Do you ever feel your house is organized but your organization was disorganized? Does that even make sense? Things in our house are organized but they aren’t working in a way to make our life run smoother. I needed to make it easier for us to keep our house clean.
Its been so much fun and I’m finding we are all so much happier, especially the boys. Not only because everything is easier and faster but I also see their sense of self esteem growing and their confidence expanding as they accomplish things. They love having clear expectations and knowing exactly what to do with things. I knew that was true before conceptually but I didn’t realize how deeply that desire ran and how big of a difference it makes in their attitude. Kids yearn to succeed!
I’ve expected too much from them and set them up for failure by never teaching them the underlying habit. I taught them new things as they grew older in concept but we were always playing catch up so it was impossible to learn and make a new good habit. We were always a step behind.
My goal is to teach us all (including myself and John) to use the 1 touch rule. We only touch something once. For example if I walk in and take off my coat and purse I usually drop it on the nearest surface because I’m usually trying to get someone to bed or unloading the car. Now instead of putting it on the ground and then having to hang it up later I just do it right then and there. Simple I know, but we are horrible at this! We have some bad and lazy habits.
Davis especially loves this new way of living. Its so funny to hear him say to himself as he gets undressed to take a shower, “Jammie’s in the laundry basket, pull-up in the trash.” I feel bad that it taken me this long to teach them how to clean up after themselves – I’ve always just expected that they understood how. I finding now that as I’m remind them to put something away right when we get home the answer almost always is, “I already did.” Blessed relief!
Their playroom was the worst when it came to getting them to clean up. They hated to clean their playroom and I mean loathed it! They would beg to clean other rooms but “pleeease don’t make us clean the playroom.” I didn’t get it. I had labeled bins and for the most part it was really organized. Only problem was it was adult organized – not kid organized and so it was overwhelming to them. So I have redone the playroom and made it kid organized!
I’m in love! Those shelves from Ikea are the best! Some of my favorite things about the new way the room is set up are the buckets on the bottom shelf (red, blue, and green). Each of those belong to one of the boys. They are forbidden from touching anyones bucket but their own. They LOVE having a special place to keep things that are important to them. Other favorite things:
- Their games and puzzles are down low and they play with them a lot more now.
- Their art supplies are visible and handy but not in Beckham’s reach or tucked away in the closet.
- Having a place to put things like the K’nex roller coaster, castle, and remote control cars where its easy to see and access but not where it can be destroyed.
- The train table in the middle of the room has become the perfect play space! They actually play in the playroom most of the time. Hallelujah!
But my most favorite thing of all is UNDER the bins. Move any of the bins and you will find this:
…..looks like this when the buckets are removed!
I took a picture of each of their toys and in Photoshop wrote the name directly on the image. I ordered the pictures and then stuck them on the shelves with contact paper. It only took a few hours to do but has saved me hundreds of hours of arguing! They keep their playroom so clean! I have yet to find the toys dumped all over and its been 3 weeks and they are only getting better. They love it!
We had a friend over yesterday and it was funny to hear Davis say to his little friend, “No! You cant get another bin out yet, you haven’t cleaned up yet. Let me show you. (singing…Clean up, clean up, everybody everywhere) Okay, now you put it back. See look for the picture. All done. Now you can pick a new toy.”
No joke – that is almost word for word what came out of his mouth. The little friends response was “Oh, okay” and when I went in later there was 1 bin out and everything else was cleaned up!
Its still the same thing I had before for the most part – labeled bins. Only this time its labeled for kids and its easy and convenient! I also took the time to spent the first week in there a lot teaching them and modeling for them how to do it. Its not a choice anymore, its an expectation and the way that our house works. I cant believe how much it has ignited a sense of accomplishment and pride and in my boys! I actually gave them the tools to succeed and its awesome to watch their confidence grow!
Before I didn’t think I had the time to do something like this but now I realize how much time I was wasting with our cycle of huge messes and huge fights to clean up. I tried taking all of the toys away for a time and that still didn’t work.
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