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#1 of 108 Old 12-26-2006, 04:28 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I bet you wouldn't believe me that I spend at least 2-3 hours a day cleaning my house and its still messy and its a small 1 bedroom apt! My 6 yr old is a tornado who refuses to clean up. (even when I start trashing everything) This mess actually took about 4 days to create since I haven't done much since my back has been hurting to much from the car accident on the 21st. I did have CLEAN, FOLDED laundry on the couch that was ready to be put away in the morning when the kids woke up and she unfolded ALL OF IT and I came in to find her throwing it around and sitting on it: The clothes laying out are what I washed tonight and need to hang up in the morning before she rips it apart. Underneath are the clothes she undid. The ornament boxes are my doing since I started taking down the tree tonight as I know it will be a battle if I try doing it while she's awake. Anyway, she will create this kind of mess in a single day if I don't clean. I'm getting help to come clean on the 2nd thanks to Santa and ALL her toys are getting locked up and I don't know how I'm going to do it but I'm putting locks on her dresser and the closet too since she keeps pulling everything out of there too. WWYD if your kid created this type of mess EVERY SINGLE DAY? Nothing seems to get though to her that this is unacceptable and getting her to help clean it up is impossible because she just doesn't care about the mess. I'm having secret fantasy's of sending her to live with the Quaker family we met a few weeks back and letting them straighten her out there way! (no I wouldn't but darn it I want the nice polite kid who cleans too!)

Seriously?
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#2 of 108 Old 12-26-2006, 05:42 AM
 
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What's their way?
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#3 of 108 Old 12-26-2006, 05:46 AM - Thread Starter
 
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What's their way?

From what I understood from the mom it involved a lot of things you can't advocate here on MDC.

Seriously?
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#4 of 108 Old 12-26-2006, 05:50 AM
 
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Odd, I hope you don't think that has anything to do with Quakerism. Quakers are pacifists, or at least most are.
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#5 of 108 Old 12-26-2006, 06:14 AM
 
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BTDT. We're slobs, and have two messy children- so the debris sometimes gets even worse.
What works is to read the riot act and to ask the boys to fold the clothes and put things away. Use a hula hoop to contain a small area, and get them to clean that area in one sitting (but do as many sittings as you like before you get a break.) And- this is the key thing- never ever leave a job half finished. If you take the clothes out of the dryer, fold them and put them straight into someone's hands to be put in the drawer.
The secret weapon, however, is having loads of playdates when the house is tidy and none when it's not. Kids care what their friends think of them.

Helen mum to five and mistress of mess and mayhem, making merry and mischief til the sun goes down.
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#6 of 108 Old 12-26-2006, 06:15 AM
 
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My 6yo dd can create a mess out of nothing in 10 minutes flat. I was a lot like her when I was
her age. For me it's not about the "mess" it's taking responsibility for her belongings and also
respect of the communal spaces in the house.

I don't "clean up" after my dd. I clean the whole house, and if she makes a mess and it's in the
communal space of the home she is expected to pick it up. I don't want our room to be a disaster
since we share that area. She has a play room that is ALWAYS crazy messy. That is her space. If
she can't find a toy I remind her that if she put things back she would be able to find them. She is
slowly learning this lesson. I have also explained that she will not be getting any more toys with
pieces or board games until she takes care of the ones she already has. So at least she is putting
away her board games now.

I don't get mad about it. We just talk about it. She has refused to pick up items in the communal
areas before. I simply pick it all up into a trash bag and put it into the basement. If she forgets
about the items, I donate or freecycle them. If she remembers she earns them back. This hasn't
happened for a long time though. The lesson was learned.

I also try to keep a head space that dd is 6. It's fun to destroy. It's fun to watch all her clean clothes
fly into the air when she throws them about. It's fun to pour a whole container of leggo's onto
the floor. She isn't trying to actively complicate my life. She's being 6.

