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How do you get your family to clean up after themselves?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

The title says it all...  My kids are 6.5, 4 and 4mo.  My older ones should be able to pick up after themselves most of the time, but they hardly ever do.  I haven't figured out how to make it happen in a way that helps us connect.  Usually it feels like lots of nagging, whining, complaining, threatening..... generally not good things.  My husband is barely better.  I'm getting resentful about feeling like the little magic clean-up fairy.  I do realize that as a mother, some of this is inevitable, but it needs to get better.  

 

We have some checklists, routines, appropriate storage places...and I want to continue to improve on those things, but it doesn't seem to be effective. I feel like I could be doing so much better on the house myself if I didn't have to spend 30 minutes clearing the floor just to vacuum. 

 

Thanks!

post #2 of 8

It looks like your post might have been missed, so I'm bumping it up for attention. :bump: Anyone have suggestions to share?

post #3 of 8

I hated cleaning when I was little but did it when told. As I got older (teens to 20s), I really became a slob. I eventually grew out of that phase. So, I can't get too upset that my kids hate to clean. If I keep on them, they will eventually straighten up. Charts, chores, etc. don't work in my house. I told my kids I won't do the chores/allowance thing until they do their basic responsibilities on a regular basis without being told to do them...and that doesn't happen. 

 

I think if cleaning was made to be a group effort from the start, it wouldn't be so bad. I didn't have the time or the patience to do that. Also, my husband doesn't lift a finger around the house except to take the garbage out (if he's here that day). If my son argues about cleaning, I come back with "it's not fair for one person to do the all of the work for the family"... then he says something like "why doesn't Dad have to help?" I have to bite my tongue on that one! Instead of saying how I really feel about it, I just say "he takes out the garbage".  

 

I say all this, but then I remember my dad helping to clean the house, and bring out the garbage, and bring in the groceries, and eventually he cooked....and I still hated cleaning and never chipped in with cooking...even with parents who shared chores, I was still a slob! 

post #4 of 8
Ugh! I wish I knew! I have cut down on the number of toys downstairs, and that helps some. I packed away a bunch of the toys from the playroom upstairs as well.

I think for my kids, the thing that works best is frequent clean-up sessions, but then I feel like I am on clean-up patrol allll day. I always intend to do a 15 minute cleaning session with the whole family every evening, but the evenings just get too crazy.
post #5 of 8

I got tired of being the one picking every thing up all the time. So now everyone gets 1 warning to pick up their stuff. They know if I pick it up...it goes into my donation box. Needless to say, they pick up their stuff.

post #6 of 8

Right this moment, my husband is supervising my children in cleaning up.  He is following them around, making sure they do it.  It's because I completely melted down earlier today and said I can't live like this anymore.  Of course, my kids are older, 14 and 10, but it still doesn't happen and there is all this, "I didn't get this out!" and "It's not mine, why do I have to pick it up!"

Some of the things I did when they were younger was buy a trash can with a domed top and swinging lid so they could put their toys away by throwing them through the swinging lid.  I don't think it really worked, since it wasn't a "real" trash can when it was a toy bin, but it was kind of fun for awhile.

 

I also used to do 5 minute cleaning games where they'd run around and pick up as much stuff as they could in 5 minutes.  Or games where they had to find all the shoes they could, or all the blue items, etc.  Of course, my kids still leave stuff lying around, so I don't know that these things worked.

post #7 of 8

We have once a day that all the toys have to be put away in their proper places.  It's supposed to be after naps and before snacks, and I try to time it so that it's tidy when DH gets home from work.  I almost always have some of my stuff out that also needs tidied, so it helps that I'm working right along side them.  I try to keep all the toys in the living room so the bedroom doesn't need tidied too.  Sometimes it works to hold out snack as the carrot for when it's done, but other times there's still complaining and dawdling.  The biggest difference has come now that my 5-year-old doesn't nap any more.  He knows that if, like a baby, he doesn't help with tidying up (without complaining), then, like a baby, he will take a daily nap.  

post #8 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by llwr View Post
 

My kids are 6.5, 4 and 4mo.  My older ones should be able to pick up after themselves most of the time, but they hardly ever do.  I haven't figured out how to make it happen in a way that helps us connect.  Usually it feels like lots of nagging, whining, complaining, threatening..... generally not good things.  My husband is barely better.  I'm getting resentful about feeling like the little magic clean-up fairy.  I do realize that as a mother, some of this is inevitable, but it needs to get better.  

 

We have some checklists, routines, appropriate storage places...and I want to continue to improve on those things, but it doesn't seem to be effective. I feel like I could be doing so much better on the house myself if I didn't have to spend 30 minutes clearing the floor just to vacuum. 

 

Thanks!

I think that your expectations of 6.5 and 4yo are a bit high.  "Most of the time?"  If you adjust that, then maybe you are doing better than you think.

 

As a kid I really loved the whole family sessions we had Saturday mornings to clean house.  It's hard with our lack of a definitive schedule to get everybody home and working on the housework.  Still working on the daily cleanup as well.  When I figure this out, I'll keep you posted.  That's a joke.  Not happening any time soon.

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