How to Effectively Plan a Household Chores List – Vital Tips for Families with Kids 2 Years+
When everyone does their part, a household can run smoother, be more enjoyable and prevent unnecessary conflict.
Did you know your chore management plays a vital role, especially when you have kids? Use these tips on planning a household chores list to get it right.
Few children actually like making their beds in the morning but be sure: it’s vital you give them that responsibility. Not only can a household chores list help keep order in a very busy home, but it’s how you teach your children important values. One day they’ll thank you for instilling good work ethic in them because it can be what gets them that first promotion at work.
But when and how exactly do you start dishing out tasks?
Below we’ll discuss valuable guidelines relevant to all families. Also, our household chores list section will help you find relevant tasks for your kids, no matter their age.
Let’s get you working as a team, for everyone’s long term benefit.
Are Chores Necessary for Kids?
First of all, as a parent your role isn’t to simply keep your child happy. You need to prepare him or her for life and that requires values like taking responsibility, following through with a plan and knowing how to work as part of a team.
All of this they can learn by completing regular chores at home. Some experts say individuals with this perspective can be happier and even more successful as adults.
In addition, having chores gives children a sense of purpose because they feel they’re needed, which is important even at a young age. Therefore, giving your child a few tasks—age appropriate of course—around the house is good parenting and will help your child’s overall development.
Lastly, dividing household chores between all family members will free up time on parents’ schedules. This means there’s more time to relax and simply enjoy each other’s company. So, managing chores is how you ensure a quality lifestyle for your family.
Why Is a Household Chores List Important?
Creating a clear household chores list is an important part of teaching your children all these values. For one thing, it will clarify what you expect of them, so they can effectively reach that goal and experience the satisfaction of completing the task. If you don’t give specific instructions, a child may feel unsure about what your expectation is.
Also, without a list there may be miscommunication about the task, due dates or whose responsibility a task is. This can lead to conflict. So, compile a household chores list to easily divide household chores and clarify responsibilities—and keep the peace.
For you as a parent it will also be easier to manage and delegate chores when you have an organized system. That means an easier workflow with less time and energy wasted on trying to remember what needs doing around the house.
At What Age Can My Child Do Chores?
Parents should consider a household chores list as early as possible in their children’s lives. Chances are you’re underestimating how much your small toddler or 6-year old can achieve already. Still, it’s never too late to start.
Younger children may take on fewer tasks than older ones but consider how easily children in the modern age operate devices like mobile phones. Surely they can then help operate appliances like switching on a dishwasher or filling up the dog’s bowl with food?
In most households and with most kids you can start allocating tasks to 2-year-olds already.
Important Guidelines When Creating Your Chores Lists
If having chores and a household chores list is something new at your home, use these tips to make it easier on everyone and prevent unnecessary problems:
- Be very specific in naming a chore, because you have to communicate your expectation clearly. Instead of listing ‘clean bedroom’, rather stipulate the picking up of clothing and toys, emptying the garbage bin and making the bed.
- Remember that part of the process, especially for smaller kids, will be to learn how to perform the task. You’ll need to put aside time for teaching them and you can’t expect perfection from the start. You may even have to perform it jointly the first few times until your kid has confidence in his or her abilities and you know they won’t hurt themselves or damage something in the home. Washing breakable dishes carefully is a good example here.
- It’s up to parents whether they want to reward children with allowances for completed chores. Experts do advise that certain tasks should be done purely based on taking responsibility in the household. Keeping a room tidy is a good example. However, if they take on additional tasks or volunteer to do more, paying them a small amount can be a good motivator.
- Try and keep some element of fun. For example, instead of simply listing all chores and allocating names, have each child pick one chore a week which they like doing.
Age-Appropriate Chores for Different Ages
Below are some examples of chores for different age groups. We start with what you can give your 2-year-old and as they grow older you can add more items or rotate chores by having them pick additional ones each week.
2 – 3 Year Old’s
This age group can do chores related to themselves but also others. Turn a chore about tidying into a game and you’ll get their buy-in even faster:
- Putting away toys
- Filling up bowls with dry dog food
- Tidying up by creating piles of items for example books or magazines
- Picking up clothes and taking them to a hamper or laundry room
- Wiping up if they spilled something
4 – 5 Year Olds
This age group can start doing chores that take a little more skill, precision and autonomy. Once again, turning some tasks into games will give them a positive attitude:
- Making up their beds
- Fetching mail from letterbox
- Helping with gardening, like pulling weeds after you showed them which ones to target
- Pouring water on flowers in pots or garden
- Washing dishes, but only plastic items
- Making simple meals like pouring milk and cereal in a dish
- Emptying a wastebasket into a garbage bag
- Help to carry in grocery items that are light enough
- Matching their socks to put away—turn it into a game!
- Basic dusting
6 – 7 Year Olds
With more discernment, these kids can help with chores that free up time for adults. They’re also physically bigger, so they can start using more tools and appliances.
- Sorting out laundry according to colors or types
- Setting the table
- Packing a lunchbox of readymade items
- Raking up leaves or sweeping the kitchen floor
8 – 9 Year Olds
Now you can start trusting them with breakable items and give them responsibilities to manage their own lives, rooms or pets a little better:
- Take a dog for a walk
- Prepare simple meals like a sandwich and help with more advanced ones like putting dinner in the oven
- Sew on a loose button
- Place groceries or clothing in closets and cupboards
- Vacuum their bedroom carpets
- Load items in dishwasher
10 – 11 Year Olds
There may be a few errors at the start, but you need to trust this age group with tasks so they can learn through practical application:
- Ironing and folding laundry
- Changing all bed linen in their room
- Cook meals, even if you supervise
- Look after a younger sibling while parents are home—a great help if you need a few minutes in the home office to finish some work
- Wash the car
- Washing windows
Teens and Tweens
At this age children must start to realize their responsibility as part of the household. Give them tasks that help keep order, even if some of it is no fun at all. This will also help them have a realistic expectation of what it’s like looking after oneself, so they’ll be ready when they one day move out your house:
- Take out the garbage, to the bin or to the curb for collection—it has to be done!
- Wash clothes using the washing machine
- Regularly prepare a meal for the family
- Deep clean the kitchen or fridge and freezer
- Help with DIY repairs around the home
- Mowing the lawn
- Cleaning the bathroom
- Buy items at the store while you wait in the car
Last Words: How to Best Manage Chores at Home
There are many ways to organize these chores, but make sure to pick a method that makes it effortless to manage. The household chores list should also be easily accessible so kids can refer to it if they’re unsure. And of course, if you don’t have to keep on reminding everyone to make their beds and take out the trash, that’s a bonus.
For all these reasons, the Enzo chore tracker app is a winning resource for the modern family. Most kids have access to a mobile device these days, so you can let Enzo send them reminders and no one has an excuse about forgetting to check the family chore chart on the fridge.
Want to give it a try to help your family work together as a team? Download our free version now.