This week has been amazingly productive. My husband is out of town, my big kids are with their mom, so it’s just the baby and me. My goal for the week was to stay busy and get the boys room cleaned up and organized, once and for all. This was huge for me! I’ve spent two years trying to let the kids take charge and clean up after themselves, but, they’re little and they can’t do it alone, yet.
Truth is, I was a little afraid to get my hands into it, knowing that there would be disappointment because of the need to eliminate things, and I didn’t want to be the “mean stepmom”. But, the bedroom has gotten completely out of hand, and I’d had enough. For the past several months, their room has made me literally sick to my stomach, it fueled my anxiety, to the point that I was avoiding their room altogether! That leads to not only a messy bedroom, but a dirty one as well.
My goal in cleaning their room was to minimize and eliminate the clutter and also to rearrange the sleeping arrangements. Currently, Addie and Preston share a room and Greyson has his own room. The day will come when Addie doesn’t want to, and shouldn’t have to, share with her brother. So, I wanted to start the transition in giving her a space of her own! We are a family on a budget, so this is a project that will happen over time, which is why I’m sticking to the boys room, this week!
I worked on the room for three evenings! I’m exhausted, but it’s what works best for me when the hubby travels, because it keeps me occupied and helps the time pass quickly. Fortunately, the kids had everything piled in the floor for me, no seriously, (insert eye roll emoji) so I broke it down into 4 steps; trash it, re-home it, re-gift it, and organize it.
I’ve been threatening this for months, “clean it, or I’m throwing it all away”, but my threats remained empty. The week prior, when the kids went to clean their room, but left everything in a pile on the floor instead, I finally cracked. I went through, first, with trash bags and eliminated a lot of junk toys, old toys, broken crayons, toys with missing pieces, etc. We’re talking the dollar store toys, and the happy meal toys, and the toys that weren’t in any kind of condition to pass down.
This is the stuff that the kids won’t notice are missing, they may notice that there’s less in their room, but they won’t be able to pick out what is actually gone. It’s a hard thing to do, go in and purge the kids room, but it needs to be done from time to time.
We are big believers in giving and blessing other families and my kids have been very blessed over the years with an abundance of goodies, birthday presents, Christmas presents, hand-me-downs, etc. Their room was overflowing with toys. They had several toys, that were still in really good condition, but neglected during play time. So, I re-homed those toys. These are toys that the kids will notice are gone, miss them for a minute, but they will move on.
We are going to make it a practice in our home, that whenever we get new toys, we will re-home some old toys. Doing that will help to prevent the excess clutter like I sorted through this week! It will also teach the kids a good practice in keeping things clean, letting things go, and blessing kids who don’t have as much as they do.
I’ve heard of this being done before, and it didn’t really make sense until I was going through bins of toys, I found unopened boxes, unused sticker packs, and toys that were bought and never touched. So, what you do is simple, hide those away, re-wrap at Christmas time, and guess what!? You’ve got stocking stuffers covered for the year!
How clever! And for those of us on a budget, this is a money saving win! I always forget to budget the stocking stuffers into our Christmas lists, and that’s a place where I’m sure to go over in spending. But now, problem solved!
Now we are down to toys left and we get to organize. My boys are into monster trucks, dinosaurs, super heros, nerf guns and legos. So, I held onto those items and created a space for each. Every category of toy has a place to be put away, that is all it’s own, so when the boys go to clean, dinosaurs go in this bin, legos in this bin, super heroes in this, so on and so forth. Everything has a place and everything is in its place. This simple practice will help them learn organization, cleanliness, and when they want to find something, it’s easily accessible.
I can breathe again! Last night, I was able to pull out some toys with Greyson and play in his new room, with him, down on the floor, knowing that he was safe from clutter, small pieces, dirt, and nasty germs. Their room is clean again, and I know now that I can’t be afraid of being the mean stepmom. Sometimes, we have to do the tough things, but, our kids will be better for it! I can’t wait to tackle Addie’s new space, as well, and because her stuff was originally in this room, we simply need to organize and make it her own!