Summer Holiday Chores for the Kids

Summer Holiday Chores for the Kids

Mrs Mopp Blog Spot

Well school holidays are upon most of us and whilst children will be looking forward to weeks of fun and very little work, it can be a bit of a nightmare for parents.

Here at Mopp Towers, my children were introduced to cleaning and tidying at an early age, they learnt we do not have a Bedroom or Washing Up Fairy that cleans and tidies everything up while they sleep.

You have to be realistic of course, if you are a bit of a cleaning control freak you may find it hard to let your standards slip. But on the other hand any help is worth something – right?  So here’s some advice I learnt along the way.

 Seven Top Tips for Cleaning with the Kids

  1. Start them Young

Young children love to please and help out so get them to watch and talk them through what you are doing at the beginning. Even a toddler can hold a (child friendly/chemical free) wipe and will imitate you – great for those low down jobs like skirting boars or chair legs! Very young children can put their toys away at the end of the day or help lay the table.

  1. The Right Chores for the Right Age

Little people don’t always have the dexterity or concentration for complex tasks so you need to think about what chores are right for your child.  You will set yourself and your child up to fail if you assign tasks beyond their capability.  Better to have your children do something simple but well as you train them up to take on more complex tasks.

  1. Lots of Praise and Encouragement

Children do take pride in what they do, so do thank them and praise them – and don’t expect perfection, especially at the beginning. Try not to associate cleaning with punishment as they will get discouraged and you will never get a willing participant.

  1. Simple Instructions with a Time Limit

To many children ‘Clean up your Room’ can be overwhelming – where to start?  Simple instructions like ‘Put all your toys away before teatime’, or ‘Put your dirty clothes in the Washing Basket’, will help younger children.  Teenagers may be a different matter –but once again one task a day to clear a messy room will get there in the end.

  1. Make it fun!

Well I love cleaning but for children you can introduce music and dancing or singing. You can even go so far as dressing up as characters from a favourite book or movie.  Ring the changes a bit so, once in a while get the kids to shampoo the dog, declutter the toy box so they can choose a new toy. On nice days outdoor chores can be good fun such as sweeping the leaves or washing the car.

  1. Reward

Verbal praise is essential but some families have a sticker chart, (one of Super Nannies great tips) this works well if you have more than one child who has completed their chores first and gets the most stickers! It is also good to have a schedule, making the time for cleaning and balancing out the week.

Other families find that they have to make activities more challenging. Trust your child to do some tasks a little quicker or unsupervised (after a bit of practice of course).

  1. Declutter

Just like clearing up for the cleaner (last week’s blog – link) you will get more from your children if they have a clear area to clean. Clutter is confusing – they can of course help you with putting things away in the playroom or kitchen before the task of cleaning can begin.

If you give your children confidence they will feel more motivated to complete the weekly chores and be more independent, they will probably start suggesting new tasks they can take responsibility for like feeding a pet. And don’t forget you are building life-skills, before you know it you are packing them off to university able to cook, clean and look after themselves!

Happy Cleaning… Mrs Mopp x

Should You Clean Up Before The Cleaner Comes?

Should You Clean Up Before The Cleaner Comes?

Ask Mrs Mopp... Cleaning Articles & Guides Mrs Mopp Blog Spot

People think it’s hilarious when I say I have to clean up for the cleaners. So should you clean up for your cleaner? The answer to this has to be ‘No’! But if the question was “Should you tidy up for your cleaner,” then the answer is most definitely yes.

Essentially, I believe you pay a cleaner to clean and not to tidy up. You will get a lot more for your money if your cleaner can get in and actually clean, rather than putting toys away or picking up clothes from the floor.

Continue reading

Is Guilt Stopping you from Hiring a Cleaner?

Is Guilt Stopping you from Hiring a Cleaner?

Cleaning Articles & Guides Cleaning tips From the Author

You work hard and you are probably looking after your kids/partner/parent as well. Let’s face it you are on the go all the time, there are not enough hours in the day and still you are having doubts about hiring some help! Why? What is stopping you?

Let me guess, it’s that guilty voice that says: ‘I should clean my own house…., ‘Only rich people have cleaners’…., Or even ‘Would I be comfortable telling someone how to clean my house?’

STOP! You don’t have to act like Lord or Lady Muck to have some help in your home, you don’t have to be all superior and you are not lazy – you are just busy!

Can I read minds? No, sadly not, but I have worked in this industry for many years and have done hundreds of cleaning quotes for lots of ordinary people.

What I have found is this: Women fight with the decision to hire a cleaner far more than men do. Men see it as a practical necessity; who has time for cleaning bathrooms? Women, however seem to guilt trip themselves into thinking they should be able to do everything. It can become a vicious circle of guilt and pressure.

My advice? Let it go! Take a deep breath and join us in the 21st Century – it is okay to ask for (and hire) help! You are not a bad person for not cleaning your own toilet, sending the ironing out or having a gardener. You are a busy, hard working person and deserve to have some quality time for you and your family.

Overcoming the Guilt Monsters!

  1. Only the well-off have cleaners

Maybe once upon time that was true, but not now. With busy lifestyle and more disposable income than ever before, having a cleaning service is for people of all walks of life.

I guarantee there is a cleaning service out there to suit your needs and budget. Even if you cannot afford a weekly service, you could think about having a clean every month or quarter. At the very least I would recommend a deep clean/spring clean at least once a year to tackle all the jobs that everybody tries avoid. Mrs Mopp offers all these options.

  1. I should clean my own house

Firstly, says who? You feel perfectly comfortable paying for all sorts of services to be done for you; why would paying someone else to clean your home be any different?

