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Managing the Clutter

April 11, 2011

Do you ever catch yourself sounding just like your mother? For me, it happens when I get annoyed with all the clutter in the house. It never really bothered me much as a kid, but now that I’m the mom, I find myself frequently irritated by the shoes left in the middle of a room, the sweatshirts left on couches, and the piles of paper left everywhere by my preteen and teen children. Recently it seemed like a lot of my parenting energy was being used to repeatedly command my children to clean up after themselves.

Being motivated to get myself out of the role of “constant nag,” I recently started trying a new approach. From time to time I like to share my little successes with you in the hopes that it might inspire you to try something new too. My new approach is having designated clean up days. So instead of constantly reminding my children to pick up their stuff whenever I see it, I now save up my reminders for Tuesdays and Thursdays (and maybe Sundays, too!).

The result? I nag less, and they’re more responsive to my clean up requests. I ignore messes that can wait another day to be tidied and put in their place, and they know that they are expected to clean up on specific days.

Our house isn’t necessarily cleaner, but my attitude about it is better.

P.S. If you’re feeling a spring cleaning urge, why not start with the kitchen? Share your tips and struggles about kitchen organization and be eligible to enter a giveaway for a kitchen organization tool at the Dinner Together blog.


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