What is a “f*cket bucket”? It’s Jessica McGinty’s new way of persuading her children to clean up after themselves.
As the mom, who blogs at Mishmash Moments, wrote on Facebook, “Today, I got my kids f*cket buckets.” Like many parents, McGinty is sick of stepping on abandoned toys, shoes, and the general detritus of childhood.
Today I got the kids fucket buckets ™️. If they leave it laying around, it goes in their bucket. If it’s still there at bedtime it goes in the bin because fucket if I’m cleaning it up.
That’s why there is a cheery line of colorful buckets in her house. As the mom explains, anything a kid leaves lying around goes in their bucket. Then the clock starts ticking. Will it be put away or get thrown away? McGinty wrote:
If they leave it laying around, it goes in their bucket. If it’s still there at bedtime it goes in the bin because fucket if I’m cleaning it up.
Her deadline method of dealing with kid clutter — not to mention the rationale and the funny rhyme — had other moms chiming in with praise for the f*cket bucket.
At least a few mentioned wanting to try it themselves.
Let me save you some trouble …
As a mom of three, I’ll acknowledge that kids leave behind a never-ending trail of books, papers, clothing, toys, hair accessories, legos, unmatched socks, and other items that you don’t even remember buying.
It’s aggravating. It makes you feel like your home isn’t your own. You may briefly lose your mind when you see an expensive, much-begged-for toy lying in front of the TV, just begging to be stepped on.
Every once in a while, you’ll see a parent on social media lauded for taking a hard line on kid clutter. Some of them (like McGinty) set up a system where things not put away get thrown away after a certain grace period. Others sell the offending items or give them to charity.
And as a parent who’s also sick of the mess, you think, “Great idea! I’ll do that too.” That lasts about as long as it takes to realize that if you follow through, you’re going to be getting rid of a doll that has more accessories than a Kardashian and a handheld video game system that cost more than your first car.
Perhaps some parents are well-heeled (or hard core) enough not to let the economic considerations bother them. And maybe their kids are so well-disciplined that they won’t immediately launch an intense campaign for replacements. (Though if their kids are that disciplined, then why are they still leaving their stuff around?) But I’m not that hard core. And I’m fine with it.
I don’t know if McGinty really follows through on throwing away stuff from the f*cket buckets. She has an irreverent and often humorous take on parenting, so it’s hard to say how serious she is.
But after going through it myself, I’m done with this approach. I don’t want to get rid of things I spent my money on. What’s more, it doesn’t reduce your stress. You’ve just extended the time you spend on this problem from a few minutes to an entire day. Not to mention that you’re still cleaning up after your kids — you’re just moving things to a bucket instead of their rooms.
This is the method I’ve developed for dealing with kid clutter, just in case you’re looking for an alternative. When I come across something the kids have left lying around, I say very loudly, “Who left this here? Put it away now before I step on it!” When necessary, this is accompanied by a very stern glare.
That’s it. You cut the time you spend dealing with kid clutter from a whole day to under a minute. Plus, you don’t have to bend down to pick anything up.