During our boot camp, I noticed that cleaning up large messes is hard for children. Obvious, right? But seriously, when there are a lot of toys, there is a large mess. At least in my house. EVERY time a kid comes to my house to play, all the toys get dumped out, a couple get played with, and we have to either battle with our kids for a couple of hours to get it all cleaned up, or I end up taking 40 minutes of my time to clean it up myself.
And then I did something drastic: I read a blog.
And then I did something else drastic. I took almost all of my children's toys out of their rooms.
First, let me show you the pile of things that we took out. I am going to show it to you from a couple of different angles so you get a really good idea of how much my children had stored away in closets, under beds, in boxes, on shelves.
This is really sickening for me. No wonder my kids act spoiled! No wonder they have a hard time cleaning up! I would, too, if I had all that stuff to deal with! This is a problem 8 years and 3 children in the making. We are not crazy toy buyers! We pretty much limit toys to birthdays and Christmas, and Brandon and I usually only get them a few things! And then there are birthday parties, and grandparents. (Thank you, Grandparents, for always thinking of my kids and being so generous with them! I'm not complaining!)
|There is a train table under there which|
gives the pile some height.
But, enough of all that stuff. Its depressing. The good news is that my kids are TOTALLY ok with how we have changed things up! Let me tell you what we told them: We are taking things out of their rooms so that they have an easier time cleaning up. That's it. They were all for it. They helped me!
So, I took some after photos today after we had some dear friends (with children) over last night. This is messy for them, now. I did not clean up their rooms before I took these photos. Basically, since we did this on Saturday morning, cleaning up their rooms has been a total breeze! Plus, my kids played for like 4 hours with their friends in their rooms with the few toys that we left, and they were FINE! And they were creative! And didn't make a ginormous mess!
So here are the after photos:
|Sorry this is blurry...but you get the idea|
|Look at that HUGE mess! hehe|
|Beds were made, but then there was a nap.|
The next problem is this: How are we going to keep this from happening again? Well, we are making a no toy gift policy. We are explaining this to the grandparents. For birthdays, Christmas, etc, they can either receive money, or excursions, or events, but not toys. Any toys they themselves plan for and buy, are the only ones I want. And I hope to keep a "one in, one out" process going.
Our weekly mission (an extension of our Boot Camp) is to keep a focus on our morning routine: Get up, make bed, get dressed, pick up the floor. They have been doing it for the most part, but I am still having to remind. That will stop this week. :)
The only thing left to write is that I am super excited about this step in our little journey. I wanted to post more details about the results of the Scott Family Responsible Child Boot Camp, but I thought this was more pressing. I'll get to that, I'm sure.
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