I have been hitting spring cleaning long before our Calgary weather is! In fact we have several inches of NEW snow just today! Really it is absolutely ridiculous! But like I said despite being cooped up, I have found an upside. I am purging all things unnecessary! You all saw my giveaway a few weeks ago. Well that was the beginning. I had wanted to get rid of all those bins of outgrown clothing, but didn't have a great place spread out and do that. In fact I was rather emotionally and physically overwhelmed everytime I walked by the BOMB that was our toy room. I let it immobilize me till I was doing no house work at all! Gross! After a scissor incident that led me to believe that my kids were so bored with their toys that destruction of other property was more entertaining, I decided that enough was enough! I started off with "the kids are losing everything! I mean every- last- toy!" Then my Mom tried to talk me off the ledge. I didn't budge! My husband encouraged me with support and time. I came down a little!
(this is not my toy room. mine was worse!)
The result was. I packed up (with some help from naive kids) all the toys worth keeping. That was the hardest part of it all. We have GOOD toys! Everything seemed to have value. I had to adjust my thinking to "Was it valuable to US right now?". We sorted into giant ziplocs from the dollar store all the 'little people', all the cars, all the ponies, etc. until bed time. We put the kids to bed. Seger knew something was up "Mom why we not cleaning so much?" like I never let them go until the job is done. Once the troops were down we got down to business!
We threw out 1 large garbage bag of toys that were broken, missing pieces, or just plain junk. We donated 1 large garbage bag to Value Village, toys that were okay but never really interested our kids.
We gave away or sold 1 large garbage bag of baby toys that our kids had outgrown. Oh and a wooden play kitchen and food.
We packed up the rest into 3 large rope tote bins and 1 garbage sack, and a few odds and ends of bigger toys.
Yes I know that sounds like so much stuff!!!!! It was!
We kept out 2 Ikea bins of toys for the little boys, our family arsenal of nurf guns, 1 set of blocks, and Evan got to keep his Bakugans which he had been responsible with, and Vienna her barbies and barbie house that stay in her closet, which she had been responsible with. You know, for a show of good faith when this all hit the fan.
The Room looked so empty and beautiful!!! I was immediately motivated and spent the entire next day cleaning HAPPILY! My house started to look the way it use to.
The kids reaction you ask?? Well let me tell you. They came rushing into our room!
Kids - Where are all the toys?
Us - We told you we finished cleaning up. Now go play!
And they did. That's it, that's all.
After school they asked more specifically. That's when we had a family meeting. We were clear about why they lost everything. We were clear that they would not get everything back. And we were clear that they would have to EARN what they did get back. We set out chore charts. They have to earn 25 stickers each, for specific, new and regular chores. Then they get to earn back 2 things each. That's right! That is all that is coming back! The rest will be for sale! I'm a GENIUS! The kids couldn't wait to get started!
My kids don't miss any of the toys! In fact they have never played so many imaginary games all together. They have been happier, they function better, they clean up better, and I don't want to bring any of it back! I LOVE THIS PLAN! The best part is it cost me nothing to teach them respect for belongings and it cost me nothing to reward them, and I gained help around the house!
I would strongly recommend purging your unnecessary items. Our society has fooled us into thinking that our kids need stuff!! Well they don't! They don't need all of that stuff, just a few things. Try it!
P.S. In addition, I also donated 4 garbage bags of clothing (kent's, mine, or kids) to VV and have been selling the big stuff on Kijii. This spring is gonna be so light!