Kids Don’t Like To Clean

Ever since it was confirmed that my kids’ brother would be coming to visit in July, I’ve been trying to get the house in order.  Some of my effort has gone towards deep cleaning, some has gone towards putting cute little pictures in the bathroom that no 12 year old would ever care about, and some has gone towards trying to more effectively maintain the house, so it won’t be a big deal to get things clean when it’s time for the visit.  This week, a lot of my effort went towards trying to make sense out of Antwan and Lizzie’s room. 

When we moved into our 3 bedroom house, each boy went into a room and all was as it should be and was expected to be.  Then, came Lizzie.   And, nothing was as it was expected to be, but, in the end, of course, it was definitely how it should be.  We quickly crammed all of Antwan’s stuff into William’s room and the boys entered the wonderful world of room sharing.

Then came the night that I set up my FLIP camera to spy on my darling, room-sharing, sons.  We knew something was up, but didn’t know what.  When we watched the footage of the lights going on and off, the dance parties, and William sending Antwan off to the pantry to get them snacks; we knew it was time for a change.  So, the very next morning, I crammed all of Antwan’s stuff into Lizzie’s room.

And, ever since then, it’s been an unorganized mess.  Trying to combine the Little Mermaid and Lightening Mcqueen is tricky.  Although, the current mutual respect for Batman has simplified things.  So, I spend a lot of time coming up with new organization (I use the word “organization” loosely) systems that never work.

But, knowing that a caseworker will be looking around motivated me.  I knew it was time to figure the room out. 

Lizzie and Antwan didn’t share my inspiration…

So, I explained to him that we had to get it clean.  I used my latest, favorite expression. “If you want your brother to come visit, your room has to be clean.”   It worked!  They cleaned. Sort of. 🙂

Lizzie’s definition of cleaning is, apparently, throwing the toys elsewhere…


And, Antwan’s definition of cleaning is putting them all into a pile….

He is proud. 🙂

So, I did what I do best.  I put some cool Batman stuff on the wall and promised myself that I’d work on it tomorrow. 🙂

(I didn’t work on it tomorrow…)

36 thoughts on “Kids Don’t Like To Clean

  1. There's a website called that has been like a lifesaver to me with trying to organize stuff. It even offers tips to get kids involved in the cleaning/organizing process.


  2. Also, instead of just saying \”clean up\”, give specific instructions: \”Put the dolls on the shelf\”, \”Put the cars in the box\”, etc. For some reason, little kids respond to that better.


  3. HAHA! You are my long-lost sister, Emily! Jul-e is right, though. My husband figured out quickly that we can't just tell the kids to clean, we have to give them very specific instructions such as, \”Put all of the Lightning McQueen toys in that bin.\” It's not multi-tasking as I would like (since I have to sit there with them and give them instructions) but it works and they eventually know where everything goes.


  4. Thanks, I'll check the website out! 🙂 Yeah, I've noticed that, too. I think I had probably given them each a task or maybe I was just being overly optimistic and told them to \”clean.\” I can't remember. 😉


  5. Agreed, it does work better that way. 🙂 Usually, I'll send them in to \”clean\” with hopes that it might work; then end up in their room giving directions, minutes later. 🙂 I think that day, I was trying to get something else done, too. So, instead of doing the practical thing, I decided to have some fun with it. lol.


  6. I absolutely agree that kids don't care about cleaning. All they want is to play and have fun. Cleaning is a job for parents. Of course, you can try motivating your little ones to help you, but the chance to convince them is microscopic. If you can't manage the domestic chores on your own, I recommend that you hire a professional cleaning company.


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