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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Room inspection! Attention!!!!

How do you help your children learn to keep their rooms clean, or do you?  I believe there are no wrong answers to this questions, except maybe, "I don't know.  I haven't thought about it."

In our house, I am on the fence as it were.  I could go with the thought of, "It's their room, they should be allowed to keep it how they want to."  I could also go with the idea that they learn to care for things if I teach them and expect a certain standard. 

Just last week, in an effort to "de-clutter" as FLYlady says, we pulled everything out of their rooms (or most everything) and put it back neatly.  I sorted for them and they only had to bring it downstairs so I could do so. 

So this week, I'd like to see them maintain.  Oh, and back to the question before, the reason I do have an opinion about what should happen in our house, is because dh does.  So we're gonna go with that.   Call it submission if you like.  Yes, it is, actually.  I will submit to his leadership.  How easy is that when I'm sitting on the fence anyway.  It's a real problem for me when I take a clear stand on the OTHER side of the camp.  My life-long goal in my relationship to my husband.  Anyway.....that's a TOTALLY different topic. ;)

So this week, while mothers are dropping off babies, my goal is to have my kids up in their rooms working on them.  If we're running behind, then we'll set the next available time for them to do this.  Around 8:30 or whenever they come and claim their room is clean, I go up to their room and pick up everything I find that is not in it's place or neat.  Obviously, they are the ones who've helped with these decisions.  Toys should not be stacked on books, and dirty clothes should not be behind the dresser.  These things, we (and they do too) know. 

The laundry goes in the laundry basket.  Anything I deem as trash goes in the trash can.  And the other treasures I find, yes, even books, go in a box.  That box is currently in my room.  If you are missing something, you may check said box and see if it's in there.  If it is, you must do a chore to reclaim it - something besides your normal chores.  It may be feeding a baby its bottle or watching a toddler for a few minutes.  And the other rule, you MAY NOT under any circumstances take more than one thing for one chore.  We have plenty to do around here, you may do another chore to redeem something else. 

We'll see how long this works.  But for now, the rooms are clean, and I didn't have to pick up much this morning.


  1. I had dusting & sweeping/vacuuming on the chore schedule once a week. The kids knew that it was expected that the things in their room would be put away before bed (usually as soon as they weren't using it). I always expect things to be put away before they go do something else unless special permission (even before a meal). I know how easy it is for kids to get distracted so didn't want them to leave their things out as they may decide to do something else after their meal, run to town, etc. I do like the idea of having to do an extra chore to get there stuff back though there may need to be a time limit before you give it way to good will so your not having to hang on to it for months.

  2. Exactly. Yes, if it's not worth getting back, then it's not worth keeping. I really try to have them clean up when they're done with something, but I'm not good at keeping up with what they all are doing. I tend to be a rather selfish person and want to do what I want to do NOW. So I really need to work on this.

  3. I'm so glad you posted this... I was wondering how the chore-for-stuff-back box would look in our daily life once we were back in our own place. That is a great idea! I also plan to give a 'clean up your stuff' outside of their room warning to keep the clutter from the rest of the house too. Do you do anything like that? Love you and Miss you all!

    1. Sounds like a great idea to have that warning. No,w don't do anything. The chore-for-stuff box for us fell through, but I need to pick it back up again. We're doing well. Right now, for the big boys, losing Wii time works super. So changing things up with their knowledge is good too, I think.