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

3 Things To Expect When Hiring A House Cleaning Service

3 Things To Expect When Hiring A House Cleaning Service

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

What to look for when hiring a cleaner

Have you done your homework?

Your house is probably your biggest asset. I’m guessing that you worked hard to get a mortgage, to furnish and decorate each room and that you take great pride in the place you call home.

So, when thinking about hiring a house cleaning service, are you putting the same thought into it as you did into say, decorating your home or arranging your home security?

Have you dug into the background of the house cleaning service you are thinking of hiring? Did get quotes from more than one cleaning provider? Or are you only interested in who clean your home the cheapest?

You wouldn’t let just anyone into your home, would you? No of course you wouldn’t, that’s why your here

3 things a cleaning provider should have as standard

House Cleaning Services: 3 Things To Expect When Hiring One | Mrs Mopp | @MrsMoppUK

There are millions and squillions of house cleaning services out there. One for every budget and every home. How do you start to choose between them? What questions should  you be asking the potential house cleaning service to know they are the real deal? Would does a good house cleaning service look like?

1. A Good House Cleaning Service Is Insured

You would think this would go without saying, but I can’t tell you how many homes I’ve been to when the client will tell me a nightmare story about a previous uninsured cleaner and the damage done to their property (and how they are usually left out of pocket)

All house cleaning services, in the UK, should have public liability insurance as standard and they should be happy to show you their certificate of insurance whenever you ask to see it.

Side note: It is worth checking that the house cleaning service you use is covered for heat if you want them to use your steam mop or iron, for example, or that they are covered for heights if you want them to clean a high ledge.

If the house cleaning service employs people to do cleaning work, it should also hold employers liability insurance to protect their staff, your property and their business.

Questions to ask the house cleaning service about insurance

  1. What type of insurance do you have for your cleaning business? To what level of cover?
  2. What is your business covered to do? What can you not do within a home (restrictions such as heat, height, chemicals may apply)
  3. What would happen if a cleaner broke or damaged an item?
  4. What would happen if the cleaner lost my house key?
  5. How many insurance claims have you had in the time you have been trading?

House Cleaning Services: 3 Things To Expect When Hiring One | Mrs Mopp | @MrsMoppUK

If the house cleaning service cannot produce their insurance details, or always have an excuse when you ask for them, run. Run far away from them!

At Mrs Mopp, we have extra insurances than just the standard requirement, like “key-lock insurance” for example, meaning in the rare event of a key being lost or damaged, we would replace our clients locks and issue them with new keys for their peace of mind. Our business was built around how we would feel about someone being in our home, and what would make us feel safer when giving out our house keys – any house cleaning service worth their salt would be happy to share their certificate of insurance with you and to run through their policies on safety and security for your home to put your mind at ease.

Please take the time to ensure you are giving your house keys to a cleaning provider who is properly insured to clean private homes and double check that they are insured for all cleaning eventualities that are important to you!

House Cleaning Services: 3 Things To Expect When Hiring One | Mrs Mopp | @MrsMoppUK

2. A Good House Cleaning Service Will Have References and Testimonials

Unless you are the very first client of a new house cleaning service, chances are there will be someone out there that has used their  cleaning services before.

When speaking with the potential cleaning provider, on the telephone or via email, prior to a home quotation, ask the cleaning provider if they have any references they can bring to the quote to show you?

As well as written references, also ask the cleaning provider if they can provide telephone references where you can speak to an actual real-life client of theirs. (If you are new to having a cleaner and are quite nervous about it, this is a great idea!)

Another port of call when checking out a house cleaning service is to take a look on the ol’ interweb and see what the world says about the service.

One word of slight warning, be careful of Facebook ratings or quotes on websites that say “Mrs A” with no other details, as many people, especially when in buisness start-up mode and looking for clients, will have their friends and family go on to give them a 5* rating as a means to boost to their page.

House Cleaning Services: 3 Things To Expect When Hiring One | Mrs Mopp | @MrsMoppUK

Even if there is a compalint on the cleaning providers page take a look to see how they dealt with it – did they deal with it or ignore the bad review? How a person/business acts in times of stress or wrong doing in normally a better indicator of integrity than those who only present a positive and 100% perfect image by deleting or ignoring problems.

As in life, the sign of a solid service or indeed person, is how they handle events when the chips are down and something has gone wrong – did the cleaning service stick to their word and make good? Was there a happy resolution?

A House Cleaning Service Should Be A Legit Business

I am guessing you work very hard to pay for your home and for all the lovely things you have inside of it. I am guessing your home is probably your biggest outlay financially, and I am also guessing that you take the protection of it quite seriously?

The reason I ask you this is because often, so many people give so little thought to whom they hire to clean their homes.

People looking for the cheapest option when it comes to cleaning work, will 9/10 be disappointed.

When on quotes, we often hear from people who hired their friend Jenny’s sisters, best friends uncle, who knew someone who cleans ,in the pub he drinks in and they said they’ll do it cash-in-the-hand and they promised they could clean their whole 5-bed house in 2 hours?!

These people end up very frustrated with their ‘house cleaning service’ (meant in the loosest way).

Personally, I don’t understand that mentality of trying to find “cheap cleaners”. Why oh why, would you just have any random person in your home, that you worked so hard for, who 1. Won’t meet any of the above-mentioned requirements, and 2. IS NOT A RESPECTABLE BUSINESS?

As a homeowner you should know that the house cleaning service you are thinking of hiring is legit – you need to know that they are insured, you need to know how they vet their staff, you need to know how they train their staff, you need to know what their complaints policy is, you need to know how they store your keys, you need to know how they record your personal information, you need to know what they would do if they lost your house key. You need to know all these things.

