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Old 06-15-2007, 12:55 AM   #3
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Default Re: Collected Past Posts about Cleaning Up

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Title: Picking up toys
Post by: JoyfulBirth on July 09, 2005, 08:52:16 AM
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I'm curious about how others handle picking up toys, etc. I've got three boys ages 5, 3, and1. It's always amazing to me how quickly a room can go from clean to a total mess. I'm not sure how to apply the 5 steps to this without ending up picking up all their toys myself! I've read before about taking the "feel free to pick up any toys you want to keep" approach. I've thought about approaching it from this angle, with the idea that if it's too difficult for them to pick everything up, then perhaps they have too much stuff. I could keep the stuff I pick up in a box, and each day (or half day, or whatever) that they are able to keep their things picked up, they can each choose a toy to get back out of the box. Does that sound reasonable? Or do you all have other ideas? I'm pretty open to suggestions here. Obviously this is for the older two boys and not the baby    I have tried directing them very specifically (G, pick up the red truck and put it in the toybox), playing "beat the clock" with a timer, etc. but even when they aren't fussing about having to pick up or resisting getting started, they get perpetually distracted by playing with the toys they are supposed to be picking up.

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Title: Re: Picking up toys
Post by: ellies mom on July 09, 2005, 10:11:41 AM
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I like the idea of separating the toys into smaller containers and they can only have one at a time. To get a new box, they have to pick up the old. My personal hope for this plan is that looking forward to the new toy will inspire them the pick up the others. Also there will be less toys at the end so maybe it won't seem so "hard" to clean up.

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Title: Re: Picking up toys
Post by: J3K on July 09, 2005, 04:21:51 PM
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I would suggest cleaning out their toy box. Donating those toys they no longer want to children in the hospital. My kids liked this idea.  Really re-inforced the spirit of giving.

I have one daughter that needs things seperated. She has a clear lidded shoe box for just about everything she has. (stock up when they are on sale ! )   If things were tossed willy nilly into a large container she'd freak out. She must be super organized. She  cleans in categories. All the Barbies. Then the Barbie clothes. Then the diaries. Then the arts and crafts. One right after the other. Rapid fire. With me sitting on her bed to help her.

Our youngest dd who MUST have things tossed into one or two  large containers. To seperate things really overwhelms her. First I ask her to remove all trash from her room. Just the trash. Done ? Okay fine. Let's wait a beat and get a small glass of juice. Then we return to the room and use a shovel method. Scoop and dump into a bucket. She is quite happy with this method and strangely , knows where everything is as well as the other daughter does.

Find their cleaning /organizing styles and work with it.  Sort or scoop  ?  Fast or leisurely?  Everynight or every other day ?  I tell you , since training myself to learn THEIR styles of cleaning , it has really eased up pressure on all of us.  It took trial and error on all our parts.

I once told the youngest daughter to sort her toys . When she didn't I explained I'd take away all the toys she didn't put away.  She waltzed into the room , put up three things and said "you can have the rest. Sorting is just too much trouble".    Three lawn and garden trash sacks later........ her room was indeed clean. The grandparents of course freaked out that her toys were gone and by the end of the following week she had another large mess.  

Likewise I asked the oldest dd to scoop her stuff and dump it in a bucket. She threw the mother of all hissies     The mere thought <although I didn't know it at the time> of dumping all her toys together created havoc in her head.

Let's see.....anything else to ramble on about.     nope. I'm done.  

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Title: Re: Picking up toys
Post by: ArmsOfLove on July 09, 2005, 06:29:39 PM
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the best thing we ever did in this regard was to declutter the toy room and separate and box up for organization everything that was left.  The boxes are kept in a locked closet.  Liam can open the lock and he only gets out what he has permission to get out   When somehow things get our of hand or if Aidan makes too big a mess we help Liam clean up, otherwise Liam cleans up every morning before the tv comes on.  Granted he cleans like a child but it's his room and his toys and he gets better all the time.  This is the first year we could have had a rule like this.  With our 5yo we give her on cleaning instruction at a time.  "Go get X cleaned up"  "Now do all the Y" and that breaks it into bite sized pieces for her   With our 3yo we sing our cleaning song and do it together.  We might both pick up the little people together or I might ask him to hand me things or I might hand him things to throw in a bucket, etc.  It needs to be a group activity.  This is when we teach him *how* to clean up.

