It's No Secret Chore Rhymes With Bore
As a kid, my responsibilities including vacuuming and dusting the living, dining, and family rooms of the house. I hauled around a heavy canister vacuum cleaner, relishing when it “accidentally” slammed into the furniture. I used my dad’s old t-shirts saturated in Pledge or Windex on the tables and hutches. My life improved considerably when I learned how to mow the lawn and used that as an excuse to shirk my indoor chores.
I’d never cleaned a bathroom or kitchen until I went away to college. I learned a neat trick - a spray bottle full of bleach could be sprayed all over the shower tiles and POOF mold be gone! Over the years, I started to glance at labels and was surprised when certain cleaners had warnings about not utilizing them in conjunction with other cleaners. I began to understand the warning to use the product in a well ventilated areas when the chemical combos caused me to wheeze.
Three years ago, I started swapping out our cleaning products for better choices. Utilizing the EWG's Guide to Healthy Cleaning I learned that my cleaners with “natural!” and “green!” on the label were no better than their conventional counterparts. Grrr...using the same guide, I found some better options to try.
Raising One-Day Adults
Now that we’re using safer alternatives, I should start teaching my kids to clean. At this point we are barely succeeding at getting the our 8 and 6 year old kids to clear the dinner table and take out the trash and recycling. No one wants to clean and it is even less fun to make someone clean. Yet, here we are, in charge of one-day adults.
No longer do we have to put off the chore's because they require ventilation, or because the product is locked under poison control protocol. This generation? It's time to bring it on. If they know what an Angry Bird is, then they most certainly can wax on and wax off a counter top. Just look at all the ways our little darlings can be involved now!
- Sinks and tubs - Scrub tubs with castile soap while in still in the tub. Keep a little container of sink scrub in each bathroom so those who can reach the sinks can wipe the sinks.
- Mirrors, counters and windows - The fun is in the creation! Have the older kiddos measure out one part vinegar and one part water into a spray bottle, under your most devoted supervision of course. Let the kids spray and wipe to their hearts content onto mirrors, counters, and doorknobs. Bonus for the cleanest windows or the fastest worker?
- Carpets - Four years ago my oldest son asked for a vacuum for Christmas and my kids actually fight over who gets to use it. Sprinkle some baking soda on the carpet, let it sit overnight to deodorize and then unleash the kids on who can vacuum it up better, faster, more completely.
- Laundry - And of course there is this. Staged? Maybe a little bit but what if it inspired your little angel to participate?
Full disclosure, we may not succeed and end up continuing to clean while our children enjoy their childhood but I’m willing to kick my feet up and watch them try. Margarita anyone?
Our blog, the Savvy Path, focuses on one theme a month. Learn together, makes some changes, move forward. Nice and easy. Stay tuned as we explore more budget-friendly cleaning ideas, tips and products.