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WWYD of your child did this to your home EVERY DAY? - Page 2

post #21 of 108
Originally Posted by UUMom View Post
Some of that doesn't look like kid mess to me. Is that a vaccum cleaner and boxes of unopened tinsel in the room? (or is that a stack of computer paper?) Those stacked plastic bins with stuff on top of them? The stroller? (or is that a car seat? Can you put the stroller in the hallway or in the car trunk if you have one? In the bedroom? Hall closet?

I find my kids are better at not doing crazy things if there is some ryhme and reason to begin with. Some of it can't be helped when you live in a small home, but purging frequently helps me.

I was thinking the same thing. We did a massive de-cluttering project this summer and it really helped to cut down on the big messes in our house. I get reallllly overwhelmed when the house gets in a major state of disaster and DH hates clutter. We purged a BUNCH of stuff--sold it or donated it and it was a great thing for our whole family!

About the laundry--my son is 3 and he really likes to unfold and throw our freshly washed and folded laundry too. : I make sure it is out of his reach or just put it away right away so he can't get to it.
post #22 of 108
Some of that doesn't look like kid mess to me. Is that a vaccum cleaner and boxes of unopened tinsel in the room? (or is that a stack of computer paper?) Those stacked plastic bins with stuff on top of them? The stroller? (or is that a car seat? Can you put the stroller in the hallway or in the car trunk if you have one? In the bedroom? Hall closet?
Yup, that's what I was thinking. Most of that just looks like it needs a place. When I saw the pics I just assumed it was a junk room where everything just gets thrown.
post #23 of 108
I mean this very gently (believe me I've BTDT) but I agree with what Tigerchild said.

From your pictures it does look like you have a clutter problem. I have one too. I could show similar pictures trust me. You might find it easier to enlist your dd's help if you get a handle on clutter and create a more simplified space. You can also start implementing routines. I found it easier to begin to enlist the kids when we had our own stuff more under control.

Not everyone likes flylady but she works for some people. I use her ideas but I don't follow her program.

The Decluttering forum in Mindful Home Management is a great place if you want to talk with other moms who are decluttering.

My house is far from perfect but we're getting there. When we were living in chaos it seemed like my kids were much more destructive.

Good Luck
post #24 of 108
I agree with what many are saying, your house just needs to be declutter and reorganized. I have BTDT myself so I know how hard it can be especially when you live in a small space, which I always have... What I did was first declutter everything that I did not need. Get rid of it. Do not spend much time thinking, becasue you end up keeping to much...lol. Then I oragnized so that everything had a place and clean up is a breeze. My son had been required to keep have his room spotless every night before he goes to bed, since he was around 5. His room is very organized, so that he can pick it all up in 10 minutes flat, even if everything is one the floor. I also fold laundry as soon as it comes out of the dryer, then have my son (who is 7) put his own laundry away. I also have him pick-up all the toys in the house a few times a week. He complains about picking up after his little brother, but I tell him it is part of living in a house with other people. I told him I wash his clothes, even though I did not get them dirty. He is usually more than happy to help out after I tell him I will not wash his underwear anymore...lol. We have never had a problem, because honestly there is no choice, you pick-up if you live in my home. If he does not, then he looses certain privilages, playdates, toys, etc. We also declutter every 6 months, I will go through certain things with him, but the things I know I will have a battle with I get rid of when he is asleep. I hope things get better. I find that my whole family is less stressed and in better spirits when the house is clean and clutter free.....
post #25 of 108
Originally Posted by Satori View Post


I bet you wouldn't believe me that I spend at least 2-3 hours a day cleaning my house
You're right. I wouldn't.....

Not being mean here, but just taking a quick look at those pictures. 4 (maybe more??) boxes of christmas ornaments lying around, an old computer monitor, loose rolls of toliet paper, empty ziploc containers, extra large box of twinkies on the couch, many plants, watering can (can't you bring the plants to the sink?), empty priority postage boxes, luggage rack, tinsel, empty plastic bags. All of these things could go. Today.

Can't say I blame your dd for making a mess, but I'd guess that she is simply trying to clear a space to play. I'd go crazy too.

