The problem with the kids having their own space is that I am not around to supervise all the different things they get into. The kids "clean" the basement at least once a week, but really what they do is stuff and hide and scootch things around the room. Last week was even messier because I banned television and video games as part of No Impact Week. They were into everything. When I ventured into KidLand today to do a deep clean, I had to wade through Lego bits, random train tracks, and all sorts of board game shrapnel. Most girls with big brothers have decapitated Barbies, and our girls are no exception. They should make a series of dolls with the heads already off and save everyone the trouble. I can see it now, "Barbie Antoinette", "Barbie Queen of Scots"...ooh my repurpose wheels are turning...
What the crap does this have to do with RRR? Well, the lack of putting-away-ness of my children means that many board games, Lego sets, Nerf darts, Barbies, end up trashed. We have two new Lego board games the kids got for Christmas, and as I'm cleaning I'm finding bits of them all over the place. The chances of us being able to recreate what was originally in the box? Zilch, I betcha.
And the batteries...oh man.
So, I'm beginning by cleaning this room the way I clean everything:
- Starting in the far corner of the room from the door.
- Clean the room in rows from left to right, top to bottom
- Sort things into piles as I go. Example: a Lego pile, a train track pile, a book pile, a pile of things that don't go in this room.
- Nothing stays where it doesn't belong.
- Once the whole room is in piles, figure out the best storage and then put them away
- Beat the children if they don't keep it this way (Kidding.)
Like I said, I still have the other side of the room to deal with, but what I need to research now is finding ways to make it simple for the kids to put pieces away when they're finished. I could watch them every time they play with anything, but that would just make everyone unhappy. I've been to homes where the toys are all sorted by type and the kids all put them back where they came from...maybe I'm a bad role model. I've never been good at keeping things clean or organized, and I don't know how to create a system or motivation for my kids. Ideas?