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So I kind of hate mopping. I’ve actually got a pretty good streak going right now. I personally have not mopped my floor in almost a year. That’s crazy, right? Well, I usually either spot clean, wipe up well when there’s a spill, or make other people do it. When my mom was here last month she did a lot of floor cleaning for me. Most of the time I get my husband to do it for me. But now that my boys are getting older and are able to do more around the house it’s time to put them to work.
Except they don’t want to help.
The first thing I needed to do was find a way to motivate them. Threats don’t really work. Candy doesn’t always work. “Because I said so” also doesn’t really get them going. One day we told them we would give them 10 points for helping clean the car out and all of the sudden they sprung into action. I knew I had to figure out some kind of chart system for points.
Enter our Chore Chart. The two big boys each have their own side where their points go. While it’s not intended to be a direct competition, they definitely try to see who can earn more points. The system is pretty easy – each “job” they do earns them five points. We try to keep the jobs simple, so something smaller like, “Pick up all of the stuffed animals in your room” rather than “clean your room.” So depending on which room we’re working on, they can earn quite a few points. If they yell, or argue with me or each other while they’re cleaning, they lose five points. And I’m totally not afraid to take points away. Once they earn 100 points they get a prize! I bought a small treasure chest and I keep cheap little goodies in it for prize time.
Anything works for a prize. Little toys, candies or treats, even home made “coupons” for computer time, TV time, or other fun things. It doesn’t have to cost much.
Sometimes one of the boys might be more inclined to earn points than his brother. That certainly reduces the chances of any arguing or yelling. It also means I have one very eager helper that day, because he knows he is getting more points. I can get a few jobs done without any fussing. Of course I pass off my least favorite jobs – sweeping and mopping.
I recently picked up an O-Cedar ProMist spray mop at Walmart to make the mopping easier for whoever I managed to rope into doing it. It comes with a reusable microfiber pad and refillable solution bottle. I love that I don’t have to constantly buy refill pads and bottles for it. It doesn’t even need batteries to spray! Best mop ever! Little did I know my kids would actually love it too. They tend to get a little overzealous with the misting, but it gets the floor really clean, so I can’t complain.
It swivels easily, so getting the corners is no problem. It sprays a fine mist, so it is nice and even. No puddles of water all over my floor. The microfiber pad is super absorbent. And the red “scrub zones” on the pad really get the tough spots cleaned with ease. I even bought an extra one so I could throw one in the washing machine and have a clean one ready just in case.
I have to say that my floor isn’t too bad for someone who doesn’t ever mop. But I think it will be a lot cleaner now that we have this new mop that makes floor cleaning fun. You can pick one up and get a jump on your holiday cleaning! Just look for it with the brooms and mops.
Do you have a creative way to get your kids to help cleaning? Do you have a chore that you just won’t do? What is it?