What began as an average summer morning in our house, no plans and tons of fun, turned into a full-fledged deep cleaning of my oldest sons room. I just couldn’t deal with the avalanche of Lego’s, the football cards spilling out of every nook and cranny. Not to mention the Tech-Decks, army men, Star Wars battle zones, notebooks full of football plays and drawings of famous NFL players scattered about the desk and dresser. “I have had ENOUGH!”, I declared.
For those of you who know me, I find this difficult to deal with. I believe everything has a place and sometimes that place is in the garbage! I do not deal well with messes and disorganization. It completely frustrates me! Now, I know some of you are thinking, “What? She has five kids. There’s bound to be messes…ALL the time.” Yes, we do have more than our fair share of messes and disorganization. I am constantly picking up and putting stuff away, but so are my children.
From the beginning I have taught my five little ones how important it is to keep the toys picked up, clothes hung in the closet, the floors clear of play-time debris. It works out pretty well, most days. There are times I feel like a Drill Sergeant, constantly reminding them to clean up, but then there are days when I have to say very few words. A little reminder here and there does the trick. We do have a House Rule that MUST be abided by at all times…If you’re done, clean it up. If you want to go outside and play, then everything in the house must be picked up and placed in its rightful place. Yes, ALL toys, notebooks, arts & crafts, books, dolls, Tinker Toys, etc. have their own specified homes. And, yes they must reside there when not in play/use. We try to make it fun as well. Sometimes we sing (think Mary Poppins), sometimes we dance and sometimes we turn up the music.
I have days when I’m so exhausted by bedtime, that I get everyone snug in their beds and spend a good hour picking up and organizing the toys and “Crap” as my husband refers to it. It is actually quite relaxing to me. Yes, I said relaxing. I am one of those few individuals who truly enjoys going through stuff and creating a place for everything! It is almost therapeutic to me.
Needless to say we have bins; both stacking and rolling, containers, baskets, and hat boxes neatly stashed throughout the house. These help maintain some sanity and keep the unsightly things out of the way when visitors arrive too. I even repurposed the changing table into a storage unit in our closet under the staircase. It’s wonderful for towels and necessities. These storage solutions work for our family of seven.
Two and a half hours, two full trash bags, six growling bellies and a wonderfully clean room behind us, we headed downstairs for lunch and some homemade Brownie Bites. Oh yeah, one very HAPPY Mom too!
Photograph courtesy of Land of Nod