Clear the Clutter

How To Get Your Kids to Clean Their Room

Belinda may be grown BUT I do remember the battle for her to keep her room clean – okay, even neat would have been nice.  I was grateful company never had to walk past her room to get to the bathroom or I could just close her door….  What about you?  Do you struggle to get your kids to clean up their room?  Are things tossed EVERY WHERE???

If you’re a parent, you have heard the endless excuses your kids can come up with when it’s time to clean their rooms.  From “I’ll do it later!” to “I’m too tired,” we’ve heard them all! The truth is, we probably used them ourselves at some point in our life, right?  Here are a few tricks to help make the room-cleaning battle a bit easier.

1. Set clear, realistic expectations

What is clean to us may not be clean to our kids.  We need to set age-appropriate goals to help them recognize when their room is “clean.”  For a three-year-old, a clean room could simply mean books are on the shelf, toys in their place and dirty clothes in the hamper. Yet for an eight-year-old, there could be the added responsibility of making their bed or putting clean clothes away.  The key is we need to share our expectations with our children.  Maybe even give them a list of what to do and if they can’t read, use pictures with the words.

2. Let your kids OWN their space

Belinda’s room was her room – seems like a no-brainer, right?  I let her make her own decisions but often gave her just two choices I could leave with – whether it was picking out her clothes, what color her room was or what game to play.  I never thought about giving her a .choice about where things went in  her room… It did get better once we put the closet organizer in with shelves and a spot to hang her clothes.

primaryFor some kids, putting toys, games and clothes away is never fun – except when there’s a monster involved! Here is a unique craft idea to turn Thirty One’s  Your Way® Cube or Your Way® Rectangle storage bin into a fun monster kids can keep their belongings in.

Not only does it help keep bedrooms and toy rooms neat, it makes a great decoration and an adorable gift your kids will love. I’m pretty sure this is one monster your kids will want under their beds … or in their closets!

image1Here is what you will need:

  • 1 white sticky-back foam sheet (color optional)
  • Pair of sticky-back googly eyes – size and number of eyes optional
  • Scissors or craft knife
  • FREE monster teeth template (Your Way® Cube and Rectangle sizes included)
  • Glue stick (for other/additional design options)

How to make it:

  1. Choose either a Your Way® Cube with matching Cube Lid or Your Way® Rectangle with matching Rectangle Lid in the color or print you want your monster to be.
  2. Print out the monster teeth template below and cut two rows of teeth for your cube or rectangle from the sticky-back foam sheet. If you prefer, you can also design your own teeth, but be sure to measure the window or panel of your bin first.
  3. Peel and stick the teeth to either the clear PVC window or chalkboard panel of your bin, aligning the flat edges to the top and bottom edge.
  4. Next, identify the front-facing edge of your lid, and place it on your bin. This will help you decide on the placement of your googly eyes.
  5. Now, peel and stick the eyes in place to the front-facing edge of the lid. You made a monster!


Add even more embellishments, if you’d like: Maybe some foam-sheet spots in a contrasting color, or eyelashes, horns, ears or a nose. Maybe even glue a little faux fur or feathers to the lid for hair!

Consider stacking up a few monster cubes to create a fun tower shape or line them up on shelves to create a monster row. The most important thing to remember is to have fun and be creative!  Click the link:  Monster Teeth Template to get the teeth


3. Set a good example

Kids learn by example, right?  They learn from what we do, and not from what we say.  I’m sure you have said it at least once “Do as I say, not as I do”… Admit it, we all have.  Honestly, sometimes it’s easier to say, “Clean your room!” and walk away than to actually go in and HELP our kids.  Sometimes, it takes just that!  If your child is resisting, why not get down on the floor and help.  When you do the work together, you are setting a good example of how families help each other – and it actually is a chance to spend  some quality time talking and bonding with your child.

I wish we had personalized containers like The Littles Carry-All Caddies, Mini Storage Bins and Your Way Cubes when Belinda was younger.  They are the perfect size for storing toys, extra clothes and other stuff which clutter up a child’s room. Plus, they can be personalized with your child’s name, a favorite picture or animal (using our Icon-Its) or anything else you come up with.  Have some fun with your kids and let them help in personalizing the storage and organization products for their rooms.

How do you help your children keep their space neat and tidy? Show us your organized kids’ rooms by sharing your photos on social media – we love seeing how you put Thirty-One’s  products to use. Tag us with #partywithHope

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Hope Wissel

FEAR and the Dentist

Today is the DAY!  I am taking the dreaded walk to the dentist.  Okay, so some may say this is no big deal right?  No one likes a trip to the dentist.  This is a HUGE achievement for me.  So much so, that Belinda sent me a message that said “proud of you mom”.  

As far as I can tell, I can trace my fear back to being traumatized as a child.  A painful experience that scared me for life.  So much so that when I had to have my wisdom teeth out at about 25, they had to give me Valium to take BEFORE I even left my house. Then, about 10 years ago, I was going sporadically – they did a root canal on my front tooth and said all would be well.  HA!  The tooth is dead and has yellowed.  So much for that great smile.  

Through all of this, I managed to make going to the dentist a pleasant thing for my daughter, Belinda.  From her first trip to the UMDNJ – Dental Clinic through getting braces and even now – she faithfully (based on her insurance) goes to the dentist.  I mean, how sad is it that your child has to hold your hand while they work on your teeth because you are scared!  Okay, so it is a little funny but so the TRUTH! I mean when Belinda had to have 4 baby teeth pulled, they did it at one time with only some nova cane to ease the pain.  Meanwhile, I was crying in the other room while they filled a cavity. 

Hubby had to see the dentist and I decided to make an appointment.  I explained that I was a baby and haven’t been to the dentist in about 10 years.  They were okay with that.  They work with kids so they know how to be gentle.  They understand FEAR!  Now, don’t send me lots of messages on the importance of going to the dentist.  I have heard it all.  I know that this will be the first of many visits as I need some major work done to repair the damage from my years of bulimia, drug addiction and just general lack of attention to my teeth.  I am sure that having a high tolerance of pain hasn’t helped either since when I have a tooth ache, I take some aspirin and am done with it.  

If you hear load screaming coming from the Brick area at about 3:30PM, don’t be alarmed.  It is only me in the dentist chair while they clean my teeth, take x-rays and determine what needs to be done.  Send positive thoughts my way, please!

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!