Monday, April 29, 2013

Getting My Kids to Declutter

Each of my 4 kids has a fabric tote/bucket on a shelf in our breakfast room (that we don't actually use for breakfast).   The buckets are to hold whatever treasures the child wants to hang on to, but I don't want to find all over the house -- think small prize trinkets, birthday party favors, crafts.  The shelf is in a prominent spot in our house and I walk by it a thousand times each day (to and from the laundry room and kitchen), so it bugs me when the kids' buckets become so full that I can see stuff coming up over the tops.  

My solution?


I bake some homemade chocolate chip cookies for the kids and give them each one for an after school snack.  Then I ask them if they'd like a 2nd cookie.  Their eyes get wide.  I NEVER offer a 2nd cookie!

Yes!  Yes, they DO want another cookie!

"Okay,"  I say getting each of their buckets down and putting them onto the table, "Then bring me some trash!  Cut down what is in your bucket by half (I use the term "50%" for my math-oriented kids) and I'll give you another cookie."

It worked!  No whining, no complaining, just trash bag filling!

It took my sentimental, pack-rattish child a rather long time to whittle her treasures down, but even she came through and earned that 2nd cookie!

A cookie for their trash?  Works for Me!

And don't go sending me your trash to get a cookie.  You only get a cookie for throwing away large amounts of stuff from MY house!

Find more Works for Me Wednesday here.


  1. LOVE this!! What a great idea! I'm totally going to steal this! :) Thanks for the tip.

  2. HAHA Wonderful idea! I will pass on this tip to my dil's! Enjoy your day!

  3. Bribery, a good motivator for adults too!


I'd love to hear what you think!