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What do YOU do with your littles to get something done?


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I have twin preschoolers and a toddler. I can not get anything done as far as cleaning is concerned. I clean one room and they are busy messing up the others. When I move to those they are in the rooms I just cleaned messing up. It is so frustrating. Luckily my DH has spent enough time with them without me to understand.

 

So what do YOU do with your littles while you are trying to clean? Mine also follow me around! ARRGGG!

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Mine have to clean up all their own messes. I have everything in the playroom in bins with pictures on the outside so they know that blocks go in this one, babydolls & related accessories in this one, etc. When everything has a home, it is easy to clean up.

 

So when I need to get things done, I send my kids to play in the playroom (with strict instructions to keep all the toys in there!). Then when I am done, I tell them to clean up the playroom.

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Mine have to clean up all their own messes. I have everything in the playroom in bins with pictures on the outside so they know that blocks go in this one, babydolls & related accessories in this one, etc. When everything has a home, it is easy to clean up.

 

So when I need to get things done, I send my kids to play in the playroom (with strict instructions to keep all the toys in there!). Then when I am done, I tell them to clean up the playroom.

 

 

We've always organized our toys this way and both my kids have been able to sort and put away their toys since they were old enough to walk and grab toys! ;) Of course, at first they thought it was a game. :D Our bins are the canvas type ones that have a little slot on the front to place a picture.

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PS - yes, your 2 year is old enough. If they are old enough to get it out, they are old enough to put it back. Just takes you putting in the initial time investment to train them.

__________________

Megan

 

:iagree:

 

It is funny how we view cleaning up differently than taking it out to play. :001_smile: But if they can take the toy out of the box, they can put it back in. The earlier you invest time in the clean it up part.....the sooner they learn not to make a huge mess. You can also try limiting the amount of stuff you have out until they get the clean up part down.

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No more littles to mess things up here, waaah! Who knew I'd miss it a little? If you use earth-friendly non-toxic cleaners, let them spray the sink and tub and toilet with cleaner. Or give them a spray bottle with water and a damp rag. They can help you "clean" (mine like to clean tub, the sink, the wall, the kitchen cabinets) and they'll get into the habit of cleaning with you, which is a bit of a pain now but a blessing later on. :) My kids also liked to play in the empty tub while I cleaned the rest of the bathroom.

 

And :grouphug: I do remember how frustrating that can be!

 

Cat

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Mine are afraid of the vacuum, so I can at least do that without them following me! ;)

 

I do things in short time increments, 5-10 minutes.

I let them "help".

I am very happy with clean and don't worry so much about neat/picked up.

I clean when they are asleep or outside or with DH.

 

I remember that they will be gone all too soon and I'll wish I had my messy house back! :001_smile:

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I'll bite on this since I am fervently improving my housekeeping skills this summer and further training my kids for #5's arrival.

 

Here's how I keep sane:

 

1) Limit toys. Easier said than done, I know. I have boys and girls in very different developmental stages, so I know it's difficult. The boys have 4-5 types of toys in their room and my 2yo has 3-4 types. My 8yo has more, but she can handle what she has.

 

2) Routine and consistency. We have established pick-up times in our day. Everyone helps. My 3yo and 2yo certainly do contribute. Our pick-up times are during morning chores for the bedrooms and 5:00pm for the downstairs. The pick-ups are pegged to meals. After/before breakfast they pickup, and again before they eat. Food is a good motivator.

 

3) Limit where the toys can be. Sounds a little draconian, but I discourage toys from moving into the living areas. If they do come down, they are either taken back by a kidlet when the kidlet is done with them or they go into a pretty catch-all toy basket which my kidlets periodically empty.

 

4) Rotate toys. For example- my boys have an vehicle basket, but they usually only have one type of vehicle in the basket at a time. The others are in toy rotation in a closet. They rotate farm machinery, CARS vehicles, hotwheels, and monster trucks. Same situation for the other types of toys.

 

5) Lable bins and make them easy to access. Give everything a home, and teach the kids where that home is.

 

6) Don't expect to have a 100% clean house ever. I have fallen in love with the Motivated Moms planner. She lists out small tasks which I can fit in throughout the day. My home is getting cleaner and maintaining better than ever before. I had to realize that with many little kids living here, I just wouldn't be able to have anything completely and perfectly done. Baby steps, baby steps.

 

7) Clean the rooms where they are playing. If they are in the living room, do a quick pick-up, dust, or wash the windows in that room. If they are in the bathroom, wipe down the bathroom and swish the toilet. You can be supervising the kids and cleaning.

 

8) One of my favorite pick-up games is hide-n-seek. While I seek the kids, I can almost pick up and put away the entire house. It gives me a way to move through all the rooms while the kids are being still. :D

 

9) When we are having trouble managing the toy situation, I purge like crazy and re-evaluate our toy storage.

 

I remember feeling overwhelmed with it all. I finally had to give myself a kick in the butt, train the kids, and become stricter about my expectations. It hasn't been fun, but it is working. I see evidence in my 2yo.

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Mine have to clean up all their own messes. I have everything in the playroom in bins with pictures on the outside so they know that blocks go in this one, babydolls & related accessories in this one, etc. When everything has a home, it is easy to clean up.

 

 

 

I do the bins with pictures also. I found it very helpful, not just for clean up, but when someone needs a specific toy, we are less likely to have a melt down over where has it gone. Although of course, sometimes things are in the wrong place.

 

The hard part is staying on top of them in the beginning, making sure toys go into the right bins and teaching them "If we want to play with the trains, we need to clean up the Megablocks first". You need to be consistent with this in the early years for it to work.

 

When they are first learning to clean up I help them by standing over them and saying things like "Ok, now we need to pick up all the trains and put them away. Who knows where the trains go?" Then each time they put a train in the bin I praise them. When clean up is over I tell them what a good job they did and tell them how proud I am. At that age, they want to please mom and the praise goes a long way with encouraging good clean up in the future.

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Yes, one room at a time. If I can just look into one room and see a bastion of neatness, I'm thrilled! It's all I can hope for. With 4 under 8, it's a cyclone around here all the time. WOrking on getting the olders to help more (8 & 6) and clean is good.... it's a constantly evolving thing. But basically, I just learn to live in a less structured, neat state!

 

Like my DH always says, I'll never look back and wish the house was cleaner... but may look back and wish I'd done more with the kiddos instead of cleaning all the time. LOL! So, I try to take that into account. :)

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