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In this room, 2 of our children share the space. I always thought one was fairly on top of keeping her stuff up and organized and knew that if I asked her to go clean up, she would. The other child would cry, complain, and the proceed to become distracted by all the cool stuff she was hanging on to.
As it turned out, my super awesome helper was just stuffing everything under her bed. Doh! I thought as I attempted to hold her mattress up with one shoulder, and fit my slowly growing pregnant belly between the frame, that I sure could have used the strength of WWE Fighter John Cena. I imagined him coming in and easily holding the mattress aloft while I took my time to get every last toy and piece of garbage out that I could find.
She had at least done a good job of stuffing it all against the back wall so it wasn’t apparent unless anyone actually really looked under there. My so-called messy child turned out to have very little under her bed, other than items I could tell had only accidentally fallen beneath. Give me bad mom of the year for comparing the two, when in fact, they’re pretty equal in their cleanliness. Some just hide it better than others.
So what do you do when the kids really and truly refuse to clean up their mess? Well, this is what I did.
Give them a timeline
I told the girls that they needed to get their room clean, and if they didn’t I would come in and clean for them. Now, I probably should have put a timeline on it, but I figured I’d just take the next day I wasn’t too busy and do it. Turns out that gave them a full month to clean. Throughout this month I would give them friendly reminders.
example: “Mom I’m bored”
“Well, I haven’t cleaned your room yet. Why don’t you do it, before I can?
Invite Them to Help
I had finally found the perfect day that I could mentally and physically clean their room. I thought about doing it during school hours but chose to wait until the kids got home. By doing this, they could see exactly how I cleaned up the mess – eliminating the excuse “It’s too hard”. This also offered the opportunity for them to join me in cleaning their mess and absolved me from any tears for what may come up missing later.
At least twice one of them came in to talk to me, and I invited them to help. They wanted to play in their room, but I let them know their option was to help me clean or to find another room to play in. Say this with kindness, and no expectation that they will actually help. Who know, maybe your kids will actually stay to help.
Know What is Important and What is Not
I promised the girls when we moved here that I would no longer get rid of their toys without their permission. With our many moves I had gotten in the habit of picking and choosing what they could keep and not while downsizing our living spaces. So I knew I couldn’t throw out anything important. In fact, the only thing I could throw out was the garbage. Of course, I got to decide what was garbage, but as their mom, I knew what would be too emotional to let go of, and what I could get away with trashing.
Start making piles. One pile of trash. One pile of donations. Everything else should have a place in the room.
I don’t know about other kids, but I have a very recycling conscious child. She loves creating things out of boxes, and whatever else I toss into the recycling bin. Of course, I am perfectly fine with this, IF she would not then leave her treasures strewn across her room. I knew I’d need something strong to hold all the potential garbage I would be finding, so I picked up some Hefty kitchen trash bags in Clean Burst Scent. After all, if I was going to clean their room for them, I would want it to smell clean too. With Arm & Hammer’s patented odor neutralizer, you’ll want to grab these bags too.
Use the Hefty Ultra Strong bags for gathering your different piles. With the active tear resistant technology and break resistant grip drawstring, you can really fit a lot into these tough bags. I fit at least 3 decent sized cardboard boxes into our designated trash bag, something that I have seen easily rip trash bags in the past.
You all know I love a good deal too! So I was pleasantly surprised when Hefty’s new tougher bags were at a new low price! Add on the downloadable $1 off coupon from iBotta and these bags are practically a steal! Head over to Hefty to get your coupon, and then go do a little bedroom cleaning yourself.