-Janna, independent mother of dd, Ms. Mattie Sky born on my 25th birthday, 06*23*2000. My Mama Feb.21,1938-Sept.10,2006
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#7 of 108 Old 12-26-2006, 06:18 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Satori View Post
I want the nice polite kid who cleans too!
These exist?

-Janna, independent mother of dd, Ms. Mattie Sky born on my 25th birthday, 06*23*2000. My Mama Feb.21,1938-Sept.10,2006
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#8 of 108 Old 12-26-2006, 01:28 PM
 
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I did have CLEAN, FOLDED laundry on the couch that was ready to be put away in the morning when the kids woke up and she unfolded ALL OF IT and I came in to find her throwing it around and sitting on it:

This I could not tolerate. If dc were 2 or 3, I would say that is to be expected, and the adult should make sure the clothing is out of reach or away. But 6? (my dd will be 6 in Feb). No way.

I would explain that I worked hard to clean and fold that laundry, and that it was wrong for her to ruin my work. And I would communicate that I expect her to pick it up and refold it as best she could. No, it wouldn't be perfect....but she needs to do her best to make it right. I know all about power struggles, and I know that this could become a bad one--but I would at least communicate the expectation. And, if she came to me asking for something (play with her, read a book, etc), I would answer "after the laundry is refolded" and continue with my work.

Beyond that, I would try to figure out why she would dump and sit on folded laundry. Does she need a designated, clear space to play? Does she really like to climb on the couch? (I know my dd does, so that is an unwise place for me to leave laundry). Does she have some unmet need? (food, attention, rest, etc).
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#9 of 108 Old 12-26-2006, 01:40 PM
 
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My ds finds laundry irresistable, too. One thing that works for me is to fold it into those lidded storage bins so they are out of sight. If your dd is hellbent on annoying you, it wouldn't stop her. In that case, I would guess she is doing it for attention and planning a ton of fun time together might help. There was a time when I couldn't do any cleaning in front of ds because making messes for mommy became the game. I weeded out all the toys with many parts at that point.

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#10 of 108 Old 12-26-2006, 03:05 PM
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WWID? I would cry.

My DD is not that old yet but we send her to Montessori school now and I like some of the principles they use to teach children to respect their "works" (toys) and the space. So far, using Montessori techniques have helped a lot here. -Within reason, I don't expect DD to be compulsively clean.

We only keep out a certain number of toys - DH is on his way to buy containers for the old ones now. I try and keep it around 10. Each toy/puzzle/book/whatever has its own place and DD has her own work area to play with the toy. When she takes the toy down, she plays with it until she is done and then she is expected to put it back where it belongs. Even if she takes out all of her toys at once though, there are only 10 so it only takes a few minutes to straighten up. Having your own work area is important too. In school, DD has a mat (2' x 3' or so) that is her work area. No one invades her work area and there is only one work in the area at a given time. It is just more orderly that way.

One thing I did see in your place is that there is a large amount of stuff. I know you are in a small space, can you pack away most of it until you move to a bigger place or give away a lot of it? I am on a quest to get rid of a lot of stuff right now.

Oh, and we are far from being neat people. My mom never instilled a method of straightening in me even though she was compulsively clean so I have been learning it as an adult. That is why I started with DD so young, because I wish that was something my mom had done for me. And I like the idea of "if it is in the communal area and it doesn't get picked up, its freecycled". We will do that when DD is a little older I think.

Good luck, I wish you the best.
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#11 of 108 Old 12-26-2006, 03:21 PM
 
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EVERY day? While 32 weeks pregnant with an 8 month old trying to crawl? I'd bawl, constantly.



I have no suggestions, as I've never dealt with anything like this. Our older two are pretty good about at least getting their toys off the floor and throwing them on their shelves. Soon we're going to try and get some baskets to keep their toys and things in while on their shelves, but for now as long as they're near the shelves I'm happy.

The Montessori techniques sound like a great idea. Worth a try!

