Monday, October 25, 2010
Thanks for the comments on how you keep your kids' room's clean! It sounds like we do things pretty similarly. We've had a new system in place this past week and I'm watching and reevaluating to make sure it works and wondered what works for you...
Right now the big girls need to have their room clean by bedtime. If it isn't, I walk through with a garbage bag and put everything from the floor into the bag. Well, not entirely everything. Of the things they've missed, they have to put the clothes in the hamper and library books on the shelf. Everything else goes in the bag. After that, they have to get their room clean by bedtime three days in a row before they can have anything back from the bags. And they have to request things specifically. So, no just digging through the bag looking for something interesting and no getting the entire bag back.
The first day I took out FOUR trash bags. I admit that half of each trash bag WAS trash. Paper trash. We go through a lot of paper in this house. But still, two bags worth of toys overall. They earned it back in the first three days. But we were busy and I didn't bother to make time for them to get things from the bags. They reminded me a few times, but it was always in the middle of something. And the interesting thing was that they never reminded me asking for something specific. They just talked about "the bags". I am beginning to feel like they really don't need most of what they have.
Oh, and I also implemented a rule that if one of them wasn't cleaning and the other was, I would take a particularly special toy from the non-cleaner and keep it for a day. This proved to be very effective. I never had to use it, but I expect at some point I will have to.
In the meantime, I think my only adjustment to what we're doing will be to do a "deep analysis" on their current toys and take away the ones they're not using. We'll probably be left with a stuffed animal per kid, books, paper and crayons, and recent birthday gifts. It's hard to believe that they will be okay with that. But at the same time, that's all I ever see them play with! Well, that and the bins for their toys. No wonder they can't keep things clean. They always want to use the storage stuff for parts of their games... They'll also still have the option to play with games and gamesets that stay locked in the closet but are available on request.
*crossing my fingers that this solves much of their messes*