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caedmyn

best tips for preventing kid messes

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We have 2 small tubs of toys in the living room. One with play food and one with Magformers. Somehow my kids combine this with random socks, pieces of paper, markers, and a few misc Leo's and turn it into a mess that takes 15 mins to pick up and covers the entire floor every.single.day. The playroom is even worse--that's the home of the Legos. There's got to be some way of preventing this daily disaster.

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Don't have kids.

 

So it's too late for you. I'm sorry.

 

:lol:

LOL I read the thread title and the same three words came flying out of my brain so embarrassingly fast.

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My kids used to bring toys all over.  So I kept a bin in every room and whatever I found at the end of the day went into the bin (I don't mean a garbage can).  Then when those were full, they got dumped back into the main toy boxes and bins. 

 

I gave up trying to keep stuff organized.  Maybe 2x a year I'd bother to organize and that lasted about 2 days. 

 

 

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Don't have kids.

 

So it's too late for you. I'm sorry.

 

:lol:

I know, right? It doesn't bother me, I love a kid mess. What bothers me is how bothered others seem by my kid mess. 3, almost 4 kids under 6 in a 1,000 sq ft house, I mean t would you expect?

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I know, right? It doesn't bother me, I love a kid mess. What bothers me is how bothered others seem by my kid mess. 3, almost 4 kids under 6 in a 1,000 sq ft house, I mean t would you expect?

 

And they truly do not do this forever.  I just remember there was no sacred place in my house when they were little.  I would find toys and Legos and bits even in my bed.  LOL

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We have 2 small tubs of toys in the living room. One with play food and one with Magformers. Somehow my kids combine this with random socks, pieces of paper, markers, and a few misc Leo's and turn it into a mess that takes 15 mins to pick up and covers the entire floor every.single.day. The playroom is even worse--that's the home of the Legos. There's got to be some way of preventing this daily disaster.

  you're kidding, right??

 

Don't have kids.

 

So it's too late for you.  I'm sorry.

 

:lol:

this is what I was going to say!!
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A mess that can be cleaned up in 15 minutes isn't a disaster.  The same sort of mess happens in our living room every day, and the kids and I take 15 minutes to clean it up at the end of each day.  They pick up toys and books, and I keep them on task and sweep.  We keep most of our toys in the attic and basement, but I'm happy to swap out bins on request after cleanup has been done (or my bigger kids are welcome to do it).  

 

I also try to get my kids to clean up after themselves as they go (especially with art supplies!), but it's hard to be on top of that.  I'm hoping to be able to take that approach more as they get a little bigger.

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I admit, my biggest problems with kid mess are Things That Do Not Go Together or Things Used Not For Intended Purposes. Even more so than the time consuming clean up. There is nothing that grates on me more than one unpapered broken navy blue crayon rolling around a box of Legos. A sock in them? It makes my teeth clench! Double if the sock is mostly inside out!

 

And when they ask for things like empty plastic bottles to make rocket jet packs with. I say, "Sure, I'll rinse it out and you can use it when it dries." But internally I'm screaming, "IT'S FOR DR. PEPPER NOT MAKE BELIEVE PERSONAL TRANSPORTATION DEVICES!" And then two days later I find it covered in half a roll of Scotch tape, buried and forgotten in pile of blankets.

 

ETA: I have had "Lego rules" for the kids' entire lives and they have never been able to follow them. Lego pieces are apparently sentient and mobile and roam wherever they darn well please.

Edited by BarbecueMom

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Yeah, I'm impressed you can clean it up in 15 minutes! When I get really frustrated with a mess everywhere, I just put away some of the stuff in a closet so it isn't available to get all over the place. I've also been known to randomly announce that I will pay a dime per sock or trash that they can produce from the toy bin in 5 minutes. Rules are: no ripping paper to create more trash, small trash must have multiple items count as one, and no making a mess of the toys.

 

On a good day, I assign jobs periodically that keep things from getting too bad. You put away the shoes, you unload the dishwasher, you take out the trash, you clean off the table, and you collect 20 items to show me and then put away, etc. Each job is simple, concrete, only takes a few minutes, and is easily inspectible by me.

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And they truly do not do this forever.  I just remember there was no sacred place in my house when they were little.  I would find toys and Legos and bits even in my bed.  LOL

 

I don't know...a few of my teenagers leave a trail of stuff :willy_nilly: ....

 

 

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I don't know...a few of my teenagers leave a trail of stuff :willy_nilly: ....

 

 

 

Yeah now I deal with empty plates, cups, cans, etc.  Garbage mostly. 

 

Apparently they forget where the dishwasher is located.....

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I'm going to slowly back out of this thread, as the description in the OP makes it seem like you are Wonder Woman. I mean, any day that I can get the mess picked up in 15 minutes is a Gold Star Day around here.

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Oh see my DH is neat and tidy. I'm a slob. But I do all the cleaning so I reserve the right. LOL

I'm a slob too, but I clean it up so I'm allowed to put stuff where ever I want because I pick it up later. He does not. I think we are getting off topic. :lol:

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LOL

 

Though I do feel your pain.  I have a hard time with visual clutter.  We do 10-second tidies throughout the day.  Before school, we tidy.  After lunch, we tidy.  Before dinner.  Before bed.  It's part of the routine to not go more than a few hours without clearing it back to how it was.  It doesn't have to be perfect - the habit over time means that even if we miss stuff in the morning, it's put away by the end of the day.

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Reduce the number of items. Perhaps you can divide the manga tiles into two batches and put one away temporarily. And reduce the number of things in the playroom. As for cleaning up, with young children, I find it best to tell them to "pick up all the manga tiles" and not try to sort anything. Sorry that's all I have! 😆

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Here the rule has always been that Lego has to be played on a table. if a piece falls on the floor it instantly has to be piked up. it works really well all children follow this.  When my older boys were little we had a dining room table set up in the living room just for Lego. it was called THE LEGO TABLE. it had Lego on it constantly for about 8 years. 

 

 

 I mean the small Lego, not the Duplo

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I let the kids make cloud dough today. It ended with cornstarch all over the room and a trail of footprints leading out of it. Vacuuming the floor and furniture, washing most surfaces in the room, and showers for the kids... finally my room is back to the stage of legos on the floor and play food out of the bin. Which in comparison is very tidy.

 

So... just know that it could be a whole lot worse!

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We didn't have a table for Lego's but I had a number of large cafeteria trays that we used for Lego projects, puzzles, painting, clay, crafts, etc. I started using them when they were littles as it helped protect my kitchen table and a project could easily be moved to a safe or more convenient location in order to be continued later. Plus trays were easy to store when not in use. 

 

The larger Lego projects wound up on the floor, of course. And we had plenty of messes, but I was a big believer in cafeteria trays. 

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My #2 and #3 kids were horrific.  At least, that's how it felt at the time. We literally bagged up most of their stuff and stashed it in the basement at one point. Somehow, the laws of matter were completely defied and they found or created more stuff!  It just wouldn't stop!!!

 

My #5 is about to turn 7, and he can still destroy a living room with a single piece of paper (that, for some reason, has to be torn into 4, 623 pieces of paper.)  If I toss a pile of clean laundry on the couch, I'm convinced he can will it to fall on the floor and strew about FROM ANOTHER ROOM while I blink.  He is a tornado.

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