Monday, August 8, 2011

Over the edge

So, I am wondering, how do you get your kids to help clean their rooms??

I've tried a few things, but nothing has ever really truly worked. And when I say worked, I mean that when I say it's time to clean rooms, they say 'okay'.

Okay, I know that is more of a dream, but would it be too much to ask for less whining and crying?

I am not the best picker upper or cleaner. I have greatly improved since I was married, and I hope to continue to improve. My problem is that when these kids are home, they eat, they play, they change clothes a gazillion times, and all of a sudden, the playroom/living room/bedroom is barely recognizable. Not to mention the kitchen....I think my husband is the biggest culprit there.

I have tried dad dollars to get them motivated. During the school year, we were doing pretty good. The schedule of school and other activities helped me to remember, and they would earn 'dollars' for having good mornings, and good afternoons etc. Now, there really aren't 'good mornings', we just have mornings when we wake up when we wake up, and we do what we feel like doing.

So, Blondie's room is a total disaster. As is her closet. She doesn't even have that many toys. But she gets these papers out and all of a sudden her room is covered in tiny toys (thank you littlest pet shop) and papers and I want to light the whole thing on fire.

Superhero's room isn't near as bad. His messes are usually books, lego's, and whatever isn't that he shoves under the bed. Sadly, my husband doesn't know this trick, and we've had to do some massive cleaning out from under the bed. I have also gone through his clothes and reorganized his drawers. It was less than a month ago. In that short time, his closet has gone down the crapper. I open a drawer that is supposed to be for socks and underwear, and find shirts and pants shoved into it.

I start to feel like a crazy person. Constantly cleaning up and organizing something puts me over the edge. Especially when I know that the person/child is totally capable of doing better. (it is especially irking when I push myself to do this or that because it's something I have a hard time with and then they totally DESTROY MY WORK!!! Perhaps it is just a trial a mother has, but it is truly pushing me over the edge.)

Enter the label maker.

Enter checklists posted in every conceivable place to remind them.

I picked up my label maker (brother, p-touch) from Costco the other day. This is my first one ever. I am going to label his dang drawers. As well as hers. And I'm sure I can find other things in the house to label. Like my cooler. Or our dvd's.

I am going to put my laptop back near the printer and there are going to be lists in bedrooms, closets and bathrooms.

And you know what, it will be very hard not to do this same thing for my husband. He needs just as much help with these sorts of things as the kids do. I mean, would it kill you to close a drawer or close a cupboard??? I know, little things, they shouldn't matter. But, unless it is a HUGE emergency, everyone has time to close a drawer or cupboard.

So, goal for the week is to get this process started. I don't think I'll finish, and I know things aren't going to magically run smoothly right away. But if I 'reward' their efforts and attempts to use the labels and to use the checklists with dad/mom dollars (some have pics of me and some have pics of him) I hope to see improvement.

My ultimate goal is this: when they leave the house/go on a mission for our church/get married/go to college, their roommates/spouses/missionary companions will not lose their minds because because my children can't take care of their space. I hope for the opposite. I hope that things will stay reasonably picked up and that they can hang up their dang towel.

I'll let you know how it goes.....

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