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kitchen cleaning with kids

At what age can a child set and clear the table? When can a kid take out the garbage?

Kitchen patrol isn't anyone's favorite chore, but it beats cleaning the bathroom hands-down.

You could always give your kids the option of scrubbing the toilet if they're not in the mood to rinse dishes and put them in the dishwasher.

This quick guide will help make kitchen cleaning with kids a snap.

kitchen chores for ages 2 and under:

  • Wipe feet before coming inside
  • Close cabinet doors and drawers
  • Turn on the dishwasher
  • Help set the table

chores for ages 3 to 5:

  • Previous chores, plus:
  • Place dirty dishes on the kitchen counter
  • Sponge down the play table
  • Help unload the dishwasher

chores for ages 6 to 9:

  • Previous chores, plus:
  • Help make breakfast
  • Do some simple cooking tasks such as rinsing vegetable
  • Set and clear the table
  • Put dishes into the dishwasher
  • Wipe up spills
  • Wipe kitchen table, chairs, high chair, counters, and cooktop or range
  • Wipe down the interior of the microwave
  • Feed pets
  • Sweep or vacuum kitchen floor and damp-mop any spills
  • Bring groceries in from the car
  • Put away groceries
  • Empty and wipe wastebaskets clean, using disinfecting wipes

chores for ages 10 to 13:

  • Previous chores, plus:
  • Pour beverages for meals
  • Help hand-wash dishes
  • Make lunch for school
  • Unload the dishwasher
  • Disinfect kitchen countertops

chores for ages 14 to 17:

  • Previous chores, plus:
  • Prepare meals
  • Clean and disinfect sink
  • Clean coffeemaker thoroughly
  • Organize pantry
  • Scrub or strip and wax floors

final tips for kitchen cleaning with kids.

In addition to cleaning, there are other housekeeping chores in the kitchen. For those, such as setting and clearing the table, eliminate the "I did it last time" excuse by assigning permanent rotations that are easy to remember, such as odd or even days of the month assigned to each child.

Visit the Clean Organized Home Store for the cleaning supplies and tools you'll need for kitchen cleaning with kids.

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About the Author

Tara Aronson

Tara Aronson is a native Californian. Having grown up in San Diego, she studied journalism and Spanish to pursue a career in newspaper writing. Tara, whose three children - Chris, Lyndsay, and Payne - are the light of her life, now lives and writes in Los Angeles. She also regularly appears on television news programs throughout the U.S.