Jump to content
Lallalla

Tidying up

Recommended Posts

Lallalla

If your kids were good at making a mess, and terrible at tidying up. What have you done to successfully get them to tidy up? 
 

I am at my wits end with my 6 year old and two 4 year olds. They leave toys from one end of the house to the other and then when it is time to tidy up they play, they fight, they roll around on the floor. And if they do put things away I find pieces of toys shoved in the strangest places. 

I’ve bribed them, given them specific tasks (the younger 2 in particular) organised to make it easier to do, threatened them with throwing toys out, taken toys away that get left out and given them back when tidying up is done without complaint. And occasionally ranted and raved (that’s more their dads style though). 
 

What other tricks are there out there that I have not done?!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Riotproof

Nothing that works consistently yet. 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
GingerbreadWoman

Following - I would like to know how to consistently get my kid to tidy up too.

I am currently having some success with setting a timer and seeing how many things we can put away before it goes off.

Or tidy up races, where we each have say 10 things to put away, though that might work better for me because I have an only child so usually she gets to ‘win’. :) 

I haven’t yet found a way to get her to put things away without me doing half the work, but it is better than doing all of it... 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Leslie Knope

My kids still aren’t great at 10 and 8 years old, but they have gotten better with age. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
PrincessPeach

It’s not foolproof, but toys not packed away when requested go into time out. We started with 24 hours, then it’s a week, then a entire month.

We have a small house, so toys have to stay in one room & I try to enforce the one box out at a time rule (but that has limited effect).

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
amdirel

🤣

Mine are all teenagers now. Nothing works. In fact I'd say it's worse now than ever!

  • Like 3
  • Haha 2
  • Sad 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
purpleblaze

What I find often works is helping them pack up, so it's like a group activity, not just me ordering them around. 

Sometimes I make up packing up songs so it's fun and silly.

Sometimes I start counting and make it a competition to see if we can clean up before I get to 20.

With things like Lego (duplo size or bigger) sometimes I've used it like a basketball ring where they have to toss in the piece, or we count each piece we put in (time consuming but better than nothing).

Mostly they're better with age but still like me joining in rather than being directed to pack up.  Also most toys are in 1 room. 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
SplashingRainbows

Routines and consistency help. And getting in and doing it with them. 
 

child care centers have ‘pack up’ songs and pack up routines for a reason - they work!

 

so consider having a pack up song that is played at set times (before lunch, before bath etc) and make it a routine. You’ll have to help them, praise them often and let it go if after the 3 minute song it’s not quite finished. If it becomes a habit they’ll get better. 
 

 In our family Sunday is tidy the bedroom day. We certainly have days it doesn’t go go plan but they generally know what’s expected and can do it pretty independently. Getting involved, lots of praise and something to look forward to afterwards all helps. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
anatomicalheart

At that age mine were not allowed to start a new activity without tidying up the previous one. 

But I have also:

Paid the older sibling to tidy up the toy room every evening.

Smuggled excess/excessively plastic/toys that irritate me into the bin/to donate and culled without mercy.

Said the magic words: "It's a race. I'm going to beat you. I'm going to win."  and watch their competitive sides kick in. Similarly, we have had competitions where the person who packs up ''the best'' which means not necessarily the most but also puts things in their proper places gets to pick dessert/the movie/etc. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
SplashingRainbows

Another thing we do is if the kids want new toys, they have to agree to part with (donate or bin) at least the same number of toys from their room. Depending on how chaotic it is I may ask for a 2:1 ratio!!! Less stuff does help. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Zeppelina

After a family meeting where I pretty much lost my sh*t about the constant picking up I was having to do, and the whining they (DS9, DD5) did about my nagging, we decided to implement a 15-minute timed tidy-up post-dinner. We set the clock, each person gets assigned to a different space (eg DH - kitchen, me - family room, DD - playroom, DS - bedroom (shared). It doesn't always work, but it works much more often. And when they start whining about it, I remind them that the alternative is a grumpy, nagging mum, and they're usually pretty good after that.

(Sometimes minutes secretly get added to the timer if the place is looking really bad!)

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
maryanneK

I do a lot of "as soon as this is all tidied up it will be time for the park" or "sure, we can watch tv if we still have time after you've packed up your toys". 

