Cleaning Revolution

My husband says I am finally at his parenting level.

I have had a major revelation when it comes to picking up the toys around our house. A revelation he swears he had before our oldest son was even born.

I just rolled my eyes at him and told him he could pick up all of our toys if he is so superior. But since he is gone 80 percent of each day at work, that isn’t very realistic.

So, I am glad I have stumbled upon parenting genius.

I think I have finally figured out how to get my boys to help clean up their toys! I have realized something so simple, something that you, like my husband, have probably done from day one.

I am now making my children put away one set of toys before moving on to the next. A novel idea I know, but it is working wonders for my pick-up-all-the-toys-all-the-time anxiety.

I used to let my boys dump out whatever they wanted. Sometimes, OK a lot of the times, I would follow them around like I was part of the help picking up what they dumped or dropped. But my efforts were futile. They would storm through the house making mountains of mess that none of us felt like picking up at bedtime. We were tired, overwhelmed and unmotivated.

We live by storage bins at our house. We have a bin for Legos, trucks, Tinker Toys, dinosaurs, super heroes, etc.

The new routine is that they have to pick up their toys and put them in their bin when they are done with them, BEFORE moving to the next bin of toys. If they want to play super heroes then that’s fine with me. As long as all of the other bins are picked up and put away.

I have an 81-year-old neighbor who I visit on a regular basis who told me several years ago that she taught her kids to pick up and put away one thing before moving to the next.

I shrugged her master parenting skills off thinking that they were outdated and unhelpful. Boy was I wrong. I wish I would listen to people.

I haven’t exactly told my kids that we have a new pick-up-one-thing-before-starting-on-the-next rule. I’ve just been enforcing that kind of behavior and they are following naturally.

The best part is they are motivated to put stuff away because they want to get something else out. It’s amazing!

Like I said, many of you have probably already been living like this for a long time. So I want to know what other tricks you have for soliciting your children’s cleaning help. This mom could use all the help she can get!

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Elise
    May 25, 2012 @ 09:55:32

    That’s a wonderful way to live. I’ve always “known” it, but am terrible at doing it. You’re inspiring me to improve! Thanks!


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