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

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