Negotiating with Kids for a Clutter Free Home | Organizing Made Fun: Negotiating with Kids for a Clutter Free Home

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Negotiating with Kids for a Clutter Free Home

Are you wondering why I would negotiate with my kids to get them to do something? Well, hang on and hear me out. You see, I have been instilling into my kids for as long as they were able to understand that have clutter around isn't good. Part of it is that I just don't like clutter since it distracts me. Part of it is that I don't want them to hold tightly to earthly things. I believe that earthly positions are not of high value - people are. So, I want them to learn young to let go of things, BUT to also be responsible with what they have and put it away, where it belongs.

Negotiating with Kids for a Clutter Free Home ::

I am not sure I would have ever done this with my kids when they were younger - now that they are tween and teen aged, I see that I do it more often. It's pretty simple. Are you ready to hear how I negotiate with my kids? It's simple. It goes something like this:

Kid: Mom, can I use the computer/Wii and/or go out with friends?

Mom: Absolutely! Once you clean up the clutter in the bathroom and/or your room, you can do that. 

Simple? Yes! The important part is doing this EVERY time they are desiring to do other things. Consistency is key! I never assume that their clutter is always picked up so I go and look -- there are kids out there like that, but mine aren't those! 

It's a privilege to do these extra kid things. It's a privilege to have a roof over our heads. The very least I expect from my kids is to be respectful of the home and room they have, the things they have, and to clean them up. 

I'm not going to lie, I have one kid who would say "Well, then I just won't do such and such"...and walk away. Then this is clearly disobedience and there is a consequence that follows that is an effective consequence - you know, that one that actually causes them to realize that you mean what you say. I have to find that leverage - whether it's taking a privilege away or an object. I'm not a parenting expert, but this has been effective for me in getting things cleaned up around our house. 

Please share in the comments what is effective in getting your kids to clean up their clutter or put their things away in your home. 

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  1. Hi Becky, I also have a child that will say the same thing - 'well then I don't care if I do so and so'. And sometimes taking away something doesn't always work. What do you do when it feels you've tried everything? Thanks for your help!

    1. I had a child like that. The only thing that worked was for me to sit in the room with her until the room was cleaned up. She was pretty quick about getting me the he.. out of there.

  2. I don't agree entirely with the leverage thing, only because I expect that my kids are going to clean up after themselves without reward...I teach them that it's just something you do as a sensible human. Maybe if it's like an above and beyond chore, then I would say, you can have extra computer time, or what have you, when you've done this task for me. They definitely don't get the option to say no to cleaning up after themselves. :-) /

    1. Keep in mind that I'm not talking about cleaning up after themselves...I am referring to cleaning out their clutter. They are expected to clean up. This is a way I deal with clutter and organizing with them.



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