saturday market basket: our new method for teaching our boys to clean up their stuff

One of the fun things about summer is having my all my boys home with me everyday. The not so fun part that comes with them home is their mess. If I had a dollar for every complaint I made out loud or in my head about feeling like all I do all day is clean or nag for things to be cleaned, I’d be one rich mama. If I were that rich, I’d take you all on a fabulous vacation! I’m sure you need one after cleaning and nagging at your house.
Typically, as I clean I make little piles for everyone….a pile for Ash & one for Gray outside of their room, a pile of toys that magically made it out of “the cave” and into the house even though that’s NEVER supposed to happen, etc. The idea behind the little piles is that they would see the pile and put the things away without me having to asking them to do so a gazillion times. Sometimes they do see the stuff and put it away but mostly it takes a mad mommy voice combined with a teacher eyebrow raise to get it done. Not fun for mama. 

I was shopping at Target when I came across this basket. An idea popped into my head….as I clean I can pop all their stuff (room stuff, cave stuff, shin guards, you get the idea) in the basket and no more piles! Yay!

Here’s the tag with all the info if you want to get your own.
But Wait….I still will have to nag to get the basket emptied. No bueno! I don’t want to have to nag. After some thought I came up with the idea that during the week the kids could get their stuff from the basket and then anything that wasn’t put away on Saturday would get donated.
I shared my idea with a friend and she shared what another friend of hers does…the kids can buy back the things they really want with real money and the rest get donated. Oooh now this is getting interesting!
The whole point is to get the boys to be more responsible with their stuff and not expect the maid aka mom to pick up after them. What kind of husbands would I have raised!?! (Future daughter-in-laws I’m really trying to raise fabulous husbands for you.) Having to pay for the items would be a good lesson for the kids after all we have to pay to replace lost and broken things that do not get put away.

Micah and I chatted about it and we decided that the Dolens would open a Saturday Market! On Saturdays anything left in the basket (they can pick things out of the basket and put them away anytime during the week for free) will be available for purchase for a dollar. If there are things they need like shin guards, they have to purchase those first. If they don’t have the money for the things they need they get an overdraft fee. Extra chores can take care of the over draft fee if done well and without complaint. If not then it gets taken out of their next “paycheck”. 
Our boys get “paid” 2x a month to help them learn to manage money. On the 1st and 15th the boys get $10.00 in ones. 10% goes to God, 10% goes to savings, and the rest in their pockets. We’ve recently started giving out dollar fines for bad attitudes, not listening and following directions, etc. The dollar fines really seem to help our kids think before they act. Ash is Mr. Saver and wants to keep all his money for something amazing one day. He just can’t decide what that will be yet. Gray has been Mr. Spender but now is starting to realize that he needs to be more thoughtful in his spending.

Here is our market basket’s home…right in the living room by the hallway. It’s a pretty central location for our house and that’s exactly what I wanted. I wanted it to be as easy for me to drop things into the basket as it would be for the kids to walk by and get things out of the basket. For us I think that if it wasn’t in a central location we would all forget about it.

This is our first week with the market basket and while cleaning this morning I’ve basically filled it up. I think for the first couple of weeks I’ll remind them at dinner that the market basket is free until Saturday after that they’ll be on their own. Fingers crossed it works! I’ll keep you posted!!!

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