The Maids Blog

The Maids Blog

20 Amazing Uses for Mr. Clean’s Magic Erasers

The amazing clean you get when you use Mr. Clean’s Magic Erasers isn’t smoke and mirrors. These little sponges remove the toughest, most stubborn dirt and grime with no extra cleaners. Mr. Clean’s Magic Eraser is made with Durafoam, a melamine polymer. Originally used for insulation and soundproofing, when activated with water, this abrasive foam penetrates surface grooves virtually anywhere grime is trapped to remove built-up soap scum, grease, and dirt. The directions are simple – Wet. Squeeze. Erase. – but the uses are many. Here are 20 ways to use Magic Erasers to make messes go poof. 

  1. Remove scuff marks from walls and baseboards. Be sure to test a small area first.
  2. Power out dirt and germs from light switches.
  3. Remove layers of baked on grime from oven doors.
  4. Scrub off the ring around your bathtub that’s been there for years.
  5. Remove marks from crayons, pens and markers from walls, furniture and surfaces.
  6. Make stains from fruit-flavored drinks on countertops disappear.
  7. Remove dirt and scuff marks from the soles of shoes.
  8. Use it to make your plastic outdoor furniture look like you just bought it. 
  9. Make a greasy, messy stovetop shine again.
  10. Use it on your computer’s keyboard and laptop cover. Just be sure to unplug it first.
  11. Scrub off years of styling cream build-up from flat irons and curling irons.
  12. Quickly remove stuck-on splatters from the inside of your microwave.
  13. Turn your gray grout white again and scrub your tiles while you’re at it.
  14. Make your bathroom faucets and handles shine like new.
  15. Remove layers of soap scum from sliding shower doors.
  16. Scrub off sticky residues from glass jars, wine bottles and photo frames.
  17. Scrub stains off plastic storage containers.
  18. Bring the sparkle back to your sterling silver.
  19. Remove baked-on grease from glass baking dishes.
  20. Use on the refrigerator and freezer handles to remove years of build-up. 

Mr. Clean’s Magic Erasers cleans all these things with just water. It out-performs the leading all-purpose bleach spray so you can clean messes, without worrying about staining your fabrics or using harsh chemicals around your family. It may be magic, but it’s no trick. Seeing is believing.  

The Maids cleaning teams proudly use Mr. Clean’s Magic Eraser to scrub out hard-to-remove dirt and grime from the homes they clean. See for yourself. Contact us for a free estimate to see just how clean our partnership can make your home. 

5 Tips For Preparing to Sell Your Home

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A home’s appearance can make all the difference when it comes to how fast a property sells. If you do a thorough and careful job, you will see a payoff in your efforts. Here are some tips for prepping your home before putting it on the market. 

 

Clean The Exterior

When it comes to first impressions, the exterior of your home can make or break its value. Even if you’ve prepped your home with impressive staging and polished floors, interested home buyers will still see the overgrown yard on the outside first. 

 

Don’t make the mistake of leaving out your exterior when it comes to budgeting or revamping. Remove the dead plants sitting outside and fix the wobbly steps so that it shows that your home has been cared for. Even wiping down the windows on the outside, adding a fresh coat of paint on your door or placing a small pot of greenery can make your place look well-maintained.

 

Touch-Up & Repair

Ultimately, home buyers are looking at the value of the house and the property, so when it comes to touch-ups, leave nothing that is visible in poor condition. For example, many Vancouver homes for sale and houses for sale in Toronto are older and will require more upkeep than homes built in younger cities. Common areas that are overlooked include scratches or cracks in crown molding, walls, floors, and doors. 

 

Making small investments in home improvements like repainting the walls, replacing door knobs or getting new blinds will add to your home value and pay off in the long run. Consider doing bigger renovation projects if your home needs it – consider if you would purchase your home in the condition it is in. For example, uneven flooring can become your greatest enemy when it comes to selling your home. 

 

Even when you think you got everything, do a quick walk-through of your home to see if there is anything that stands out. 

 

Remove Odours

For pet owners especially, remember that even bad odours can deter potential home buyers from wanting to buy your home. Get rid of any furniture carrying a bad smell and use light, naturally scented items, such as an indoor plant to freshen up the air.

