Family life comes with a set of evergreen and never-ending chores to do around the house. This is especially true for families where both partners work, where they have two or more children, and where the grandparents live in the same house.
Busy families are generally well trained in doing chores. Some of these might include cleaning up toys, putting them together if they are bits and pieces, mopping floors, wiping surfaces, getting laundry in and out of the washing machine, dusting, dish-washing, and putting groceries in the right place in the pantry.
We break the household chore list into daily chores, weekly chores, and monthly chores, along with a section on seasonal chores. We also dive into how to create a chore schedule and a chore list chart.
The good news is that most of the small, yet time-consuming house chores around the house can be done by anyone. That is why it is easy to allocate household chores to every family member.
If they have the mental and physical capacity to do them, they can take their turn. Turning home chores into an all-family business benefits everyone.
This article breaks the household chore list into daily chores, weekly chores, and monthly chores, along with a section on seasonal chores. We also dive into how to create a chore schedule and a chore list chart.
Daily chores are just that - they are meant to be done every day. None of the daily chores on our household chore list should take you more than 5 minutes. They are designed to be quick and easy.
Doing these daily chores sets the foundation for a clean home. Not only that, but performing these chores every day will make your weekly and monthly chores that much easier.
This is a daily and must-do activity for every member of the household. Nobody likes a messed-up bed.
It is best to set parameters for a fully made bed looks like. Generally speaking, pulling the sheets, covers, and comforters back over the bed and taught is a good start. Organizing the pillows at the top of the bed should also be included.
Making your bed every day has been proven to make you happier throughout the day.
This is another daily and critical house chore that every member of the household should responsibly do. Trash buildup over night allows bacteria to form, while also attracting rodents and ants. Not to mention, sometimes you'll wake up to a smelly house if you don't take the trash out.
Family members can take turns if that makes the chore easier to handle. But, whatever the case may be, this is one task that should not be overlooked.
Letting dishes pile up is both unsanitary and unsatisfying. Since the kitchen is such a prominent focal point of the home, staring at a pile of dirty dishes is really difficult to do. Keeping the dishes at bay every day will keep you house tidy.
There are many different ways to tackle this chore. Some institute a policy that the cook doesn't have to clean. Others assign this chore out in a rotation. Still others just tag team to make sure that the dishwasher is loaded every night.
It is important to keep the most used parts of the house clean. A quick sweep or vacuum of the main entry areas, the living room/family room, and the dining area reduces the dirt and debris in your house by 70-80%.
This is where a good stick vacuum makes a lot of sense. They are easy to whip out of a closet and quickly clean the main areas of your house. For added convenience, pick up a cordless cleaning model.
Many would argue that the kitchen is the most important room in the house. Keeping the family kitchen clean is critical. While doing the dishes daily helps, spot cleaning the surfaces is also vital.
Wipe down the countertops and stove. Put away anything that might have been left out, and ensure that drawers are closed.
This is a fairly easy chore but one that needs to be done. A family can either pick one member to do this task exclusively, or take turns doing it.
Make sure to designate a place where the mail belongs. Often times, without a specific location, it just ends up cluttering the dining room table or the kitchen countertop.
This is not something you can predict, but definitely something that is part of most people's lives. This is very true for households with little children.
Parents/elders tend to be quite reactive when it comes to spills and unnecessary messes. But, the fact is when you are a family, especially one with kids, this is bound to happen.
Don’t’ react. Just train everyone to clean up their mess. This will make your life easier and will make them more careful.
Nonetheless, it makes sense to have a practice of briefly walking through your home every night, and ensuring that nothing was spilled and not cleaned up.
Don't mistake this for cleaning the bathroom. This is just a simple wipe down of the bathroom sinks.
Quickly wiping down the bathroom sink each night with water or spray and a towel can go a long ways in making it easier for you to clean your bathroom, when the time comes.
