Messy kids? Teach them to tidy up with the ‘Sunday Box’

Messy kids? Teach them to tidy up with the ‘Sunday Box’

I’ll let you all into a little secret…my kids are messy people. Very, very messy people.

I can blitz this house, tidy and clean it to within an inch of its life, stage it like something out of Homes and Gardens and within twenty minutes it looks like the aftermath of a hurricane!

Apparently my kids were secretly born into some aristocratic family with maids and butlers who should run around after them picking up their jigsaw pieces, folding away their pjs, tidying up their tablet chargers and putting all the teeny tiny, nightmarishly small bits of plastic what-not from Sylvanian Families back in their teeny tiny treehouses (does that give you any clue how much I despise those little furry, feeble bits of overdressed-for-the-occasion creatures?). And before you ask,no, it has nothing to do with the fact that I always wanted them as a kid and never got them – honest!

Anyway, as you can probably guess, this live-in nanny-maid-butler-cook-and-bottle-washer has had it up to her eyeballs with picking up everybody else’s detritus without receiving so much as a thank you now and again!

So, kids, I’m sorry but it had to be done. We need to restore calm, sense and order to this happy household and get mummy’s sanity back on track.

It’s the return of the Sunday Box.┬áThe rules of the game are simple.

  1. All crap not cleared from the floor/table/stairs/under the bed before bedtime and returned to its rightful place gets picked up by yours truly and stored in the Sunday box. Why the Sunday Box? Because that, my little friends is the day you will get your things back. Don’t want your mobile phone in the box? Put it the heck away!
  2. Every. Single. Night. the mess will be cleared and stored in the box (*note to self, may need a second box).
  3. Come Sunday the box will be placed ceremoniously in the kitchen. You will have until bedtime to reclaim any items you wish to keep and then you have to put them away.
  4. Any items not retrieved and put away before bedtime on Sunday will wend their merry way to the charity shop on Monday morning.
  5. Do not pass Go. Do not claim anything out of that box before Sunday. There is no mercy. No earning it back.

Signed. The Management.

You will need

A large box (I am a sucker for a pretty box and own a vinyl cutter hence the appropriately labelled box).

A will of iron not to allow small crying child to retrieve the Sylvanian Hedgehog family from the box.

A bin bag come Monday morning for the rubbish they can’t be bothered to put away.

But I promise, this works like a dream. From past experience two weeks of the Sunday box is sufficient to corale them into tidy mode for around six months. At which point the Sunday Box may need to stage a comeback. Try it…you’ll thank me for it x



  1. arlette
    September 22, 2017 / 1:37 pm

    What a brilliant idea – wish I had thought of that! I wonder whether it would work with adults too (?)

  2. Sarah
    September 22, 2017 / 3:45 pm

    I think I need two one for the kids and one for the adults!

    • admin
      September 25, 2017 / 11:54 am

      I think my husband needs his very own box!

  3. September 23, 2017 / 12:39 pm

    Brilliant idea…I must say. Loved reading this one.

    • admin
      September 25, 2017 / 11:55 am

      Thank you Seema x

  4. September 23, 2017 / 2:48 pm

    O. M. G. This is inspired. Totally getting a box and starting asap. Love it!

    • admin
      September 25, 2017 / 11:54 am

      Haha – have had so many requests to make wooden Sunday Boxes – good luck with it!

  5. September 24, 2017 / 8:17 pm

    My kids are older now but I sure wish that I had the best tip when they were younger. It’s amazing how quickly a clean room can turn into one that looks like a tornado hit it. Isn’t it? Great tips.

    • admin
      September 25, 2017 / 11:53 am

      It turns out I can still use the Sunday box to get tweenager to put her phone away. Result!

  6. February 22, 2018 / 11:36 am

    What a BRILLIANT idea – I’m going to implement that today!!!!!!!

    • wildmama
      March 13, 2018 / 10:38 am

      let me know how you get on x

  7. February 23, 2018 / 3:48 pm

    What a wonderful idea, just seen this on facebook last week and started it already (with the twist that we don’t charity shop it as they are too young, but they lose it for another week). Seriously thank you for sharing this post, its such a wonderful way to teach the girls to look after their stuff!

    • wildmama
      March 13, 2018 / 10:37 am

      it definitely helps (and I only charity shopped anything once!)

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