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  1. #1

    Default how do you

    get your kids to clean up their toys?
    i have tried the songs, encouragement, timers, and threatening to throw toys away if not picked up... nothing works.
    the only way i have found to work is to grab a trash bag and start putting toys in it then ds is suddenly motivated to pick up.
    but i absolutely hate this method. i need a better way to get my kids to clean up their toys.

    what method do you use and does it work all the time?



  2. #2
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    The only thing that has ever worked is if you don't clean up I will using a trash bag and yes once I threw toys away because he didn't want to clean but every time now it works.

  3. #3

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    We clean up together. They will get better at cleaning on their own as they get older. I have found leading by example in this area (as in most others) is the most effective.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcie View Post
    We clean up together. They will get better at cleaning on their own as they get older. I have found leading by example in this area (as in most others) is the most effective.
    Same here. I just do it with them and we all do it together. DD2 is good at avoiding it lol. In some cases I will tell her that if she doesn't clean up she can't take out another toy or we can't move on to the next activity until we clean up.
    Thing 1 (8), Thing 2 (5), Thing 3 (2)

  5. #5

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    We tell them to clean up for safety reasons and for it to be apart of their chores to earn allowance. Sophia isn't old enough to understand money but, Cody is. Sophia still gets a new small toy when she helps clean up and Cody has 10 every two weeks. It all evens out. Safety reasons: So we don't fail on them, So we don't hurt our feet by stepping on them , family / friends if they come over have room to walk. They don't have tons of toys out at a time so if we all help together it can be done in a few minutes. I usually help with them too. I've had to donate toys before as well. I don't actually toy them in the garbage.
    *** Lindsay ***



  6. #6

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    We take a few minutes to clean up the playroom every night before bed. I set the timer on the microwave for 5 or 10 minutes, and they love racing against the clock! I agree that either my DH or I needs to be working with them for it to be the most effective.




  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Yep, started off together. It's too abstract of a thing to just expect them to do. I also was super picky about one thing out at a time-because I knew how much harder it was going to make cleaning up otherwise. Everything was in bins that had to be taken out/opened (well, books and stuffed animals, that sort of thing weren't) so they were sort of forced to come to me for something new. Which meant I asked "did you clean up?" And we would do it, get out a new toy, etc. Eventually (like ages 4+) I did start doing the "if you don't, I will" thing. And I often found they never asked for the stuff I had cleaned up again...so I would donate it. But if they wanted it back they could get it back by showing they could care for the rest of their stuff. I haven't had to do that since they were 5 & 6. I really only did it a handful of times. Being consistent and modeling it myself-making sure I clean up after messes I make in the kitchen, office, family room, etc-and starting a foundation for it by doing it together from very young ages is what has made it easy.

    it sounds creativity-stifling to have limited their play things. But I don't believe it was at all. They'll now have like six different genres of toys out at a time, playing with all of them. And there won't be an inch of floor visible. But come bed time they've got them all cleaned up and away without so much as a whine about the huge job it is (and I have to just stay out of their room before then because I cannot handle visual chaos very gracefully) so I believe limiting and building the skills to clean up after themselves and then slowly allowing more and more latitude for what and how much they have out was a very successful thing.

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  8. #8

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    Absolutely together and, yes, I usually do most of it simply because I move faster and don't get distracted. I have to keep reminding my 7 yo ds and give him very specific jobs but he's helpful. My 8 yo dd is now to the point that she doesn't want my help in her room because she's particular. Lol. She gets most annoyed about the communal room clean ups because she puts things away when she's done, thus those messes are seldom hers. But I still ask for her help and she'll do it while grumbling.
    Personally, I never threaten to throw things away or give things away because I know they value their toys just as I value my things and they're still children, still learning. I personally struggle with organization myself and when Dbf is critical of mr, it hurts my feelings. So I guess I'm sensitive to the quest for neatness.

  9. #9

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    We race. How fast can he do it? No way, you can't do it before I count to 100! You do dinos and I'll do legos and let's see who can finish first.

    Some version of that works every time.

  10. #10

    Default

    i have also tried the i will help you do it routine... i ended up doing it all while they watched. seems like no matter what method i try i end up doing it all by myself.
    dh can get ds to pick up but getting dh to do that is about as easy as getting the kids to pick up... another situation where its easier to just do it myself.
    if i don't do it toys get broken, chewed up by the dog, the dog will have an accident on them and i will throw them away, i only had about 1/4 of their toys out (i do a monthly rotation where different toys come out every other month) but since i am the only one that cleans anything i am sick of cleaning up after everyone else and am thinking about eliminating ALL the toys and having the kids earn them back. one at a time.
    i have given up on dh. and every time he is upset that he can't find a tool that he is looking for i remind him that if he cleaned up after himself he would know where it was.

    i guess i am just completely fed up with being the maid of this house. and to top it all off the kids don't listen to me and you all already know how dh is.
    i need a vacation from housewifery



  11. #11

    Default

    I understand your frustration. I often feel burnt out on cleaning and overwhelmed by messes. How old are your kids again?

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bridget View Post
    I understand your frustration. I often feel burnt out on cleaning and overwhelmed by messes. How old are your kids again?
    2.5 and 4 both used to jump right in and help out without me saying a word... dd sometimes will help for a few minutes but ds refuses and will throw a tantrum when i tell him he has to clean up.

    oh and did i mention that they clean up for grandma she says its easy and they do all the work. she suggests they clean up and they start right in and finish without fussing. so its just ME that they refuse to clean up for.
    Last edited by froggie83; 08-05-2014 at 06:15 PM.



