Mom’s ‘Easy Money’ Challenge to Get Her Family to Help Clean the House Failed Spectacularly

Photo of mom hiding money under trash.Miranda Crimbring via Facebook

It’s a common thing for parents to swap stories about their children’s quirks, milestones, and behaviors as a way to laugh, share, or vent. During these sessions you’ll find that one thing that always comes up is cleaning the house.

How many times have piles of laundry gone unfolded or sat in baskets for a week? Which of your kids can never seem to remember to take out the trash and put it on the curb? And why does everyone walk by pieces of litter on the floor, counter, or table as if it’s invisible?

Mom Miranda Crimbring set out to answer the litter question by conducting a little experiment in her home. The answer? It really is invisible. Crimbring came up with a brilliant way to test her kids’ willingness to pick up around the house.

She taped a folded $5 bill under a small piece of trash – some paper – and put it in the middle of the bathroom floor. Thinking someone would eventually declare themselves a lucky victor, she waited it out. Two days later, the trash was still on the floor.

She shared a post with friends on Facebook about the saga:

“We’ve just surpassed the 48 hour mark of the, ‘who will pick up the random piece of trash that they KNOW isn’t supposed to be there’ challenge. 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!”

Her family was none the wiser that she was documenting the whole thing on social media with the hashtags “#justdotherightthing” and “#easymoney.” On the morning of day 3, the paper was still out in the open but with some added floss and toilet paper. It had even moved a bit. Crimbring guessed that perhaps it was kicked.

By that evening, no one picked it up:

Posted by Miranda Crimbring on Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Crimbring’s post and updates vent viral with many parents relating to the dilemma of invisibly visible trash. As people laughed and waited for the outcome of this #easymoney challenge, she finally let her husband in on the secret. Mind you, he did not pick it up either.

After telling him about her trick, he said, “Man, I KNEW I should have picked it up! But you know, honey, I actually left it there on purpose because I knew you were trying to teach the kids a lesson.” Sure.

Finally, days later, one of the kids found it by accident. Crimbring posted this update:

“The paper has been PICKED UP!! My daughter threw her dirty clothes on top of it before getting in the tub.. when she went to grab them afterwards, it flipped money side up and kind of slid across the floor. She gasped and then shrieked in surprise saying ‘Oh my gosh, this was under there… five dollars!’

The real kicker to the story…After removing the bill from the paper, she left the paper sitting on the counter..”

Her teenager claimed he never saw the paper. Sigh. They had a family discussion about the point Mom was trying to make and Crimbring notes that only time will tell if things change. Maybe now they’ll be on the lookout for cash-paying trash!

Do you find this story relatable? How long would that paper have sat on your floor? What tricks have you tried to prove your point about housework?