Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Mutha a.k.a. The Gate Keeper of the Toys

I'm a little OCD when it comes to toys. I'll admit it. Everything has a certain place, a certain box, with a certain label AND picture so everyone is on the same page as to where it belongs.
Well, the problem is...
until this week, everyone wasn't on the same page. I was the meanest mom in the whole world because I'd have to yell at my kids to "GO CLEAN YOUR ROOM"
I hated being so ugly but even more, I HATED messy rooms.
The kids would whine and moan. There were gnashing of teeth and screaming and crying. I'd continue to tell them "A clean room = a happy mom. It's that easy." But still, it was torture on both sides. The kids had even reached a point where they didn't want ANY friends over for fear they'd have to clean up after them.
I got to the point where I hated toys. I wanted to throw them all away.
Until one day I got an idea.
I read Chablis' blog about how she took her kids toys away from them and they had to earn them back. Genius I tell you. But we have SOOO many, and where would I put them? And once they earned them back then their rooms would get messy all over again!!
I decided to take Chablis' idea and revamp it to fit our needs.
This is the boys' room on a regular basis BEFORE the change.
If this doesn't put you in a bad mood I don't know what would.

And after?
I spent two whole days clearing out the entire room. I got every single part and piece and toy and put it in the right spot and then REMOVED them from the room. I know it may not seem THAT different, but if you could see under the beds there are no longer any boxes of anything.
My friends, you are now looking at a 100% toyLESS room.
(I moved a twin bed in there for our company this weekend, ignore that.)

And it doesn't stop there.
Room #2
I love it.
Where, might you ask, did all the toys go? Well four big black trash bags went to the DUMP.
But the rest? I stashed away in Penny's room. Why not? He's got loads of room in there and doesn't even use it! Sure he's a little over stimulated as he looks around his room at nap time, but he only cries for a few hours before he finally falls asleep.
(you know I'm joking, right?)
Now the plan.
So at first I wanted to remove all the toys.
No wait.
At FIRST first, I wanted to TRASH all the toys and tell the kids, TOO BAD!
But then once I saw how fancy they all looked in their labeled packaging I decided I should keep them.
But how to monitor so they don't take over the house again?
Watching the kids play in their rooms without toys brought happiness to my face because there was less to fight over, more imagination going on, more blankets over chairs and secret hideouts and tunnels, more playing outside and sharing and being happy.
I loved it.
But I DO agree that the kids need their toys every now and then as well.
So given they are all on good standings with their behavior,
they will be allowed ONE box of toys at a time for several hours at their request.
Once they are done, it needs to be all picked up, put back in the box and returned to Penny's room for safe keeping.
No mixing toys.
No leaving toys out.
No smearing toys all over the house.
No more mad evil Mom yelling for everyone to clean their room EVERY day.
It's perfect!
This Summer should be a fun Summer.
I'm already enjoying it!
And I'm pretty sure the kids are too!


Lindsay said...

i very much like this idea and shall use it when lucas is a hooligan child. :)

David and Teresa said...

Yahoo! My Mom use to take away our toys for months then when got them out again it was so much fun. Its works I tell you. Dad

Candace said...

I'm pretty sure I'm going to do this. See.. THIS is the kind of thing that should be posted on Apron Girls. Is it cool with you if I just get all my cool ideas to post on my mormon girls blog from you? Will you still love me then? I'll give you credit, of course! :)

Bonnie said...

I was just fighting with Cooper about his room today. His is the worst with all his legos and knex and junk. It gets everywhere and I HATE stepping on it! So I need a similar system. I'm tired of seeing cluttered floors!

Froggylady said...

I love this idea and will be stealing it as soon as possible!

Cranberryfries said...

I did the same thing about 2 months ago. My girls still throw their books and clothes on the ground though but clean up is 100x easier without the toys in the mess.
Plus it's summer, the kids are outside more, and like you said they are still finding fun ways to play.


(Although if they're like my kids they'll sneak in there and get them out. I had to lock ours up in the shed. )

Kim said...

I love bedrooms without toys!! i hope this works

dena said...

Down with the toys!!! :)

The Nugen's said...

I cannot wait for Patrick to get old enough to understand this! I am so excited you gave me a great idea! Thank you! All the mixed toys and toys all over the floor drives me CRAZY!!!

Sandra said...

Brilliant idea - my kids rarely play with their toys, they just make a mess. I might have to make an exception for Ryder's cars - he plays with them all day, every day.

***** said...

I guess reading the world of blogs that you do pays off in times like this. Chablis is a smarty...and you're a smarty for taking on her idea. I love the clean rooms. It's crazy that the less they have creates more imagination. Krazy Kids.

Goodnight moon said...

I've seen your plan in action, and it works!!!! I love all the "toyless" rooms! I need that. So, next time your over my house, I'll let you do the same with our toys:)

Marian said...

My Dear Jessica,

You ARE a clever girl! I too am OCD and cannot bear clutter.

However, I simply cannot resist reawakening memories of YOUR "yester years". On one holiday from London to Dallas my husband and myself stayed at your Mum and Dad's in Rockwall -- in YOUR room. We entered with our luggage but where to put it? There were clothes strewn all over the floor; the carpet was invisible, honest. The walls were covered with a myriad of posters, AND, there was also some weirdness coming from the ceiling. Thankfully your Mum did not pack away ALL your clothes. :)

Love You Heaps,
Aunt M

Anonymous said...

great idea! This reminds me of how my mom would dole out the 70 million barbies we had growing up-- a few at a time! The rooms look awesome and super clean, Jess!

C said...

Brilliant idea!

Laura said...

I will be waiting for the day Penny realizes he can climb out of his crib and then he empties every single one of those super organized bins. But until then, i drool at the organizational masterpiece.

Tatiana said...

Awesome idea!!! I'd do that if I had the energy to organize the toy room to begin with. Maybe, I'll get motivated. BTW- why am I in time out??

Unknown said...

That's awesome. It's called a "toy library," where the kids are allowed to "check out" toys and can get more only when their previous rentals are back in. Well done!