I have lived in really messy houses, so definately BTDT. But, it is unreasonable to expect your 6y/o child to keep things clean and orderly if you dont. I doubt that she can reach to haphazardly throw things on top of the large white storage bin in the second pic, that she can freecycle the cream-colored bouncing chair in the second pic or the brightly-colored, mirrored toy in the first; both seem very age inappropriate for a 6 y/o. There are probably other unneccesary things here, too. Get rid of them before your friend comes to help you clean. You could even have your dd help you. Three boxes - can't part with it, someone else could use it, trash. Then, freecycle, Salvation Army or Goodwill (even consign and make a little $$!) with the someone else could use it box, THROW AWAY all the trash!!! Find a place for the can't part with it stuff, and if you can't find a place for it, give it away too. It's hard. But things are just that. Things.

HTH. You can do it!

ETA: Geez this thread is getting heated! Hope the above comments were taken in the same fashion as they were given. In that effort - just thought I would add that if you DO decide to get rid of some stuff, a lot of places can even come pick up donations. (I know this, because I got SOOO tired of filling up the trunk of my car four times a week to drive toys, clothes and whatnot to the Salvation Army. Called them, made a huge pile, and they dealt with it. ahhhh.... much better. Sounds like you have your hands full. Hope you're feeling better!)
post #26 of 108
Ok, with the laundry tossing issue. You're absolutely right. She's six, that's freaking ridiculous. Were it my six year old ds, I would demonstrate laundry folding and then stand there while he folded up everything he had tossed. Then if there was no baby sleeping where the clothes needed to go, he and I would go put them away.

For your own reference, I'd check out www.flylady.net
post #27 of 108
My dd is only 3, but she lives to make messes. She gets great joy out of flinging everything she can everywhere she can. She always has. Her idea of "play" sometimes involves emptying every basket, container, whatever she can find and throwing it all around the house. As I clean up one thing, she either undos it immediately or finds another mess to make.

If you saw pictures of my house, you'd see adult clutter. Why? I spend so much time doing damage control and cleaning up after little Ms. Destructo that time to declutter is worth more than gold. My husband has this week off of work, and I am *so* excited to be able to spend the week organizing and getting rid of stuff.

I can see my dd being 6 and still taking absolute joy in making messes. Cross my fingers that it isn't true, but I'm not making any bets.

I suppose my point is that adult clutter in the pictures may actually be because of the time needed to clean up after the 6 year old's messes. I find it very easy to believe a person could spend 2-3 hours a day trying to keep up with a 6 year old hellbent on chaos!

- - -

Satori, you mentioned that you'll have help soon. Wonderful! Use it to declutter and organize and kid-proof as much as possible.

And then what? I'm not sure, as I don't have much experience with 6 year olds. I will say that I'd be open to finding a reward system that was meaningful for your dd, and one that started with small goals so that she can experience a sense of accomplishment. I know many posters here at MDC aren't happy with rewards, and I'm not super gung-ho, but with highly energetic strong willed children, I think simple rewards can get their attention.

I don't think you can expect her to change her patterns drastically, but with a reasonably clean house as a starting point, and guidance and positive support, I bet you can begin to nudge your dd towards making less mess. It will take time, patience, and effort, but I really believe that gentle and (somewhat flexible) structure can help a feisty child learn new skills.
post #28 of 108
The pictures you've shown show surface kid mess. But underneath it is adult disorganization and clutter
This is what I see also. I think its okay if you are comfortable with it -- but I think its a problem to blame it on your dd. Even adults have a difficult time cleaning up and being neat if the underlying system is disorderly.

I'm going to be the only one on the thread to disagree about the laundry -- I would never leave clean and folded laundry sitting on the sofa. I do leave it overnight, but only in a basket on a table, or dresser top. Sofas are for sitting on. My children are neat and tidy little souls, but they would be oblivous to stacks of laundry on a sofa. They would lay down in it to watch TV!
post #29 of 108
My son and I moved from a large 3 bedroom house, to a small 2 bedroom apartment. I understand having lots of stuff, and very little place to put it. But clutter drives me NUTS .. I seriously felt my blood pressure rise just looking at those pics you posted!! I'm sorry, but that is not kid mess, it's clutter.