Sarah - Mama to Vic (1/19/00), Syd (4/06/02) Sam (4/20/06-born at 30wk2d), JackJack (2/14/07) and Charlie (4/30/10)
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#12 of 108 Old 12-26-2006, 03:46 PM
 
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I would tell her to pick it up, if she didnt, for every item she trashed and refused to pick up I would take away a toy. If she still didnt do it I'd throw the toy in the garbage in front of her.
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#13 of 108 Old 12-26-2006, 03:56 PM
 
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as you can see from my sig, i have two dds. one is almost 6 and she hates to clean. it drives dh and me nuts. she doesn't purposefully create a mess to get out goats, but she just does endless art projects which involve dumping out all the crayons and cutting up lots of shreds of paper. we're forever picking up after her very resentfully.

my younger dd (3) can create a mess, too, but she really is much more apt to pick things back up with prompting. if i ask dd1 to pick up she will say things like, "i HATE to pick up. i'm NOT picking up anything. i'm NEVER going to pick up ever again." grrrrrrrr.... i've talked and talked until i'm blue in the face.

i think a lot of our problem is too much stuff. i have packrat tendencies and dh does, too, though he wouldn't admit it, but you should see the amount of computer eqpt here. i have slowly been trying to get organized, though. i've been putting their art stuff and toys in designated bins that have a little picture and words that show what goes in them. (both my mom and my dh gave me more BINS and baskets for christmas, too!) i'm trying to keep on top of it.

dh did a masterful job of cleaning the basement playroom all christmas eve night so santa wouldn't trip when he came down the chimney. he put away about 12 loads of laundry and picked up tons and tons and tons of toys and just trash (art project scraps mostly) from the floor. i really would prefer if they confined their trashing of the house to down there, but gosh it looks nice un-trashed. they really don't want to play down there unless we're with them, though and i prefer to spend most of my time upstairs in the kitchen and living room so those are the areas that frequently get hit by little tornadoes.

i've been boxing some things up this morning (it is boxing day after all) to take to the thrift store. i just really need to get rid of a lot of stuff. i think the girls need to see me get rid of my stuff before they can get a handle on the idea of getting rid of their stuff, but again my 3 yr old is better at this than my almost 6 yr old.

i think a lot of it is just temperament. my older dd is very very ACquisitive. she just wants stuff. you should see the panic that sets in if we go out to buy, say, a pair of shoes and none of the ones at the store are quite right. she feels this desperation to just get something, get anything she's got to GET GET GET! seriously, that was her first word. no lie. as a baby the first thing she said was not Mama or Da-Da it was GET. i'm fighting an uphill battle here, but we keep fighting it. i remind her that toys are nice, but that people are the best thing of all. it's a lot of fun to play with her friends' toys, but it's a lot more fun to play with her friends. she wouldn't really want her friend's mom to drop off toys for a playdate and no kid.

i think sometimes when my girls see a cluttered space even if the laundry is all folded it's just too much for them and they feel "cluttered in their heads" as i sometimes tell them i feel. think about it, when you walk into a space that is just chock full of stuff even if it's put away and not taking up valuable butt-space on the couch, you can feel kinda edgy and icky and stressed out. do you know what i mean? i'm not being particularly articulate, but i'll try to make an example. take your space out of it. say you've been invited to a friend's parents' house and these folks collect knick knacks and have them all over the living room on shelves and tables etc. your kids aren't with you so you don't have the worry that someone might knock something over, but you might still feel a little claustrophobic and jumbled in that kind of space. now imagine the opposite -- you're invited to a house that has only one or two special items out and the rest are out of sight and pulled out when they're needed. your mind might feel more restful and settled. if you can imagine what a 6 yr old might feel like in those kinds of environments maybe you can see why some 6 yr olds might feel like taking all the stuff and strewing it all around. it may just be a response to feeling out of sorts. now, i'm really talking to myself as much as anybody else here. i DO NOT have the uncluttered house. i have seen my dd1, though, when we go to dh's mom's who has a very neat house (she has housekeepers come in once or twice a week, too, i think) and dd1 loves it. i think she really revels in that clean neat space. that's not to say that she doesn't make a mess there. she does, but i think on some level she appreciates the clean orderly space.

