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Children and keeping house tidy

(11 Posts)
LilllyLovesLife Sat 08-Oct-11 08:37:29

I have 2 children (2.5 and 3.8). Currently they just make a rediculous amount of mess and I can't keep up with it so the house gets a state. They don't tidy up much and I want to start teaching them to look after their stuff more/help out more.
Are they too young? What should they be doing at this age in the tidying department? My DD1 has an obsession with putting things in bags and some days I can spend an hour sorting through loads of bags of bits and pieces that she has "brought" when playing role play games etc. It's sweet that she does it, but it gets out of hand!

I am trying to get on top of everything at home, after moving 3 months ago and I think this is one of the many things I need to deal with.

BlackCatinaWitchesHat Sat 08-Oct-11 10:42:14

Hello, I have a 2.10 year old and a child of school age. I don't think it is possible to have a really clean/tidy house when you have young children as they are into everything.
My dd (2yr old) very rarely wants to help tidy up and my older child only wants to do it if he will get a treat for helping.
What I tend to do is keep it tidy enough so that there are no trip hazards but around the edge of the living room we have lots of toys. I concentrate on my kitchen more as I feel that is one room I can have control offif I
was more motivated and had more energygrin

jjgirl Sat 08-Oct-11 13:34:05

have a few plastic boxes with lids for the toys etc. keep 3/4 of them away somewhere to be bought out on rotation when the next one goes away. limiting the amount of mess they can actually do while keeping the toys fresh and interesting was what i found worked. of course if they have an absolute favourite comfort item then you let them have that one all the time.

babycham42 Sat 08-Oct-11 13:45:16

My house has been a shit hole to be honest since the kids were born but only in the daytime (I let them make a mess all day unless it gets too "dangerous" to get across the room).Then I blitz it at the end of the day (cannot clean effectively if not).My kids will help if I ask them and sometimes do spectacularly well(there is a place for everything when it"s tidy even if it"s just a pile).But my kids are a little older than yours.I found it more hard work to get the kids involved at your kids ages than it was worth TBH.

If anyone comes round and the place is a mess,if you do tidy up at the end of the day and keep the place acceptably clean,they can see it"s just cos the kids are playing.

I LOVE seeing what is the important "kit" for kids to put in bagsgrin

PattySimcox Sat 08-Oct-11 16:19:56

Sorry but your thread title is a contradiction in terms grin

Easier when they get older and you can threaten encourage them to tidy up by putting everything in a black rubbish bag

tinkerbelleworkshop Wed 12-Oct-11 12:16:27

I find I can get some jobs done before bedtime that DD enjoys helping with. Such as putting the washing out to dry on driers. But everything else has to wait till she is in bed. Means theres never a break to sit down before at least 8.30 though as I work full time and DD is in nursery. TBH house work is never ending so stuff it! and play with the kids x
Love jjgirls idea with the boxes! Am going to try that

Ragwort Wed 12-Oct-11 12:21:49

I agree with jjgirl - I do think some children have far too many toys and then get overwhelmed at what to play with. I was very tough strict with my DS and only put out certain toys at a time and gave a lot of tat straight to charity shops.. I am often amazed when I go to friends' houses and see the volume of stuff they have to play with. <mean mum emoticon>.

One of my friends is constantly moaning about the state of her DC's rooms but they seem to have every possible toy/gadget on this earth - even to the extent that when he left a DS (gadget not son!) at our house I was told there was no need to rush to send it back as he had another - my DS was delighted as he doesn't have anything like that grin.

LilllyLovesLife Fri 14-Oct-11 10:33:09

Ragwort - I am guilty of letting my kids have far too much stuff. I have been trying to clear out for about a year now, and they do have much less. But with Christmas and birthdays coming up I think I will be back to square one!

Appuskidu Fri 14-Oct-11 21:47:10

Regularly take stuff to the charity shop/put in loft
Have decent storage boxes (that look nice!) which house the house, but aren't overflowing
Clear up little bits whilst they are happy playing. With small children (I have 3), you're never going to get massive chunks of time on your own to declutter-it has to be done quickly in the small snippets of time you get when they are occupied.

I disagree with an early poster who said you can't have a tidy/clean house with small people around. You can-you just have to be pretty disciplined/organised. If they are putting lots of things in bags (my DD2 does this!)-I unpack them and put the things back at the end of the day rather than leaving it until there are 7 bags full. I operate much better with the 'little and often' strategy!

LillianGish Fri 14-Oct-11 22:02:58

I think you can teach even very young children to tidy up, but you have to have appropriate storage which they can easily access. When my dcs were that age I had boxes for toys in the living and also in their bedroom. They knew what went in each box and I tried to teach them that before you got something else out you had to put something away. I wasn't totally rigid about this - if they had friends round to play for instance, but you'd be surprised how quickly they got the idea and actually it was quite fun - knowing what went where and putting it away at the end of the day (just another game really). It is a useful habit to acquire as they get older (mine are now 10 and 8) in being able to find their stuff ie if you have a place for everything and you put it back there then you can find it next time you need it.

SazZaVoom Fri 14-Oct-11 22:04:38

No helping with tidying up = no TV. Seems to work here grin

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