Notice how I changed from cleaning, to recovering, to digging out? Yeah, well, when it came to the kids' rooms that's exactly what it was-digging.
My kids' rooms are upstairs. I actually don't go up there very often. DH tucks them in at night and they all know how to put their clothes away (except for Explorer, but her room isn't up there). Well, okay, sometimes 'putting away' is equated with 'shoved in general direction,' but they kinda get it. But, the fact is that I don't have a need to go up there much. The storeroom/school supply room is up there and that's pretty much the only reason I go up there.
As you can imagine, kids rooms left unchecked=mass chaos!
I started with Charger's room. His room is the first room at the top of the stairs, it is the smallest, and he is MUCH better and getting rid of things then Mustang.
I wanted to try and HELP the kids pick up. And, by helping I meant that THEY would do it. This is the true definition of helping when it comes to kids. Why? Well, because if I do it for them, they won't be able to do it on their own next time, and so I was no help at all.
We started at the door of the room. The fact is, we couldn't easily get into the room. So, clearing the area from the door to the bed was the first goal. Because his room is very small, we were able to clear the entire center of the room.
On the following days, we started at the door and worked our way around the room. We made sure that the area cleared on the previous days was still picked up before starting the next area.
The ways that I helped him were to:
1. Tell him where things went (sometimes he didn't know at all and sometimes he had the wrong place in mind).
2. Help him to create a place to put something if there really wasn't a place to put it.
3. Help keep him focused...he would have loved to play with every.single.toy. he found instead of putting it up.
4. I did the true cleaning when we were done-sweeping, vacuuming, etc.
We worked for 15 minutes. I wanted to help him develop a habit of cleaning rather then just me cleaning it up in one big project and then letting it go back downhill for....well, a LONG time. It took an entire week of doing a little each day before it was finally 'done.'
It has been 2 months since this happened. I can honestly tell you that the corners of his room could use a repeat of the cleanup, but the main area of his room has stayed clean for all 2 months, and his bed has been made. I have been very pleased with him as he is just 6 years old.
I did the same progression with Mustang and Mini Cooper. Their room took about 2 weeks. And, overall, it has stayed okay since then. Some days are better then others ;).
The toy room was the hardest and easiest all at the same time. The goal was to simply clear a play area in the center. Each day, we worked for about 15 minutes as a group. We started working on it the first day that we started working on Charger's room. I have to say that it was BY FAR the worst room in the house. So, we worked on it for about 2 solid weeks at 15 minutes a day-all of us (except DH). By the end of the 2 weeks, it was light years better!!
The really great part about picking it up as a group was that we made bins for each toy. I did that myself EVERY time I cleaned up the toy room (alone). The problem? No one else paid attention to which bin was which. So, when I told them to pick up the toy room....no one knew where anything went!
But, after we picked up everyday for 2 weeks, all of a sudden they KNEW where things went!! He he!!!
So, while I won't say that the toy room has been stellar for all this time, I can tell you that when I told the kids to pick it up....low and behold they COULD!!! It was really quite awesome I tell you!!
Now, I won't say that the kid spaces have remained perfect (or even close), BUT you can
walk through them without tripping, you can find most of the things you need to, and the kids can maintain this level on a regular basis. And while I wouldn't say they are company ready, I do think they are 'we live here' clean. That was the goal.
Thanks for stopping by!!