Facebook post of trash with $5 beneath it

Busy Mom’s Experiment to Get Husband and Kids to Help Clean Up Epically Fails

We all feel this mom’s pain.  Miranda Crimbring, mom of three, is sick of being the only one to clean up after her family. So she decided to try something new. Only the busy mom’s experiment to teach her kids and husband a lesson in the basics of helping around the house epically failed! The internet is cracking up over it, because we all can relate.

Crimbring dubbed her experiment the “Who Will Pick Up the Random Piece of Trash That They KNOW Isn’t Supposed to Be There” challenge.  She simply put a piece of trash in the middle of her bathroom floor with $5 taped beneath it.  She waited to see who of her kids and husband would claim their $5 prize.  As you can imagine the trash stayed there, $5 and all.

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Let’s admit it moms, we ALL have tried some version of this.  Mine came in the form of trash barricades.  My teen son is supposed to take out the trash and always says he “doesn’t see it”.  Frustrated over the selective blindness, I strategically placed put 2 full trash bags with nasty old food in his doorway preventing him from exiting his bedroom. 

As I was relishing in my genius, thinking “checkmate” I see him in the kitchen sans the trash.   Guess what??? He still “didn’t see it”!!! LOL.  Maybe he climbed out his window that morning and clearly, I was the one checkmated!

Miranda Crimbring/Facebook

What made Crimbring come up with the idea?

Every parent relates to Crimbring’s inspiration to try this in the first place. “I went into the bathroom one night and saw clothes scattered across the floor, trash (NOT in the trashcan, of course) and the rugs all ruffled and sad looking,” she tells CafeMom. “I feel like I am constantly telling the kids to pick up after themselves, usually getting a, ‘But it isn’t mine’ type of response.”

So in that moment, she wanted to do something fun and lighthearted that also taught much needed important life lessons for accountability. “I truly thought I made it obvious by putting the paper in the middle of the bathroom floor,” she says. “I knew this was a high-traffic area so I figured one of them would stumble upon it in the morning.”

Day 1 and Day 2:  The trash remains and no one even noticed it’s there.

“An entire day went by and … nothing! I figured it must be a fluke, so I waiting patiently the following day thinking one of them would notice it.  Still no,” she says. 

After 48 hours, Crimbring shared her hysterical challenge on Facebook as she continued to patiently play out the experiment.  “Between the kids AND the husband, and MULTIPLE trips in and out of the bathroom, this little piece of heaven may just be in it for the long haul!” she wrote. 

Day three:  The “easy money” hadn’t been picked up…though it had been moved! Maybe she should tell her oblivious husband?

“Even though they have kicked it around and even though it gets all damp and gross after showers, it still seems to be hanging around!” she tells CafeMom.

She commented about her husband’s oblivion. I think we can all agree the kids selective vision allows them to ignore the trash….but an adult????

Maranda notes,  “I kind of just shook my head when I realized my husband deliberately didn’t pick it up — it wasn’t exactly surprising. But because of the particular situation, it was funny more than anything,” she says. “However, it can certainly be frustrating finding things on the floor that don’t belong, socks that conveniently miss the hamper, and trash sitting on the counter juuuuust above where the trash can is.  I think many of us moms can attest to that.”

By day three she decides to come clean to her husband but also kind of call him out. “When dad found out, he tried for a quick save but also realized how clever his wife is. “His first response was, ‘Man, I KNEW I should have picked it up!’ Typical,” she says. “A few minutes later he came back up to me and said something like, ‘But you know, honey, I left it there on purpose because I knew you were trying to prove a point to the kids…’ HA!”

Day 4 and Beyond: Both parents watch and wait to see which kid will actually do something. 

Miranda made her husband promise not to tell the kids in on it while they played things out.   “He promised not to let the kids in on it, and he started to keep an eye on the situation with me, which only grew more hysterical for us each and every time one of the kiddos came out of the bathroom,” she says. “the paper is still in there and the kids still haven’t noticed.”

As days pass, Crimbring’s post continues to blow up because so many moms can relate to it. “I am absolutely shocked by the attention this is getting. I think my husband said it best after it went viral, ‘But it’s just a piece of paper with money taped to it,’ ha!” she says. “I think that’s what’s so great about it. It IS such a simple thing, but something moms everywhere experience and can wholeheartedly relate to.”

Crimbring says there isn’t an end date yet but now on day four, the kids still have picked up the trash. “My husband and I haven’t really decided how long we’ll let it go,” she says. “Honestly, I think we both thought one of the kids would pick it up by now.”

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