Cleaning Tips | May 6, 2019 10:30:10 AM
If there were ever a time to encourage your children to get involved with household chores, it is in the lead up to Mother’s Day. Read on to learn about how you can encourage children of different ages to lend a helping hand with age-appropriate tasks.
Getting your children involved in the upkeep of your home not only helps you, but it will teach them about responsibility and give them a feeling of contributing to the household. It is also a good way to spend some extra time achieving things together as a team.
When it comes to assigning tasks to your children, there are several factors to keep in mind. Not only should you account for their age, but you should also think about their maturity level, physical ability, and any allergies or sensitivities. Hopefully, your children are already involved in the regular cleaning schedule, but if they aren't, these tasks are a great place to start.
Asking children to clean up their belongings is a great starting point. It teaches them to be responsible for their items and space. You can also go around your home and put miscellaneous mess away together. This can be turned into a guessing game where kids tell you where the items belong.
If your children require less supervision, try turning tidying into a race against the clock. You can keep a record of how long it takes for them to tidy their room and encourage them to try and beat it each time. If you incentivize improvement in tidying time, you may even entice them into creating less mess in the first place.
Teens should be responsible for cleaning up their own spaces with minimal supervision, but if you are reminding them more than you’d like, consider making a clean room a condition for things like screen time.
If your children aren’t sensitive to dust, you can ask them for help with dusting and cleaning surfaces. Open windows to allow for better ventilation and use high-quality microfiber cloths that pick up the dirt rather than spread it.
Smaller children can help with dry dusting non-fragile areas that won’t require moving heavy or delicate objects. You can do this task together by asking them to clean low-level areas that are harder for you to reach. For example, they can dust lower shelves of bookcases, coffee tables and TV consoles while you work on the top. Just be sure to double check that the areas aren’t too dusty for them and that they don’t try and reach anything that could fall.
Older kids can be tasked with dry dusting objects that are a little more tricky, such as lampshades and surfaces with objects that need to be moved around.
Teens can be responsible for dusting areas that require more care (eg. displays with breakables). They can also be tasked with spraying and wiping soiled surfaces with Natural All-Purpose Cleaner after they have been dusted.
Children of all ages have the opportunity to help with laundry-related chores. Older children can be tasked with collecting laundry from other rooms, while younger children can join in on sorting laundry into separate piles for you.
Once the wash is complete, your kids can help hang clothes on the line if needed. Pegging the laundry on can be quite fun for little ones who can get lifted to the line to reach. Once the laundry has dried kids can also help with sorting and folding.
Ironing is a great task for teens as they can complete this chore while watching TV or listening to their own music.
It’s a good idea for older teens or adults to take full control of adding the laundry liquid to the washing machine to stay on the safe side.
We would recommend using a chemical free detergent so as to not expose anyone to chemicals during the washing process and through clothing after.
Many laundry detergents contain Ethoxylated Alcohol and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) as chemical surfactants designed to lift stains and dirt. In the cleaning industry, the chemical 1,4-dioxane is commonly used to manufacture these surfactants. This is problematic because 1,4-dioxane has been classified as a probable carcinogen according to several sources listed in the EWG guide to Healthy Cleaning, including the ‘National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health’, the EPA and the ‘US National Toxicology Program’s 12th report on carcinogens’.
This is why is it a good idea to check the ingredients of your laundry detergent, even if it is touted as a ‘healthy’ alternative, and make sure it is rated with an A by the EWG’s ‘Guide to Healthy Cleaning’.
If your children aren’t sensitive to dust and dirt, you can ask for their help with collecting debris on the floor. Make it fun by using masking tape to create a ‘target area’ that they have to sweep all the debris into.
If your kids have enough dexterity to work with a dustpan, you can ask them to collect dirt piles for you.
Teens can be responsible for vacuuming or mopping the floors after all the big pieces have been collected.
Make sure you don’t expose your children (or yourself) to any harmful cleaning chemicals by using only natural cleaning products. It’s also a good idea to double check any ‘natural’ claims made by products by using resources such as the EWG’s ‘Guide to Healthy Cleaning’ or checking to see if the products have third-party certification to back up their claims. The last thing you want is to succumb to cleaning product greenwash!
Also, don’t expect perfection from your children and give them time to learn. Expecting a task to be done to your standard will often lead to conflict. Take their help as a chance to get some relief from your chore list - but also as a chance to spend more time with each other, and as an opportunity for learning.
But if your Mother’s Day wish is a home that sparkles from every crack and crevice (without spending hours cleaning), drop the hint for your Mother’s Day Gift - a professional natural home cleaning service voucher from AspenClean.
Not only will you be treated to a clean home, but you’ll also be gifted with time to spend with your family.
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