Tuesday, March 24, 2015

24 Quick Tip Tuesday: Handy Pick-up Helpers

Because our boys have the freedom to relax and play throughout our entire home, there are days I could spend hours following behind them while picking up their slug-like clutter trails.  Fellow parents, raise your hands if you are with me!


Kids and their energy!  Boy do I wish it was something they could easily transfer to me.  Their minds race a thousand and three miles per minute and it is easy to forget to pick up before moving on to the next task.  Whether it be bowls left on the table after breakfast or socks around every corner, what seems simple isn't necessarily a priority to a kiddo.  And with my boys, I know most of the time it is not intentional, they are just truly forgetful busy bodies.

But forgetful things here and there times three boys and suddenly I feel like I am tripping over piles around every corner.

We implemented something last summer that worked really well and although some days I just pick up after my kids without thinking much about it, I believe that the boys should recognize what items they leave out and be responsible for putting those items away.


It is a habit of mine to pick up as I see things laying out, and sometimes it seems to enables their "forgetfulness".  That is where the handy pick-up helpers come in.  I purchased three small, handled bins (one for each boy), and now I toss their belongings into their personal bins throughout the day.  From there, it is their responsibility to empty the bins and put their items away.


I'm not gonna lie, some days I am tempted to fill the bins with their dishes, snack wrappers and shoes.... but for sanitary reasons I keep it to personal items, clothing, school supplies, books and toys.  Sometimes we even make a game out of it and I take advantage of their competitive spirits; the boy with the least amount of items in their basket throughout the day wins a special prize. 

This is definitely not rocket science, but something that is super helpful in our daily routine.  I initially tried some dollar store laundry baskets, but found they were really bulky and didn't tuck away in-between uses as well as these bins that I love now (not sponsored, just sharing trial and error).  Any basket/bin will do, but there were a few things I looked for to keep this process easy peasy for the whole family:

  • Collapsible:  There are times when I don't want the bins sitting out or taking up floor space.  These bins fold down and tuck away nice and neat.
  • Portable:  I selected bins that are extremely light weight to keep it easy for even our youngest boy to carry the bin around the house while putting away his belongings.
  • Durable:  Because the bins are used, filled and toted around daily, they get dirty.  I went with bins that are easy to clean and can withstand daily abuse.
  • Cute:  The bins are playful, colorful and match our decor.  I don't mind if they are sitting out throughout the day because they are not visually obtrusive (yet again, can still tuck away when cleaning up for company).
  • Roomie:  They offer enough storage to fit multiple items over the course of a day or two (or five).





Because the bins are each a different color, I didn't even need to create labels.  Each boy has a color and the process is painless for the entire family to maintain.  Sometimes, I think even they are surprised to see the impact their daily trails make.


Looking for more quick tips?  Check out the entire series here!


24 comments:

  1. Such a simple but effective idea! Thanks for sharing!
    Sarah xx
    whimsicalmumblings.blogspot.co.uk

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  2. Ok, this seems like a good idea but how do you make them clean out the bucket at the end of the day? I would like to try this out but I wonder if I will need to say that stuff left in the bin the next day becomes mine.

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    1. Hi Kelly!
      Our kids each have a few specific chores they are responsible for each day, and emptying their bin is one of them. They know if they ask for things like friends, video games or any other special privileges, that their daily chores must be done first. I think it just depends on the age of the child and the importance of the items inside the bin. :)

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  3. What types of special prizes do you offer? I've gone back and forth on whether or not I should be rewarding. Part of me feels we should work together as a family to help clean up.

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    1. Typically the kiddos do their daily chores with no prize, just the ability to earn their friends, game time, etc...(we have the same thoughts about how everyone is responsible to pitch in around our home) But sometimes I throw extra incentives into the mix; things like ice cream after dinner, 20 minutes of one x one game time with mom, etc... Just keeps them excited about the little things. :) xoxo!

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  4. Hi Jen! Where did you purchase the bins?

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    1. Hi Kayla,
      The bins are from Land of Nod: http://www.landofnod.com/stripes-around-the-cube-bin/f12098
      xo!

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  5. Those bins are adorable! What a nice, simple system. Don't think it will work with my 2 year old yet!!

