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Old 02-13-2013, 12:44 PM   #11
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Re: Keeping rooms clean. I stink at this parenting gig.

THANK YOU MAMAS!

You have seriously given me so much to think about! All great suggestions!!!

I had a long response typed out explaining a few more things, but it's too long and really unnecessary.

I just want to clarify one thing. The kids were playing with one thing, and when I asked them to clean, they kept getting more stuff out. So the mess was made AS I was reminding them and asking them to clean. It wasn't a disaster area initially, it would have been really easy to clean up in 5-10 mins. DS cleaned up for the time I asked them to, albeit slowly. DD sat in the middle of the floor and played.

I didn't give her more time on the timer b/c I had already given her a whole heck of a lot of time to clean up. Had it been the first, second, maybe even the third time I'd asked her to clean up, I would have just reset the timer.

I like the music idea. That sounds WAY better than a timer. And would be useful for short clean ups. "ok, clean up until the song is over! Then we can go back to playing!"

DD does already have drawers for all her toys, and her toys fit in them just fine. It's simply a matter of picking them up and putting them in there.

I am going to consider confining toys to the main area only. We already have some out here. And it may just be that we need to keep those and purge the rest. This way this issue won't even exist. There may be a few toys that I will let the older kids keep in their rooms. But, I really like this idea. It's so much more manageable and visible that way.

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Old 02-13-2013, 12:48 PM   #12
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Re: Keeping rooms clean. I stink at this parenting gig.

I would start training her to take out one toy at a time and clean it up before taking out the next thing. We are still inthat training process here! Here we have one toy per bin and we take out one bin at a time. I also declutter regularly and try to keep only good toys.

Once I have told them what I expect and we've practiced, I dole out consequences for not following through. Here that usually means chore not done, child doesn't eat. It's a great motivator!
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Old 02-13-2013, 12:58 PM   #13
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Re: Keeping rooms clean. I stink at this parenting gig.

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I would start training her to take out one toy at a time and clean it up before taking out the next thing. We are still inthat training process here! Here we have one toy per bin and we take out one bin at a time. I also declutter regularly and try to keep only good toys.

Once I have told them what I expect and we've practiced, I dole out consequences for not following through. Here that usually means chore not done, child doesn't eat. It's a great motivator!
I don't have enough space for one toy per bin. I would need a play room and we don't have that.

Here's what I do have... so everyone can see... maybe someone has some good suggestions for our current organization methods...

In the living room:

Easel
Pink bin dedicated to "baby" toys
One bin for Mr. Potato Head and his parts
One bin for blocks/wooden train/block puzzle (basically all wood toys live here)
music table
push-walker baby toy
fold-able racetrack


In DS room:

Legos in a bin w/a lid
play kitchen w/all stuff stored inside
A wide shelf w/a drawer for other things like: racetrack and hotwheels cars, little people farm, and random stupid cheap plastic toys.


In DD's room:

Legos in a bin w/a lid
A box with a doll house and all accessories in it
4 drawers for everything else: Dolls, doll clothes, dress up stuff, and purses


I don't think it's a lot, really. I have 3 kids, soon to be 4. I like the baby stuff in the living room b/c then I can keep an eye on the littlest one(s).

My youngest now is getting old enough to play with the two older ones. So maybe I should pare down the baby stuff I have. It just doesn't seem like a lot to me, though. Is it a lot?
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Old 02-13-2013, 12:59 PM   #14
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Re: Keeping rooms clean. I stink at this parenting gig.

Do they play with everything in the course of a week?
Eta- you do have one toy per bin. Just enforce one toy at a time per kid, or the bin goes away for a week.
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Old 02-13-2013, 01:01 PM   #15
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Re: Keeping rooms clean. I stink at this parenting gig.

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Do they play with everything in the course of a week?
Between the 3 of them, yes I do think they do.
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Old 02-13-2013, 03:08 PM   #16
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Re: Keeping rooms clean. I stink at this parenting gig.

We don't keep any toys in the bedroom, they are allowed to bring things in there to play, but they don't stay in there.

We clean up EVERY DAY, or it is a mess. When we go longer than that it takes forever and gets out of control fast. We also clean up several times a day. They are not allowed to watch a movie during quiet time if their room, playroom and the living room (DH and I only go in there in the evenings, they play in there during the day) are not cleaned up.

They clean up before lunch, and before dinner, and sometimes even a 3rd time in there if there is a need for it.

It's been so much less of a battle and more manageable since we started doing it a few times a day.
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Old 02-13-2013, 04:24 PM   #17
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My mom got DD, 5, one of the bin organizers from IKEA for her b-day due to this being a constant battle. I think we both would just get overwhelmed and a battle ensued. We set it up, organized the bins and told her since she is 5 she can have out 5 things at a time. If she wants something else out, something goes back. Her room has been spotless since we did this 2 weeks ago. I am in heaven :-) it literally takes 45 seconds to make her bed and get her water cup in the am. (And I haven't stepped on any Legos!!)

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Old 02-13-2013, 04:54 PM   #18
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Re: Keeping rooms clean. I stink at this parenting gig.

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Originally Posted by SaraElise View Post
We don't keep any toys in the bedroom, they are allowed to bring things in there to play, but they don't stay in there.

We clean up EVERY DAY, or it is a mess. When we go longer than that it takes forever and gets out of control fast. We also clean up several times a day. They are not allowed to watch a movie during quiet time if their room, playroom and the living room (DH and I only go in there in the evenings, they play in there during the day) are not cleaned up.

They clean up before lunch, and before dinner, and sometimes even a 3rd time in there if there is a need for it.

It's been so much less of a battle and more manageable since we started doing it a few times a day.
This is how I am doing clean up. Short bursts throughout the day, and then a clean up before lunch and before dinner.
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Old 02-13-2013, 08:06 PM   #19
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Dunno if it helps, but we keep all toys like that (sets of things) in our guest room. They aren't allowed in there (it locks). I get them a set to play with (or a set each) and they can have something different when we clean up and put that set away.

We also have daily toy bins that have random toys and puzzles and books in them and everything just goes in a big Rubbermaid bin. We switch the bin out daily-ish.

This helps my 4 year old, who is the one who is hard to get to help out with cleaning. The other two are on it, even the 15 month old! Ha.
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Old 02-14-2013, 01:30 PM   #20
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Re: Keeping rooms clean. I stink at this parenting gig.

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Originally Posted by momnixon View Post
Dunno if it helps, but we keep all toys like that (sets of things) in our guest room. They aren't allowed in there (it locks). I get them a set to play with (or a set each) and they can have something different when we clean up and put that set away.

We also have daily toy bins that have random toys and puzzles and books in them and everything just goes in a big Rubbermaid bin. We switch the bin out daily-ish.

This helps my 4 year old, who is the one who is hard to get to help out with cleaning. The other two are on it, even the 15 month old! Ha.
I don't have any space to do this.

But I think it's a fantastic system. I would LOVE to have them "check" out toys and then have to "check" them back in to get a new one out. (like the library). I just have no space to house the toys where it won't look terrible.

I need storage options. And I am just broke as a joke. I think that might be at the root of my problem here....
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