The Mom Connection: Get Your Kids to Clean Up

Are you struggling to get your children to clean up their toys?
These experienced Moms have some great suggestions.

get your kids to clean up

I am teaming up this week with Naptime Review and Two in Diapers for this exciting series about motherhood.

We are always wondering how other moms handle certain issues or dilemmas,
so each week we are going to tackle the questions of motherhood.

Next week we will discuss

Siblings and sharing: Where do you draw the line between requiring sharing and allowing for personal space with certain toys?

If you have some thoughts or advice on next week’s topic please email
We would love for you to be part of The Mom Connection!

 Now on to this week’s topic!

How do you get your children to clean up and pick up thier toys? 

Here is what a few of us had to say:

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Mom Bloggers

Welcome! I’m Julie

over at Naptime
I am a mom of 2 wild, crazy and beautiful girls. My oldest is
almost 4 and my baby just turned 1. This is how I handle cleaning up with my

I am really looking forward to
hearing all the other comments and tips. I really struggle with this issue and
I constantly feel like a drill sergeant with my oldest daughter. I have a Type A
personality and I am OCD when it comes to cleaning and messes. I really think
God blessed me with free spirited, creative and MESSY girls to teach me a

Here are some tips that have helped
me alleviate the craziness that clutter brings. I only clean my daughter’s
room on Sunday. I try not to let the mess that fills the room the minute after
“we” pick up her toys consume me. I also purchased large organization tubs at
Target. I just toss everything in and wheel into her closet and shut the door. We also pick up our toys in the playroom every
night before bed. If she is stalling, which she does, I set a timer.  If her toys aren’t picked up when the timer
goes off, she loses TV after bath. Thankfully, the timer seems to motivate her.

 I also
constantly remind my oldest that God gives us things and it’s our responsibility
to take care of them. I am trying to teach her appreciation for all the blessings in her life. So far, it seems to be in one ear and out the other, but that’s why I have 2 children right? All I have to do is sing the “clean up” song and the baby puts toys
away… for now. I am trying to train her young!

So what works for us is to not “stress the mess” and to purchase organizational tubs!

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Mom Bloggers

Hi! I’m Cassie
from Two In Diapers, and I’m a mommy to three sweet babies, ages 4, 3, and 18

 Getting the kids to clean up toys is actually a very recent topic of concern for
me. In 2008, I gave birth to a beautiful little baby girl named Emily, and then
our lives turned into a whirlwind of activity that included two more babies and
before I knew it, four years later, I was grudgingly cleaning up roomfuls
of toys during nap time while wistfully daydreaming about sitting on the
couch reading a novel. One day my mom snapped me back to reality by
pointing out that my littles were well old enough to be cleaning up after
themselves. Oh yeah, thats one thing I’m supposed to be teaching them.

first method of getting the kids to clean up included some yelling, a bit of
bribing and lots of threatening. Fail. This left me with a messy house, three
cranky kids and lots of frustration.

I decided it was time to get
creative. Lately we’ve been finding many more ways to clean up that are much
more fun and exciting. For example, when cleaning up the blocks, we pick them up
by color. I let the kids pick which colors in what order. First, we might put all of
the red blocks into the basket, then the yellow and so on. Sometimes I let them
each pick a type of toy to be responsible for – such as Emily picking up
the books and Bentley picking up the toy cars. One of our very favorites,
however, is pulling out each basket in our family room and lining them up in the
middle of the floor. We then pick up each toy and try to toss it into the
correct basket. This usually results in lots of giggles, but you can bet the
toys get cleaned up!

One last thing, I have to say on this topic is that
the more organized your play area is, the better. Our small toy area is very
organized {you can view it here}. There is one
clearly-marked basket for each type of toy, and one basket for
miscellaneous toys. Everything has a home. The more confusing and chaotic a toy
space is, the more overwhelming it is for kids {and parents!} to clean

So I supposed my advice is – get organized and have fun!

