Homes With Heart – Heather Coombs-Perez

Every year Spring Break elicits cheers from the kids and sighs from the parents. How do you keep them busy, entertained and enthusiastic while still getting through your day to day activities? One solution might be to get a jump on spring cleaning by engaging those energetic young bodies and minds in the process.
Mention the words spring and cleaning to most kids and all they see is “chores”. But what if you made it fun and competitive? Here are some helpful ideas for getting them off the couch and helping without complaining.
1) Make it fun
No one likes to get out of bed and do chores. Set up a specific time each day, or just one or two specific days when you’re going to tackle the annual springtime event. Make sure the kids know what you’re planning to do in advance and inform them of what needs to get done, as well as the rewards they can earn. Let them pick which chores they want to do, or help make the chores list itself– as we know, people who are invested in the process tend to help out more because they’ve had a say in what they want to do, instead of just being assigned a task. Remember to divide the chores up into easy, medium and hard tasks, and to make sure each child does tasks they are physically capable of tackling.
2) Compete against mom and dad
Kids generally thrive on competition, and beating mom and dad is a good motivator. Have each person work individually or in teams. Assign comparable chores, again ensuring the difficulty of the task is age appropriate. Set up a point sheet scorecard and earn points for each task that is completed properly. You might even put in a scoring system where a poor job means start again, a good job earns one point and a great job earns two points. And remember, mom and dad, this is to motivate your kids. Skew the results so they come out on top!
3) Set up a garage sale
I don’t know how it happens, but at some point during the year our closets become a haven for discarded clothing, unused toys, broken shoes and other remnants. Spring is a great time to clean them out. If you don’t use it, need it or love it, get rid of it! The old adage holds true – one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. So, put your gently used paraphernalia out on the front lawn, charge a buck-a-piece, and make some money. Tell the kids to go through their closets to add to the sale, and let them know that whatever money their contributions earn goes straight into their pockets. It’s a great way to lighten your load, while earning some additional cash.
4) Set up rewards and incentives
We all want to be rewarded for working hard. For children, doing chores and contributing to other house-related activities is no exception. As spring-cleaning often exceeds the regular chores your children may do, it should be rewarded and treated as something “above and beyond.” Let the kids know what happens if they successfully complete all the items on the spring-cleaning list. For example, reward them with a pizza party, or a trip to their favorite restaurant. You can also plan a special outing to the beach, the movies — or for the more adventurous — something like a theme park, if the chores are done well, with no complaints. Remember, if the kids are motivated, your job is a lot easier.
For more information about homes in the Culver City area, or to give us your feedback, contact us at You can also call or text direct to 310-259-7419.

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