Sunday, March 30, 2014

I Hate Toys...So I Did Something Drastic

Ok, I really don't hate toys.  I actually like toys a whole lot!  I like the idea of my kids having cool stuff and getting to play with neat things.  I hate cleaning up toys.  I've actually blogged about this before, because toys and the small parts and the things all over the place drive me crazy.

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.
What am I going to do with all of this stuff?  This week I am going to work, sorting it into piles of things to keep (in boxes high on shelves for the kids to request to play with), things that the kids agree to sell, and things that the kids agree to give away.  The money that they make selling their toys will be their money, so I'm hoping that motivates them to get rid of things that might otherwise keep.

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.

By the way, if you want to receive the blogs I write in your e-mail, just use the little "Subscribe via e-mail" box on the right.  I won't spam you, I promise!

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

Where will you be storing the "keepers"? I love the idea of rotation boxes, but my son's Legos would never go out of rotation because he LOVES them and plays with them EVERY DAY. As far as the rest of the toys go, I think he could take or leave them. A couple of months ago, he had a fit about how horrible his life was (he is 6 yrs old, mind you) so my hubs and I were telling him how not bad it was but that if he wanted to see how the "other half live" we could take away his toys. He challenged us and told me to just take them, then. So I spent about 45 minutes sorting and packing toys. He has gotten his legos back but pretty much everything else is in my closet, and he has only asked for a couple of things. He just got his nerf guns back this weekend. And he has asked for his Army Men, which I keep forgetting to find for him. But those are the only things he has requested. I think we may follow your lead and sell the rest and let him have the money.