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I'm being totally honest here, my kids can be slobs. (read more)
The eleven-year-old is getting better about keeping his room clean, but I think that's more because he understands how hard life can be when Mom is irritated with the mess.
He'd rather run a vacuum than lose his electronics for two days, you feel me?
The eight-year-old, though. He's not there yet. If I take his electronics it'll upset him, sure. But he'll also suddenly decide the Legos he hasn't played with in a year are the best thing ever, or now's a great time to work on filling a note pad with elaborate drawings of tanks, airplanes or trucks.
Basically, he's unfazed past the first five minutes.
This means I need to find creative ways to make cleaning "FUN"!
Ha! No, really that's overstating it.
I had to find a way to make him think he was doing something other than picking up a mess.
Obviously, I'm not the only parent with this problem. When I went looking on Amazon for a kid's hamper, there were many, many options, but ultimately I decided on this little number.
Hamper Hoops hangs over the back of your child's door, (you could also put it on the back of the bathroom door). It looks like a basketball hoop, complete with net, and allows your little dunker to ball up his dirty shorts and bank shot them into the most epic kid's hamper of all time.
Hamper Hoops assembles in ten seconds by slipping two hooks into the back of the "backboard". You'll hear a snap, that means they're secure. Be sure to push on the back of the inside of the hook rather than the back of the outside of the hook. You don't want to put tension on the upside down U part of things, which I believe could cause it to break.
The directions address this specifically, so it's probably important.
Once that's done, you slip the three white cords protruding from the laundry bag over three plastic tabs hanging from the backboard and net. It's easy to identify where you should hang the cords, but make sure you double check because you don't want to hang them accidentally from a tab designed only to hold a two ounce net.
Slip it over the top of your chosen door, and you're ready to dunk.
Side note - If your kids are forceful door openers, this might damage the hamper when it hits the wall. Not sure? If you have a dent in your sheetrock from a doorknob, this applies to you, probably. My kids were notorious for whanging doors open (feel free to use that word), so I bought some hinge pin door stops, problem solved. You can see it there just above the second hinge pin on the door.
This next part is important.
The bag has a zipper on it!
I say this because the first four times I emptied it; I removed the cords from the backboard and net, muttering to myself the whole time about what a pain in the butt it was.
Then I noticed the zipper...
Would you look at that? Proof of why I've never designed a hamper.
Anyhow, your little dunker has filled the laundry bag with his muddy shirts, yay! You need to empty said bag so you can do the wash. Don't do what I did, the bag need not come off. Just leave it and be glad you don't have to mess with re-hanging it.
Simply unzip and let the clothes fall into whatever hamper you use to transport clothes to the washing machine. I am a fan of these StorageManiac Foldable Pop-Up Mesh Hampers.
That's it! So easy!
Hopefully your kids will take to it like mine did, and their rooms will be just a BIT cleaner, or at least maybe you'll be able to find most of their socks.