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Children and Fibromyalgia Clean Up Times

Updated on July 24, 2014

Little Toys

Toy on Couch
Toy on Couch | Source

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

The remote isn't really anyone's toy but everyone wants it till it is time to pick it up.
The remote isn't really anyone's toy but everyone wants it till it is time to pick it up. | Source

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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General Strategies

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.

Game System

There is a constant discussion with the older children about getting the game system out of the living room.
There is a constant discussion with the older children about getting the game system out of the living room. | Source

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.


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    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

      These are great ideas to make cleanup at home fun. I think some of these points might even work with my husband!

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      A great idea thought of and so interesting to have read another one of your helpful hubs.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      It is always easier and fun when you make a game out of chores. I love how you made "lemonade out of the lemon".

    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker 3 years ago from Taos, NM

      Brilliant! You certainly knew how to get the kids to clean up when they were young. These are great ideas and suggestions for all parents to use. I firmly believe kids should help clean up around the house. It is 'the family's' home and the kids are part of that family and so have a responsibility to help you. As you said, the talking part helped to build a connection that has gone on all their lives. What a wonderful parent you are. You would make a great teacher also.

    • profile image

      DJ Anderson 3 years ago

      What an ingenious idea! You were thinking smart.

      Hopefully, this hub will give moms with small children and fibromyalgia

      a new way to cope with the ongoing chore of keeping things straight and orderly.

      Great hub, Linda.


    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 3 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I really enjoyed reading your story. I am sorry for the circumstance for writing it. Your method of teaching your children was brilliant, not only did they learn to do chores, they learned to give to someone in need of clothing. My mother taught me the same and it has stayed with me, she wasn't ill but always gave to others. Thank you for a delightful story.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Hi mylindaelliott. Very interesting hub. My wife also suffers from fibromyalgia and sleep apnea, but thankfully our kids are all grown and left home. The games you developed to get them to help with cleaning up etc was a great initiative to make life a little easier. Voted up.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      So very clever my friend, and you made a positive out of a bad situation. I love the spirit of this hub.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton

      simply put you made the best of it.. and I like the ideas.. and including the children in clean.. very good hub voted up and shared...bless you

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

      I am so sorry you had this when your children were so small; it must have been so hard on you. It was a great game to have the kids help you. Hope you have found something to help your pain. Faith Reaper told me about an Amish remedy you order online for leg and foot cramps and I discovered it also helps me with pain; very much. (Just type that info in and it will come up.) I have Myelopathy which is really damaged nerve pain but can affect the whole body just about. Just thought I'd mention it. My best to you. GB