SO, when I can grab onto order I have to do it and usually it's the boys whom I force a little order onto, that HOPEFULLY they will learn follow the rest of their lives. This summer we actually were driven a little nuts with the boys because of their LACK of willingness to pick up each night after dumping all of their toys out in their room. My husband and I started setting a 15 minute timer for them to pick up(this was after we had asked over and over and over for them to pick up and we were sick of talking) and if they didn't get the job done, the remaining toys went into a kitchen trash bag and went into the locked storage closet off our patio. The BIG PLAN . . . . at the end of the summer, if the boys hadn't learned the "pick up lesson" then they would donate the toys, they of course didn't like this idea.
Well at the end of the summer, the boys had improved SOME in their pick up skills, and we came up with a little bit of an adjusted plan. We came back from vacation and asked the boys to choose a few of their toys to donate, and then MOM would create a better playing plan for them in their room. The boys selected their large blocks, the space ship set, and Mr. Potato (which the gave to Ms Erin the school teacher and our family friend), then I secretly got rid of some miscellaneous odds and end toys (i.e. McDonald's toys). Finally, I organized the toys into bins and labeled them clearly with pictures and placed the bins that I didn't want them to have daily access to in the closet (their bedroom closet is kept locked, is that neurotic?).
This is my overall big organization plan for the boys room:
- We have a general rule of one toy at a time (this isn't new, it's just easier with the limited toy selection.
- We have limited their toys to a smaller collection (Toy Story Set, Super Hero Set, Pirate Ship Set, Pixar Cars, and one box of mixed Planes, Trains, Automobiles).
- Under Jon's bed is one rolling bin for him to keep his stuffed animals in so his bed doesn't look like a zoo.
- In the closet is where the two ships, Batman's cave, Lego's, army solders, and puzzles are kept. They only get these toys when other toys are put away OR when Jon is down for a nap.
- Of course they have free access to all of their books.
Am I crazy for expecting a 4 and 6 year old to be this organized?
Is it Neurotic of me to keep their closet locked because I don't want them to tear all of their clothes out of the closet (which Jon would and has done) and to keep some of their toys locked away because I don't want all the little pieces spilled out under beds, dressers, book shelves, etc.?
I want my children to enjoy their space, to feel like it is their's and something I have created just for them, but I also want to teach them to have a healthy respect for taking care of their things and their personal space. It is difficult to find the healthy balance of teaching good common sense, and then when it may be going over to the dark side of Mommy the Neurotic One, LOL.