 

Avoid lighting up scented candles in every corner of the home, making it obvious that you’re trying to cover up the smell. 

 

Depersonalize and Stage

While one or two family photos can add a nice touch to portraying a warm home, you’ll want to depersonalize the rest of your furniture. Remove your children’s latest art class project from the fridge, and your dog’s chew toys. You’ll want buyers to be able to envision a life in your home and unfortunately these items often clash with the latest interior trends

The importance of staging comes hand-in-hand with presenting a well-maintained and presentable home. Typically, simple and neutral furniture are the easiest to work with, and it’s always better to declutter than to add. Another option is to hire a professional home stager, who can bring out the best qualities of your home. 

 

Hire a Cleaning Service

While some feel that hiring a cleaning service isn’t the best investment of their money, a team of cleaners can provide more value to your home than you can imagine. A sparkling home is essential and if you’re short on time or manpower, this is the most efficient solution. Preparing your house for viewings mean that you need more than a quick sweep. From window blinds to lamp shades, there are many areas that can be easily overlooked if tackling the job on your own.

Win The Battle Against Summertime Sand

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Memories are made at the beach. Days spent splashing in the surf and building sand castles in the summer sun are treasured times. That is until it is time to leave and the sand comes with you – in your clothes, shoes, bags, coolers and eventually every square inch of your home. For many that leave near sandy recreational areas, it is an ongoing summertime battle to keep sand out of your home. Try our tips to win this fight.

 

Leave It Outside

Prevention is your biggest weapon – keep the sand where it belongs, outside.

 

 

  • Attach a hose near the door or patio to allow everyone to quickly spray off before heading indoors. Use an attachment to spray out coolers and wash off flip flops.
  • Consider installing an outdoor shower. Outdoor showers can be as simple (a hose and showerhead) or as complex (a completely new space) as your needs and budget allow. Plus, they allow you to soap up outdoors when sand is really caked on.
  • Enforce a shoe-free home. We happen to think every home should be shoe-free, as many other cleaning culturesdo, but especially during summer. Have an area to drop shoes immediately inside and place signs reminding guests of your shoe policy.
  • Set out a natural fiber mat. This type of bristly mats help scrub the sand from the bottom of shoes.
  • Sprinkle baby powder on hands and feet. Baby powder aids in getting stubborn or fine sand off of hands and feet.
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Keep It Contained

Sandy items (and people) should be corralled together in designated spaces to stop sand in its tracks.

 

 

  • Use a specific basket or bin to gather up swimsuits, coverups and towels. Label the container so no one is confused about where beach gear goes.
  • Ask everyone to stick to the laundry room, bathroom and kitchen until they’ve showered and changed. Keeping the sand contained in certain areas lessens the chance it will travel throughout the house.
  • Use mesh bags for the beach as their holes allow more sand to fall out. Give the bag a good shake before leaving the beach.
  • Install hooks and/or bars on decks or patios to hang chairs, towels and play equipment. Use an area where these items can “live” until your next excursion.
  • Have a place to keep pets outside until they’ve dried off and de-sanded. Dogs don’t understand why they can’t jump on your clean bed with their wet, sandy paws. Do yourself a favor and put them in a dry, preferably grassy, spot before bringing them indoors.
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Suck Up The Sand That Made It Through Enemy Lines

Grains of sand are so small, from two millimeters to 64 millimeters, that inevitable some will make it past your defenses.

 

 

  • Plug in the vacuum. Many vacuum cleaners have attachments for hard floors that allow you to suck up more particles. A broom will work in a pinch, but it’s nearly impossible to get all the grains into the dustpan.
  • Invest in a hand-held vacuum. These handy little suction machines make it easy to get rid of any rouge sand grains. Perfect for car-use as well.
  • Stock up on wet wipes. Use cleaning wipes for sunscreen bottles, sunglasses, phone cases and anything else that’s made it past your defenses.
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Staying vigilant against sand will have you ultimately winning the war. When you’re ready to concentrate on summer fun, instead of cleaning, think about hiring The Maids. We will make your home or vacation home sparkling clean so all you return to is relaxation. Contact us for a free estimate!

 

 

 

 

Why Last-Minute Cleaning Services Are a Lifesaver!

