Want to know the secret? Get rid of all the toys.
Ok, ok, not ALL of the toys. Just a few garbage bags worth. Seriously.
After weeks of begging, threatening, and fighting over the kids’ messy room, we finally wised up and realized that they weren’t trying to be uncooperative little stinkers, the task was overwhelming. When our five-year-old sat down in the middle of his room and cried that he couldn’t clean it….he was telling the truth. I’m kicking myself now for all the times I was irritated and grumpy having the same argument every day with him. He couldn’t clean it. Because there were TOO MANY TOYS. He felt paralyzed.
So, when the kids went to grandma’s house for a slumber party, Daniel and I went through the kids’ room (our 2-year-old and 5-year-old share a bedroom) and filled up some big groceries bags with things to donate or throw out. There was A LOT of stuff. Toys they never use. Toys that were broken. Toys missing pieces. Half of the stuffed animal collection. Gone!
We saved the following:
- Dollhouse (furniture and dolls)
- 4 puzzles
- Mr. Potato Head**
- Play kitchen/food/pots/pans
- Tea set
- Baby dolls and doll high chair and stroller
- Art supplies
- Wooden baby blocks and a few assorted baby toys
- Wooden Noah’s ark
- Favorite 5 stuffed animals
Most of the kids around the globe play happily with far fewer toys. Our kids still certainly have more toys than they need and we may end up getting rid of the Megablocks because they don’t get much use and they take up tons of room.
But here’s the funny thing: the kids haven’t noticed that anything’s gone. Truly. They haven’t missed a thing. They both said thank you for organizing the room and have been able to tidy it up easily since the big declutter (two weeks ago). No more fighting. No more whining. No more tears. It’s doable and they know they can clean it in a matter of minutes.
Hope that saves some of you many tears and arguments. I sure wish I’d wised up sooner. But, as I said before, I take lots of detours as I find my way with this parenting gig.
Any advice about keeping things organized in the kids’ rooms? Share in the comments!
**UPDATE: We got rid of the MegaBlocks and Mr. Potato Head and the kids didn’t notice for weeks so…..they apparently weren’t desperately attached to them.