How to get kids to pick up is always a challenging job for parents.  However, it is one that can be achieved with much patience, compassion and love.  Here are two quick tips on how to get your kids to pick up and free you of some larger headaches.

Quick Tip 1:The 55-Gallon Metal Drum

“This idea was described to me by a woman I spoke with on the phone many years ago. She told me that picking up around her house had never been a problem. This resourceful mother kept a 55-gallon, metal drum in the garage, which was right next to her kitchen. Whenever she would find anything of her children’s that was out of place, she would simply put the items into the metal drum.

This procedure had become so routine with her four boys, that whenever one of the kids couldn’t find something of his, he would simply look in the drum. For example, her second oldest came running into the kitchen one day and exclaimed, “Mom, I can’t find my gym shoes. Are they in the drum?” “Yes,” was mother’s reply, and the incident was over. You say you don’t happen to have a 55-gollon drum handy or your kids couldn’t reach in there if you did? A large box will do fine.”  The idea behind the 55-Gallon Metal Drum is that kids learn that when things are out of place, they get dumped into a community drum and they become everyone’s possession.

Source: ParentMagic Newsletter by Dr. Thomas Phelan © 2008
Simple, straightforward parenting advice and helpful tips from Dr. Thomas Phelan’s best-selling parenting programs.

Quick Tip 2: The Poor Kids Bag

Since my two little boys were 2 and 3, I taught them to clean up before going to bed, before going to preschool, before leaving for the evening or whenever we had guests.  Although I have had nannies part-time, full-time and babysitters, picking up toys was not one of the tasks I wanted them to do around the house. I really did not want to spend $10-$15/hr for a lady to pick toys when I really needed them help me everywhere else in the house,  and of course, with the kids in other ways.  Since they were little, my two boys learned that if they did not pick up the toys and I had to pick them up for them,  2 things could happen: (1) the toys would not be in their corresponding bins because I really would not know which toys go where, so basically, I would mix them up;  and (2) everything I would find on the floor meant that they did not care about anymore and I could give them away to the poor kids.  So, whenever, they left something behind or even when they would throw me the “I don’t want to pick up today” number,  I would simply grab my Poor Kids Bag, and start filling it up with toys. What’s their reaction? They immediately started doing clean-up!

For this to consistently work, you have to be firm about the Poor Kids Bag! It does happen every so often that they would tell me, “Yes, mom, you can give them to the poor kids – I don’t want it anymore.” When they would say that, I was happy to put the toys in the Poor Kids Bag. My Poor Kids Bag always had toys to give away!

Source: Moms Buzz’s personal experience.

Try these two quick tips and let me know if they work for you.  If you have other tips like this that have worked for you, please share them with me in the comments section.  I can can always publish your ideas, if you so allow us.

Clean up and organization of toys belong to the kids!


About The Author

My real job in life is raising my 3 kids and having a nice, healthy and active family life. Along the way, I realized that motherhood didn’t come with a manual and frequently asked questions so I had to learn my way through with the help and advice of other mothers and that is how I decided to start a blog about tips for busy moms, The Moms Buzz, a lifestyle blog about only the buzz that matters. Modern moms are busy busy, and whatever tips make our lives easier we are ready to try them, we don’t have the time to read and read lengthy advices, but we can certainly read 1-2-3-SOLVED. Adriana is also the founder of and an established fashion/portrait photographer.

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