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How To Teach Your Children To Keep The House Clean


I’ve told you a hundred times not to do that (or to do that, depending on exactly what we’re talking about). Why? Why? Because I said so, that’s why! Oh, all right. Here’s the reason why. So don’t go asking me why again! Do you hear me?

For those of you who aren’t parents yet, here is a brief list of some of the things you will have to tell your children a hundred times. Or a thousand times. And nearly all of them are to do with keeping the house clean, ordered and running smoothly, and keeping you all healthy.

* “Don’t put it down; put it away.” Clutter builds up remarkably quickly, and if you don’t get in the habit of putting things away as soon as possible, chaos results. If things are not where they’re supposed to be, you can end up spending a long time searching for whatever it is. You figure out which takes longer: half a minute of putting your book, cellphone or socks in the right place versus five minutes of searching for that missing item.

* “Close the door; it’s freezing.” Closing doors and windows (and curtains when the day’s over) is a good way of trapping the heat indoors, which contributes to making your home more energy efficient.

* “Wash your hands after going to the toilet/before you come to the table/after playing with the cat.” This is one of the simplest ways of preventing most diseases. Soap is a pretty good disinfectant for everyday use. If you follow this rule, you will not need to throw around as much disinfectant as the advertisers tell you that you should (which is far too much, anyway).

* “Cover your mouth when you cough/sneeze.” It’s obvious that this is done to prevent the spread of bacteria and viruses. However, what isn’t so obvious is that you should cover your cough not with your hands (just think where your hands are going to go) but with the bend of your elbow. Nobody is going to shake your elbow, are they?

* “Put it in the washing box.” The sooner stains and other muck get washed out of clothing, the better. The longer dirty things sit on the floor, the harder the stain is to get out, as the stain sets.

* “Take your plate from the table, rinse it and wash it in the dishwasher when you get down.” Because if you don’t rinse it, it won’t get washed properly. And if you don’t put it in the dishwasher (presuming that the dishwasher is empty or ready to take the dirties) and the plate sits around on the bench, it will attract flies and other vermin.

* “Use a plate for that food.” Plates catch crumbs and stop them getting into the carpet where they will provide food for vermin and for germs. And some crumbs or spills can also stain carpets.

* “Get those grubby boots out of here.” “Here”, of course, is any room that isn’t the laundry, which is the normal room designated for handling mud. Dirty shoes are the primary wreckers of carpets. Dirty feet are also work-creating culprits, but they can be washed before coming inside. However, if it’s muddy outside, wear those boots or shoes because, (as I tell my children) you can’t take your feet off at the door, now, can you?

* “Tidy up your own mess.” This is because housework is everyone’s responsibility and children need to know as soon as possible just what’s involved. This prevents a child (hopefully) growing up with the attitude that other people are there to clean up after him/her, which makes for a much easier adult life in a home shared with others. The sooner they learn this, the better.

Nick Vassilev runs a successful London carpet cleaning firm called CarpetFirst!. Being in the cleaning industry for more than 12 years, Nick has built a substantial knowledge base, which he wants to share with everybody with passion for carpets, cleaning and… guitars. For more info regarding carpet cleaning visit http://www.carpetfirst.co.uk