Goal: Find a way to organize our too many toys so that they all get played with and don't end up scattered about the house, overwhelming Two Little Girls and making it impossible to clean up.
Solution: A whole lot of Rubbermaid tubs and a great-sounding suggestion from my dear friend Shawnna.
Too many toys in little storage bins, plus two enormous tubs in a basement closet that never got played with. All too tempting for Two Little Girls who like to pull too much stuff out at one time but have a hard time getting it put back when clean up time comes around.
I swear on everything holy, I really do clean their room. This is what happens just a day or two after a thorough cleaning. It's depressing!
A closet full of neatly organized tubs. No, it's not pretty. But it just might save my sanity.
I went through, quite literally, every single toy in this entire house today. Now, they are all stored neatly in labeled tubs behind closed closet doors. I can't remember the last time every single toy in our house was in it's proper place. In fact, I'm pretty sure more than half the toys didn't even actually have a proper place until today. That's exciting stuff, man. Pet Shop, Barbies, baby dolls and play food, magnets and puzzles, stable horses, musical instruments - they all have their own happy little tub to live in.
The plan: One box comes out after school time in the morning. They can pick any box, but only one. When I start to fix lunch, I'll let them know it's time to clean up. Everything goes right back into the tub. After afternoon school time, a new box comes out. That box stays out until I start fixing dinner.
If the toys are not back in the tub by the time the meal is on the table, that tub goes into time out (the spooky basement closet) for a week or so. The same rule may apply for any fussing or back talking or attitude that ensues from the "clean up" directive, if necessary. (Ooh, doesn't that sound business-like?)
The ONLY toys allowed out at all times are each girl's favorite doll.
I know I sound like a control freak, but I think they might actually appreciate this. It makes clean-up time a breeze, and they know right where to find all of their toys. It was like going shopping today - they couldn't wait to start playing with the "new" stuff I'd found buried under couches and stashed in the bottom of the toy box.
Go ahead and call me the Toy Nazi. I bet my living room stays cleaner than yours. :oP
(Please, no comments on the obvious excess of toys that my spoiled children own. I don't buy them toys. They have generous grandparents.)