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Surprises are great – receiving a bouquet of flowers at work or being treated to lunch but there are some surprises that come with unwanted stress and anxiety. Take this example, your best friend from out of state calls to let you know she’s in town for the night (yay!) and then asks to stay in your guest room (uh oh). Of course, you say yes, even though your home looks like a tornado just came through. Dishes are stacked in the sink and counter, towels are heaped on the bathroom floor, the cat disappeared under a mountain of laundry a week ago and you could write your name in the dust on every surface you own. You start to sweat because it will take hours to get the house close to ready and you’re only one person, it’s not like you have a team behind you. Or do you?

Let The Maids be your team. We understand you get busy and cleaning sometimes gets put on the back-burner. We don’t judge. Instead, we offer solutions like our same day cleaning services.

Last-Minute Cleaning is Quality Cleaning

With our staff size, equipment and team organization, we’re equipped to handle any last minute cleaning service. Simply give us a call, tell us some details and we’ll quickly assemble a team to come to your home and make it shine.

Our 22-Step Cleaning Process works the same way no matter if you call today or a week ago. It ensures all the rooms of your home get attention. Kitchen cabinets are wiped down, bathroom toilets are disinfected, counters are wiped and all floors are vacuumed.

Or maybe you have a special cleaning service request like carpet that is begging to be cleaned or windows that have lost their brilliance. We can even clean the inside of your fridge, your walls and furniture. All you have to do is contact us, tell us your needs and we’ll provide the solution.

Bring Us Off the Bench Anytime

A same day cleaning service isn’t just for getting out of sticky situations. Take this scenario, you keep your home neat and tidy most of the time but you’re planning a big party and between buying decorations, planning the menu and setting the table, you just don’t have a spare minute to clean. Call us off the bench and we’ll make sure your party is a home run with dirt, bacteria and grime called out. We can handle the cleaning while you focus on being the perfect hostess.

The best part is you’ll always know the cost up front. In fact, we’ll give you a free estimate over the phone. You don’t have to do it all. Let The Maids be your cleaning team.

 

Mother’s Day Gift Certificates Are Perfect For Every Mom

Flowers, candy, jewelry, bath products, a fluffy robe – these are all great (but predictable) Mother’s Day gift ideas. They are so common, the mothers in your life have probably already received them numerous times. And, let’s ask ourselves, is this what mom really wants? Even if you just stick to traditional holidays – birthdays, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, anniversaries – there are a lot of opportunities to give gifts that mom neither wants nor needs. Consider instead gifting mom with a housecleaning service. Hear us out, there are a lot of reasons a gift certificate from The Maids is the perfect present.

Why Buy Mom A Gift Certificate From The Maids 

  1. It’s the perfect size.There are no guessing games to play as to mom’s size or taste. Guess two sizes too big, and mom may not appreciate the sentiment and guessing on taste has its pitfalls as well. For example, it is adorable to have the kids pick something out. But they love cutesy things – like cartoon characters – and as much as they think mom would also love to wear Chase from Paw Patrol on her PJs, she probably doesn’t. A gift certificate always fits, and mom can tailor it to the exact service she wants. The Maids offers several types of cleaning services from one-time to recurring every month.
  2. It’s calorie-free.Our bodies are gorgeous just as they are, but many of us are conscious that we will be showing more skin in the coming months and are trying to cut back on sweets. Gifting mom with a heart full of M&M’s or a box of calorie-loaded chocolate may not be appreciated. Using a gift certificate to hire The Maids frees mom up to focus on herself, whether that means hitting the gym, going for a walk or planning healthy meals.
  3. There’s nothing to keep alive.Not all of us have green thumbs and those that do may look at a plant as something else to take care of. Cleaning services from The Maids are virtually maintenance-free. Our team will come whenever is convenient for you and don’t need to be home or supply any of the cleaning products. Easy.
  4. It never goes out of style.Moms tend to get the pieces jewelry stores promote with hearts, the word “Mom” and birthstones. While this jewelry is thoughtful, it’s probably not the stylish pieces mom would choose for herself. A clean, healthy home never goes out of style. The Maids’ 22-Step Healthy Touch System works by ensuring every surface is wiped and every corner is dusted.
  5. It completes a chore mom really doesn’t like.Very few of us really love to clean. It’s not the actual motion of scrubbing and dusting that dissuades us (although it may be for some) but it’s the time it takes away from the rest of our lives – kids, school, work, soccer games, fun, etc. Our professional residential cleaning services gets your home back to spotless while you get to do the things you love, like using all those bath products to take a bubble bath in a spotless tub!