Weekly chores are typically a little more involved, and take 20-40 minutes each. It is best if you have a plan for when they are done, and often structuring time to do them together as a family works really well.
Here's a fun byproduct of following this household chore list that we have put together - if you are succeeding at performing the daily chores that we recommended above, you'll find that your weekly chores take a lot less time. Developing a habit of being clean makes your life easier, not harder, and you'll start to notice how much time it saves you in the long run.
Bathroom sinks and counters should be spot cleaned daily. However, an additional household chore that is vital is a weekly, thorough cleaning of the bathroom. .
This includes the bathtub, the toilet area, the bathroom mirror, cabinets, and the bathroom floor. Don’t delay this particular weekly chore as the more you delay, the harder it will be to clean when you finally get down to it.
If you've kept on your daily chore of lightly vacuuming your house, then all that remains is a weekly dust and mop of the floors.
This can be done weekly as long as you dust and mop the high-traffic areas daily. If you live in an extra dusty region, you may want to do this every other day.
If you don't have carpets, then you probably would make use of a vacuum specifically made for hardwood flooring. These cleans typically don't have a lot of the bulky (and expensive) components that equivalent carpet cleaner vacs have.
Again, families should vacuum high traffic areas daily. Vacuum the entire house once a week at least. If you want, you can divide the task or assign one week to every family member.
This should include corners and behind furniture. You can save the drapes and blinds for once per month.
If you have pets, then this is even more vital. Cleaning up pet hair before it becomes a larger problem will help to keep your home clean.
This should ideally be done once a week. We spend at least eight hours sleeping, or in bed trying to sleep. Make sure this area is clean, and the bed sheets are germ-free.
Typically it is easiest to combine this chore with the weekly laundry.
While some families may prefer doing their laundry daily or on alternate days, others may prefer to dedicate one day a week for laundry. This does depend on your work/school schedule, but everyone needs clean clothes.
Don’t be lazy when it comes to laundry. If you have a washer/dryer at home, it makes things easier. If you live in an apartment complex where the laundry area is shared, try to find the right time that fits your schedule.
Again, this home chore is essential for maintaining the health and well-being of all household members. You can do this once a week, but you should do it thoroughly.
Most people generally combine this with their grocery day as it is the ideal time to throw out old stuff and replace it with new. While you’re at it, you might as well wipe down and clean the fridge and freezer.
Most families become careless when it comes to cleaning cabinets and cleaning appliances in their kitchen. But it’s best that you do it once a week, so you don’t have to spend a lot of time on this chore.
In addition, it helps keep your kitchen look nice and clean. The kitchen is a critical space for families, and this space must be clean at all times.
Monthly chores are typically focused on areas of your home that don't get used as often, or for very long durations. These chores are easy to let slide. And, being honest, if you have to get behind on any area of your household chore list, the monthly chores are the best ones.
Many families develop a nice rhythm for their monthly chores by designating a specific time each month for them, such as the first Saturday morning of every month.
Additionally, it is smart to combine your monthly chores with your weekly chores. So, using our example above, the first Saturday of every month would be when you did your weekly and monthly chores.
This might seem unnecessary but believe it when we say that dust and germs accumulate in your mattress and covers. Your sleep area should be neat and tidy.
This includes furniture in the living room, family room, bedroom, study/library/den, and patio.
Using a vacuum that has a detachable hose for cleaning your blinds and drapes, and attach the extension wand to clean the furniture.
Don’t wait for a social event or friends and family coming over before you decide to do it. Dedicate one day a month to cleaning furniture. You won’t be sorry.
With so many cleaning liquids and techniques out there, you should not avoid this particular house chore. Your oven should be clean. You don't have to do it daily, but its best to do it once per month.
Similar to the oven, you should also clean your dishwasher at least once a month. After all, this is the appliance which cleans your dishes daily. The least you can do is clean it up once a month, if not bi-weekly.