anyway, i'm rambling, but i wanted to commiserate and let you know what we're trying to do with very very modest success with dd1, but some success with dd2. we model de-cluttering. we model picking up. we model having a designated place for everything and everything in it's place. we model as best we can model which admittedly is not so well some days (see earlier disclaimer about being a packrat, but i'm trying to reform). i think we really need to fix up our space some more (our walls have needed painting for about 5 years) for dd1 to appreciate it. i guess it's about respecting our environment.

gotta go help somebody on the potty....

hth

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#14 of 108 Old 12-26-2006, 04:04 PM
 
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Hmmm. I have a little three year old so I have NOT BTDT. I mean, he does create a lot of mess, sometimes even on purpose, but he's not six and can't be expected to put things away without me focusing on it and singing the cleanup time song and stuff like that.

She's six. Do you think you could give her the chore of folding and putting away her own clothing? Not as a punishment, as a real job that she always does. You might have to supervise her. If she's so crazy about laundry she might really enjoy it. Then you wouldn't have to do her clothes--you might be able to fold the rest of the family laundry with her--and you could put things away together.

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#15 of 108 Old 12-26-2006, 04:08 PM
 
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I can't stand messes. I would cry. And then set a timer. If the mess wasn't being cleaned up by the timer went off, any toys in the mess would be thrown out permanently. I would help clean up of course, but not without dd's help. Yes, I am mean. I would not leave laundry within dc's reach if she is too tempted by it.
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#16 of 108 Old 12-26-2006, 04:23 PM
 
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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.
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#17 of 108 Old 12-26-2006, 04:48 PM
 
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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.
this.
i can see that some of it is the 6 yr olds mess but it also appears that you need to take responsibility and set an example.
i also agree with the idea of finishing a task (ie fold and put away laundry instead of leaving it out).

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#18 of 108 Old 12-26-2006, 04:53 PM
 
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this.
i can see that some of it is the 6 yr olds mess but it also appears that you need to take responsibility and set an example.
i also agree with the idea of finishing a task (ie fold and put away laundry instead of leaving it out).
If the OP's house is like mine (and gee, sure looks like it is! ) you have to go into the room where the child is sleeping to put away the clothing. So you might perpetually have a cycle where you wait to fold until she's asleep, then go to bed, then she wakes up and trashes your folding project, perhaps before you're even out of bed!

Hence my suggestion to do it together. Since she's six, enlist her help.

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#19 of 108 Old 12-26-2006, 05:00 PM
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[url] I'm having secret fantasy's of sending her to live with the Quaker family we met a few weeks back and letting them straighten her out there way! (no I wouldn't but darn it I want the nice polite kid who cleans too!)
Okay, I'm a Quaker and here's what we do. Don't know if it's typical of Quakers or not...

If my dd's made a mess (she's 6, btw), I've explained to her that she has ___ minutes in which to clean it up. Set a reasonable time for the mess in question. If it's not cleaned up in ____ minutes, the items remaining out will get put away in the closet by me and will not be taken down for____ (set a period of time). They will be returned, I reassure her, but they definitely will be removed by someone, either by me or by her.

So far, this has worked. I also explain the why of picking up: if blocks are left on our wood floor, they could cause someone to step on them and hurt their feet or skid and hurt themselves; if dolls are left out, they could be broken or stepped on, and so on. At the same time, I pick up after myself too, so it's not just a case of Mean Dictatorial Order-Givin', Butt-Sittin' Mom.
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#20 of 108 Old 12-26-2006, 05:12 PM
 
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I have to agree with the above two posters.

Before you can expect the 6 year old to take you seriously or even know what it is that you want (and I do agree that at 6, frankly, she can and should take responsibility for care of communal spaces as well as her own), you need to get your act together.

