by Courtney Pope and Christina Garten

Little ones are really the best big helpers! In fact, we never really grow out of helping others; every occupation is helping someone or fulfilling a need. “Getting kids involved in housework early on teaches great skills they inhabit for a lifetime! Not to mention, who doesn’t love the help, especially when the cleaners are on a waiting list (true story)!” says Christina Garten, owner of Christina’s Complete Clean.

Christina’s Complete Clean has built a reputation of giving people their Saturdays back for the last 15 years! But when they can’t be there here’s a guide to get everyone involved.

Toddlers (2-4): ¨ Put toys away ¨ Place clothes in the hamper ¨ Dust baseboards, consider putting sock on their hands ¨ Pile items of similar categories (books, magazines, etc.) ¨ Help make their bed ¨ Mop small areas with a dry mop *Supervision recommended for this age group!

Pre-School (4-5): ¨ Make their bed ¨ Clear the table ¨ Use a hand-held vacuum for crumbs ¨ Put away clean utensils ¨ Wash plastic dishes with supervision ¨ Sort laundry into whites and colors before wash ¨ Match socks together ¨ Dust with a cloth

School Age (5-9): ¨ Sweep the floors ¨ Clean their own bedrooms, with minimal supervision ¨ Put away the groceries ¨ Load the dishwasher ¨ Empty the dishwasher ¨ Vacuum ¨ Scrub the table after meals ¨ Put away their own laundry ¨ Wet mop ¨ Empty indoor trash bins into the kitchen trash

Pre-Teen (10-12): ¨ Wash the dishes or load the dishwasher without assistance ¨ Use the clothes washer and dryer ¨ Take the trash to the bins ¨ Take the trash bins to the curb

Teen (13+): ¨ Clean out fridge ¨ Help deep clean kitchen (appliances and cabinets) ¨ Clean the toilet, sink, and shower in the bathroom ¨ Accomplish small shopping trips alone (after receiving their license) ¨ Iron clothes

Make it a game, set a timer, contest, go ahead dangle a reward – ice cream later, walk around downtown, or the Monon Trail. And don’t forget to call Christina’s Complete Clean when mom and dad need a little extra professional help at 317-564-4244 or