how to get your kids to clean up . . .

I'm NOT a professional, but we do have a few tricks up our sleeves to get our kids to clean up after themselves!

  1. I have made it VERY easy for the kids to clean up.  There is a place for EVERYTHING!  We do not have piles of toys in the corners of our rooms, if this is happening at your house . . . IT IS TIME FOR GOODWILL!  We have bins or shelves for all their toys.  Like I said there is a place for EVERYTHING!
  2. Sometimes our kids need a little encouragement to start cleaning.  If we are in the basement, we play toy basketball throwing the toys into the bins.  Sometimes I even line up all the bins, so they can score points easier.  And sometimes I have to shoot and score and hoot and holler a few times to get them started.  And yes, sometimes I have clean up with them.  My goal is not to yell at them to clean up, but to kindly encourage them to clean up.  Yes, yes, yes I do get frustrated with them from time to time.  But, I try to keep my workforce happy and make it a game.
  3. Another thing I do, is tell them we can't leave for the park or have dinner or go outside until everything is cleaned up.  I say it kindly . . . always keep your workforce happy.  This approach usually gets a lot of hums and haws, it's better to just have them clean up.
  4. If the kids have really wrecked the house I give everyone a zone.  The other day Teddy had the kitchen zone, he had to clean up all the toys in the kitchen.  Murphy had the living room zone, they had 20 books pulled out in there.  And Harvey and I had the whole basement.  It worked awesome, aside from my basement worked . . . HE NEEDED A LOT OF ENCOURAGEMENT!
  5. Don't let your kids work you!  If your kids go to school, they clean up at school and they know how to do it, they know what to do and they know where everything goes . . . . they got everything out!

So just keep encouraging your little workforce, assist them, love them and slowly remove yourself from the cleaning process.  And don't forget, you don't always want to clean up, and neither will they.  It's OK.  Just work together and remember the end goal is to have children who pick up after themselves and DECREASE YOUR WORKLOAD!