Thursday, February 21, 2013

Cleaning the Girls Room

The other day I did a post showing the girls bedroom.  You will all notice that the room looked particularly clean.

{ flashback - clean bedroom }

This bedroom is housed by a 7y, 5y, 3y, and 1y.  So a number of quite young children.  Oh, and very messy children too by nature.  Yes, VERY messy~!!

I've been able to get their bedroom clean by doing a number of things.  Yep, I'm going to share my secrets.  

1.  I removed excess toys.  

Ok..... I removed 99% of ALL their toys. Yep, totally got mean and tired of the mess and just took them all away.  They only have a couple of things each in there now.  Bibles, handbags, 1 or 2 other things like dolly clothes that live in a tub in the cupboard. 

Toys are reserved for playing and packing away afterwards. No - they cannot have those toys to keep in their bedroom.  I'm mean like that.  I actually had to change the way I viewed the room.  I had to only look at it as a bedroom and not a playroom.  The toys now go into containers and are put in the carport when not in use.   Yep, even their dolly prams. 

2.  I removed excess clothing.  

Yep, I got mean on how much clothing they had in the cupboards as well.  I  got tired of washing clean clothes that had been ruffled through, dropped on the floor, and mixed into the mess.  

They still have quite a number of pieces of clothing but it's much more manageable for them and for me.  Sometimes too much of something isn't good for us.  Less is more.  That's my saying. { Goes for toys too. }

3.  I oversee chores for the room.

When they were younger I used to be the one to clean the childrens bedrooms, but I dunno, as I got older and had more children I got over that. { For new readers I have 8 children and 2 grandchildren who have been living with us as well. }  I got tired of being the maid who was continously swamped in work.  Work that really shouldn't have been that much.  I would clean things only to have the children make more mess - sometimes at the very same time I was cleaning.  It was an endless circle of hard work.

So then I started thinking that they need to start cleaning their own messes.  

I used to sit in the room and give instructions on what to do with single items.  Put that there, put this in the bin, put that in that bag, put this......  Then we progressed to sometimes sending a child in to the room to collect a certain amount of items off the floor.  For example:  Ok, each girl grab 3 items off the floor.  

A game we sometimes used to play when the boys were younger would be to roll a single die and whatever the number turned up that was how many items you had to pick up.  That is a good quick way to get the whole family cleaning lounge rooms, but I digress.  

Lately I've been moving into more of a tighter routine with the girls.  All the girls go to their room and make their beds and clean the ENTIRE room.  Then we have INSPECTION time.

I've had to show them very individually what is expected.  I've had to model it a lot.  I've had to explain it a lot too.  The good part to this is that it is only one little lesson at a time.  So slow and steady wins the race on the teaching front.

And then I've had to WAIT a lot too.  Sometimes they just need time to get the job done.  Oh and the added incentive that no they cannot go play until it's done, and they may not see the computer until tomorrow or until it's done.

Now having said this I still go in and will sometimes do the finishing touches if it's not to showroom level.  I try to make sure at least one girl is watching me do this.  I'm still working on getting them to notice and do the small details.  Especially for vacuuming.

We still have times where their room gets messy.  They do after all  still play in there.

But overall we've definitely made some very good progress.  Well, for me because I don't have as much work to do now.  For them because it's good character training and will make them productive members of the family.  Making them assets instead of liabilities. 

Charlotte isn't required to do anything in her room, yet.  I have seen and encouraged her to put toys away into the tubs after use though.  

So yep, that's how the girls room is kept clean.

The teenage boys are a little different.  Not totally messy, but yeah, not really clean either.  They are HUGE assets in my home.  More on that in another post though.

It has taken me a long time to finally get to where we are.  LOL  Most of the work has been on myself.  How I saw the picture, what my goals were, how I was going to get it done.  As a mother, it's my place to GUIDE the home.  Not to be the MAID of the home.  So it took me a while to come to that revelation and to really start living toward that end.  About 8 years actually.  I can still remember starting the boys up on dishes that many years ago.

Do your children do chores?  Got any tips that you can share about keeping children's bedrooms clean?  I'd love to hear from you.

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  1. LOVE IT! I tend to be maid of the home here. And what you say is soo true. It is exhausting mentally, physically and emotionally. I find it hard to stay put and oversee the children working. I keep thinking " what if they don't know what to do? What if I haven't trained them well enough to do the job and now they are going to resent me because I made them do something they had no clue about?" My husband has been telling me for ages that I shouldn't be doing the work, that the kids are capable . I also find it really hard to just stay put if I know someone is coming around or there is the possibility that someone may stop by for a visit. We've known people to either refuse to visit or not come back again because the house is so bad. And it wouldn't matter a lick if their rooms are tidy, all they see is what hasn't been tidied. :(

  2. You'd be surprised at what they can do. Initially they don't do the most awesome job, but at least it's a start. The girls still don't fold their clothes as neat as I would like, but they can do them. So for the interim I'm just lowering my standards so that I can get them trained to help me. I figure somewhere along the line their cleaning and ability to do the jobs will get better.

    Do you have a dishwasher? That really makes the kitchen a heap easier.

  3. Yep, I have a dishwasher. But it's currently in the laundry because it won't fit in my kitchen. I've trained the kids how to load the dishwasher correctly. And for the most part they empty it. I still hand wash dishes while the kids are able to dry them and put them away. I still vacuum and mop the floor and they come long behind and dry any slippery spots. They also clean the bathroom and can vacuum the carpets as well. Getting them to fold and put away laundry can be frustrating and trying to keep the 4&3 year olds attention and get them involved is a challenge. They tend to wander off after a while and pull the house apart. When they do work to start with there is a lot f tears but they are ok after a while . Sigh. Will get there eventually. Most of the chores I listed the kids can do. But I tend to take over because they either don't o a very good job or I get impatient or I'min a hurry.


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