It really helps to have regular clean up times during the day so that things don't get so out of hand and overwhelming.  Having it be part of a regular routine also brings less resistance

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Title: Re: Picking up toys
Post by: JoyfulBirth on July 09, 2005, 08:01:18 PM
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Thanks for the replies. I have tried to declutter their toys, and will continue to do so. I have also tried to organize their things as best as I can so that they know where they go. It's a work in progress - while a lot of it is neatly sorted I don't currently have enough shelves to put things away exactly as I would like. And we have recently tried to implement regular clean-up times before rest time in the afternoon and again before bedtime, as well as some periodic 5 minute quick pick-ups and that has definitely helped. Truthfully, although it often *looks* like a lot of stuff, it tends to be lots of pieces of one toy, etc. and really wouldn't take that long to pick up if they would get right to it. But I think the sight of it is overwhelming to them at times. Anyway, the one question I still have is this: what if they just refuse to pick their stuff up? Say there isn't a ton of it out, I'm willing to get down and help them, but they just aren't interested in participating right now because they'd rather be doing their own thing. What do I do then? 

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Title: Re: Picking up toys
Post by: ArmsOfLove on July 09, 2005, 08:07:03 PM
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With your children's ages I'd make it playful. If they still can't help even with the toys begging them to put them away, and songs, and that Mary Poppins spoonful of sugar then I'd probably pick it up.  I was less hesitant to say that before my oldest hit the age where he wanted his room clean and was willing to do it himself, and  my dd got better about where she was.  Now I'm less worried about it and figure they really are little at this age.  However, if they are in a mood or it's a bad day then I don't okay the big boxes of lots of pieces being taken down   And they also know that refusing to help clean something up means the next time you ask it's probably not coming out

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Title: Re: Picking up toys
Post by: JoyfulBirth on July 09, 2005, 09:11:46 PM
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That's good to know. Sometimes it's really difficult to know what they will grow out of and really isn't a big deal, and what I probably need to go ahead and address. And we may need to work on ways to keep the stuff with lots of pieces up where they can't get it down quite so easily

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Title: wont pick up toys
Post by: Heather Micaela on August 11, 2005, 04:40:20 PM
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in a rush - elaborate later but din't want to forgtet to post

but ds wont pick up his toys
5 steps not working
says "Idont want to" and just lays ther
now what?


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Title: Re: wont pick up toys
Post by: ArmsOfLove on August 11, 2005, 05:07:08 PM
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He's your 4yo right?  That's pretty typical.  Have you broken it down for him?  I would suggest decluttering the toys, organizing them in a way he can feel organized, and then do it with him and/or walk him through it.  "now pick up all the cars". Add a clean up song; have the toys talk; make it fun


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Title: Re: wont pick up toys
Post by: palil on August 11, 2005, 05:14:53 PM
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The stuff Crystal said has worked for us...    also making it part of a transition to something he likes to do..

"Clean up toy, then we will vacuum"  (I chase them w/ the vacuum cleaner    THey love it)

or..  then we will go play outside..  then we will read..  then we will have a snack.  If you make it part of the transition to something they like for a while, you may eventually be able to make it part of transitions to other things, too, b/c they're used to hearing it framed that way.

I also limit the number of toys he has access to at one time.   
(My ds will be 4 in Oct..  a tad younger than yours)



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Title: Re: wont pick up toys
Post by: Mamatoto on August 11, 2005, 05:24:36 PM
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Make it part of a daily routine.  Clean up one thing before doing something else consistently.


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Title: Re: wont pick up toys
Post by: MarynMunchkins on August 11, 2005, 06:36:25 PM
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FWIW, I have a rule that they have to clean up 2 things before I start helping.  Otherwise it ends up with my cleaning all the toys.

And if they refuse to clean, I pick up the stuff and put it away until they show me they can clean up their toys.    I'm not the maid, and I don't keep stuff around for other people to play with and me to clean up.


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Title: Re: wont pick up toys
Post by: Heather Micaela on August 11, 2005, 08:34:44 PM
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Quote:
FWIW, I have a rule that they have to clean up 2 things before I start helping. Otherwise it ends up with my cleaning all the toys.

And if they refuse to clean, I pick up the stuff and put it away until they show me they can clean up their toys. I'm not the maid, and I don't keep stuff around for other people to play with and me to clean up.

that is why all his thomas trains are in the garage.  I just feel it unfair to do to dd's toys when he plays with them and makes a mess.

i've been a little lax on routine because it's summer, ( I was raised by a kdgn teacher and born in june - I am cursed to assume I have to have 3 months with no schedule) but i think routine will help him a lot too.

Thanks again for reading my shorthand post, understnading, and responding

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