It looks like you might need to do some purging of your own stuff. Or bite the bullet and get a storage space. Once you have enough space so that she can actually see what neat and orderly can look like, then you can ask her to help you maintain it. She is not going to learn how to do that with that much space taken up by things. Even if she were magically to be Miss Sparkle overnight, you'd STILL feel hemmed in and cluttered with a ton of stuff sitting around, especially in those gigantic containers.

It sounds like you are focusing extra stuff on her that isn't fair. It's totally out of line for her to destroy your folded laundry. OTOH, why is folded laundry sitting out in the first place, or why isn't she expected to put it away once you fold it?

I know what it's like to have too much stuff crammed into a too small space, to have kids that rip through it and create more chaos. But when it got to the nervous breakdown point for me, I had to take a VERY hard look at myself. And in the end I literally ended up purging half of my stuff, and boxing up 1/4 more for storage. Even now that I have space and storage, every six months I MUST go through and purge things or else it gets out of control.

The pictures you've shown show surface kid mess. But underneath it is adult disorganization and clutter, unless your 6 year old was dragging the vaccuum around and leaving it in the room, and threw a bunch of storage tubs in there and is responsible for having large, bulky items (like the carseat) laying around--which could very well be true, as in she drags them out of whatever closed door you've put them behind, I'm *not* discounting the possibility. You're not going to get rid of the kid mess without solving the underlying problem. It's VERY hard to do in a small apartment. And storage is not free in most places. But in the four months it took me to process my stuff and give myself a breather, that $20/mo. was a lifesaver just so that I could have some peace and the rest of my family could breathe as well.

If you're not naturally organized (and I'm going to go out on a limb and say you're probably not), it is a REALLY hard thing to do. It's often very hard to explain to people as well, if you feel better with less clutter but aren't very good at maintaining that in the first place. It's even harder to do when you have too much stuff in too little of a space, and if you come from a background where you worry about not having something when you need it, someday.

I think it's time that your 6 year old had some chores. It is inappropriate of her to destroy work that you've done. It is not wrong for you to give her some consequences for doing something like that. However, please understand that if that is the environment she's seen all her life, she is not going to 'see' what needs to be done to make things look neater. And it may also be part of her nature (I was raised by textbook OCD parents, the house was spotless, but I was taught nothing and was punished for doing things 'wrong', and even though I was IN neat and organized since I can remember, for whatever reason it's hard for me to see what to do when confronted by a lot of stuff.)

I'm not saying your house is a pit. Not by a long shot. But to be honest, I see more things in there that an adult should correct than six year old wild rumpus mess. And if it's really starting to bother you, then you should not only get tough with her stuff, but also with yours. I know how hard/nervewracking that is to do though. Damn near overwhelming.

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#21 of 108 Old 12-26-2006, 05:17 PM
 
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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.
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#22 of 108 Old 12-26-2006, 05:39 PM
 
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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.

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#23 of 108 Old 12-26-2006, 08:33 PM
 
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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
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#24 of 108 Old 12-26-2006, 08:59 PM
 
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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.....

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#25 of 108 Old 12-26-2006, 09:59 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Satori View Post
http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a3...h/DSCF0324.jpg

http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a3...h/DSCF0330.jpg

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!)
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#26 of 108 Old 12-27-2006, 12:05 AM
 
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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

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#27 of 108 Old 12-27-2006, 12:27 AM
 
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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.
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#28 of 108 Old 12-27-2006, 11:26 AM
 
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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!
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#29 of 108 Old 12-27-2006, 11:45 AM
 
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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?

Candacepeace.gif, Married to dh   guitar.gif, Mom to ds (8) biggrinbounce.gif , Gavin candle.gif (9/30/10 - 12/19/10) and cautiously expecting our rainbow1284.gif 4-29-12

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#30 of 108 Old 12-27-2006, 12:42 PM
 
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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

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