Housework – Children and Tidying Up

Tidying up after your child — when they’re perfectly capable of doing it themselves — is problematic on a few levels. One, it’s creating more work for you. Two, you are teaching your child to need someone to do it for him – irresponsibility. Chores give kids the basic skills and knowledge necessary to maintain a home and household. Besides that, research from the University of Minnesota found that doing chores from the age of three is the best predictor for having a good education, a solid career, and healthy relationships with family and friends in adulthood.

Marie’s Kondo 4 Tips for Tidying With Kids

1. Narrate as You Tidy

As you tidy, explain to your children what you’re doing so they can learn from you. Try to convey that tidying is part of maintaining a comfortable home. If they see their parents tidying regularly with a smile, children will think of tidying as a positive everyday activity.

2. Make Tidying Playful

Show your children that tidying and playing go together. When children are around one year old and can begin to walk, encourage them to put their belongings away after play.

3. Give Everything a Home

Children’s toys seem to multiply and quickly become scattered throughout the house. Designate a set location where each of these toys will be kept and make sure your children are aware of where their toys belong. Then they can assist you with putting away their own toys.

4. Respect Spatial Limitations

Once you establish a place for your children’s belongings, you can see the finite space that you have to accommodate new toys – or practical things like wipes and diapers. Recognizing that this space is limited will keep your home from being overtaken by your children’s belongings.

Source of Marie’s Top 4 Tips:

💡 TIP N.1: Marie Kondo – Tidying with toddlers

Montessori – Housework by Age

Maria Montessori (1870–1952), a doctor and pedagogue, founded the Montessori Educational System, which recommends dividing housework according to the age of the children in each family. This system emphasizes the individuality and independence of the child. The Montessori system prefers a non-authoritative approach, strengthening self-confidence and a child’s sense of security, but also responsibility and ability to learn naturally in life.

The ideal start for incorporating a child into the housework system is to schedule housework and learn practical skills. We have put together a Montessori schedule for you so you know the children’s work based on age.

2-3 years

  • put toys in a box
  • stack books on a shelf
  • take clothes to a dirty laundry basket
  • throw trash (in the trash)
  • carry a few sticks of wood
  • fold the towels
  • serve the table
  • bring diapers and wet wipes
  • wipe dust off in low places

4-5 years

  • feed the pet
  • wipe up spilled milk or water
  • put away toys
  • make a bed
  • clean room
  • water flowers
  • prepare a simple snack
  • use a hand-held vacuum cleaner
  • clean the kitchen table
  • wipe, sort cutlery and clean dishes
  • disinfect the handles

6-7 years

  • take the rubbish out
  • fold the towels
  • sweep the floor
  • put away dishes from the dishwasher
  • pair socks
  • help in the garden
  • peel potatoes, carrots, cucumbers
  • prepare a salad
  • add toilet paper

8-9 years

  • fill the dishwasher with dishes
  • wash, hang and fold clean clothes
  • wipe off dust
  • sweep
  • wipe
  • unload the grocery
  • make fried eggs/sausages
  • take dog for the walk
  • wash the table
  • clean room to A to Z

10-11 years

  • wash the bathroom
  • vacuum
  • wash the worktop in the kitchen
  • clean kitchen cabinets
  • prepare simple food
  • mow the lawn
  • bring mail from your inbox
  • take the trash to the bin

from 12 years

  • wipe the floors
  • replace bulbs
  • wash and vacuum the car
  • paint the walls
  • shop by list
  • cook a full meal
  • bake cake
  • handle simple home repairs
  • clean the windows
  • iron
  • take care of younger siblings


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