Sunday, June 12, 2011

The good outcome and the revised theory

The "good outcome" part is what I mentioned before (I think) about putting at least half the girls toys in the closet and locking it!!!! After at least one full week of living this way.. I have to say that it is working REALLY well! It's not a punishment for them or anything and they know that if they ask nicely I will get the thing that they ask for out of their closet (perhaps not RIGHT when they ask if I'm doing something with the baby or we have to go somewhere or they have to clean something up first.. but that's the point. They don't have the opportunity to make a giant mess before I can stop them.)
Here's a picture of what most of their closet looks like. It's not terribly full, but I know where their toys are (all the animals and dolls are in the brown box and the other ones are clear so that's easy to see what inside.)

The system is working! Understand that the whole point of this organizing thing was NOT so that I could have a "perfect" house or something.. it was to simplify. My house now looks comfortably lived in all the time that perhaps would take 30 minutes of time on average to be "picked up" for us each day or about that time if I knew someone was coming over. That said, I wouldn't be embarrassed if someone just dropped by either.... there's actually room to walk into the girls room when I need to put them to sleep and it doesn't take long to quickly pick up stuff to make the room look like the picture above! *YES!* Finally.. I'm not drowning in toys and "stuff" to deal with! The girls really like it better too.The basket is where Lily is learning to put her clothes that she wants to wear again (she changes clothes a lot) because there is nothing that makes a room look messier than a bunch of clothes or blankets on the floor, right? Anyway, Lily has even been playing with her Elizabeth and other toys that she hadn't been playing with before. I think there were too many options out for them to be able to use their imagination! All I heard from Lily before was how she wanted something ELSE... Now I only hear that she wants something from the closet! Which.. is great because we already have it!
So, that was the good outcome. My revised theory doesn't have pictures to go with it.. so I'll explain. You know how I said I'd like to have certain rooms or certain chores to do each day of the week to help get some "real" cleaning done around here? Here's the problem--when you plan on mopping the floor or deep cleaning something, be assured that immediately afterward the thing you just took great care in cleaning will become REALLY messy in some way or another. My revised theory is that with my kids at this age I need to just do deep cleaning when it really needs it. Take the window above for example. The right side used to have flowers and it was getting pretty scratched up looking. SO, I cleaned it off and we did a new picture on the right side. Lily loved that and it needed it.

The other day Renna threw-up in the car TWICE. As in.. we cleaned it all up at the store (when we got to the store) and right before we got home she threw up again. It was obviously time to thoroughly clean the car seat and the car. Youssef and I took our stations and did a good job of cleaning up. That's going to be my theory with the floor as well. Wednesday is not the appropriate time to mop the dining room (for instance) .. no.. the appropriate time is whenever the child/children accidentally drop blueberries under the table and then step on them. My sanity will be saved if I do the deep cleaning in this more necessary way than on a specific day.

Off topic a bit, but not entirely since the whole point of organizing and staying on-top of house things is so that we can have time to do OTHER stuff! This is Lily's latest project! We got some clay that dries hard and you don't need to bake it or fire it or anything. I helped her make a vase and we pushed sparkly beads into it before it dried and today (about three days later) it was dry enough for Lily to paint with her water colors!
She did the painting all by herself and now this will be the centerpiece for our table.
A picture of the girls loving dress-up day.
Doing a school project with play dough. She was learning how to spell her last name. Before I just taught her to write her name "Lily S." since I didn't want to overwhelm her, but she needs to learn to write out the whole thing too and this was a fun way to work on it.

Here the girls are working on making our "creation book"... more about that in a future post... along with a video of the song.

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