Wednesday, February 28, 2007

I'm a toy Nazi

I can't stand chaos. Trying to look all over the house to find something that one of my kids has moved drives me batty. When we moved to this house and unpacked the playroom, I gave everything a special place. My thinking is that this way, the kids can easily find what they want to play with, & their toys will get more use. Unfortunately, since all my kids are so small, they're not the best at putting things where they belong. So unless I clean up all their toys after them, they get put in the wrong spot. Not to mention, when friends come over to play, they are kind enough to clean up after themselves, but they don't know where everything goes, so everything gets out of order.

So, for the last year that we've lived at this house, we've had to reorganize the playroom about six or seven times. This last time, i had ignored the problem for so long that there were no more toys in the cubbies, bins, or drawers, they had all just been piled into the playroom closet for so long that you had to climb a mini-mountain to find the what you wanted.

Yesterday, I finally found the time to re-organize (yet again). Everything was in such disarray, that the only way to go about this is by piling ALL of the toys in the middle of the room. So i sent the kids on a treasure hunt through the house, finding any stray toys that weren't already in the playroom. Next, we dumped out all of the bins and baskets and made a nice little mountain to sort through. One-by-one I had the kids put the toys in the correct spot. I also took this oportunity to throw away any broken toys, & to give-away any toys that don't get much use. The hardest part is sneaking the seldom-used-toys into the donate bag. If those kids catch anything going in there, they have a melt-down telling me all about how that toy that they never played with, is their favorite, most special toy in the whole world. Anyway, little by little, the mountain shrank, until the room was spotless!

After we had finished, I took all of the kids on a tour through their playroom & bedrooms & talked about where everything went. We even made it into a fun little game & did some role-playing where i pretended to be a friend who didn't know where to put things. Chris & I also decided that we were making a new rule that all the toys stay in the bedrooms & play room, AND they get put away as soon as the kids are finished w/them. If not.... the toys are confiscated.

Today, we introduced the new "clean house policy". Tomorrow I'll start enforcing it..... wonder how that's gonna work...

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