You're about to see why I need to get rid of a lot of stuff. If you've ever been to my house, you know that I have too many toys. You also know that my kids' rooms are almost always messy.
When Alex or my kids clean, they just throw things onto shelves all willy-nilly like and although the floor is clear, the shelves are still messy, which to someone as anal as me is almost as bad.
So today in both rooms, I took everything off of all the shelves and reorganized them. It will stay this way for exactly 4.8 seconds. (I've already had to reorganize several times. Why do my kids always demand to play with the toys I've just organized into appealing, easy-to-locate spots on their shelves? Don't they know that they're not supposed to touch things that are clean? This goes for Alex too.)
Quinn's room is easier than the big guys', mostly because he only disorganizes his toys. He doesn't produce nearly as much trash as Sam and Jack.
Here's what I am donating and/or throwing away from his room:
These items include a sheet that is so stained that, even though it's clean, I can no longer in good conscience put it on my child's bed.
It also includes a set of ABC Sesame Street books that no one reads anymore, and a bunch of Music Together CDs that, although I am a little sad to get rid of, we don't listen to anymore.
The thing I had the toughest time getting rid of though, are those little blue pieces of plastic. They're part of a garage in Quinn's room. All they do is get thrown around the room and not get used as they are supposed to. Regardless, I walked back and forth between my junk box and Quinn's room three times before I was able to commit to throwing them away.
Here's what Quinn's room is supposed to look like:
See what I mean about too much stuff?
But really, that's not as bad as Sam and Jack's room. Here is the before picture:
Because both Sam and Jack can read now, I decided to label their shelves so there could at least be a pretense of their following my crazily rigid organization system.
This room took a lot of time and ended up with me throwing away a lot of crumpled up paper, rescuing several straw cups, removing their dirty laundry from their toy shelves, and tossing at least one partially eaten apple. (Who raised these messy kids, anyway?)
I was only able to find a few things I'm willing to donate at this point in time. I'm sure subsequent cleanings will result in more. Here's what I found:
And here's my final result:
Again, I have way too much stuff. I'm embarrassed to tell you that they also have a basement playroom full of toys as well.
My shelf labels are as follows (top to bottom, left to right):
* Puzzles and magnetic boards
* Puzzles (And this is after I sold about half of their puzzles at a garage sale last spring.)
* Coloring and sticker books
* ROBOT DESTROY (A favorite phrase around here. It's usually accompanied by jerky walking and a preschooler version of robot dance moves.)
* Bristle blocks and Legos
* Weaponry (Never thought I'd be that mom.)
* Chapter books
* Art supplies (This one, in particular, is the bane of my existence and the source of much of the clutter in their room.)
* Boxes (I know, not everything in here is a box, but cut me some slack, would ya? I'd been cleaning for a long time by the time I labeled it.)
* Dinosaurs and folding playsets
* Capes and dress-up (Very important in my house.)
* Flashlights & binoculars (The very fact that I have an entire cubby dedicated to these items should tell you why I have a need for my decluttering project.)
* Stuff (I'm trying to contain that in just one cubby. How do you think that will go?)
* Space paraphenalia (And, no, I don't expect them to be able to read that, but it amused me.)
* Dr. Seuss books (Mostly thanks to Alex's Christmas-time trip to Sam's Club when Sam was less than a year old. Good purchase though.)
* Paper books
* Tall books (We all have those, right? The ones that will not fit on any standard sized bookcase known to human kind.
And I still had three empty cubbies! These bookshelves rock. I highly recommend them.
So there you have it. I refuse to post photos tomorrow, after they have torn everything off those shelves and thrown it on the floor. At that point, I will hurl everything back onto the shelves, which I will then relabel uniformly "Stuff."
Total items today, if you count each book and CD separately: 43