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  1. #1
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    Default How do you contain the mess?

    How do you contain mess caused by the children? I am going OUT OF MY MIND with the house being trashed from one end of the house to the other.

    An example of what my house looked like today:

    The entrance and hallway had random shoes (no pairs), books, a couple of markers and pegs on the ground. The good loungeroom had crushed jatz crackers on the lounges and carpet, DS1's doona (which was wet from a spilt sippy cup), 2 dolls, and an empty bowl. The kitchen bench was covered in toys that the kids had put there. The floor was flooded with water from DS2 using the water & ice dispenser in the fridge. The dining area had ripped up paper all over the table and floor, stickers stuck to the chairs, water bottles on the table, and DS2s half eaten toast on the ground. DS1's armchair from his room had been dragged out into the walkway between the dining area and the lounge room. The living room had more ripped up paper, books all over the floor, more crushed jatz crackers on the lounges and rug. The baskets in the cubed shelving where all overflowing with toys so much that they couldn't be shut properly. The laundry had dirty clothes all over the floor from the kids just chucking their clothes into the room when they get undressed. The toilet had an empty toilet roll and a pair of DDs knickers on the floor.

    DDs room was a disaster zone. She changes outfits 500 times a day and the clothes she steps out of are just thrown on the floor. Every book from her bookcase was on the floor. There was a spilt sippy cup of water on the bed. Every pair of knickers she owns were on the floor.

    DS1 had a billion pieces of ripped up paper on the bed and floor, all of his hangers were on the floor which meant all of the clothes in his cupboard were on the ground as well.

    IS THIS NORMAL? I know it sounds like I must do nothing to clean up, but I honestly spend the entire day picking up mess. Is this normal for kids or do my kids sound extreme with the mess they make? At the end of each day I like to have everything put back in its place and generally I try to vacuum and usually mop. I clean the bathrooms twice a week, dust and polish at least once or twice a week, clean the toilets twice a week, clean the kitchen thoroughly each day. I TRY to keep on top of the washing, there is always clean towels on the racks and clean sheets on the beds. So I feel like my house is CLEAN, but the mess. OMG the mess. It's just impossible to keep on top of it despite the fact that everything has a place and I do clean-outs and culls regularly. I have a big art cupboard for all the art stuff, a ridiculous amount of toy storage, and a reward system in place for cleaning up. But none of it is working. What am I doing so wrong? Any advice would be welcome!!!!

  2. #2
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  3. #3
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    When the older two daughters were overtaking my house i packed EVERYTHING up into storage containers and they got one at a time. No clean up - no other toys down. Anything that is left in my loungeroom and kitchen at the end of the day gets thrown out. (lol I didnt actually throw out. I hid it and snuck it back in their rooms.) DD2 is obsessed with clothes too, so we put them all on the high racks and shelves.
    Of course stuff sneaks out and gets left but I only have to ask if they still want it now and they come tearing down the hall to get it back in the room.
    Some days if i'm a softie it goes exactly back the way it was. Feels like I'm just constantly harrassing them some days. But its awful cause sometimes I spend nearly two hours picking up after them all and the dog misses his walk and stuff goes in the dryer instead of on the line! DP leaves his motorbike helmet on my dining table and the girls ask if i'm going to chuck it out too rofl.
    Mine are 10 yrs, 4 yrs and 9 months. How about yours?

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    How old are your kids? What sort of rules do you have in place and how are these communicated and enforced?

  5. #5
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    It is terrible. Whenever I make an effort to get one area of the house under control, they seem to make another area twice as bad.

  6. #6
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    I'm a big fan of the plastic storage tub thing too. If you dont pack up one completely then you dont get any other toys out. Also if the boys leave little bits of paper, food, or whatever on the ground I give them a plastic container and make them pick it up. My step kids are 8 and 6 but I also work in a daycare room full of 2 year olds and they are just as capable of packing away thier own mess. I'm a bit of a nasty person when it comes to this stuff. I once put all my nephews christmas presents in a bin (a very clean bin so I could pull them out later) because he refused to pick them up from all over the front lawn when it had started to rain. He was astounded that I did it but he never argued when I asked him to pack away things again. As I tell them, "they arent my toys so I dont care if they end up up the vaccum cleaner or in the bin."

    Another thing I have found is if the mess gets too big kids will refuse to clean up because just looking at it is overwhelming. If you give each child a specific thing to clean up e.g. "Becky, you need to pick up all the crackers off the lounge, Jim, I need you to clean up all the lego and Bob, you can put all these stacking cups back in thier box" they will feel like they can have control of the situation and get through it.
    Last edited by Tildy; 09-04-2012 at 23:41.

  7. #7
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    I'm glad I'm not alone. My kids are 5 and a half, 3 and my youngest is 2 this month.

    I have a little chart with all the jobs like picking up toys, putting cushions back on lounge, putting dirty dishes in sink etc. Each time they do one of the jobs they get a peg with their name on it on that part of the chart, and then each peg is worth 10c so I periodically add up how many pegs each child has and pay them. But the novelty has worn off. In the past I have tried throwing the toys out but it made no difference (12 months later and those toys are still hidden in the top shelf of the garage). I have confiscated toys and sent them to bed early. When I tell them to pick up their toys, DS1 screams and whinges that the little two aren't helping, DD just sits on the floor and cries, and DS2 is in fairyland (he's not quite two though) and will throw a few things in the box but lose interest quickly.

  8. #8
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    Honeydew... What were you doing in MY house??? LOL

    Gawd!! So glad to know I'm not the only one. I can put up with it for so long and then I explode. I swear one day I'm just going to get big garbage bags and put anything that is on the floor into them and chuck it or send it to Vinnie's.

    Haven't had a chance to read what others have said. Shall come back tomorrow to see if anyone has some sensible solutions.

  9. #9
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    I have just done a massive layby at target and have got a fair few nice 'pretty' outfits for DD. I'm so frustrated by her room being covered in discarded clothing that I'm considering returning her portion of the layby and buying her 5 plain tracksuits all the same colour for winter and a couple of tshirts. That way there can be no more outfit changes through the day and no more arguments over what she's wearing. SO FRUSTRATING!!

  10. #10
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    We have rules here. So toys are only to be played with in the games room. They must pack away each night or they dont/can get XYZ. Plus I have everything in 'buckets' or 'containers' They are allowed to pull one thing out at a time and pack it away before pulling other things out.
    I have to lock their cupboard in the bedroom because I got sick of them pulling clothes out for no reason. So that was easy lol.


 

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