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Age-Appropriate Chores And Responsibilities

The trick to getting your kids to help out around the house is to give them jobs that they can easily accomplish at their age and ability level. But you also want to make sure they don’t get bored — keep challenging them more and more as they get older and older. Here’s some help.

Phase 1 — Toddlers

Checkmark-Iconput toys away

Xmark-Iconpick out clothes for tomorrow

Checkmark-Iconget dressed

Xmark-Iconput clothes and bath towels in hamper

Checkmark-Iconwipe place at table after eating

Phase 2 — Kindergarten

Xmark-Iconempty wastebasket

Checkmark-Iconmake bed

Xmark-Iconcollect the mail

Checkmark-Iconfix breakfast cereal

Xmark-Iconhelp put dishes away

Checkmark-Iconclear the table after meals

Xmark-Iconwater houseplants

Checkmark-Iconfeed and water the cat or dog

Phase 3 — First And Second Grade

Xmark-Iconsweep floor

Checkmark-Iconclean bedroom

Xmark-Iconsort clean laundry

Checkmark-Iconbrush teeth

Xmark-Iconset and clear table

Checkmark-Iconrake leaves in yard

Xmark-Iconwrite thank you notes for gifts

Checkmark-Iconhelp bake cookies

Phase 4 — Third And Fourth Grades

Xmark-Iconput away groceries

Checkmark-Iconput away laundry

Xmark-Iconload dishwasher

Checkmark-Icontake dog for a walk

Xmark-Iconhelp make lunch or dinner

Checkmark-Icontake bath

Xmark-Iconpack their suitcase for a trip

Checkmark-Iconmake a simple breakfast or lunch

Xmark-Icontake down phone messages


Phase 5 — Fifth And Sixth Grades

Xmark-Iconclean bathroom

Checkmark-Iconclean kitchen

Xmark-Icondo laundry

Checkmark-Iconiron clothes

Xmark-Iconwash car

Checkmark-Iconcalculate change from a purchase

Xmark-Iconwalk the dog

Checkmark-Icontake out the garbage

Xmark-Iconwater the lawn

Phase 6 — Junior High School

Checkmark-Icontake on a neighborhood job (paper route, mow lawns, etc.)

Xmark-Iconwrite out a check

Checkmark-Iconmanage a savings account

Xmark-Iconmend a hem or seam

Checkmark-Iconuse a simple calendar or planner

Xmark-Iconmow and edge the lawn

Checkmark-Iconbabysit for siblings

Xmark-Iconmake and buy gifts to give

Checkmark-Iconwork in the home business

Xmark-Iconhelp clean the house

Phase 7 — High School

Checkmark-Iconget an after-school job (movie theater, fast food, etc.)

Xmark-Iconmanage a checking account

Checkmark-Iconfill out an application — job, financial aid, etc.

Xmark-Iconget a driver’s license

Checkmark-Iconlearn how to complete a college interview

Xmark-Icontake a trip alone

Checkmark-Iconcook a complete meal

Xmark-Icontutor siblings

Checkmark-Icongo grocery shopping

Xmark-Iconclean the house without help

Checkmark-Iconclean the garage

Xmark-Iconrun errands for the family

Phase 8 — College

Checkmark-Iconlearn how to complete a job interview

Xmark-Iconapply for a credit card

Checkmark-Iconsign an apartment lease

Xmark-Icontake out a loan

Checkmark-Iconsign a contract

Xmark-Icontake care of car maintenance

Checkmark-Icontake full responsibility for grocery shopping and cooking

Xmark-Iconuse tools to repair a household problem

Checkmark-Iconschedule a doctor’s appointment

Xmark-Iconregister to vote

Checkmark-Iconserve on a jury

Xmark-Iconpay bills on time

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Ramona Creel is an award-winning 15-year veteran organizer and member of the National Association Of Professional Organizers. As well as having birthed “The A-To-Z Of Getting Organized,” Ramona is also the author of “The Professional Organizer’s Bible: A Slightly Irreverent And Completely Unorthodox Guide For Turning Clutter Into A Career”—and the creator of more than 200 “quick-start” business tools and templates for use by productivity professionals. She writes seven different blogs, has worked with hundreds of clients, and has delivered scores of presentations on getting organized. Ramona resides on the roads of America as a full-time RVer—living and working in a 29-foot Airstream. Learn more at and

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