Purchasing a gift certificate from The Maids is easy on the gift giver as well. Just contact your local Maids office to purchase a certificate in the amount you desire. The recipient can then contact their local franchise to customize the cleaning according to their needs and schedule. Your loved one will be singing your praises, guaranteed. The Maids gift certificates can also be used towards special services such as carpet and window cleaning or pet hair removal. To find The Maids nearest you, visit www.maids.com.

Move-In House Cleaning Tips You Should Remember

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Even if your new home looks clean, there could still be some hidden places harboring dirt, grime and germs. Since there’s no better time to clean a house than before you move in, it pays to inspect every nook and cranny when you’re doing your move-in house cleaning. There seems to always be a few extra cleaning jobs, no matter how great the place looks. You just have to know where to look!

Ceiling Fans and Light Fixtures

Ceiling fans and light fixtures aren’t on most people’s everyday cleaning checklists, so they’re the perfect place to start your move-in house cleaning. Ceiling fan blades are notorious for having a residue on the top side and if it’s been a long time between cleanings they can take a bit of work. Be sure to vacuum those little openings all around the ceiling fan housing and make sure the fan is set to turn in the right direction for the season. Counter-clockwise keeps things cooler in summer and clockwise keeps your home warmer in winter.

Light fixtures can have similar build up that’s hard to notice until you get up there and get a close look. Most light fixtures have various parts you can remove for cleaning. Domes, covers and globes are often made of glass which is a magnet for everything from dust to cigarette tar. Remove them and clean them in the kitchen sink. Let them dry, reinstall them and let the light shine while you continue with your move-in house cleaning.

Light Switches

Light switches and other frequently touched fixtures may not get cleaned often enough and end up looking dingy. But it’s what you can’t see that should be your biggest concern. Germs build up on these fixtures and get transferred to hand after hand. Clean the switch plates and switches and disinfect them. Then add this cleaning task to your regular cleanings to prevent the spread of germs after you move in.

Door Knobs, Cabinet Pulls and Handles

These frequently touched areas are right up there with the light switches. Just think of how many times someone turns a doorknob or opens a cabinet in the course of a day. That’s a lot of dirt and germs getting transferred all around the house and onto your hands as soon as you touch one of them! Clean all these and give them a good disinfecting. Now is a good time to tighten up any loose knobs or handles too.

Floors

For wood, tile, and linoleum floors, use a vacuum attachment to clean corners and edges, and then sweep up all remaining debris. Finish up by mopping, making sure to use a product that’s safe for the surface you’re using it on and clean the baseboards while you’re at it. You can vacuum, but that won’t do much for removing allergens or improving the air quality. Move-in house cleaning is no time to cut corners. Splurge on a steam cleaner rental and get all those carpets fresh and clean.

Kitchen

Your new kitchen may look spic and span, but considering you’ll be storing food and cooking meals, play it safe and give the kitchen a good sanitizing. Equal parts water and white vinegar make a great sanitizing solution. Use this on the inside of the fridge after you remove all the shelves and drawers. Clean the drawers and shelves in the sink, let them dry and put them back in the fridge. Repeat for the freezer.

On to the rest of the kitchen. Start by cleaning the tops of cabinets and work your way down. Clean inside and outside of the cabinets and be sure to sanitize those cabinet pulls. Sanitize the counters and finish up by sweeping and mopping the floor with your sanitizing solution. Go ahead and clean the baseboards while you’re cleaning the floors.

Bathrooms

Maid service pros say that bathroom cleaning is as much about disinfecting as it is about sparkling surfaces. Dish soap and a sponge are pretty much all you need for the initial scrub down of the tub and shower, but follow up with an antibacterial spray to get rid of any lingering germs. You could clean the toilet seats, but why not replace them instead. You’ll have newer-looking toilets and not have to worry about germs and bacteria. Clean and sanitize the toilet paper holder, faucets and door handles and finish up by cleaning and sanitizing the floor.