This is not a difficult task but something that most families do not often think about. Clean your doors, handles, and windows once in a while. It will definitely change the look of your home.
Note that we're not referring to washing the windows, but cleaning the window sills.
Most families prefer to do this during spring cleaning. Others prefer to do so twice a year, once in spring and once in fall. Whatever your home cleaning schedule is, make sure you fit this in the right seasons.
This particular house chore will benefit you in one other way. You can filter out what you use and what you don’t use, what you wear and what you don’t wear., and then donate or discard as per the condition of the items in question.
This is an ideal summer chore. The whole family can join in the fun.
Water, soap, and a garden hose are all you need to have fun on a sunny day. And the result? You get clean and spotless windows.
If a family is DIY inclined, this could be something you could all do together. Your carpet fibers are a magnet for storing bacteria, dirt, and debris.
This is also necessary for maintaining a clean and tidy home. Your vents will pick up dust while the heater is running in the winter and the air conditioner in the summer. Clean these out with your vacuum extender wand.
Make sure to change out your air filters as well. You might need to have your air ducts professionally cleaned every few years, and this is a good time to get a flashlight out and take a look to see if you need it.
The above housekeeping checklist for the home should be a priority for all families if they want to have a neat and tidy home. It is important to include everyone living in the home. This will make things easier, more doable, and will also make everyone in the household develop a sense of responsibility.
Now that we’ve outlined a detailed checklist of all essential household chores, it is also important to have a home cleaning schedule. We understand that dividing them into daily, weekly, monthly, and seasonal chores is quite helpful. Families also need to ensure that every member of the household is aware of the household chores schedule.
It might be a good idea to make little reminders and place them in visible locations, so that family members know what is expected of them.
Daily chores like making the bed, cleaning the dirty dishes, wiping counters, sinks, tabletops, sweeping the kitchen floor, cleaning the dining table, etc. must be done daily. If a particular family allocates these daily tasks to different individuals within the household, it is important to outline that in the home cleaning schedule.
For example, David will wash the dishes today, Emily will take out the trash, Chris will sweep the kitchen floor, etc.
Every household has its own dynamic. If it’s a couple with no children, their life may be easier in terms of limited laundry, no unnecessary spills and messes, and no toys to pick up.
But no matter how large or how small a family is, keeping your house clean and tidy is something that should be taken seriously. One of the biggest put-offs, when you go to visit someone, is a dirty home.
Many people clean up the most visible locations. Sometimes they forget to focus on other, more internal areas that usually require more detailed cleaning. Dumping everything in the basement or garage is a common strategy.
Keep in mind if you keep dumping, a day will come when that space will also run out. Then, you will be faced with a daunting challenge of emptying out the dump you created.
Completing household chores can be quite challenging. This is especially true in a family home where both parents work, or where the children are in higher grades and spend quite a bit of time working on class assignments, group studies, etc.
A chart of chores, though, can make everything come together perfectly.
A chore chart is simply a chart that outlines all the chores that need to be done in the house. This will enable the household members to have a comprehensive household chores list and will also make it easier to assign chores and tasks as per age, availability, and expertise.
To ease your administrative work of chore listing, you may find it easier to have two charts. One would be for daily household chores and one for weekly ones. This is practical as there are some tasks that do not need to be done every day.
This division of chores will also convey to all family members they will be expected to contribute and participate in household chores. They will need to set aside time for these chores and plan accordingly.
This may seem to be “too much planning” for children. But, believe it when we say planning is crucial for effectively completing household chores.
Giving children chores is actually one the most important things a parent can do for a child. It teaches children how to learn about responsibility. It also helps teach them important and valuable life skills which they take on into their adult lives.
Anyone who remembers being a child likely remembers the dread that came along with doing chores. Although most kids hate helping to keep the home clean by doing chores, it’s an important part of learning about the importance of responsibility. It’s also an easy way to start enforcing important life skills early on in a child’s life.
