Thursday, July 24, 2008

PLEASE HELP ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

After 8 years of being a parent, you would think I've got this down. After a lifetime of organizing & loving every moment of it, you would think I would not be here, in this situation, AGAIN. After threatening, bribing, coercing, begging & pleading, you would think we would ALL be better at this. So, I am downright BEGGING for your help. This is what our playroom is reduced to about once a month. 3 rambunctious kids & a mom who is just too plain busy to watch their every move and we are once again standing in front of this nightmare come alive.

You can tell I have more than enough shelves, drawers, compartments & ways to organize & keep everything separated. Ways that are simple for children to understand, ways that make it easier to get a favorite toy & then PUT THAT TOY BACK WHERE IT BELONGS.

My real issues is this....... My children simply have too much stuff. The last time I went through their toys for our yard sale, I really thought I had condensed, that I had gotten rid of all the nonsense, but apparently I have not. I know I need to cut down. I know that if they didn't have SO MANY choices, then there wouldn't be such a mess of this size.

The help I need..... what do 3 kids need as far as toys go? What is the bare minimum I can let them keep? I am willing to throw it ALL away & go back to letting them entertain themselves with books, crayons, outdoor activities & homemade toys like pots, pans, boxes & bubble wrap. But, it's hard to throw away all the things you know you bought them for birthdays & Christmas, because it's so hard to admit to yourself that you bougth them too much or that they really didn't want that toy & only played for it with a few days before they tossed it aside never to look at it again.

So, I am welcoming any & all opinions & ideas about what to do. Please no comments on how terrible it is or how did I ever let it get this bad. I have beat myself up enough, thank you, but I am so ready for any & all ideas on how to CUT BACK. I know how to organize it, I just need to know what to get rid of.



Chandi said...

I think many of us are in the same boat. I know I have gone through this same thing. Here are a couple of things to try. Maybe they will help. 1. Rotate the toys. Divide them and put half of them in bins and store them away. Rotate them every few months. You won't have as many to deal with, and your kids might not get bored with them as often.

2. As part of Joy school we made a gunny bag. It was just a bag I sewed with a mouth and it had a little song that went with it. If toys were left out on the floor they were eaten by the gunny bag monster. If they were eaten they were gone. It helped motivate my kids for awhile, but pretty soon Brannock wanted the gunny bag to eat toys. It just made me realize that he didn't really care for the toys. If you want a copy of the song I can get it fir you.

I will keep checking this post for other's comments. Like I said, we can all use help in this area.

Sybil said...

I know you don't have a whole lot of time to do a something that would take a lot of time or though. The first thing I though when I was the picture what to take a trash bag to it and just push it all in. Let the kids know you are putting the toys in time out. And then let the kids ask you for a certain toy that they want. If they can't tell you what they want out of the bag without looking then do they really want it? Let them pick out one toy per day that they can play with. If they put it up, then let them have another the next day. If they take care of the ones you've let them have then reward them. If not then they don't get another toy the next day. Just a thought. Hope someone gives you an idea that will help you out! I feel your pain!

Cassey said...

Well, when I was younger and even now I feel really overwhelmed by big projects or big messes. If my room got too out of control I had a hard time getting started. I had a hard time seeing what needing to be done.

I think Malachi is the same way so when the playroom is out of control, I peek in there and say, "pick up all the cars." Or books or guys or whatever.

I think it's easier to break it down into smaller jobs. Kids get overwhelmed by too many choices. My mom still did this when I was a teenager. "Pick up all the dirty clothes." then come back, "Now hang up all the clean clothes." I still have to do this to myself.

It's more work on your part but, I think it might help.

We had a "toy jail" for toys/shoes/ whatever left out. It Sounds like gunny bag. It was a box on top of the fridge decorated like a jail. The fine was "one good deed", to get your item out. One week in toy jail and it was donated.

My friend has the cleanest playroom ever. She has all the toys expect for books in a locked closet. They ask for whatever they want, they just have to pick up and return the previous toys. Not sure how I feel about this but...

Last thing, it make work if you made it part of a routine. Like after dinner, you play for a little while. Then you start the bedtime rountine. You take a bath, brush your teeth, pick up the playroom, pray, read books. Or whatever order.

Hope you are feeling better!

Sarah said...

I have a friend that, at the end of each day, has her kids put away the toys and if they don't then she has mister garbage mouth (a bag, kind of like chandi's idea) a garbage bag and if they end up in there, they have to stay for a week. She also gives her a couple of pennies each time she picks up all of her toys! She gets so excited to make a little money to put in her piggy bank! At the end of the week, they go buy a little treat with that $.

Hornes said...

Ha Ha I was laughing when I saw someone else post a comment about gunny bag. My mom did that for us when we were little too. To this day I can still hear her singing, "Here comes gunny bag, he eats up all the toys, and keeps 'em in his tummy" and it makes my blood run cold! :) This seemed to work for us. She would hide away toys for 2 weeks that we would leave out. We learned after awhile that if we cared about it pick it up. The downside of it was: if we didn't care about the toy, we knew my mom would bascially pick it up for us with "gunny sack." Anyway, good luck with the challenge!

moma grits said...

maria our playroom looks the same..sop bad to the point I offered my mom $50 to clean it and closed the door and dared a child to go in it! I can not help you but I can certainly sympathize with you.