Follow this move-in house cleaning list, and you’ll have the peace of mind knowing that your new place is clean, fresh and as germ-free as it can be. To keep everything nice and fresh, we’ve got plenty of house cleaning resources for all your housekeeping needs.

 

Tips To Keep Your Fridge Looking Fresh

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Your refrigerator works hard. Its handles get grabbed with sticky, germy fingers. Its exterior is covered with reminder notes, photos and precious scraps of artwork. And it gets opened dozens of times of day and rummaged through for everything from quick snacks to dinner essentials. So, it begs one to wonder, why does it hardly ever get cleaned?
It could be due to the simple fact of out-of-sight, out-of-mind. Or, it could be we really don’t have a great plan for cleaning the fridge. For example, where do we put all the food? And pull out crispers and drawers really don’t fit in the sink.
Never fear, we’re here for you. Try these tips by The Maids to keep your fridge fresh and clean.

  •  Throw out food that’s gone bad weekly. Quickly go through the contents of your fridge and throw out produce that’s gone bad before adding your new groceries. Jarred items and condiments can last a long time but if they have been in your refrigerator for years, they probably need to go. Always follow the rule, “When in doubt, throw it out.”
  • If it’s drippy, sticky or gooey, wipe it down before putting it back. Condiment bottles like ketchup, Siracha or Dijon mustard are notoriously messy. Give them a quick wipe with a warm washcloth before putting them back. The same goes for beverage containers like milk jugs. Wipe up any drips before they settle on your shelves.
  • Line your shelves and crisper drawers. The easiest messes to clean are the ones that never happen! Use press and seal wrap or plastic mats to line shelves and paper towels or newspapers to line crisper drawers. As a bonus, lining crisper drawers helps absorb extra moisture from produce allowing it to stay fresher, longer.
  • Make a couple of fridge rules. To keep your fridge clutter–free, make rules that eliminate those objects that muck it up – plates, cups and identical bottles of mustard and salad dressings. Open containers are just a bad idea as they can easily be spilled and nearly all condiments can sit in the cupboard before they opened instead of immediately adding to your fridge clutter.
  • Designate at least one night a week for leftover night. It is estimated that 1.3 billion tons of food are wasted each year. Pull out your leftovers, including any salad mixes and deli meats and cheeses, and let your family pick their dinner. Not only will you have to throw less spoiled food away, but you’ll save money and time as dinner just needs a quick re-heat! Just remember to label your leftovers so you know they are safe to eat.
  • Store food correctly. Your refrigerator has several different spots in it that were made with particular foods in mind. The door is a warmer spot and should be used for condiments and jarred items. Eggs should go on a middle or top shelf (with the milk), so their temperature doesn’t fluctuate. Store raw meat together (and bagged to prevent juices from spilling) near the bottom. Make sure your produce drawers are set to the correct humidity. Vegetables like humidity, fruit doesn’t!
  • Find an organization system that works for you. Some organizers swear by using plastic tubs and bins to keep like food items together. Recycling items for storage, like empty six-pack holders and egg cartons, have also been found to be handy. Others love to label drawers and shelves, so family members know where things go. If one of these storage solutions makes your fridge life easier, go for it.
    While you are busy keeping the inside of your fridge tidy, let us help keep the outside – and the rest of your kitchen for that matter – clean as a whistle. Our 22-Step Healthy Touch Deep Cleaning System pays extra special attention to the kitchen, like cleaning the sink, inside the microwave, outside your appliances, wiping down cabinet doors, counters, cleaning the floor and loading the dishwasher. Contact us today for a free estimate.

Pet owners: How to keep your home spotless

Pet Owners: How to Keep Your Home Spotless 

For many of us, our furry friends are our best friends. That’s not to say sometimes we don’t have beef with our little bffs. Pets are notoriously messy. Between shedding, dirty paws and house training accidents, it can feel like all we do is clean up after our pets. The good news is you don’t have to choose between the unconditional love of a pet and your love of spotless floors and clean furniture. Follow these tips to get the best of both worlds.

