Stepping on a piece of Lego brick is painful, but the sight of clutter made by kids can take a toll on our, well, sanity. And those who preach that it's just about teaching kids how to pack their toys away, parents who keep it real do wish it was just that easy.
Returning toys to their place is the first chore we teach our toddlers. Not only because it teaches them responsibility, but no one wants a messy house. But kids forget — always if you ask us — that the colorful storage boxes mommy bought have a purpose other than decor.
So when it comes to decluttering techniques for the kids, we were up for anything, and we found this "cleaning hack" by a mom of three from Australia.
Jessica McGinty, the woman behind the blog Mishmash Moments, posted on Facebook what she calls — stop reading if you get offended easily by swear words — the 'fucket' cleaning.
"Today I got the kids 'fucket buckets,'" Jessica wrote. "If they leave it laying around, it goes in their bucket. If it’s still there at bedtime, it goes in the [trash] bin because 'fucket' if I’m cleaning it up," she added.
Can't stand the name? How about 'chuck-it bucket' as an alternative? But, painful to hear or not, give it time because Jessica's technique can help solve our kids' forgetfulness.
With the buckets, Jessica can gather the toys strewn around and place it in the buckets. She's not cleaning up after her kids, but she is giving them the chance to put the toys away in their proper storage place. When they forget, the toys go in the trash can. That is a great motivation for kids to not forget to clean up.
And many parents believe! As of this writing, Jessica's post has racked up close to 30,000 shares and more than 44,000 reactions. A lot of the 26,000 comments were from parents tagging each other and vowing to adopt the same system in their homes.
In the comments section, it's funny that some people who have tried it revealed that it's the hubby who had accumulated the most clutter. (How come that's not surprising at all?). Others worried that their kids wouldn't have any toys left if they had done this .
Some suggested to donate the left-in-the-bucket items instead of just throwing it in the trash (makes sense!) or just hold on to it or have it embargoed for a month or until they "pay" for it via chores (good ideas as well!).
We can't deny that it can be an effective teaching system to get the kids to pick up after themselves. You can do a dry run at first — perhaps don't throw whatever stuff your kids might have left in their bucket by nighttime but only stash them away just to make a point. Besides, if the kids value their things, they will learn and fast.
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After that practice run, however, you need to follow through for the system to work. You won't have to stress about cleaning up after your kids because your home will be rid of clutter — or at least you would have contained it. The best part, your kids will learn how to pack away. It's a win-win for everybody.