Ok, let me give you a little background on this topic...
My girls' (all 3 of them) all share a bedroom. Each day I deep clean their room, usually it takes 1-3 hours, depending on how industrious (ie messy) they were the day before. In the morning, after I drop my older 3 kids (Caity, Jacob & Brea) at school, I clean the room. When they get home, they destroy it again.
I got really tired of spending so much time in there each day. I have things to do in the other rooms too, so I really don't have up to 3 hours to devote in one room each day.
Now, keep in mind, they are able to pick up after themselves AND they know where everything goes. If my 2yo, Rory, can pick up after herself, the older 2 girls can, too.
Rory is actually my biggest helper, if she sees someone cleaning, she is right there to help.
And, I have tried everything I know to help Caity and Brea clean up, organize, declutter and to motivate them, without just doing it myself. That is teaching them nothing. They need to learn responsibility and also how to take care of and have respect for their things, or how will they ever keep house when they get older? I've tried chore cards (letting them pick or draw), reward charts, assigning chores and having races to get them done, etc, etc...you name it, if I've heard of it, I've tried it:)
Anyways, this week, I told them, I will nicely ask them 3 times, and even offer to help them. If they won't clean their rooms, then the next day instead of me putting everything back where it belongs, I will bag it up in trash bags. They absolutely did not care...so after 3 times, I would just go lay a few black trash bags on the shelf for the next day. They saw me do this, and still did not make a move to clean.
So, the first day, I think I gathered 3 bags full...of everything that was in the floor. Clothes, shoes, books, papers, toys, etc. If it was on the floor, I gathered it...didn't even take time to sort it.
They were livid when they came home, but once again destroyed. After several days of this they were down to almost nothing as far as toys (they still had their toy that they slept with, it's always on their bed). Well, here's an update from an email I sent my friend a couple of days ago...
Girls Bedroom: ...was nothing really to do other than make the beds, sweep/mop....they don't have much to make a mess with. I'd boxed up the collectibles from their shelves, and Caity put everything back (I was tired of them playing with their porcelain items and getting them broke, but she seemed to really take care putting everything back, so I'll leave them for now).
I also am gonna give them back 1 thing each of their choice today, I think they've earned it. Their attitudes are changing (for now) and they've been helping out more. This weekend will be all about earning some of their stuff back. There are plenty of things they can do.
Also, since they've been grounded (no tv/dvds), and had lost their toys, they've been spending more time reading/writing/drawing. And, I don't really think they've missed the actual toys, just the idea of them. They don't really play with most of it, just strow it all out, and then don't want to put it back. So, we are gonna limit what they can earn back, and keep the rest put up. When they tire of what they have, we can rotate them. But, we will also be making some serious decisions about getting rid of things. They don't need so much that it overwhelms them to have to put it all away.
So, we have been doing more fun things together, since I am not constantly spending most of my time in their room. Today, we will be going to the circus. I am much more calm and they are not so stressed and overwhelmed about having to clean their room....I know if I am overwhelmed to walk in there and having to clean it all up, they must be too.
I will update you to let you know how this goes