  1. Neutralize Odors. Let’s be honest. Pets carry their own eau de parfum and it isn’t the most welcoming smell when you walk in the door. Use products that help eliminate odors. A good tool of the trade is baking soda. Add a little essential oil to baking soda, geranium is a natural pet neutralizer, and sprinkle it over your carpet and furniture. Let it do its thing for at least a half hour, then vacuum. An enzyme-based cleaner is also a good investment. Many carpet machine manufacturers have pet odor products specifically suited for this purpose. A well air circulated home also does wonders to combat odors. Open a door or window whenever possible.
  2. Arm Yourself. Having the proper tools at the ready makes a big difference when cleaning up after pets. Always, always, always have a lint roller on hand. Not only does it make quick work of pet hair on your clothes but use it on couches, pillows and chairs to tidy up before company comes. Mini vacuums are a plus to get into the nooks and crannies and using them on stairs seriously saves your back. A good vacuum with proper suction is essential. Empty the bin often, check for clogs in the hoses and remove hair from brush rollers.
  3. Wash Soft Items Often.Dog beds, blankets and toys carry some serious funk. Don’t forget to clean these as well. Periodically throw them in the washing machine on the heavy-duty cycle (always follow the manufacturer’s laundering directions).
  4. Be Proactive.Every door should have a washable rug in front of it to eliminate dirt from being tracked in. Keep old towels handy when the weather turns wet or snowy to wipe down your pup’s paws before he gets a chance to get all the way into the house. If your pet isn’t the neatest of eaters, invest in a bowl stand to help eliminate slops and spills.
  5. Stay Vigilant To Control Pet Hair.Pet hair will never truly go away until your pet does, but you can eliminate its build up. Run the vacuum daily over the areas your pet loves to lay. Some owners swear by using squeegees over the carpet to gather up hair. Once vacuumed, spray an anti-static spray on throw pillows and upholstery to prevent new hair from sticking. A microfiber dust mop works great on hardwood and tile floors. Combat hair at the source by brushing your pet often (and outside) to reduce the amount of shedding. And, if you just can’t keep Fido or Felix off the furniture, invest in slipcovers.

The biggest thing to remember is your pet means more to you than a ball of hair or muddy prints. Pets enrich and even lengthen our lives; don’t stress over every mess. Instead, call The Maids. We will leave your home so clean and fresh you’ll think your pet packed his bags and went on vacation. Contact us today for a free estimate.

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How to Create a Cleaning Chart for Kids That Really Works

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How to Create a Cleaning Chart for Kids That Really Works

Getting the kids involved with routine cleaning chores is the perfect way to teach valuable life skills and get more done around the house. A cleaning chart for kids is a great way to keep track of the chores you delegate and create fun along the way. You’ll find a handy, printable weekly chore chart is a good start, but there are a few things you need to know to make your project a success.

The Right Job for the Right Kid

All children have different skill levels and age is just one factor to consider when matching kids with the right chores. Before you fill out your cleaning chart for kids, review the recommendations below and consider mental maturity, physical ability and level of interest besides age. When you take the time to pick the right job for the right kid, you both have a much greater chance of success.

Toddlers

Most toddlers up to around four years old love to help out with chores so making things fun and exciting is critical for keeping their enthusiasm high. Kids at this age need a visual reminder of their progress, and a sticker cleaning chart for kids is a terrific choice. You’ll probably have to spend more one-on-one time at this age level, but the quality time together and the positive habits you’ll create are worth the effort.

  • Make the bed together
  • Clean up toys and other belongings
  • Gather dirty clothes and put them in the hamper
  • Feed your pets together
  • Help with any messes or spills
  • Dust with Microfiber cloths (skip the furniture sprays)
  • Mop and sweep together (a kid-sized broom really adds to the fun with this one)

Preschoolers


Around the ages of four or five, kids still love to help and crave quality time with their parents. The best part about this age group is, with a little hands-on help, most kids can quickly take over their responsibilities with little ongoing supervision. Since this age group is typically more mentally advanced than toddlers, they are motivated by rewards for completing chores. A sticker chart still works great at this age as long as it’s easy to understand and helps kids track their rewards to see how their hard work is paying off.

