Children and Fibromyalgia Clean Up Times
After I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia things got pretty disorganized around my house. Cleaning was not a priority when I had to work. I was still raising children and had to come up with fun ideas on how to get things done. Over a period of time we developed some games to help.
Broken Toy and Remote
Eight Toy Toss
Since my youngest child was 8 years old at the time we started this game that was the number of toys we used in this game. I gave each of the children a trash bag. I told each one to grab 8 broken toys or toys with pieces missing.
I had a chair that was centrally located in each or near each room. As I sat there we talked about how getting rid of broken toys helped get rid of the clutter in our house. On my good days we used a timer. It seemed like we had more fun when we hurried.
Five Minute Pick Up
During this game my three children would run around the house looking for things that belonged to them. The challenge was to find ten things and put them back where they belonged. Typically they were running around yelling. Sometimes I would put on music to make this activity more fun.
Occasionally there was even an argument over which one of them an item belonged to so they could put it up! This time we talked about how picking things up helped the house look less messy. We usually played this game at least a couple times a week.
Children and Clean up
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The next strategies were more of a process than a game. Clothing is one of the three big areas to keep up with in keeping a house clean and organized. The other two areas are the floors and dishes. There were several things we talked about and looked at each day they got dressed.
It was really more of a list of questions we went through. When they had chosen their clothes and put them on we talked about whether they fit properly or not. Then whether they were clean or stained was the next question. The final question at this point was whether the clothes had holes in them.
Depending on the answer to any of those three questions that article of clothing could go into the give-away bag or the trash bag. Occasionally there were items than could be passed down between my daughters too.
The next part was a little more complicated when they were young. Every so often we would go through a drawer or their part of the closet. We were looking for clothes they hardly ever wore. I asked them if they liked each item of clothing. When my children were older they were much more likely to bring me clothes to give away that they did not like or want.
Except for school uniforms and certain pieces of dress clothes there was no point in keeping clothes they did not like. We talked about how getting rid of clothes they will not wear or do not like helped keep the clutter down. We talked about how less stuff made it easier to keep the house clean.
My goal when the children were young was for all their clothing to fit in one drawer. Yes they had a few items of dress clothes hanging too. Particularly when they are younger having one drawer for each child was perfectly reasonable.
It saved space. The children did not fuss and argue about trying to stuff clothes in a full drawer. As my children got older the discussion became more about what was in fashion. We had long discussions about whether they HAD to keep the blue jeans with holes in them and when they could wear them.
The Connecting Thread
If you noticed whether we were playing games or dealing with clothing there was one connecting thread in all those games or chores. The connecting thread was spending time with them and talking about what we were doing and why we were doing it. That is how they learned to do the chore correctly and happily. Really, whenever I needed help with housework even when my children were older that connection was important.