Clean up that room — here comes the vacuum

This week I used the vacuum threat to get my kids to clean up the room. I thought it was pretty original of me, but I told a friend and she said it was a widespread trick. Who knew?

I’d been calmly telling my boys all morning that they had to get ready for school, practice piano, do one chore each, and clean their toys from the playroom floor. I kept calmly pointing out how much time they had left, and as the clock wound down to the leaving hour, they were still on the playroom floor playing with their toys. So I got a little mad. Still no movement. So I got a lot mad. Still no movement.

Then I went to get the vacuum. I plugged it in to the socket in the playroom, and you should have seen those boys run! Suddenly, all their toys were being picked up off the floor and put away (even if they did just toss them into a bin or on a shelf). I turned on the vacuum and they stepped it up, and within four minutes the playroom floor was spotless.

I’m going to remember this trick. I wonder if there’s a way to get the vacuum to threaten them to brush their teeth too?

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