House Cleaning services: 3 Things To Expect When Hiring One | Mrs Mopp | @MrsMoppUK

Homeowners should want a professional cleaning service, with procedures and structures in place, and be happy to pay the extra £2 or £3 an hour to know their home is in safe hands, with trained cleaning professionals

If you only have a certain budget for cleaning, shop around and find the right cleaning provider for you, as there will be cleaning business out there to suit your cleaning needs and your budget – yes insured, yes with references, and yes as a legit tax paying, HMRC abiding business!

For example, a house cleaning service operating from home, with all the good things we have spoken about here, should have a much lower charge rate than a cleaning business that has premises and employees for example

The point is this – don’t settle for any old cleaner just because it’s cheap, or it’s your best friends, monkeys uncles cousin will do it cash-in-the-hand. Shop around, get a few quotes, check out a few websites…

You spent months trying to find your perfect home, so it’s only right you should spend some time thinking about who you will trust to look after it.

Do you have anything to add to this post? Please comment below

Happy Cleaning!

Mrs M x


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Do you live In Telford, Shrewsbury, or the surrounding areas of Newport and Shifnal? Need help with your domestic cleaning? Please contact us today with your requirements.

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5 Tips To Help De-Clutter Your Home in 2015

5 Tips To Help De-Clutter Your Home in 2015

Ask Mrs Mopp... Cleaning Articles & Guides From the Author Inspiration Mrs Mopp Blog Spot

De-clutter Your Home In 2015

It’s the beginning of a brand new year and everyone is full of resolutions and hope for the upcoming 12 months. As well as promising to lose weight or join a gym, I’d like you to promise one thing to your home for the next year…To de-clutter it. All of it.

We all lead crazy busy lives and lives that are filled with convenience and “stuff”. Lots of  stuff. We are a nation of work hard, spend hard people and our houses are full to busting point of things we do not wear or use.

Couple of interesting facts for y’all – Did you know that the average UK  adult has over £1,000 worth of stuff/clutter that they could sell or donate just lying around their home? Also, did you know that many psychologists believe having an overcrowded and cluttered house can lead to depression, anxiety and even weight gain? Things that make you go hmm right?

Now I understand that you may not want to throw away that stripy bat-winged jumper that you looked good in when you were 17, just in case, one day,  it should make a miraculous return to the catwalks of the world. However, sometimes we just have to face facts and be hard on ourselves and admit that we would never (ever) wear that jumper again anyway, even if the great Anna Wintour herself declared it chic. The thing is, the memories you have of being a footloose and fancy free bat-winged-jumper-wearing-individual are not trapped in a jumper and they won’t erase if we got rid of the jumper.

This is were de-cluttering becomes hard, we have to separate the emotions from all the stuff…

5 Tips To Make de-Cluttering Easier

1. Make a plan. Tackle your house room by room.

Don’t try and do your house in a day or in one weekend as, unless you live in a tiny house, you won’t manage it and that will  just make you feel fed up and discouraged to carry on. Instead of throwing yourself aimlessly at your home, be strategic and make a plan of what you will do and on what days. You have a year to get everything straight so don’t panic. Just think about it for a second – it took yeeeeaaaaars to collect all the stuff you have right? It will take a while to sort out and get rid of. Rome was not built in a day…

Plan pic

2. Start with the “lived in” areas first

Start in your lounge, for example, and then work through your home from the most used rooms to the least. As you start to de-clutter the most used spaces of your home you should start to begin to feel and see the benefits of less clutter almost immediately. Your room will look bigger and brighter AND it will now take less time to tidy and keep clean, hurrah!

3. Get a 3 box system going in your home

Have 3 boxes or large bags with you when you de-clutter each room to keep you focused and working to a system. The boxes are i) Skip/Recycle ii) Keep/Relocate iii) Charity/Sell. As you go around the room place objects into one of the three boxes. Once done, the room will be ready to be cleaned and the ‘kept’ items put back. If you have the space in a utility or garage, try to keep a regular 2 box system for skip/recycle items and for charity items and make sure everyone in your home knows about and uses them.

5 De-Cluttering Tips from Mrs Mopp

4. Find a charity close to your heart

To give is always better than to receive and if it is possible for you to do so, please think about having a regular charity box in your home. A charity that means something to you will give you motivation to keep the de-cluttering effort going. If you have good quality items or clothing, find a a charity that moves you and one you that you would love to help and be involved in. Not everyone has time to volunteer or has the money to set up a charity monthly direct debit, so donating your un-wanted items is the next best thing and very much appreciated by the charities. Donating to your chosen charity is a win-win for everyone involved – Your home gets de-cluttered, the charity makes money for their cause and someone goes home happy with a new stripy bat-winged jumper. Yay!

The Mrs Mopp charity of choice for 2015 for clothes, household items and furniture is the Shropshire Community Project – If you live in the local area, please click the link after you’ve finished reading this post (Obvs), to learn more about them and the very wonderful work they do in our County. Thank you.

5. Hold a Clothes Swapping Party

Get all your chums to sort out their wardrobes, shoes and accessories, that they no longer wear and arrange a get together to swap with each other whilst holding your own private fashion show. A good giggle, you get to see your friends in one space and everyone goes home with something new and exciting to wear without even spending a penny!

5 De-cluttering tips from Mrs Mopp

Do you have any tips for de-cluttering and learning how to let go of things you no longer need or use? Please share them below if you do, we would love to hear them.

Until the next time, happy Cleaning!

K x