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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Tidy Tuesday - Battle of the wills

Face it - toys multiply!
Four year old Lilly is often my source of inspiration for blog posts.  She is an amazing, exuberant, smart, princess-loving little girl.  She also occasionally has an attitude.  :)  Right now, she is dragging her feet about cleaning her bedroom and her mother is feeling frustrated.

Parents and the cleanliness of their children's rooms are a constant source of friction from the time Baby starts to crawl (and pulls everything off shelves) to the time Lanky Teenager packs up and leaves home (hopefully, taking ALL his stuff with him!).  Wouldn't it be nice if we could just set up their room with a wonderful organizational system and that would be it?  Probably not going to happen.  In my entire life, I've only known one family where their two adorable children actually cleaned their own rooms without help, encouragement or nagging.  It was almost freakish  :)

Anyway, I digress.  Children's belongings are only going to multiply.  You can do one of three things.  You can...
1. Ignore the whole mess, keep the door to their room closed and try to keep everything confined to just their room (or toy room).
2. Set up an elaborate organizational system with bins, labels, and shelves.
3. You can trim down the amount of toys they have so there is less to clean up.

Option #1.  Chaos is not comfortable to live with and kids are no exception.  Toys get broken, lost and scattered.  Children probably will be overwhelmed and won't want to play with their things.
Option #2.  Looks good in the initial stages but children are notorious for shoving their toys in whatever bin or container is closest and it isn't long before everything is mixed up and there goes your nice, orderly system.  Tried that one  :)
Dream on!
Option #3.  Trim down the number of toys available and rotate them from time to time.  The more responsible the child (or children), the more sets of toys are available and vice versa.  Best combined with a smaller version of option grouped, kept in bins, labeled and stored within easy reach.

I don't think option #1 is acceptable because it's important for children to learn how to respect and care for their things.  The degree of cleanliness and orderliness is also something that is an individual matter.  You might be fine with a relaxed system or you might be someone who is only comfortable with a stricter approach.

Stay calm, don't react to whining and make putting away toys part of the kid's daily routine.  At least it won't take over the entire house that way.  Good luck!  Oh, and Lilly, go put away your toys!


  1. Helpful post. Nice read. Thanks!


    1. Thank you Jeanneke! I've missed you! I can't read your blog because the translate function isn't there :( Any suggestions?