This is one of the areas I have really attacked in attempts to destress my home BECAUSE the kids stuff takes over EVERY room of our house! Not only do we have the kids bedroom, which usually looks like a hurricane hit it, we also have toys baskets in the hall and living room. I dont have one in my bedroom, but I should as it would make it easier to clean up the 1000000 toys I find in my bed at night!
Their stuff takes over. And, it creates stresses. There is the stress of HAVING the mess to start with. Then, the stress of the clutter brings. THEN, its the stress of them having to put it away and the fight that goes with it(the hollering, the tears, the wasted time, the discipline..etc.). Dont forget the stress that you feel when you realize there is no better place for this MESS than piled in baskets all over, and even when its picked up its still a mess. Dont even THINK about the number of small, broken, lost peices of every game you have ever owned that are piled in corners and under beds.
Also, dont forget how all of those things create stress for the husband, and the kids themselves. Its something.
This is an easy, if not minorly time consuming task..but we CAN destress the Kids Stuff!
So, lets dicuss and develop a plan!
One HUGE thing that we have done, and are due to do again (we need to do it about every 6 months), is seriously decluttering the kids toys. Its nuts the stuff they collect. I dont know where it all comes from but they have alot of stuff.
A periodic and almost brutal overhaul of the inventory is very good for all involved. First consider the decrease in stuff! Its less to put away, less to get out, less to see and pick from, less is less stress!
* Have them chose 3-5 toys they love. And then get rid of the rest! I know it sounds brutal. But trust me on this one. Consider too, that if you have more than one kid, each kid with 5 toys is quite a few toys that can be shared.
* Make sure that everything they keep has a place. Whether it be a bin, a toy box, a shelf. Make sure they know where it goes. This will make pick up much easier!
* Put games and toys with lots of peices away out of reach. This has helped us alot! I have a closet with these types of games in it. Ty has to have permission, and can only have one of these toys out at a time. Those toys are put away at the end of the day, pieces missing or not. I usually find those peices quickly (within a day or two), and just put them in the closet with the game. Less time out of the closet, easier to find peices!
* Get rid of the toy box! I know. It sounds crazy. But a toy box is a bottomless pit for toys. Stuff gets lost, broken and hidden in there. The only way to find stuff is empty it out right? If everyone choses a few toys or types of toys (we kept all our cars, and trains), and those have an easy to get to place to put away (bins under the bed), then you dont need a toy box.
What about them once they are banished from the house? ..the toys I mean, not the kids.
Here are some ideas:
* Donate all the little McD's toys to the church bag. Or, even better, make church bags for the other kids at church. Hang a few in the toddler classroom to be used during church services. These are also great "car" toys.
* Use it as a lesson on giving to children who dont have any toys. If your kids are able to understand, take the toys cerimoniously to Goodwill, or somewhere like it. If its too traumatic, do it while they are sleeping! :)
* Teach them money management with the toys they get rid of, garage sales, ebay..these are great lessons on responsiblity and use of their resources.
Combine these things, with the ideas for decreasing the amount of clothes they have access to for the laundry's sake, you can actually have a pretty good end result with a little work.
Less is more. Less stress, more peace!
Stress Strategies: Get RID of it, Get it DONE, Get CONTROL of it!