A family that cleans together has more free time to do other activities together. Get your kids to help around the house by making daily, weekly and monthly chores part of a reward system, one that awards special prizes for their regular completion.
The type of chores you assign your children will depend on their age. A younger kid can tidy his or her room before school each weekday, making the bed and picking any toys up off the floor. An older child can clear the breakfast table and/or load the dishwasher. Older kids also can take responsibility for feeding a family pet twice a day. For weekly chores, look for tasks that have a fun factor, such as hosing down the patio or washing the car. Such chores could be done as a family, cooling everyone off on a hot summer day. Gardening also makes an excellent weekly chore, from weeding to helping with the harvesting of fruits, veggies and herbs. Monthly chores also can be done by teams. For example, a younger child can climb atop the shoulders of an older teen or adult to dust ceiling fans, light fixtures and air vents. Kids of all ages can get down on their hands and knees and search for spots on carpet that need to be treated. You could even give extra credit to the family member that finds the most spots, which if you have a pet in the family might not be that difficult of a challenge. To help keep straight which member of your family has responsibility for what chores, create chore charts.
Just as you have daily, weekly and monthly chores, offer daily, weekly and monthly rewards. You need not award a prize daily, but doing a chore each day should contribute to a weekly reward. For example, doing assigned chores every day of the week should result in a much better prize than doing chores sporadically. Don’t make it an all-or-nothing situation, though, as if your child doesn’t do chores on Monday, he or she may want to skip the rest of the week if no reward exists at the end. One way to get everyone excited about the reward system involves posting a rewards chart right alongside the chores chart. The posting of the charts can be something your kids look forward to each week, as they will want to see what prizes await them at the end of the week or month.
Also take suggestions for prizes. For example, if the kids want a new video game title, make it a goal for everyone. That way, your kids can help keep each other on track and share in such a cool prize. Rewarding your kids for contributions to daily, weekly and monthly household maintenance not only teaches them to be responsible, it also shows them the value of work. You also might consider saving the chore charts each week for a final tally at the end of the year. The child who went above and beyond the others would get an extra-special reward.
One-Day Deep-Cleaning Projects: Bathroom & Kitchen
House in need of some TLC? Why not spend at least one day this weekend deep cleaning your home? Follow Molly Maid’s deep cleaning guide to get the job done as quickly as possible, then enjoy the rest of your weekend (or upcoming week) with a clean home.
Bathroom: Pull all bath towels and mats and take to laundry room; start a load.
Back in the bathroom, fill a spray bottle with equal parts vinegar and hot water. Spray shower/tub walls and floor, plus toilet, then let sit. Fill another spray bottle with ¼ cup vinegar, ½ tsp. dishwashing soap and 2 cups water. Apply to mirrors, then wipe with paper towels. Apply the diluted vinegar to countertops and fixtures, then wipe with a cloth. Scrub shower/tub walls and floor, plus toilet, with a hard-bristle brush, then rinse. Sweep, then mop floor with appropriate product. Return freshly laundered towels and mats to their proper places.
Tip: To remove hard-water stains, soak paper towels in undiluted vinegar and place on buildup. Leave overnight, then scrub and rinse.
Pull all dishtowels and take to laundry room; start a load. Take any rugs outside to shake, then vacuum.
Remove all food from pantry and refrigerator, throwing out expired items as you go. Spray all surfaces, including exterior of fridge and pantry shelves, with diluted vinegar used in bathroom, then wipe with a cloth. Put back remaining items.
Place any stovetop burners in a sink full of soapy hot water. Spray all countertops and appliances, both large and small, with diluted vinegar, then wipe with a cloth.
Pull any appliances you can away from wall, then sweep behind. Push back and sweep remaining floor area. Mop with appropriate product. Bring back freshly laundered dishtowels and vacuumed rugs.
- Light fixtures, ceiling fans, blinds & cabinets — Dust with a damp cloth prior to performing chores in a room.
- Oven — Run the self-cleaning cycle. Avoid fumes by setting the cycle and heading outside with any small children or pets.
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Ms. Molly Foundation
Molly Maid is proud to fund and support the Ms. Molly Foundation, which supports domestic violence agencies and shelters in local communities. We’re proud to have raised over $3 million dollars since 1996.