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Mom Bloggers 

My name is Casey Wiegand and I blog
over at CaseyLeigh.  I am the mama of three kids. Aiden (3),
Ainsleigh (2) and Apple (2 months).

Even though I am an artist and free spirit…I like things to be organized,
clean and in some type of order. The most helpful thing to control the “mess”
with the kiddos is shelves with baskets for all of the toys. That way they can
play all day and at the end of each day my two toddlers know that we put
everything back into the baskets. It gives a bit of “system” to the

Another thing that helped was putting all of the toys in our family
room/office. Taking the toys out of their bedrooms and putting them all in one
spot with the basket system has been amazing for our family organization.

Lastly, I love having a family
calendar and a meal plan calendar. I like to be able to hand write on them both
and keep them on my work desk. Both of these help me immensely!

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Mom Bloggers

Hello! My name is Diana from Nanny2Mommy. I was a nanny for five years (thus the
name) before I became a mom. During that time when it was just their older son,
I would clean up after him and never encourage him to clean. I didn’t because
it was a job that I got paid to do. 

When their daughter was born and as she got
older, I was out numbered and needed help with the disasters they created. So I
encouraged them to help me clean up. The older one was so used to me doing
everything that he just wouldn’t help. I had to say things like, “Oh your baby
sister is doing such a good job cleaning up, could you help her?” or “Let’s see
who can clean up the most” or “the fastest” etc. Cleaning eventually became
a part of his routine. 

My suggestion? Get them started early where they are used
to it and it is just habit. My daughter knows what to do when I say let’s clean
up now and, although I have to go behind her, I feel I am setting her up for
good habits in the future. And she likes it because we try to make it a game.
She is even learning how to organize her toys now as well.

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Mom Bloggers

Hello! My name is Janine
and I blog over at True Aim. I am a Mother of 3
under the age of 5. I also have a Home Preschool and teach 3 other children.

Click here to see my tips for Cleaning with Kids

cleaning with kids

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Mom Bloggers

Hi my
name’s Rachel
from the blog,
. I am a mom of two kids, Benjamin (3)
and Lyla (23 months). You can follow me on Facebook here.

As a crafty person living in a small
house with two young kids, two cats, and a husband, it’s definitely a struggle
to keep things clean. I almost always have some sort of project out on a desk or
tabletop. In fact, right now, I have a handful of balloons hanging from the
shutters in our kitchen.

That being said, I think that it is so
important to help teach your kids to clean up and be organized. We have made a
point of keeping the kids’ rooms clean and organized, and we want them to be a
part of it. For me, the most important part of this is having good storage for
toys. We got these bins from IKEA, and we
love them. Every toy has a place in one of these colorful bins. My son,
Benjamin, knows what toys go where, and he always wants to make sure that
everything is in the right place.

We try to encourage him to clean up the
toys he was playing with before he moves on to another room or another activity,
but sometimes we are in a hurry or forget to remind Benjamin. That’s why we have
made clean-up time a consistent part of bedtime… after brushing teeth and
right before we curl up and read a book together. It works well because my
little 3 year old is of course looking for ways to stall going to bed and is
always happy to help clean up his toys. Sometimes we even come up with games
like lego basketball, color sorting, counting, or a reenactment of an episode of
Thomas. Even though our house is never perfect, and there is always some chore
that needs to be done, it feels so good to tuck my kids in at night in clean and
organized rooms.

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Your Turn:

 How do YOU get YOUR children to clean up?
Do you have any tips or advice?
Love to hear from you!

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  1. says

    Great tips from all of you. Starting early definitely helps, I had my girls help me clean up from a young age and now that they are teenagers they still do it regularly, if a bit grudgingly at times, but it has become a natural way of doing things.
    Am a new member :)

  2. says

    My house is kind of small too with 3 kids and 2 cats and 1 lizard, and so hard to keep clean and organized. I def need to purchase more storage.

    Thanks for linking up with my NO RULES Weekend Blog Party!


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