Here are the highlights of our cleaning adventures:
- remove all toys out of the closet and little hidey holes
- sort clothes and place them in the correct drawer or location
- throw away all paper that does not have a purpose or a place
- sort through books and store in closet or give to Good Will.
As for the clothes, T man folds and puts away his own clothes and Little J takes his folded clothes and places them in his drawers. I do not check the drawers that often because honestly it is not a fight I want to have. I know the drawers are a mess only days after cleaning them. I think the next step for us to take will be to lessen the amount of clothing each of the boys have. I think I will have the boys select enough clothes for a 2 week period. This really should be plenty and hopefully will help with the excess that seems to tumble out and onto the floor.
Paper seems to be a key to the mayhem my boys create in their bedrooms. They want to keep every item that has been created or every flier we receive in the mail. I had a hard time convincing them that even though they painted something doesn't mean it needs to be kept for months down the road.
We decide that we would keep 10 papers from each grade level as mementos and a mall handful of artwork form each year. The papers must be able to fit in the provided drawer or on the peg board in T Man's room. I need to get one for JJ as well because this really does give them a place to showcase their accomplishments. You would be amazed at the amount of paper I was able to recycle during this cleaning session.
Finally, we sorted through 100s of books. I am a kindergarten teacher and one of my guilty pleasures is reading. I read 10 books in the 2 weeks I had off over the holiday break. I did not have the boys help me with most of this process because I wanted to ensure we were keeping the quality literature and getting rid of the books that just do not have much substance.
I ended up taking two bags of books to Half Price Books, 1 box of books to school to add to my leveled library, and filing about 50 or so books on the shelves in each of their closets. Little J now has a book box that contains less than 10 picture books sitting next to his dresser. T Man has about 3 favorite series and maybe 5 on level books on his shelf above the bed.
We can always go to the closet when we want to select something new, but when the boys are reading and looking at books independently the choices are limited. This allows for more "reading" and less time flipping through pages trying to make a decision.
Overall tackling the bedrooms was a success.
What do you do to keep your children from becoming overwhelmed in their own personal space?
How do you help our children make smart decisions when simplifying?