  13. #13

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    Let me ask you this. Do you often complain about housework to your kids or in front of your kids? I'm not trying to be critical because I am sure we've all done it. But I can say from experience that when I changed my attitude about cleaning up, it became easier for me to get them on board. Kids really do absorb the attitude and energy of the adults around them.
    If I were in your shoes, I'd limit even more the amount of toys. Not to be punative but just for your own sanity. Do it while they are sleeping. As for the things you leave out, make sure there are clearly designated spaces for everything. Then the next day, try to clean up as they go. Encourage them to help but if they don't, just do it cheerily without them. Talk a lot about it's nice to have a beautiful home, keeping the toys safe so they don't get broken or stepped on, keeping pieces together so you can play again. Eventually, as they get older, they will understand the value of a clean house and will be less egocentric and enjoy the act of helping.
    that is my 2 cents!

  14. #14

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    i don't say much about housework. i just do it, ds likes to help with the laundry and loading/unloading the dishwasher. dd loves to wipe stuff down with a wet cloth so i use those desires to have them help with housework. they refuse to pick up their toys.
    i took about 70% of the toys they had out and put them away. everything has a place to go, and today will be having them help pick up as they go. i am hoping that i am able to keep my sanity and get them to pick up after themselvs.



  15. #15

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    I help them. At night, they are sent to go clean their toy while I clean up after dinner. Most nights, they end up just playing, which is fine, too. When I am done, I help them clean. I divide up the toys and give them each a very specific task. If they fight or whine about it, I do threaten to take a bag and put the toys away until they can be responsible for the toys that they have. Right now, we just moved into a house that has a finished basement and the entire basement is theirs, so many of their toys are out. If it's too much for them to clean, I will take some away. I also have told them that it is their playroom, but if they cannot help to keep it clean and tidy, DH and I will take it over for an exercise/craft room since we lost those in the move. I have never thrown any toys out, but I have taken them away.

  16. #16

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    At that age, I'll suggest again the competitions. They can race against each other.. Work together to race against you... Time them, on your mark, get set, go! With the winner getting to pick that night's bubble bath or breakfast or whatever.

    And if you don't have bins in every room, get more. We keep plastic tubs (often under $6 on sale at target) or baskets in the kitchen, his bedroom, our bedroom, living room, etc so the toys in each go back and not per se back to another room. Easier... And then periodically, we cull through each to put stuff away, decide what gets thrown out, what to donate. He thinks that part is actually fun bc he's in control (or so he thinks), gets to "dunk" stuff into a garbage bag, etc. and he loves finding toys that he forgot that. He had bc they had fallen to the bottom of a bin.

    It's not perfect. I do t mean to say that this always works or on the first try. But eventually it does.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by ibisgirldc View Post
    At that age, I'll suggest again the competitions. They can race against each other.. Work together to race against you... Time them, on your mark, get set, go! With the winner getting to pick that night's bubble bath or breakfast or whatever.

    And if you don't have bins in every room, get more. We keep plastic tubs (often under $6 on sale at target) or baskets in the kitchen, his bedroom, our bedroom, living room, etc so the toys in each go back and not per se back to another room. Easier... And then periodically, we cull through each to put stuff away,
    decide what gets thrown out, what to donate. He thinks that part is actually fun bc he's in control (or so he thinks), gets to "dunk" stuff into a garbage bag, etc. and he loves finding toys that he forgot that. He had bc they had fallen to the bottom of a bin.

    It's not perfect. I do t mean to say that this always works or on the first try. But eventually it does.
    we need this! if i had a bin to put the stuff in they might actually do it, for now we just shove it all on a shelf and for the smaller stuff there are 2 baskets. going shopping for some lidded bins for the toys!



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    We help them and race as well. Or tell them yo pick up every red or cars or trains. It's easier to have it broken down into smaller pieces.
    Julie, DH: W, DS: Mason, GGB Trips Amelia, Ellanor & Noah
    FFS "Baby C" disrupted fost/adopt of sibs Q,Z,J & K 9/10-3/11

  19. #19

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    I tried the race tonight after I posted. He didn't clean up the mess around the play kitchen and all over the floor near the real kitchen table. I'd asked earlier and he ignored me. I was too busy making dinner and dealing with our dog to correct him t the time.

    So after dinner, I said, I have a challenge for you! His face lit up and I said, hmmmm, i bet that you can't clean up in five minutes. (Looked at the clock and told him what time it would have to say) he thought about it and said that he could do it but needed six. Lol, deal! Let's see if you can... Go! Six min later it was entirely clean (although part way through I agreed to help with a heavier item) and he was beaming bc he beat the clock, proved me wrong... Praise heaped for doing a good job. More smiles.

    It may not work for every kid but I have read child development and communication articles that suggest this method. That kids tend to love races and games and if you make it fun versus a chore, they will respond better. Maybe get into the habit along the way. (That's probably wishful thinking, IMO.) my husband does the same thing when we need to get him to eat and he's not cooperating. Works. Not always, but it can work to get dressed for bed or dressed to leave. (Who will get in their pjs first, mommy or n? Ready... Go!)

    I'll stop. I was just chuckling to myself as he was cleaning... Knowing that someday, he's gonna tell us that he sees through the ploy. But for now, it's golden.

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