My children have too many toys. I have tried and tried to help them manage their stash but to only limited success. We have 2 shelving units with toys bins, brightly labeled for their convenience. Most of the time this works, but the bins are all full, almost overflowing. A large trashcan holds a hobby horse, swords, and "boom whackers" (fun noodles cut in half to whack each other with – thanks, Phil!). They have a little kitchen, complete with a whole box of play food and dishes, 2 boxes of legos/mega blocks, a box of dress up clothes, a bin of crafts, puzzles, dress up jewelry and on and on and on. We won’t even address the plethora of stuffed animals living in my daughter’s bed. That’s a whole ‘nuther problem. So what to do? We’ve tried purging the toys. That didn’t even make a dent. It’s time to be creative. When all the broohaha from Phil’s upcoming promotion is over and all our guests have gone home, I’m going to tackle this problem. My plan is to empty out the closet in the playroom and move one of the toy bin shelves in there. The children will be able to select which toys they want to play with each week, those will stay in the room. The others will go into the closet and the closet locked up. Each week they can "check out" the weeks’ toys from the toy library. For a toy bin to come out, another toy bin must go in. I think I may even stick a post it note on each bin in the closet with the date on it. Toys not checked out in 4 weeks will be moved outside for another 4 weeks. At the end of that 4 weeks, any toys not asked for will be donated. This will make more room to play in, plus give us a better perspective on which toys are really played with.
I sound pretty calm about this whole thing don’t I? Dh just sent me downstairs after we saw the mess each child made of their rooms during the quiet time. I took one look, started to say something and he said, "go downstairs, I’ll handle it." This is because I already spent the greater part of the day helping my daughter find a dress. She came down for breakfast wearing longsleeves and I told her to change to short sleeves today. She said she didn’t have any and I asked her about her new "bee happy" dress. She said it’s not in her drawer. The last time anyone saw this dress was when she had gotten it wet by playing outside after it rained. She came in to change and the dress hasn’t been seen since. That was a laundry cycle and a half ago. We turned her bedroom upside down looking for it today. I told her no more new clothes until she finds it. Dh thinks she should still be allowed to wear her Easter dress on Sunday. I disagreed because this is just another lost item in a long line of her things. But I gave in and decided instead to charge dd the price of the dress, plus no new clothes until the dress is found. I already knew a big box of Hannah Andersson clothes was being delivered today. Cute stuff, too, including the sandals for her Easter dress. Until she can learn, I’m just going to keep confiscating the toys she leaves out or puts away incorrectly. Last night she lost a whole bag full of toys and just now I took away a pair of shoes, 2 pairs of socks and book after she insisted that all of her things were out of the living room. She knows what to do, it’s just disobedience or laziness on her part. Sometimes I feel like taking Dr. Phil’s suggestion and just stripping their rooms down the bare minium, sheets, pillows and a blanket and make them earn every single thing back. The only problem is, where to put it all in the meantime.
Sigh. I’m going to check the mail. Maybe my Sonlight catalog will finally be here. I think I’m the last person in the US to get one.