That way it's sort of up to them, and it's like they make their own decision to "want" to do it.

It helps with avoiding that constant "ordering and refusing" cycle....

I also do all the things that all the PPs mentioned!

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Crombek

Introducing them to electronics has been my most effective strategy. Now they flat out ignore the entire toyshop in our house so it always stays tidy.  

Tbh when I had a 6 & 4 year old I just tidied up myself. Still mostly do. DH likes to make it a battleground but it takes him 3x as long & lots of arguing. I'd rather everyone just shush and go outside for 30 mins while I do it. 

  • Like 2
  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Zippypeaks

We've had a bit of luck finding clean up songs with a count down timer on the iPad (youtube). I let the kids pick and we all clean up together. I try and cull the toys regularly and I also chuck out the small nick-nacky crappy toys, daily.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Winter frost

Definitely consistency. Not letting them get the next toy out until the first is put away (note I don’t do th8s. My house is a mess. But everyone I know who has a tidy house practises this approach)

i have a couple of times followed through with a threat to throw toys not packed up away. Mass tears but it did massively improve the response rate to let’s tidy up for a couple of months. But you have to follow through.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Contrebasse

Ours can only watch TV when all the tidying is done. The faster they do it the more time is left for TV 🙂 It’s a routine now so there’s not too much arguing. However the 8 year old usually does all the tidying while the 5 year old gets in the way!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MadMarchMasterchef
On 07/10/2020 at 9:50 PM, Contrebasse said:

Ours can only watch TV when all the tidying is done. The faster they do it the more time is left for TV 🙂 It’s a routine now so there’s not too much arguing. However the 8 year old usually does all the tidying while the 5 year old gets in the way!

We do similar.   I also found cutting down how much excess 'stuff' we had help\ed a lot and having a clear, sorted, labelled place for everything.   Specific instructions too.  EG - put all the lego back in its box then put the box away please.  Not just 'tidy your room" 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
maurie
On 07/10/2020 at 8:23 PM, amdirel said:

🤣

Mine are all teenagers now. Nothing works. In fact I'd say it's worse now than ever!

yes!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
chicken_bits

The thing that's worked the best for us (5&8yo) is getting a Robot vacuum cleaner and having a designated tidy up day.

The kids know that Sundays are tidying up day (they lament it, but they do it anyway). Anything that isn't picked up, gets eaten by the Robot.
 

  • Haha 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
chicken_bits
On 07/10/2020 at 8:46 PM, anatomicalheart said:

Said the magic words: "It's a race. I'm going to beat you. I'm going to win."  and watch their competitive sides kick in.

I wish this worked in my house. My 5yo is too smart for that. He just stands there and says "It's not a race". 🤦‍♀️

  • Like 1
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Riotproof

I have started “15 minute pickup” where I pretend to put a timer on and we all pick up crap for 15 minutes. 
DD mentioned to me that at school , the teacher picks a mystery item and the person who picks that up gets a prize.. I used 20c which she was happy with. 
I also try to give categories.. like let’s pick up books. The pick up clothes. Then toys, etc. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sugarplum Poobah

This is coming from my own remembered experience -- they're 6 & 4, you might need to dial it back a bit and actually go through the steps of what tidying up means.  I doubt they're putting things in weird places to annoy you, it's more about trying to do what you've said but not really understanding the parameters.  

Even if you've already been through it with them, you probably need to rinse and repeat add nauseam.  At that age you certainly can't expect them to tidy up independently, it's a staged process. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
José

I found having a specific box/ storage tub for each type of toy helped eg the lego goes here, the zoobs in this etc. And the tubs are stored in the spare room or in parents room. That way you can really monitor and not allow anything new to come out until what was being played with gets packed away. If you have everything accessible then everything will come out with nothing packed away

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
rosie28

We have a 6 and 4 year old (and a baby who gets out of tidying for now). I put on a 10 minute timer before dinner, with dinner on the table at the end. They race the timer. We’ve done it every night since DS was 1, and they’re used to it. We have the odd argument and the odd night where they don’t finish or don’t do a great job but overall it’s under control. Their bedrooms are fairly tidy all the time but they don’t play in there much, just read etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dianalynch

Screen time is dependent on tidying up...both ds and I aren’t much good at it, organisation somewhat eludes us, dh and dd are pretty good. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...