Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Just the other day I was complaining to my sister in law, Natalie, that I am sooo sick and tired of my kids' messy rooms but I feel like I've tried everything...blah, blah, blah.  Anyway she, who is the queen of creative ideas, said, "You should do what we're doing it really works!"  Here's how it goes..

Every bedroom is shared by two people so each pair gets their room inspected then they inspect someone else's.  Every day you rotate who you inspect and who inspects you.  There are five points possible.  One for each of the following: floor, bed, inside drawers, dresser tops, closet.  Each area has to be GOOD to get the point.  Whatever pair scores lowest cleans the kitchen that night.  The whole kitchen.

So last night I told the kids about the plan...Natalie, looking assaulted, barked,  "You mean I have to do the dishes with Camille!? That's not fair?!"  Then clean your room, Cluehead!

You should SEE what their rooms look like now!  It's like a full blown miracle.  I have no greater joy than seeing Mitchell with his feet sticking out from under his bed fishing for bits of trash... or Camille sitting flat on her butt while Natalie storms around spewing, "I'm doing it ALLL she's doing nothing!!" Aww girl....you're breaking my heart!

So tonight was the trial run and it went fabulously! We scored the girls, the girls scored the boys (fostering sibling rivalry) and the boys scored us. Nick and I lost on purpose. I could care less if I do the dishes I just want their stys clean.  It was close... Natalie nearly came undone when Nick started pulling wrappers and junk from under her bed with his stub-toes, "That's not fair!!  You never told us under the bed!!" N & C came in at 3.5, Nick and I at 3 and the boys at 4.  

One other negative incentive I have going is this...
I told them that sometime around dinner time I'm going through the downstairs and counting up how many things I find of theirs.  If they have more than three things down, they get a chore off the list... clean bathroom, fold laundry and put away, clean out a drawer etc.

Tonight I am at peace.  We'll see how long it lasts.


jessamyn said...

this sounds like the best idea! I can't wait for Johnny to be old enough for that... something tells me there will be other little ones for a few more years. Ugh growing up there was a standing rule that you were grounded unless your room was clean... I'm not sure how effective it was, I was grounded most of high school.
If only little Natalie knew what was in store later in life, constant cleaning up after everyone else!

Anonymous said...

I like my idea best -- close their doors. Eventually on their own they figured out that they liked clean rooms. Worked beautifully. Another idea I liked. At the end of the day, I would gather all loose items in the family room, put them in the middle of the room and we all had to take our own possessions with us to our rooms before bed. We are still speaking to each other after all these years. Good luck, sweetie! I am on your side. Aunt Nancy P. S. I was never good at math.

Anonymous said...

Just thought of another idea that really worked. When either child wanted to do something special, i.e. sleep over at a friends, etc. I would ask them to please have their room in order so that while they were away I could come in and vacuum. Worked like a charm every time. Aunt Nancy, again

Ann Marie said...

Great Idea indeed!! I love the system of it all..

I laughed when I heard Natalie complaining that she does it all.. Oh man.. I hear that daily. I think because Tenney is older.. and can clean faster.. and better. But-- they all contribute! My kids share rooms as well. I think it's good for them.

My kids rooms are pretty easy cleaning wise-- because I hardly have any toys in them. ( Most of them are in a playroom in the basement.. )They have to make their beds daily.. and really clean there rooms once a week..because I am a neat freak..but because they stay on top of it.. it usually is always pretty good.

If things get left around my house.. ( kitchen Living room etc.. )they can get asked 2 times to pick it up.. if they don't.. it gets put up " In time Out" until they do a few chores to get it back. If they don't miss it after a while.. Ce la vie!! Thrift store! ha-ha

My need for a bright idea this year has been getting Tenney to want to practice the piano. Her first year was GREAT.. This year.. it's like pulling teeth. I want to give it up I am so tired of nagging.. and hearing the WHINING. I wonder how much I need to enforce it before I give up. You know??

browneyedgirl said...