Sunday, April 4, 2010

Clutter 2

OK, this anti-junk thing could get addicting. Since it was Easter weekend, none of the soccer teams were practicing. With a chunk of our Saturday morning free, I decided to motivate the kids to reduce the clutter in our house even more.

“Family meeting!” I called out shortly after breakfast. “Let’s go!”

The kids descended on the family room from all corners of the house. “I love family meetings,” Anna said as she found a spot on the couch.

“Here is the deal. You guys have to bring me 100 items this morning to either throw out or give away,” I announced. The moans and questions started rolling in.

“What if I want to get rid of something, but someone else does not?”
“What if a toy has several pieces? Does each piece count?
“Is it only toys, or do clothes count?”

After clarifying some rules, I upped the ante.

“Now, if you are able to find 200 things, I will give each of you a dollar.” Little Foot and K.D. perked up, but the rest of the kids did not really think the extra work would be worth a dollar.

“If you are able to find 300 things, then I will take all of you to Graeter’s.” The kids erupted like they had won the lottery. Obviously, ice cream is a real motivator in our home.

“If we get 400 things, can we go to Graeter’s AND get a dollar?” asked Little Foot, sensing that the time was right to get even more out of dad.

“Sure,” I replied.

So the kids ran off. It was striking to me with the apparent effortlessness that the kids generated well over 300 items. They would have gone for 400, but CrazyMom and I had had enough for the morning. Here is some of the junk.

We nearly filled a large green garbage can as well as a large box to give away. After lunch we headed out to our favorite ice cream shop. Spending $20 on ice cream normally drives me nuts. But this time I was all smiles.


Mama D.'s Dozen said...

What an AWESOME idea!!!

Hope your Easter was BLESSED!!!


Anonymous said...

Bribery, I like it! Maybe I could try that with my kids to help declutter. Do you think it'd work with husbands too if I promised a trip to the local hunting/fishing shop? ;)

Diane said...

Ah, yes. We've been there and done that! Moving is another declutterer!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the great idea!