I remember growing up and having a small list of chores waiting for me every morning during my summers off between school years. Since my brother and I didn’t have other obligations like jobs or school (we were in junior high/early high school), our parents figured it would be good for us to do a little bit of housework while they were away at work.
Looking back now, I think I enjoyed it. They never made us do anything that we hated or that took more than an hour in total. In a way, it was a good way to get us up and moving during the day so that we weren’t sitting around playing video games all day or sleeping in too late. Some days, the list was shorter with just 2 or 3 main chores. Other days, we’d find the list to be almost 10 chores long.
I recall working with my brother to divvy out the chores or decide what we should tackle together. (And I also recall fighting with him over who had to mop the floors haha.) But for the most part, it worked out so that we always had an equal load. It also taught us negotiation. There were times he’d offer to cook me lunch if I took on an extra chore from the list. Considering that all I ever ate when I was younger was cereal and chips, well, I was happy to do another task so that I could have a cooked meal.
With that said, here are a few I recall doing that I actually liked. Perhaps you can have your kids do some of the chores from this list without it overwhelming them or making them feel like they’re “working” for you.
Wiping down windows
This is such a simple task that makes a world of difference for the cleanliness of your house. While my parents didn’t have us wipe down every single window in the house, they would ask us to clean the screen doors, the main bay window, and the french doors. With a little windex and a paper towel, the cleaning job went a long way and was simple enough for us to tackle.
Unloading the dishwasher
My parents didn’t typically have us wash the dishes or load the dishwasher (well, until I got my first job in high school washing dishes at a restaurant, then they did). But they’d have us unload it almost every single day. Between my brother and I eating random meals throughout the day, my parents making dinner at night, and other dishes, they’d always have the dishwasher ready to unload in the morning without fail.
Mow/pick up sticks
Admittedly, they didn’t have us start mowing until we were in late junior high. Any earlier than that and they probably would’ve worried about our safety on the lawn mower or, worse, using the push mower. But this was a big time saver for them, especially because the dead of summer saw the grass grow like no other.