Thursday, October 7, 2010

Organized... at least for a minute

When Katelin was just a year old, a friend of mine told me that it wouldn't be long before I noticed plastic slowly overtaking my life. I really get that these days. I spend way too much of my time sorting, organizing, throwing out and picking up old toys (though I really try to have a few non-plastic toys in the mix).

This week we've been working on organizing the toy closet - again. Katelin wants to sell a few of her items to get money. I used that motivation to help us weed out a few toys the kids don't play with anymore, and with things back in place I am ready to work at maintaining order. Here is what I am trying to do:

Teach the kids to put toys back in their baskets and bins in the closet.

Only keep a few toys out, while the rest are rotated and store in bins up high (less toys in the closets mean less toys on the floor).

One thing that works for me is to set the timer for ten minutes a couple of times per day and ask Katelin and Seth to see how much we can get cleaned up before the beeper goes off. When we finish we turn on music and celebrate. If I do this before the whole house is in chaos, we maintain some sanity, but that doesn't always happen.

If you know a secret to teaching your kids to keep the toys neat and organized, I'd like to hear about it. For us, it is a constant battle!

Another battle I had this morning was the battle to get motivated to do ANYTHING.... Because of that I almost skipped spending time on the patio, but I did get out there for a few minutes. Tomorrow I will do it earlier, as I am finding earlier is usually more effective.


Keepin' up with the Jones' said...

That closet looks great. come over here and organize mine! When Ty was home, the kids job on Monday was to clean the playroom. One day it took them 20 minutes. The next week it took them 6 hours! So I have no secret for you! But both days they had a great time so it was a win win for me!

Christina said...

Okay, I'm trying the buzzer thing. Plastic has overtaken my life for sure.

Lisa said...

I love the idea about the timer!

No secrets from me though - we battle with this also. I try my best to keep the mess up off the floor by doing a "cean up, clean up" before bedtime. Sometime they cooperate - and sometimes not. But bins are definitely helpful. Even if cars don't end up in the car bin, if they manage to find a spot at all, most days I'll take it.