Someone please tell me I'm not the only one with this problem!

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-26-2008
Someone please tell me I'm not the only one with this problem!
7
Wed, 10-19-2011 - 12:17pm

Posted on FB group as well...

From the very beginning I've had the hardest time getting the girls to keep their room clean. Toys, books, clothes, everywhere... always! It makes me want to pull my hair out! No matter what I try nothing works. All the toys have a specific bin, plain as day, nothing confusing! I've tried enforcing the "only 1 type of toy at a time" and they refuse. Then they complain about how big the mess is and they get overwhelmed. I told them that if there's too much to clean then perhaps they just have too much stuff! We've done the "toys in time-out" thing before and it doesn't work, I'm back to that again right now, they have only baby dolls and doll clothes in their room and I told them everytime they clean it up when they're done they can get another set of toys back. That was like 2 weeks ago. It's like once I put toys in the garage they forget about them. I've tried consequences and tried rewards, seriously, nothing works. I'm so sick of this fight with them. Especially since their untidyness follows them throughout the house!!!! UGH!

Now I'm considering NO NEW TOYS for Christmas, though honestly I don't think that'll work either. =( Most everything ends up broken too. I made a rule that if you break something we throw it away no questions asked. Still nothing. They seem so ungrateful! =( The only time I get any feedback is if I say we're giving toys away. I went through before (at a time they weren't in trouble just because there was so much) and weeded out stuff that was too young for them or that they don't really play with and they were all bawling! I even laughed it was so ridiculously comical!

Then I wonder if 99% of the problem is Macy dragging things out and throwing fits about cleaning, and also being too aggressive with the toys. Maybe the big girls are suffering for Macy's tazmanian devil tendancy? I just don't know! I wish I knew exactly what the cause of the problem was so I could focus on that. Are they ungrateful and unappreciative? Is it because there are 3 girls in a room full of stuff and the mess is literally unavoidable? Is it all Macy's doing? Do they have too much? I just don't know. And I'm losing my mind over this! =/ This issue of tidyness has always been my biggest battle and I'm just so done! This makes HULK mom come out every. single. time! =(

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-30-2007
Ugh to the cleaning issues. We have that same problem here sometimes but we know who the main culprit is (Peanut lol) It's easier to figure that out when it's only one kiddo though :p

When we've had a lot of trouble with the toy carnage, we do the 1-toy-at-a-time rule but we also have the kids play in an assigned area. Our house is small, so i might have them each pick a toy to play with on their beds or lijah might get our room and peanut their room. So if it's possible that Macy is causing more mess/damage than the bigger girls, maybe let Naomi and Zoe pick a toy to play with together and then set Macy up in her own spot.

As for broken toys, if just having them thrown away does nothing, i would ramp up the consequence in some way that has meaning. I don't know if i can describe it well, but basically, if a toy is broken because of misuse (too rough, left on floor where it could be stepped on, thrown down in a fit), then there is an added consequence (other than just the loss of the broken toy) In kid logic, it doesn't matter if that toy is trashed since now it's broken and there is tons more stuff to pick from. But if that toy is thrown away and an additional toy will go in the donate bag, that might make them a bit more careful. I guess i'm rambling, but basically i'd experiment with different consequences until i found one that does matter.

And if they do have too many toys that they don't care when some are taken away, consider rotating toys so they don't have access to all of them at once and they get to play with fresh stuff. That might save your sanity and keep you from the stressful cleaning battles


iVillage Member
Registered: 10-25-2007

Awww Jenn, I remember you posting about this same issue before.


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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-18-2001
I've had to do the rotating of toys or weeding out what's too young for their stages. The rotating was necessary because they end up with so much! Especially when they were going out for lunch more often - every meal meant two more toys. Oy, they multiply like rabbits!

We haven't had much of the breaking or misuse of toys, but the two times I remember, Tim wasn't that sad and I do think it's because they have so much. I think the additional consequence Lindy mentioned is a good one, or sent to the room for breaking things plus the toy's gone unless there's a possibility of fixing it and adding it to the rotated toy cycle.

I know I'll be sad someday when we don't have toys everywhere because it'll mean the boys are grown up and gone or close to that stage. And yet some days I just wish it would all disappear and I could see the floor! ;)

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-26-2008
I try every day to enforce the "one toy at a time" rule, but they (mostly Macy I'm quite certain) don't follow it. Which then means a huge mess accompanied by a huge tantrum when told to clean it up.

The extra consequence for broken things is a good idea! I'll have to try that one!

I think I'm going to narrow the toys to 1 set each (like Barbie's, baby dolls, etc). I'll let them each pick a set to keep and when we get new toys they will be toys that belong with each set. No starting new collections unless we're ready to say goodbye to one of the old ones. Does that sound reasonable or just stupid?
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-26-2008
I need a new reward system. Ours just isn't working, they love getting smiley faces on their charts but they don't think about it unless I bring it up. It's not something they're constantly working towards. I have similar charts with 4 or 5 rows of 10 spaces, at the end of each row they get a small prize from the box, and once their chart is full they get a big prize... a new toy, new video game, etc. Last time Naomi chose to get her ears pierced. But it takes forever for them to make any progress! They don't seem motivated by the smiley face chart. I need a new system!
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-26-2008
Thanks Becca! Rotating toys is a great idea, I just don't think I have the desire! I'd rather throw them away! LOLOL I think I'm going to narrow the toys in the girls room to 3 sets and see how that goes. =/
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-06-2006
We have a too many toy problem too mainly due to my MIL honestly LOL. She's not content with buying just one thoughtful gift for an occasion. She MUST buy TONS of clearance dollar spot & regular random toys & wrap up like 10 for each kid. I appreciate her heart in it- I know I LOVE giving them things too lol- but then we are swamped with stuff. We have literally 4 toy boxes in the house full of stuff they absolutely don't touch. I want to just chuck it all but I don't want to hurt her or their feelings either? To some extent I have to do it anyways because now the toy boxes are full....... and the toys they actually play with are on the floor :S Not a good storage solution lol

Anywhoodle, I am trying out a allowance system on the boys. They have to do 2-3 chores a day (5 days a week) just for being part of our fabulous family ;) but any additional chores earn them a quarter. Usually this means they have the potential to earn their normal allowance amounts reasonably but it's not just a given. It's working okay but still needs more enforcement on my part ;)
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