Secondly, unless you live alone, you are not be the only person responsible for making the mess! But let’s face it, it’s not easy to get your partner/children/roommate to take the share of the work and you just end up nagging and getting stressed. So, unless you want to live with a kitchen floor that no one has mopped in three weeks, now is the time to hire a cleaning service to help you keep things spick and span without all the drama and family rows.

  1. I feel like I would be exploiting someone

Now unless you are forcing someone to clean your house I would imagine that there will be no exploiting going on. There are some 800,000 thousand registered cleaners in the UK today who have voluntarily decided that cleaning is the job they want to do.

Some people see cleaning as lowly profession, but to me this is a myth and a bit of an insult. I feel cleaning is a very noble job, in fact, I tell my staff that cleaners are like the fourth emergency service; the silent, probably unseen presence, keeping everything working. Please do not feel sorry for a cleaner, most cleaners are happy with the flexibility of their jobs and take great pride in their work, so you are not exploiting anybody, it is their job.

As a final point, even when you hire a cleaning service you may still feel pangs of guilt when telling people that you have a cleaner. This is normal, but there is nothing like coming home to a clean and tidy house after a hard day’s work and knowing you won’t have to nag anyone (including yourself) to clean the house.

If you have any thoughts or stories about the topic of guilt when hiring a cleaning services, I would love to hear them!

Thanks for reading – Mrs Mopp x

 

How to be a Recycling Superhero

How to be a Recycling Superhero

Cleaning Articles & Guides Cleaning tips

Are you the recycling Superhero your house? Do you ferret around in the bins tutting and separating paper and plastics that the rest of your family have thrown away without a thought?

Recycling rates have been increasing in the last few years but rates have dropped despite stringent EU targets to recycle 50% of all household waste by 2020. There are many thoughts on why this might be but a big factor seems to be confusion!

Most of us have to sort our rubbish into four or five different bins, but in Newcastle-under-Lyme  there are nine bins for every home – are they kidding!

Continue reading

Top 10 tips for Creating a Clutter-Free Home (and Mind)

Top 10 tips for Creating a Clutter-Free Home (and Mind)

Cleaning tips Inspiration Mrs Mopp Blog Spot

Holding onto clutter can make you feel overwhelmed, stressed and low in energy. If you feel guilty about the amount of ‘stuff’ you have, you are not alone. Many of us are victim of the Evil Clutter Fairy – whether it’s that impulse buy or something to cheer us up, we tend to hold onto everything “Just in case”, so it’s often fear that is holding us back.

If this is you, then are let us help you get started, we promise you’ll feel better for it!

Top 10 tips to De-clutter your Life

  1. Set a Date – don’t procrastinate any longer – set a date to start and stick to it.
  2. Get Help – roping in someone you know and trust to help you, will give you the motivation and confidence to be tough with your throwing out!
  3. Small Steps – if you just cannot face a massive onslaught on your clutter, start with nice, easy bite size chunks of 15 minutes every day. And tackle one room at a time. I guarantee– little by little you will start to feel better as you see the light (and more space) at the end of the tunnel.
  4. Be Systematic – keep on decluttering that room until it is fully cleared. Cupboards, drawers, wardrobes, under beds, on top of wardrobes etc. Don’t be tempted to start on another room.
  5. Take Five – whilst waiting for the kettle to boil, start sorting through your “junk drawer” (every kitchen has one!). Do you really need all those plastic boxes with no lids, empty jars or recipes torn out from magazines?
  6. One in, Two Out – for every new item brought into the home/office, two items must leave… no cheating though, throwing out a piece of paper and empty toilet roll does not count! This rule may even save you money too – yay!
  7. The Clothes Hanger Rule – each time you wear an item move it to one side of the wardrobe, you’ll find you probably wear 20% of your clothes 80% of the time. After six months you will see what items you have never worn and can give them to charity or sell them on eBay.
  8. Box it for Twelve Months – if you just cannot bear to throw certain items away as you may use it, fix it, need it etc. put all these items into a box, seal up it up and pop it in the loft… IF after 12 months you have not opened the box, donate the whole box to a charity shop (without opening it, as that would only tempt you again). I recently ditched curtains and bedding going back 20 years that were still boxed up from house moves!
  9. List and Reflect – every time you feel the urge to buy the latest gadget, dress or yet another pair of shoes, write it on a list of ‘Things I want’ or take a picture. When at home, reflect on your decision and ask “Do I really need it?” If you don’t you’ve saved both space and money!
  10. Be Honest – do you have a problem detaching emotions from items and blackmail yourself into keeping items that you have been given by your children or spent a lot of money on and have never used? Try this little trick: Do you REALLY a) Love it. b) Need it? If you honestly love it and will use it then you can keep it – otherwise ditch it or donate it!

So those were my top tips. I guarantee if you free up the space, take the plunge, get tough and declare war on your junk that you will feel less stressed, more organised and really appreciate what you do have!

If you need a deep clean, before you tackle your decluttering or after the end of a tenancy let Mrs Mopp and her merry Moppettes® clean, sparkle and refresh your home, from top to bottom, allowing you to spend your well-deserved time off and weekends with friends and family. Contact us for a quote.

How Do I Choose the Right Cleaning Service?

How Do I Choose the Right Cleaning Service?

Cleaning Articles & Guides

I’ve been in the cleaning business for many years and I know people can be confused about the various options for finding a cleaner. So what are the pros and cons and how do you choose the cleaning service that is right for you and your home?

I’ve been in the cleaning business for many years and I know people can be confused about the various options for finding a cleaner. So what are the pros and cons and how do you choose the cleaning service that is right for you and your home?

Continue reading