Many kids consider doing chores tedious and pointless. But, doing chores actually has many benefits which help kids throughout their lives. Ingraining these types of important childhood behaviors in kids will make them more well-adjusted in their adult lives.
These chores can even set them up for adult success. In fact, kids who do chores throughout their lives are more likely to be successful than those who do not do chores.
Chores are an influential factor which predict the professional and personal success in adulthood and influence a child’s success as an adult.
Kids who do not do chores miss out on learning about the value of work early on in life. This directly impacts how they will view work as adults. This is because there is a direct correlation between childhood influences and adult behavior.
Studies also suggest that children who do chores early on in life learn the importance and value of contributing to their families, whether it's as simple as washing the dishes or making sure the dog's paws are cleaned after taking a walk. These children grow to become more well-adjusted and successful. They even have more successful work lives and better adult personal relationships.
It is a well-known fact that processes and responsibilities instilled early on in life predict the well-being and behavior of children in their adult lives. This means that children who do chores when they are young are more likely to be independent as adults and understand the value of work and responsibility.
So, should kids have chores or not? Should they get paid for it?
Studies prove that giving children chores sets them up for both personal and professional success in the future. This is why parents should not overlook the importance of giving their children chores.
Deciding whether or not parents should pay their children for doing their chores will depend entirely on the values and life lessons they want to instill in their children.
Parents who want to teach their children about the importance of working hard for their money may decide to pay them for their chores. Parents who want to teach their children about what is expected of them in a household might avoid paying their children for chores and instead give them an allowance.
Whatever a parent decides, it is important to remember that the lessons and values they teach their children will have a direct impact on their adult behavior in the future. This is why these important life lessons should never be overlooked.
According to Elizabeth Pantley, preschoolers are able to handle simple, one-step or two-step jobs. Older children can tackle more. It is important to keep the age factor in mind when you are in the process of determining which chore to assign to which child.
Here are a few ideas, broken down into chores by age group:
At the age of 4-5, a child can handle more complicated chores. This is especially true if you’ve already been assigning them chores when they were younger. It will then be an easy transition for them.
Here is a list of chores for four-year-olds and chores for five-year-olds. Feel free to ask your child to do any of the above combined with any and all of the following:
If your child is 6 or 7, feel free to raise the stakes and add any of the following chores to the ones above to complete your list:
Chores become more sophisticated as your kids grow older. Prepare to be amazed, as from the age of 8 you can expand your children’s chore list. Here are some ideas for chores for 8-year-olds and chores for 9-year-olds:
Now you can really say you have a helping hand around the house. By now, your child should be able to:
By now your children will be able to do the ideal chores for 12-year-olds and chores for teenagers.
Having covered all the household chores your kids could help out with, we have included chores where kids can earn money. Raising responsible kids in our tumultuous times is not easy. Teaching them to be responsible with money is essential to guiding them toward ideally lifelong financial stability.
Apart from sharing the workload of housework, chores are a way of teaching your children they need to work hard and be thrifty in order to get the things they need.
To teach your kids about money, make sure the chores you’re about to give them are age-appropriate. Additionally, don’t overload your child with chores. Gradually introduce new tasks and don’t be stingy with rewards when these are completed successfully. However, knowing what to ask of a child will vary on a family-by-family basis.
Another pressing question parents ask themselves is whether or not they should pay their children to do chores. This is a question that is often up for debate.
Just as doing chores helps instill certain values and valuable life skills in children, so does giving them an allowance. Parents have various reasons for paying (or not paying) their children to do their chores.
On the one hand, giving children an allowance for their chores such as vacuuming around the home or mopping your tile floors can help children learn early on in life about the importance of managing money. It also teaches them that in life, they have to work hard for the things they want. In addition, they learn they must work hard to earn money.
