Thursday, May 16, 2013

Keeping Kids Rooms Clean

Have you ever gone through your facebook picture albums and had fun looking at a bunch of old pictures?  I did that this morning.  I'm not sure why, I just had a whim!  But one of them made me cringe- it was a picture of what the play room used to look like.  I took it as a "before" picture because I was about to tackle the mess and make it better.





Yes.  That was what it looked like all. the. time.

I hated it.

I would summon the determination to put everything in its place, only for it to look like this all over again a few weeks later.  Usually, I would just keep the door closed.

No, I was not good at making them pick up each time OBVIOUSLY.

But then came time for us to rearrange and get ready for another baby.  When I knew we would have two boys and two girls, I realized that the rooms would have to be for both sleep and play.  So I came up with a revolutionary plan to help keep the kids rooms clean.

It's amazing.

Really.

You will want to do this.

I can't believe I'm sharing this secret.

Here goes.



GET RID OF ALMOST EVERYTHING.

That sounds harsh, right?  But I am not kidding.  Over the course of the last year or so, we have donated or sold on a yard sale TONS of kids toys.

I am not horrible...I promise.  Caleb helped me with the boy stuff, and it didn't even bother him.  We have  kept the few things he and Gabriel actually play with, and that is Legos and some Imaginext castles (and the good guys/bad guys that go with it).  Same for Sarah.  We have a doll house for her Barbies, several Barbies, a container of My Little Ponies, and some Lalaloopsy dolls.  That's about it.  We have a few baby toys for Leah, too.


The girls' room - former play room.

The boys' room.


The result is less clutter of course, but I also feel like this helps the kids when it comes to cleaning their rooms.  When I say, "Go pick up!" they know exactly where everything goes, and it doesn't take much time at all.

I know I have friends who are amazing at organizing their kids' toys and can have all the stuff we used to have.  If they can keep their rooms looking nice with tons of stuff, that's great!  I just couldn't, and my kids couldn't.  And frankly, we don't have the room for it.

A friend of mine sent me a text with this picture...



She was reorganizing the kids' toys.

I said she should get rid of it. :)

My current challenge is trying to figure out how to stay free of stuff.  How do you keep a happy balance of allowing gifts for your kids at birthdays and Christmas while not becoming OVERWHELMED with STUFF?

So difficult.

If each of my four children received only ONE gift from each of the  five primary gift givers - that is Parents, Mama & Papa A, Mama & Papa V, Uncle Stevie & Aunt Rebecca, Uncle Chris & Aunt Sonja - for their birthdays...and then only ONE gift from each of those for Christmas...that is  5x4 two times.  That's 40 new things each year in our house.  And Lord knows...ONE gift doesn't happen. 


What do you do when it comes to the toys that accumulate?

How do you/how can I change the amount that comes in, or should we just let it all come in and then donate it away??? 

And how can I write about this without seeming ungrateful for the nice gifts  my children receive?

2 comments:

Causey Fam said...

We are now past that phase of life and the kids don't really ask for toys anymore. They ask for money and that doesn't take up much space at all! :)

thechattymommy said...

This was great! My mom is always telling me the same thing- get rid of it! I am just a pushover and feel bad getting rid of their stuff and it always feels like they just got the stuff. But, they don't play in their rooms because it is too overwhelming with all of their toys to know what to play with.

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