Clean Rooms and Clutter Free: The Snarky Mom’s Guide to Dumb Stuff

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Clean Rooms and Clutter Free: how to clean, declutter and manipulate your husband.I

have 14 kids.

I do not need  1000 ideas for turning toilet paper rolls into crafts. I need a 1000 ideas on how to get my kids to put them in the garbage when they use the last square.

I am a minimalist at heart. Add a Kindle and pair of knitting needles to this and I could be completely happy. Just thinking about turning garbage into crafts makes me break out in a cold sweat.

I have 14 kids.

I also do not need 25 DIY Ideas to Recycle my Potential Garbage.

I already struggle to convince my children it is okay to toss out the used Kleenex from 2nd grade given to them by their favorite teacher before they were diagnosed with strep throat. I do not need to encourage them to make their Trash into Treasures. Just. No.

And, no offense, #20? I don’t know about you, but I don’t have four spare (matching) colanders sitting around my house. And if I did, I would consider them Potential Goodwill Donations not Potential Garbage.

What I really need is 25 Ideas to Get My Children to Declutter Their Toys and Pare Down Their Scab Collection

And I simply cannot believe I have been missing out on the Keep Your Room Clean Kit all these years. I know it is a common concern among parents: how do we  get our children to spend more time in front of screens? How can we motivate them to spend more time on the computer? More time playing video games? Here is the solution, my friends! The description reads:

“A 6 step fun program full of games and challenges, designed to establish the GOOD HABIT of keeping your room clean. Secretly teaching: Follow Through, Staying on Task, Basic Computer Skills, Orderliness, Making Good Choices, Perseverance… Included: Johnny, Clean your Room! book “Clean Your Room Game & Challenge” – CD-ROM 4 Award Certificates The Goal/Task Wheel Challenge Timer Ages 3-7 MADE IN THE USA!”

As far as I understand it, this is a computer program to teach your children to clean their room. No need to get down and dirty and actually clean your room. Not when you can learn Orderliness and Making Good Choices on the computer. 

I’ve also been tempted to give the The House Fairy a try, but I’m too cheap to spend the $14.95 a month, which leaves me the age-old tradition of yelling and wait until your father gets home. <—- And since he’s sitting on the couch right now, reading a book, the kids simply aren’t taking me seriously. 

I will most definitely be investing in Housework Motivation Hypnosis, Power Through Chores, Laundry, Dishes and Floors with Binaural Beats for myself, however.  I can clearly see that a little hypnosis and binaural beats is what has been missing from my cleaning routine.

And if you’re feeling overwhelmed by doing all the work yourself, you may want to read the article How to Get Your Husband to Help Out Around the House. It includes helpful tips like

Part 2: 
Make a date with your husband to discuss the chores. Schedule your date after a fun day or at the end of the work week––just avoid booking time immediately following an argument or when something else has your husband’s attention. Grab some wine, get away from the kids (and the TV), and bring your list to the date. 

Wow, talk about a bait and switch. I’m not sure this is the best way to approach asking for help. 

Or how about

Part 4: Make a rewards system. This should go both ways. Try alternating tasks and rewards. Whoever cleans the bathroom this week gets to pick what movie you watch on movie night. Whoever cleans out the fridge gets a twenty-minute back rub before bed. 

And  honestly, does it ever end with just a back rub?


It think it might be easier and more effective to simply order him his very own Keep Your Room Clean Kit.

What are your amazing Turn Garbage into Clutter and Manipulate Your Husband tips? Please, share in the comments.

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14 thoughts on “Clean Rooms and Clutter Free: The Snarky Mom’s Guide to Dumb Stuff”

  1. I am with you a 100%, I like to get rid of everything. But I am afraid i might turn my kids into future horders, because I sometimes throw out cute chewingum wrappers or bits of paper with some letters/circles/lines written on it. My childern think every bit of garbage needs to be treasured and they have yet to discover how good it can feel to let go.
    But I have to admit I kinda liked the crafting idea with the empty bottles 😉

    1. I would never deprive you of the joy of crafting with you trash! I would absolutely, however, deny my children that pleasure.

      1. I once made candle holders from wine bottles (since I don’t like wine at all, I had to use my flatmates empty bottles , so it wasn’t even my own garbage) but thankfully they are long gone. Even when you get crafty with it it’s still garbage… Oh and I think my youngest daughter uses an extar large amount of toilet paper just to get to the empty roll for crafting and then there is -half a year early- a super “cute” pre-birthday present for me. 🙂

  2. Seriously. A lifesaver for me. I first found it when I was laid off from work and looking for some routines to keep my sanity. I thought it sounded crazy at first, (shining your sink, who does that.) but I really thrive on routines. Anything can be done 15 minutes at a time. Check it out.

    1. I LOVE Flylady…but the website! It’s so cluttered and busy…and looks like its from 1997 🙁 But I do really enjoy her system. Planning to get back into her zone cleaning with the kids back in school.

  3. Like you I am an avid knitter, but as for crafting from garbage …. NO….just no. Many years ago I was once invited to a neighbourhood craft party (for adults) where amongst other things, we were taught how to make ‘panty hose posies’ using discarded nylons and old coat hangers! I smothered my laughter as I sipped coffee and watched. I encouraged my children to pare down their toys and other junk by holding a yearly end of the summer garage sale and also as a family, we had an annual purge where we sorted, cleaned and donated boxes of items to our church thrift store and also to a local shelter for women and children.

  4. This is the best post over. I am so with you on recycled crafts. Why would I save garbage to turn into more garbage? However my best tip is this: turn clutter into garbage. I should write a book and make a million dollars. One simply takes a garbage bag, puts everything on the floor and anything dusty in it, and voila! Garbage! And it goes to the dump! (I think Huxley College may come and take my BS in Environmental Science away from me)

  5. My tip for manipulating the males in my house (which is everyone but me). Use sparingly, as it is powerful. “Are you strong enough to….”. It appeals to their male ego. Works every time.

  6. I needed this post today. Thank you for validating my Garbage is Not Crafts rule. I thought maybe I was a terrible, unloving mother. My kids love garbage, and picking up bits of it from here and there is a daily end of the day chore for me. Milk jugs, especially. My kids love empty, unranked milk jugs. Yuck.

    I’m really bad at manipulating my husband into doing stuff. He either a) doesn’t do it despite my efforts or b) gets angry that I’m nagging. He does a lot already, so I mostly don’t push it. I do loose it once in a while when he announces he has no clean socks, and there are fifteen socks on the floor by his side of the bed.

  7. We would be the best roommates ever. Not only do I not want/need furniture (or much else), I would be totally cool with no pillows on the floor. But between our combined 27 children (wow), that almost takes us out of the minimalist category completely 🙂

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