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Tidying up after them all day!!

Question:

Ahhhh girls.....do you ever have those days where you feel you have done nothing but pick up stuff off the floor?
I have an 18 month old and a 4 year old who have a ball of a time, leaving a trail of toys/books/socks/ cutlery/whisks/turkey basters/you name it, in their wake!
My dh says we should change our family crest to a picture of a parent leaning down to tidy the floor!
I had the house spotless this morning and by the time dd was going for her midday nap.....bomb site again.
Of course I should be sorting it out again right now....but I just decided I needed to sit down for a minute and MM beckoned.
Right, better go face the music. I just told my ds that he and his sister would have to learn to tidy up after themselves a bit more. Was expecting a complaint...but I got a really solemn 'I know mammy, I know'....the little dote.
Answers:
In a house with 7 kids I have found this works for us.
I defined what I can live with and what I cannot. I set my own boundaries by saying that by 6pm I cannot leave toys around so at 6pm we start (all of us!) putting the toys away, as a team. I start, they join in. Its a game too, like who can throw the most red blocks into the box etc etc.
Kate
Answers:
Kateb's right. I find I can handle say one or two things lying around but more than that, drives me nuts so I ask DS1 who's 4 and a half to tidy up something before he takes another thing out. Doesn't always work as I may only notice after he has emptied half the contents of the toy room, but otherwise, he's very obliging and I duly pick up DS2's bits n pieces coz he's only 9 months old!
Lami
Answers:
Hi girls. Thanks for the relpies. I can't stand having loads of stuff lying around either....hence the constant tidying. Must just get my 4 year old more involved in the putting away of his toys after he is finished.
Answers:
We keep most of the small stuff that takes ages to clean up eg lego, jigsaws up on top of presses so they play with it and put it away soon after. Also put 50% of toys in attic and rotate them every 6 months...they wont even notice the 50% gone and less to tidy up!
Answers:
Definitely get them to tidy up themselves. Ds has been trained from very young that he takes out a toy or two and thens puts them back before he takes out another. That way his playroom stays reasonbly tidy most of the time anyway. Its a good plan and good for them to learn too!
V
Answers:
I think thats the reason I can never stay in the house for an afternoon.
We get the place a bit tidied up after lunch then its out the door.. rain hail or snow.. well near enough!!
They mess it again in the evening and they are worse when they are tired... but DH is home by then so hes on duty..HeHeHe!!!
Answers:
We moved house after dd was born to have an extra room as a playroom. I swear it has kept me sane. I stand in the kitchen and throw the toys in when they wander out, ha!. I feel if the kitchen is tidy I can cope. Don't mind playroom being messy as it should be played in.
Some MM on here has a verse under her name.... cleaning the house while you have children is like shoveling snow while its snowing....something like that. It makes a lot of sense.
Answers:
This sounds just like my house....Jess loves nothing better than emptying her bucket of bricks all over the floor...as well as all her other toys...
There's a Barney song "clean up, clean up..everybody everywhere...clean up, clean up, everybody do their share"...if I sing that DD will start picking up her toys. (who said tv is bad for kids!!!!!)
Our sitting room is pretty big and I have a small paddling pool in the corner...throw Jess's various dolls/cars/bricks/balls into it during the day if the chaos is getting too much for me. It's pretty handy cos everything is still visible to her...but tidy enough not to drive me nuts.
Although to be honest I just let her make a mess until 6pm...then the wind down & clean up time starts..
Answers:
I am already training DS to tidy up. He will, at 19months, put his lego and bricks away and put the animals back on the tractor and stuff. We do a wind-down after half six when all the toys go back in the corner and only books are allowed out, works most of the time But yeh, it gets my goat when he empties all the kitchen presses onto the floor!!! I am not sure how many times I picked up about 20 table mats of various colours off the floor, tea towels, oven gloves, baking tins..........
I guess thats kids for ya!
Answers:
I find too every so often to rotate the toys like someone mentioned earlier. I have those popup toy holders hid away with toys that I rotate every so often. DS had forgotten about his kids knex he had a few months ago & when I took them out recenlty he was delighted. I'm gonna put away his Shake & race soon & take it out some rainy day we're stuck in doors. We don't have a playroom but have a very big kitchen & one half is usually where DS plays with his toys. I also give away old toys he's grown out of every few months to charity or cousins. Now that DS is older too he can play with one set at a time eg. he can't have all his magnetix, jenga, 1200! piece blocks, dominos, engines all out at once - rarely this happens but its a to tidy up. So he can play with one set, maybe two at a time & then we tidy up & he gets something else. Im thinking of getting those big toy containers (see through plastic) & putting different types of toys in each one, say one for arty stuff, one for engines/cars, one for building stuff, one for books etc. so he can pick a tub at a time to play with.

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