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  6. Oh gosh, Jen, do I know this battle all too well. I too think it enables their forgetfulness. My littlest is the same way. Him, he gets a verbal reminder. With my oldest, who is now out on her own and the messiest of my kids, I would confiscate it. When she would go looking for said item and ask if I knew where it was, I would just ask her where she left it. She was so so bad about leaving things out. Seemed to get worse when she hit her teens, thus the need for confiscation. She was so bad about the dishes too. Huge battle. I got so frustrated with her that I gave her one plate, bowl, glass, fork, knife, spoon. It was hers and only hers. She had to wash them and reuse them. She would leave dishes on the entertainment center, all over the kitchen. She was a bit strong-willed (putting it nicely). Funny... now that she is out on her own, it is a whole different ball of wax. LOL People she has lived with that were messy, she gave them the same speech/lecture about cleaning up after themselves that I gave her. ;-)

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  7. Love these baskets!! Where are they from?

    ~Megan

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    1. Hi Megan,
      The bins are from Land of Nod: http://www.landofnod.com/stripes-around-the-cube-bin/f12098
      xo!

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  8. This is such a great idea! Thanks for sharing! I don't have kids yet, but this is a system I could definitely see myself implementing down the road.

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  9. Great idea! :) I love involving my kids in packing up even though it's tempting to 'do it right' all by myself, that's not the habit I want them to get in as they get older and expect me to do it! THanks for a great idea! :)

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  10. Ah haaa! No! My back says totally no!! I believe is their responsability not my bone's. I mean, ever since they could walk we playfully giggled around their room, Thanks to Barnie (The Purple Dinosaur) picking up toys, crayons and stuff. And years after, my glorious rule was If you're done using it, you gotta store it. I had never have any trouble with it, maybe because I only have girls who would not complain at all or maybe because they do what they NEED to do. So Bins maybe, but me picking up, No Mom! =)

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    1. Good job mom! Sounds like you have a great system down. My boys have been taught in a similar manner, and seem to do great with typical activities and larger things (loom bands, sand, crafts, play-doh, etc..), it is just those random little things that add up around here. Socks, a few left behind Legos, a pile of books... Most days I think I am the only one that notices them, which is why the bins have been such a great addition to our day. xoxo!

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  11. I love this idea. I use a "clutter basket" to corral out of place things so I can easily get them back to the rooms they belong in (probably a tip I learned here!). This is such a great idea to get my little boy in on the action!

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  12. Wow! Cute things. Now I know how to store my yarn and knitting supplies.:)

    http://katerynaknits.blogspot.com

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  13. I LOVE this idea, Jen! So simple, yet totally brilliant. The clutter piles are ready to eat me alive, I fear...

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  14. Love those bins. And this is a great tip. Thanks for sharing... I think I will implement in my house. For some reason, I keep finding more and more toys on our kitchen counters/island (why would a baseball mitt be left on the kitchen island? - said by me WAY too many times lately).

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  15. Hi Jen! This is a great idea, and not just for kids. I have no kids (except for a messy husband) but I have a 2 story house and am always carrying things up and down - and dropping/spilling along the way. I think these baskets would be great to keep at the top and bottom of the stairs. Thanks for the idea!

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  16. This is such a great idea. I have been trying to figure out a system like this for our house even though my kids are only 4 and 2!

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  17. What a great idea! Love those baskets too, especially the fact that they are collapsible.

    I have 2 kids, and all of our bedrooms are upstairs. So I have a "crap basket" at the bottom of our stairs that the kids have to empty each night. See my post about it here: http://organizingplus123.blogspot.com/2015/01/tuesday-tip-use-crap-basket.html

    I like your idea of having one basket for each kid though, so I may be purchasing a second one soon.

    As always, thank you for your posts & sharing all your tips/knowledge! :)

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  18. Any ideas for encouraging a husband to pick up after himself? Mine leaves a trail everywhere he goes...

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    1. Such a tough one! :) My biggest tip is to watch for patterns/habits and place easy solutions where he tends to drop his items. Simple, open top baskets for everything from laundry to his wallet. Any time my husband has to take the step to open things, I lose, lol.

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