Every parent, teacher, babysitter, and auntie knows this fact: Getting kids to clean up their own mess is difficult. For a lot of caregivers, the task can become too difficult to warrant the hassle, and you often wind up just cleaning up yourself instead.
But one mom has had a lot of success with a method that you may not have tried with your gremlins already. It’s called the “Mountain Method,” and it arose out of sheer desperation.
Writer Kristen Mae‘s son was around 9 years old when she couldn’t handle another second of helping him clean up the mess that he’d created. So, she swept all of his toys from their various hiding places into the middle of his room. She informed him that he couldn’t enjoy any screen time until everything in the pile was in its proper place. Then she left the room.
Kristen says she didn’t expect the trick to actually work – the mountain was more-so to make a point about how much mess really existed.
Amazingly enough, though, her son slowly chipped away at the pile until it was all cleaned up. Now, the Mountain Method is a regular part of her family’s cleaning routine.
If you’re familiar with Marie Kondo’s philosophy of cleaning, the Mountain Method makes a ton of sense. Like Kristen, Marie recommends first piling all of your mess into one place so you can see everything – then starting to organize.
“Having everything in one place turned what felt like a thousand tasks into one single task,” Kristen explained.
A mountain of a task, sure. But a doable one. It’s worth a try!