (1 Posts)

Ashley is a mother of six children and has a website at She loves sharing baby care wisdom with other mothers, as well as writing up detailed baby gear reviews for her readers.

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