Posts Tagged ‘dusting’

The Dirt On Monsoon Season

September 24th, 2019 | By Claudia Moreno

It’s that time of year again…we wait with great anticipation for the monsoon season here in the Valley! Monsoon storms often bring us much needed (and heat-relieving) rain, as well as spectacular displays of lightning, high winds and blowing dust. Okay, maybe we don’t look forward to the crazy wind and walls of dust so much…

If you’ve ever owned a home in Phoenix – especially one with a pool – you already know that monsoon storm clean-up can be a huge chore. While you might postpone clean-up for a few days at your personal residence, vacation rental homeowners don’t enjoy the luxury of procrastination if guests are due to arrive.

Because these storms can develop rather quickly, it may not always be possible for the vacation rental homeowner – no matter how well-intentioned – to guarantee that the outdoor areas of their rental property are going to look exactly as pictured when guests arrive. Vacation rental home hosts should always make their guests aware of the storms that can occur in this area of Arizona, and the effect they may have on the appearance of the outside of the property.

Now, this is not an excuse to not TRY to make sure everything at your vacation rental home is as perfect as it can be. In fact, there’s a lot you can do prior to these storms that will help keep your vacation rental looking its best, while at the same time ridding yourself of additional potential problems during the monsoon season.


Work With Your Guests


Aside from alerting your vacation rental guests to the possibility of intense storms during their visit, it’s also a great idea to ask for their help in keeping your property and equipment safe from storm damage.


Outdoor umbrellas should always be closed when not in use. Leaving an umbrella open during a monsoon says, “Goodbye and good luck, umbrella! I’ll be replacing you tomorrow.” Ask your guests to be sure to close your umbrellas unless they are sitting under them (which they shouldn’t be, during a monsoon!)


Landscaping and pool umbrellas aren’t the only casualties of monsoon winds – downed power lines also become a thing during this season. If your guests see downed power lines on or around your property, advise them to call 911 immediately. Oh, and DON’T TOUCH the downed power lines! (Astounding to think a guest might decide to pick up a live power line, but you never know.)


Guests should also be reminded that any floating items for the pool (toys, loungers, etc.) should be stored securely when not in use.


For more great information on Phoenix-area monsoon weather, check out these other Moxie blogs:

Monsoon Season and Your Vacation Rental Home

Wildlife and Wild Weather- Things You Should Know About Summer in Phoenix


Attention to Landscaping


A professional landscaper will always advise thinning large trees and removing any tree branches that appear unstable – and this is particularly important before and during the monsoon season. 


The winds created by the monsoon storms can be severe, easily breaking branches and even uprooting entire trees, so it’s crucial you be proactive in keeping your vacation rental’s landscaping as least vulnerable as possible to wind damage.


Also keep in mind that anything picked up by the wind has a really great chance of coming down in your pool, creating additional clean-up!


And Speaking of Pools…


Summer in Phoenix is the best time to have a pool – but it can also seem like the worst! Moxie Girl recommends a reputable professional pool service such as Aquaman Pools to take care of the pool at your vacation rental home. 


If left unattended, foliage and other debris are blown into your pool can cause your pool pump and filter to work overtime, affecting their efficiency and lifespan – trash and leaves can also permanently stain some pool surfaces. So it’s best to “get the big stuff” out right away, if possible. Your guests may be of some help here – especially if they want to swim after a storm –  if you provide a skimmer and a brush for them to use.


Check out our conversation with Chad Nikkel, owner of Aquaman Pools, for more summer tips for vacation rental homes with pools!


Don’t Forget the A/C Filters!


They should be changed monthly anyway, but during the monsoon season changing the filter in your vacation rental home’s cooling unit is an absolute must. Dirty filters negatively affect your unit’s performance – and summer is definitely NOT the time to have sub-standard cooling in your vacation rental!


Moxie Girl Leads the Way in Valley Vacation Rental Care


Find out how putting Moxie Girl in charge at your vacation rental home can help you reclaim your time! Moxie Girl services over 100 vacation rental properties throughout the Phoenix area. CLICK HERE for a free consultation.

Moxie Girl is growing! If becoming a Vacation Rental Assistant and caring for some of the most beautiful vacation rental properties in the Valley sounds like your type of gig, we’d love to hear from you. TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF!

Getting Your Kids to Help With Chores

September 8th, 2015 | By Claudia Moreno

Getting Your Kids to Help With Chores

I will never forget when my friend Denise and her sparkly little 18 month old, Tiffany, came over one morning to visit. When coffee and conversation were over, Denise started to sing, “Now it’s time to clean up toys, clean up toys , clean up toys…” and little Tiffany, as if turned on by a switch, stood up and began to clean up the toys! One after the other she picked them up and dropped them in the basket. I was shocked. It had never occurred to me that a toddler would help with chores. That day this mom learned a lesson: kids will do what is expected if you follow through and make them do it!

There are 3 keys to getting your kids to do chores in your home:

Setting Expectations, Training, and Follow Through!

Setting Expectations

Maybe you’ve never made your kids do chores. Perhaps they do chores but it’s hit or miss. Start by telling the kids that you are going to implement a new chore system and everyone is going to participate, because this is how a family functions best.

Start with a family meeting. Determine daily personal tasks, which evScreen Shot 2015-09-08 at 5.35.41 PMeryone will do for himself, and household chores, which will be done weekly and split up according to age appropriateness. Determine penalties for missed or improperly completed items. Every person in the home who can walk and talk participates.
Yes, really.

Every child will have his personal chart. For little ones, paste pictures on a sheet of paper with a blank box beside each one for a sticker when the job is completed. For the older kids, use a simple spreadsheet. Personal chores should be completed by a certain time daily—say, before school, with only praise for a job well-done. Every child needs to be expected to learn self-care as it’s own reward.

Setting a weekly time for household chores, where everyone works together—say, for 1-2 hours on Saturday morning—is a great idea. Household chores should be part of “family life”, but may include an occasional movie night, or ice cream to celebrate a job well done.Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 5.23.41 PM

If you choose to give an allowance, make sure it is tied into proper and timely completion of tasks.


If required tasks are done haphazardly, or if Mom needs to follow with a “re-do” they are not really ‘done’, are they?

Proper training looks like: “I do, We do, You do”. First I rinse the dishes and load the dishwasher in the proper way while Suzy watches. Then we do the chore together; I rinse and she loads–so we can talk, correct anything done improperly, and make sure the desired result is achieved. Lastly, Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 5.23.26 PMSuzy rinses and loads by herself with Mom watching to insure the child has understood and is doing the chore correctly.
Proper training now is essential to sanity and proper completion later!

Follow Through

Once chores are assigned, and the children have been trained, it is time to implement the program by putting charts on the refrigerator and expecting follow through at the proper time. The first week is when a few reminders may be necessary and a few penalties incurred. Be an absolute stickler this first week, and after that, you’ll be amazed at how smoothly things begin to run!

Congratulations! Your chore plan is now underway! Here’s to a smoothly running household!