  • Set and clear the table
  • Help load the dishwasher (for more fun, why not wash dishes together the old-fashioned way!)
  • Cook together (kids love to measure ingredients, stir and other cooking tasks)
  • Put groceries away
  • Keep their room and play areas picked up

Six to Eight-Year-Olds

Children at these ages usually crave independence so keep that in mind when you assign their chores on your cleaning chart for kids. School-aged kids may have lost a little of their “blind” enthusiasm, but they make up for it with their quest for independence. This is also an age group that wants to make up their own minds. Try to assign them chores they enjoy or at least don’t hate! And don’t forget the rewards. Allowances, more tv time and other incentives work great at these ages.

  • Feed and water pets
  • Vacuum, sweep and mop
  • Take out the trash and help with recycling
  • Fold and put away laundry (especially their own)
  • Help with younger children
  • Get the mail (this one seems to be a favorite for all ages!)

Preteens


Kids aged nine to twelve have a firm grasp of cause and effect, so keep those rewards coming. This age group is also developing an appreciation of routines with clear expectations. Letting preteens help with the scheduling and tracking gives them a sense of ownership and goes a long way toward keeping their interest. While you still want to use a cleaning chart, remember the goal is to get the kids to do their work, so don’t be afraid to change things up. Any of the chores above for younger children will work for this age group, but keep in mind the desire to prove their independence and increasing capabilities are strong. You may be better off giving them chores that require more effort and skill.

  • Help wash the car
  • Load and unload the dishwasher
  • Prepare meals together (don’t be afraid to let them take the lead once they get going)
  • Clean the bathrooms (be mindful of potentially harmful cleaners)
  • Rake leaves, pick up debris and other yard work

Teens

Most teens can take on nearly any chore as long as they know how to do it. But with this increased capability comes a hurdle parents must prepare for if they want to keep things rolling. Along with your cleaning chart, you’ll want to monitor your teens’ busy schedules and activities because you don’t want to overwhelm them. Even with the right incentives and good planning, teens can quickly come to resent chores if they feel overloaded. When you plan well and stay tuned-in to your teen’s frame of mind, you can delegate many “grown-up” chores successfully.

  • Change out light bulbs, indoor air filter and vacuum cleaner bags
  • Do the laundry
  • Clean windows
  • Clean out refrigerators and clean other appliances
  • Create grocery lists and help with the shopping
  • Other routine maintenance and cleaning

How Doing Chores Teaches Kids Valuable Life Lessons

Although each age group presents its own challenges, kids of all ages benefit from taking responsibility for chores. Research shows children who are responsible for chores have higher self-esteem, are more responsible and are better able to deal with frustration. These benefits contribute to more success in school and in adult life later on.

The life lessons learned and increased self-esteem experienced by kids who grow up doing chores has a direct impact on their ability to function competently as an adult.

  • Being responsible for chores gives kids an increased sense of belonging. Their contributions to the family teach them that teamwork and helping others is an important part of healthy relationships.
  • Holding kids accountable for their chores increases their perception of themselves as responsible which can lead them to seek more responsibility.
  • Completing chores makes kids feel more competent and gives them a sense of fulfilling their obligations. This sense of accomplishment prepares them for more difficult challenges as they grow up.
  • By teaching children to complete self-care tasks and household chores, parents equip kids with the skills to function independently in the outside world. The increased independence and appreciation of interdependence means kids can build mutually beneficial relationships in adulthood.
  • Working with a schedule and a cleaning chart, kids learn how to prioritize and manage their time. Getting the most important tasks completed in a timely manner is one of the best lessons any child can learn.
  • Holding children accountable for chores means teaching them what is important to you and what you think should be important to them. Hard work, discipline and other elements every successful adult needs are a natural byproduct of this accountability.
  • Not every child will experience accolades at school or in sports. Having them take on the responsibility of completing chores gives them feelings of self-worth they may not find elsewhere.

Making Sure Things Get Done

By making things fun and rewarding kids appropriately, you’ll have a better chance of success. But sometimes you’ll encounter resistance to your well-designed chore chart so here are tips to keep things moving.

Remember, it’s the journey, not the destination. If you want kids to learn those valuable lessons, then “good” has to be good enough. By taking a relaxed approach with your expectations, you can help children become more skilled while they realize it’s okay not to get things perfect.