Paying children for their chores teaches them the value of money and how to save. It also teaches them how to handle and manage their money. Teaching these lessons early on in life sets children up for financial success in the future. Paying children to do their chores also gives them the incentive to do more around the house.
On the other hand, some parents believe that doing chores is a part of being a member of a household. They believe that children should understand household chores are expected of them as a member of the family.
Instead, these parents give their kids an allowance which is not associated with chores to teach them the value of managing and handling money.
It’s debatable whether or not having an allowance gives kids a better understanding of how money works. Doing household chores for money is a personal decision and a family-dependant variable.
Parents often struggle with which strategy to choose. Yet, one thing is clear. A set allowance teaches kids to plan their expenses and live within a fixed budget.
Rewarding chores individually may be more appealing to your children and likely motivate them more. That said, it is up to you to establish what works best for your child.
As women tend to return to work immediately after their child turns 2 or sometimes even sooner, kids are nowadays exposed to the pressures of our consumerist society. So, they pick up quite early in life how the money machine works by seeing other kids use gadgets or ‘smart’ toys.
This is where work in the form of chores comes into play. You can help your children understand that in order to get a gadget or a toy like the one that little Johnny from school has, they need to:
This does not mean every time they pick up toys or fold the clothes, they will get a new toy. But, it can help them feel motivated. They will soon understand if they help out, their parents will also be more open to the idea of buying them a particular toy.
Between 5 and 10 years of age, children grow a lot and they start to realize the importance of money. But to get it, one needs to work. Chores are the best way to teach your children about work. Now is the best time in your child’s development to introduce monetary rewards for chores.
Some of the common tasks include:
Don’t feel bad if you ask your child to help tidy up the basement and you pay them for it. It’s a good strategy. It’s also one that is likely to train them to know that eventually, they will have to put in some effort to be rewarded.
At this stage, blooming-into-teenage kids can really do a lot not only to help you around the house but to earn money. Apart from mowing the lawn, cleaning the car inside and out, etc., your kids are ready to tap into more sophisticated chores like:
Household chores are part of everyone’s lives. The concept that only adults are responsible for everything and that children somehow get a free pass is wrong and can negatively affect your child’s performance at a later stage.
That is why it is important to start young and to ensure that you assign your children age-appropriate chores from the very beginning so that they know what life entails and what they are expected to do.
Adults should not be the only ones expected to do everything. As mentioned before, there are many chores to do in a house. Some are very easy, but still must be done. As long as you assign tasks based on the mental and physical capability of the household member, you should be on the right track.
If you have an elderly parent, maybe they can walk the dog daily. If you have a toddler, maybe they can put the toys in the toy box. If you have teenagers who are also interested in making some money out of doing chores, agree to the arrangement. It’s good practice for them.
An important thing to remember is that a household chores list should be performed by the entire household, as a team. One family member should not be burdened with most of the tasks. That is not only unfair but also impractical.
A family is a team, and it’s all about planning and organizing. A home can be spick and span in no time if everyone pitches in.
Without claiming to be an exhaustive guide to parenting, this ultimate guide to kids’ chores by age addresses a few of the most pressing concerns of children of all ages. Now that you have it, make the most of it by assigning tasks to your kids. Teach them to be more responsible and organized. This will help them make their life and this world a little better.
From house chores to summer chores, from chores for toddlers to chores for kids to make money, this is an useful list. Every family is different. Parents can mix and blend these ideas according to their family dynamic.
However, the point is that children need to understand the concept of responsibility. They need to know that if they want to make a difference in this world and in the lives of their loved ones, they will have to play a more active and a more productive role.
When we train our children to be responsible, they, in turn, will be able to demonstrate the same behavior in school, college, and in their personal relationships. Children who are taught the concept of work and responsibility at an early age tend to be more successful academically and professionally.
Allen Michael is the Founder and Editor of Home Viable, a website that he started to provide readers with tips on home efficiency and automation. He draws on his engineering background combined with his family-of-four experiences for his articles.