My son is 4 and not very good at picking up after himself. I used to just go around at the end of the day and clean up after him, but recently we've started cleaning up together and he's been very receptive. Whenever I see he's moved on from one toy and is taking out another, I ask him to help me put the old one away. It's working well, and he's even remembering to put some of the toys away before he gets out another one.

Ok, this opinion/suggestion may not be popular, but I'm going to be brave and say it. How can you expect your daughter to pick things up when your house is so cluttered and messy? I'm not trying to be harsh, but I also think it's way unfair to blame that mess on a 6 year old.

Like I said, I certainly understand being limited on space. Could you rent a storage unit? I know I had to get rid of lots of things, buy large plastic bins and stack and store lots of our things in the back of closets. I also love www.flylady.com , I don't do it like you are supposed to, but she does have great suggestions for decluttering.

I'd work on cleaning up your space, making a place for everything, and set a good example for your dd. Kids learn best by example, kwim?
post #30 of 108
I understand small spaces. I had 5 people in a really small 2 br attic apt.
Some people are Born organised (BO's) and others are like me Sidetracked home executives (SHE's) They are fly lady concepts. I am just not good at getting it done without a plan. I joined flylady and it helped me get a plan. both for me and mymy DS1 who cant keep his stuff strait if you pay him. hes as much of a mess as I am
post #31 of 108
do a massive purge this weekend ( new years) new clean house to start the new year??
man thats ALOT of stuff...
post #32 of 108
check out the organizing/declutter threat in mindful home mgnt
post #33 of 108
I agree with many of the PPs. I know it's got to be hard to find a place for everything in a small living space. But it has to be done somehow. Heck, even if you just start buying rubbermaid totes a few at a time and filling them, labeling them and then stacking them against a wall somewhere. Maybe it would be best to purge first, find an organization system for the rest of the stuff, and then you and dd can start a picking up routine together. Set a time and run around picking up as many toys as you can in 10 minutes. Get into the habit of picking up before bedtime, stuff like that.

Also, I don't know if your dd has chores to do or not, but that might be a good thing to start. I know some people do not like to have their kids do chores, but I would take a very matter-of-fact approach about it. It doesn't have to be any type of punishment, but just helping her realize that life=work. If we want clean clothes to wear we have to wash them, fold them, and put them away. No punishment about it - just life!

Anyway, I hope you can heal up soon. I'm sure that makes all this all the harder!
post #34 of 108
You know what I suggest? Get out the yellow pages and call all the storage places in your area and rent a storage unit. Storage units in our area are air conditioned and quite pricey but I not-too-long ago saw one advertised for $16 a month, it was small and an odd size (4x6 or something) but even something of that size would really help. Then go clear out everything you don't need to use in the next week and move it into the storage unit. Then deep clean and start again. Organize each and every room. Perhaps start with your child's room so she can have a clean, tidy place to play. Then make the liviing room a comfortable oasis, something you can relax in and enjoy. Everytime you find stuff that you figure you can put into storage, do. Go to the storage unit every day for a while and add more stuff. Err on the side of caution and get rid of more than you want to. You might find that you need to go back to it and take things out every once in a while, but eventually you will figure out the right balance of stuff that you need and don't need in your small place.

We have clutter issues, majorly, so I can totally relate. It is so frustrating when your children make it even harder to get things clean but I occasionally have to admit that it is my fault for not modelling tidiness for my children when it gets really bad. (I go in cycles of presentable and not presentable)

The cleanest we get our house is when we tear apart a room and completely rearrange it, because we clean from top to bottom before moving a piece of furniture back into that place.

Best wishes for finding the motivation to tidy things up and teach your daughter by example how to keep things tidy by picking them up every day! We have just recently started getting our children to pick up their rooms again every evening before storytime. It works! Good luck!
post #35 of 108
Those rooms look really dangerous.

