You know what's worse than stepping on Legos?
Updated: Jun 11, 2020
Stepping on dinosaurs... If you have never stepped on a triceratops you may be thinking "this chick is nuts! nothing is worse than legos!" But tell me this- do legos still cripple you if they are under a blanket or dirty clothes? Don't get me wrong, it can still hurt to step on them when they hide, but it is not the same as those 3 horns or spine plates from dinosaurs poised for battle and dressed in full camouflage with the lethality of a mine on the battlefield. Okay that might be a little dramatic... how about a bear trap? Or a porcupine spine that shatters into multiple spots on your foot? My feet ache in remembrance! Oh wait- that's the ever lasting pain from when I stepped on 3 different dinosaurs incognito in the dark.... 3 days ago. 3 DAYS and my feet STILL hurt! I can feel the puncture marks. I could almost put earrings in my feet! I definitely needed a censor bleep for the words that flew out of my mouth and more for the words in my head that didn't escape my lips!
So how do we save our feet? Well maybe we don't, but we can save our sanity by making cleanup
easier! I use to imagine and plan for an immaculate playroom and bedrooms with beautiful and coordinating storage for all my kids things. You've seen the rooms, or maybe you have the room. But my reality is a little different. When my kids have everything in their rooms, organized or not, it tend to look like this picture instead. I go crazy trying to get them to clean up and stay organized. All my hard work and money tends to go down the drain. Boxes get ruined, tubs get broken, labels get colored on... I mean it's a whole big waste. It literally makes me cry in how much effort I wasted. My oldest acts like she cant read and has never cleaned up in her life... Which is not the case, but every time it's time to clean up, I have to go in and help her figure out where things belong. My side of the conversations tend to go like this:
"Where does this go? Baby girl! Are you kidding me? There is literally a box that says Barbie clothes right there... Do you think that purple dress might belong in that box?.......yup. That's a good place for it. How about those pants crumpled on the floor, where do those go? No no no no... (deep breath) Didn't you wear those 2 days ago and you played in a watery sand pit? So are they clean or dirty? Right, so dirty pants with lots of dried dirt and loose sand probably shouldn't go back in the drawer with CLEAN clothes right? SO....? Where should you put those? Oh so close! But instead of NEXT to the hamper... could we put them IN your hamper? YES! There we go! Okay, what's next...."
Not to mention my kids don't just play with one thing at a time... oh no! My kids tend to start with one item and within 10 minutes- every toy they own is on the floor. When I start to tidy up or put some things away, I hear "NOOOO I'm playing with that" I respond with, "But you haven't even been in this room for the past 2 hours.... I don't think you are playing with it anymore." Then said 3 year old is crying and screaming that I can't put it away... OHHHH boy... So what do you do? My solution or MOM HACK is this: Keep less in their rooms and rotate your toys! ALSO, don't worry so much about organization. They don't care.That's not to say have everything you own in a giant box.
Remember how I said rotate your toys? Well in order to rotate you have to organize... The key is organize your toys meticulously, but keep them in a storage room or garage. Pick 2-5 things to have "out" for your kids to play with. Put all of it into ONE toy box. Mix it up, because they will just do that themselves... When they start to get bored with the toys you have out, re-organize them and put them away. Swap them out for new ones and repeat... There are specialty toys that shouldn't be mixed in... Or things that are too tiny to mix... like those darn Legos or Shopkins.... Those items you leave organized in their own boxes and have your kids "Check them out". Like a library for toys. They can only check out items that are not in the toy bin when the space is clean or they have done a task you require of them. Maybe they have to pick a set of toys to put back in exchange? It's up to you, Mama, cause you are the boss! Boss lady, right there! You hold the power! Does it feel good? ;)
Having one toy bin makes clean up super fast and easy! Even your younger kids can clean up. Everything goes in one place! See, where you may want majorly organized, nice looking spaces, kids don't care and they HATE cleaning. But make it a fun game to see who can put the most toys in the bin the fastest with a little prize for the winner.... and it becomes fun to clean up for everyone! Then Mama doesn't have to yell, pull her hair out, cry or do it herself. Less options to destroy the house with, easier clean up and less stress. Plus rotation days are like CHRISTMAS! They get a slew of new toys to play with and forget about the ones they got bored with until they come back out in rotation.
Last little tip about this process. Donating and downsizing toys is so much easier with this
method. Your kids don't know what you are getting rid of. They don't see you collecting the items for donation. You just take the box of toys from the storage closet under the cloak of darkness, do your drop off and they seriously wont even know. HEAVEN!!!! Angels singing and no more crying fits pretending
the satanic Furby, oh wait that's my generation... now its Hatchimals (which you removed the batteries from and replaced with dead ones so you could tell your kids you don't know why it's not working when it has "fresh" batteries), which they haven't touched in 3 years, is their most beloved toy.
So why this mom hack? It has made a tremendous difference for me having less to play with, easier cleanup and rotation. To tell you the truth, we have even re-gifted some toys they haven't seen in years and they had no idea! Being a mom is hard and stressful... This may make things a little easier. Why? Because Mama, YOU are worth it! Together we will rise above the stresses of every day life to achieve a more blissful experience for you and your kids! When Mama's happy- everyone is happy!
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