Household chores, especially cleaning up after kids — The Bump
D.C. Area Babies

Household chores, especially cleaning up after kids

I know we've talked about this before, but I had a baby/child specific question for household chores, which I don't know if we've talked about before.  Does cleaning up after the kids fall into its own category?  Obviously, we try to get the girls (3 and 19 months) to help clean up after themselves, but sometimes (ok, who am I kidding, most times) we put them to bed and see that there is still some work to do to get the house back to tidy.  How do people usually handle this part of tidying up?  Even split, whoever is up the latest, whoever usually cleans (vs. cooks, laundry, etc.) does it?  Is it situational?  So if one parent was more involved with getting tons of toys out and not having them clean them up before bed, is that parent more responsible for the clean up? 

Also, do most people try to keep things as tidy as possible during the week, and then take more time on the weekends to get the house back in order, or is it back to tidy every night? 

Re: Household chores, especially cleaning up after kids

  • our house is tiny, so out of necessity, the rules are only one plaything out at a time and if you take it out, you put it back. audrey is 15 months and already knows that she must put her toys back. she doesn't understand the consequences though, so often one of us will help put away things she took out. usually whichever is free at the time. if both of us are free, we both help put them away.

    our son, who is 5, must put his own toys away. the consequence he fully understands. we don't make a big deal out of it, just calmly say that if he doesn't want to put them away (i.e., take care of them and appreciate them enough not to leave them laying around) then that is fine, we will just throw them in the trash b/c he obviously doesn't care for them. we have never really had a problem with him putting things away, but he is also a more agreeable child than i suspect our daughter will be at the same age. 

    it helps that at their DC, they are expected to put their toys away and DCP is very firm with this. i think it teaches them to be responsible for their things.

    in general, we try to restore order every night before the kids go to bed. occasionally, it's been a particularly difficult/challenging time and we just put them to bed bc it's the best we can do. this past weekend, we didn't clean up until yesterday. i figured everything was going to come right back out anyway, so what was the point? and this is a special time of year anyway. 

    [color=purple]Wife ? 9/18/04Mommy ? DS - 2006 (C/S) & DD - 2010 (HWBAC)Wellness Provider ? Birth Doula - Hypnotherapist - HypnoBirthing - Reiki Master/Teacher[/color]Natural/Unmedicated Childbirth FAQs
  • In our house, cleaning up the living room each evening usually falls to me. We try to have DD#1 pick up her toys before going up to bed but it doesn't always happen. If I don't clean up the toys, it won't get done because it really doesn't bother DH if there are toys on the floor. However, it really bothers me. For some reason, it's really important for me to have all of the toys picked up before I go to bed. Otherwise, it feels like I'm starting the day on the wrong foot. I could probably ask DH to share this task with me, however, it's not something that's important to him so I haven't pushed it. It usually takes me less than 5 minutes so it's not that big of a deal to me.

    On the other hand, we definitely share cooking, cleaning the kitchen, and other household chores.  

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  • We need to be better about getting DD engaged in toy cleanup (she's 33 months), she doesn't mind putting things away, it's just that we have to remind her.  DS at 11 months has no concept of putting things away, he just likes to make messes. 

    As you can tell from that, it falls to the adults to clean-up.  In our house it's usually DH.  I clean up the kitchen and he manages the toys after everyone goes to bed.  It sort of evens out the daily evening work.  I love Lindsey's suggestion of only letting them have one thing out at a time.  

    I will say this, when we bought more organizational pieces for organizing the clutter (the Ikea Expedit and additional baskets) it made everything a lot neater and a lot easier to put things away.  We're planning on doing something similar for the kitchen (where the play kitchen is) to organize all of the toy food. Once we get past DS's birthday in January, I need to go through all of the toys and start rotating them again.  As it stands there are just too many options which makes clean up more difficult and personally I think ti makes playtime more challenging for the kids too. 

  • image Hey Jellisy:

    We need to be better about getting DD engaged in toy cleanup (she's 33 months), she doesn't mind putting things away, it's just that we have to remind her.  DS at 11 months has no concept of putting things away, he just likes to make messes. 

    As you can tell from that, it falls to the adults to clean-up.  In our house it's usually DH.  I clean up the kitchen and he manages the toys after everyone goes to bed.  It sort of evens out the daily evening work.  I love Lindsey's suggestion of only letting them have one thing out at a time.  

    I will say this, when we bought more organizational pieces for organizing the clutter (the Ikea Expedit and additional baskets) it made everything a lot neater and a lot easier to put things away.  We're planning on doing something similar for the kitchen (where the play kitchen is) to organize all of the toy food. Once we get past DS's birthday in January, I need to go through all of the toys and start rotating them again.  As it stands there are just too many options which makes clean up more difficult and personally I think ti makes playtime more challenging for the kids too. 

    we just couldn't do it any other way!

    great idea to rotate toys in and out. we have so many (and plus many more now after Christmas) that they actively play with, but it would be easy to rotate them so they don't have all options at once. and i also agree that having a designated place for each toy makes it easier (for the kids) to put them away.  

    [color=purple]Wife ? 9/18/04Mommy ? DS - 2006 (C/S) & DD - 2010 (HWBAC)Wellness Provider ? Birth Doula - Hypnotherapist - HypnoBirthing - Reiki Master/Teacher[/color]Natural/Unmedicated Childbirth FAQs
  • In our house, whoever gets tired of the mess first is in charge of cleaning it up.

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  • We both basically work hard until we eat our dinner.  Someone is making the girls' dinner then the other is starting out dinner, one is getting the bath ready while the other clean up the kids and their dinner mess, one is giving the bath while the other fold clothes, one is doing bedtime routines while the other cooks and cleans up the living room (where our toys are, no playroom or we would probably wait until the weekend).  So we pretty much split it all up in the evenings just depending on who is doing what that night.  Personally I like to clean up the toys because everything has a place and it seems like I am the only one who knows where that might be.  So every few moths I need to straighten the organization out again.

    The kids do have to generally clean up but I really can't expect perfection.  Maggie does have to clean up her room when she makes a huge mess (she has a lot of books and toys in there since we don't have a playroom).  This usually involves dire consequences of removing favorite toys and staying in there until it is done.

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