How can you expect a six year old to care about her home and belongings if her mother doesn't care either? I see lots of expensive items tossed about and I doubt very seriously it was your daughter's doing.

A mess like that is certainly isolating. When was the last time either of you had company?

I'm going to take a shot in the very cluttered dark and say that you are experiencing symptoms of depression. I hope you get help; your family shouldn't have to live like that and neither should you.
post #36 of 108
satori, .

how are you doing? i can imagine i would have been pretty hopping mad if my almost 6 yr old had strewed my stuff all around. hope things have settled down some.

i think folks on this thread have some good points, but as a person who is clutter-challenged some of the posts seem pretty harsh to me, so i just wanted to come back on and give you a hug.

i do wonder as i mentioned in my earlier post if your dd's behavior is partially to blame on having too much stuff in a small place. that's one of dh's and my goals for the new year -- to get our place fixed up and then keep it more orderly and i hope if we can do it that it will inspire dd1 in particular to put things away instead of leaving them in the middle of the floor.

i'm wondering, though, if your dd does this all the time if something else is going on with her. you said you were having to undecorate the tree at night because she would mess that up, too. that's a bit extreme. do you think it's just a personality thing or maybe a sensory issue? my dd1 will tell me when i clean up her room, "i LIKE it messy. i'm going to make it all messy again!" but i think she really likes it neat and plays in it more when i've picked up. she would totally not want to help clean up, but i don't think she would actively thwart my efforts to do so. maybe she resents the amount of time you spend cleaning and not playing with her? you said santa was going to help you with housekeeping in the new year. maybe that will help some.

maybe you could do some problem-solving with your dd? tell her how you feel when it's all messed up and cluttered and how you really can't deal with it and elicit her ideas of how to cope. you know the drill from "how to talk..."? make a list of all your ideas and all her ideas and ALL ideas are fair game so if she says, "throw it all aroud the room" you write down "throw it all around the room". when you've exhausted all of both of your ideas then you each get to strike through ideas until you can come up with some solutions that you are both willing to try. i find that sometimes doing this kind of problem-solving where i really write down my dd's ideas makes her feel empowered and listened to. if i'm not careful, though, she can feel patronized, so i have to approach it with an open mind and heart and squelch those ulterior motives.

anyway, just wanted to give you another and hope things are better today.
post #37 of 108
The majority of that mess looks to me like adult mess and not 6-year-old mess. I think you have to set a good example of cleanliness if you expect children to keep things tidy.

Also, if all of that mess was made by your 6-year-old, does she do it while you're there watching? I don't understand how she could have time to do this while you're not watching her.
post #38 of 108
Originally Posted by beanma View Post
satori, .

but as a person who is clutter-challenged some of the posts seem pretty harsh to me, so i just wanted to come back on and give you a hug.
Im clutter challenged too. oh what a burden

i'm wondering, though, if your dd does this all the time if something else is going on with her.
I thought the same thing. Either your expectations are off on what she should/shouldn't be doing or she may have some sensory/development issues. I know personally when my house is cluttered or messy I get angry at the kids for every little mess they make because it overwhelms me. So I pick one small surface to clean off, like a shelf or whatever and do a little at a time.
post #39 of 108
Am I the only one who thinks I can't judge how much of the mess was made by Satori herself without seeing "before" pictures as well as the "after" pictures??

I would:
-discuss the way Beanma suggested
-put the laundry away right after folding; if that's not possible, store it temporarily in a closed container or put it on a surface the kid is less likely to want to use. The idea is to give her no excuse to get into the laundry.
-have the kid spend as little time as possible alone in a room so that she can't make a big mess before somebody calls her on it.
post #40 of 108
Am I the only one who thinks I can't judge how much of the mess was made by Satori herself without seeing "before" pictures as well as the "after" pictures??
I hope so. Her kid must have Herculean strength in order to move all the stuff I see in those pictures.

There a potted plant teetering very dangerously on the edge of the table. It looks like it was painted with love by little 6yo hands. Either it hurts someone physically when it lands on a head or a foot, or her DD's feelings get hurt because her mother couldn't be bothered to put it up.
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