Ever wonder where your "me" time went? I do everytime I have to pick up something that belongs to someone else in my house. I have found with these easy tips and tricks that I now have that elusive time back.
I have tried to stop cleaning up after my children to teach them responsibility but I failed time after time. I decided that I was tired of failing and decided to make a change. Here are some tips to help you stop cleaning up after your kids.
Your local department store or dollar store is a great place to buy the supplies you will need. First purchase one medium sized bin for each child. With a permanent black marker label each bin with a child’s name. I chose to let my children each decorate their own bin because it made it more fun and personal for them. I also chose bins that would nest inside of each other when they weren’t being used because they would take up less space. Let’s face it we all don’t live in huge houses with maids and we need the space for other things. They can have a lid but don’t necessarily need one.
If your children are school-aged then deliver the bin to their room before they arrive home from school each day. Explain that they need to traverse the house each room at a time and pick up their belongings that they have left in any other room of the house. Let them know that they need to be returned to their rooms and put away accordingly and in a timely manner. Once this is done they need to return the bin to you and ask for a quick sweep check. A sweep check is a quick once over of each room by you to make sure they have gotten each item and then to make sure they are returned to their room. With children that are not school-aged this task can be completed at any time during the day.
I have always made a game of this for my children because they seem to make more of an effort if there is some fun involved. They each start with 100 points at the beginning of the week and they have to see how many of the points they can save. For each item that they have to return to their room they lose a point. When Sunday morning comes I tally up the point losses and whoever ends up with the most points left gets to decide what we are having for breakfast. The other children, if you have more than one, get the job of setting the table and cleaning up afterwards. This makes your kids competitive in nature but also teaches them responsibility.
On Saturdays we make it a game and see who can do it fastest. This is quite the site and I seem to egg it one because whoever does it the fastest gets 10 points added to their total. This is quite effective for the days where one child might leave more things out and lose a substantial amount of points.
These tips and tricks have helped my children become quite responsible with their belongings and have left me more time for myself and the things I would rather be doing than cleaning up after them.
Published in: Family