Start early and build your child’s success. If you’re waiting until you think your kids are ready to take on responsibility, you’re missing the point because they learn by watching and doing. Even very young children can follow basic directions, and they naturally mimic parents’ behaviors. Your kids are more capable than you may think.

Praise even the smallest success. Kids love praise and for younger children that may be the best incentive of all so don’t wait until the chore is complete. Keep their enthusiasm alive by giving them an “A” for effort. Remember how patient and encouraging you were when your little ones were learning to walk? That’s precisely the praise and pats on the back kids need while they learn.

Consistency builds buy-in. You created the perfect cleaning chart for kids. You took the time to assign the most compatible chores and you’ve been patient, understanding and a real team player. Don’t mess all that up by being inconsistent with expectations and consequences. By sticking to your chore schedule, following up when chores are completed and making expectations (and consequences) as clear as possible, you’ll develop the consistency that helps children thrive.

 

Your Monthly Deep Clean Schedule

We love a clean house, in fact, the cleaner the better. But we recognize while some things need to be cleaned daily and weekly, other chores only need to be cleaned once or twice a year. The problem is, these are BIG chores, i.e., the ones you don’t want to do (who wants to wash windows?). That’s why we created a handy list that breaks up the biggest tasks by month. Once you get into a monthly cleaning schedule those huge tasks won’t seem so daunting.

January: Clean your refrigerator.

Now that the holidays are over, it’s time to clear out all the leftovers in your fridge and give it a good disinfecting. Use a mild soap to wash shelves and drawers and disinfect the inside with a vinegar solution or a bleach solution. Allow to dry before putting your food back in.

February: Call The Maids for a Spring Cleaning.

Get a jump on spring and hire The Maids to give your home a top-to-bottom deep clean. The Maids will clear out all the old dust and allergens left over from a long winter and give you a fresh start.

March: Wash all your bedding.

We know sheets should be washed more than once a year but the rest of your bedding (the mattress pad, comforter, pillows and blankets) require it less often. Check all the tags and wash in the hottest water recommended.

April: Clean your vents.

This time of year your HVAC unit gets a little break so use it to clean your vents. Remove each vent and vacuum the opening. Wash the actual vent covers in warm water with a mild soap. The bathtub works great for large return vents.

May: Clean all your trash cans.

The only thing standing between your bin and smelly, slimy garbage is a paper-thin bag, which, let’s face it, doesn’t always withstand all the abuse. Remove the bag (and any solid materials) and spray the inside with an all-purpose cleaner and let it sit for a couple minutes. If your bin is too deep for your arms to reach, use the kitchen sprayer or even the garden hose to spray off any hardened gunk.

June: Organize your storage areas.

Replace broken storage bins and sell or throw out items you’re ready to part with (if you haven’t used it in 10 years do you really need it?). Dust or wipe down shelving.

July: Wipe down all your vertical surfaces.

Horizontal surfaces, e.g. tables, TV stands, etc., usually get some dusting love but vertical surfaces, not so much. Wipe down all your light switch plates, doors, moldings and cabinets.

August: Move your appliances.

You’d be surprised how easy big appliances are to move. Pull them out to vacuum and scrub the floor under them. Don’t forget to wipe down the sides too.

September: Wash your windows.

Like, really wash them. Remove and/or vacuum the screens and sills. Wash both the inside and outside of the windows. If you live in a two-story home and your windows don’t slide-in for easy cleaning, either hire a pro or find someone who’s comfortable on a ladder.

October: Clean out your bathroom vanities and medicine cabinets.

It’s amazing how dust and hair and get inside a drawer! Go through your vanity and medicine cabinet and toss any expired medications and old makeup. Vacuum out drawers and grab some plastic bins to help you organize your toiletries.

November: Wash your curtains.

Dust loves to live on the very top of your fabric curtains. Check the fabric’s label and follow the laundering and ironing directions.

December: Clean your lights.

The days get short in December so your lights need to be as bright as possible. Dust and clean your light fixtures and lamp shades. Unscrew any glass or porcelain housings and wash them in mild, soapy water.

 

Contact us today to see how we can fit into your monthly cleaning schedule.


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