Monday, June 2, 2008

Cleaning and Kids

We made the decision to stay in our house. It's too small, really, but in a great location. So, in order to find a place for everyone, everything has to be in it's place. Unfortunately, there really isn't a place for everything.

Thus the cleaning.

DS2 is a great helper, but since none of the common area mess is his, he really doesn't know what to keep, what to put away and what to throw away. DS3 cleans by giving everything to his younger brother. While this eliminates ds3's chore, it greatly increases ds4's mess.

DS4 is a pack rat. We have three boys in one bedroom, and to make space where there really isn't any, we bought ds4 a loft bed. When we set it up, we put a bookshelf and a small drawer set under the bed. The idea was that he would put all of his treasures either on the shelf or in the drawers and then he would also have a little hiding space.

As they say, the best laid plans....

DS4 is a pack rat. The space under his bed became a black hole of things. When he pulled it all out to sort through it, ds2 said that laws of physics had been defied. Really, this small space (twin bed size and about 3 feet high) held and enough stuff to fill an entire bedroom.

There were many attempts to help him sort through the stuff, but every time anyone touched anything he was sure that we were secretly planning to throw all of his special things away. He finally agreed to put stuff in boxes and bags and move them into another room so that at least we could create enough room on the floor so that it wouldn't be a safety violation.

The bags and boxes sat on the floor for a few weeks and ds2 agreed to go through the stuff and "delicately" sort/toss the contents. Amazingly ds4 agreed to this. Apparently ds2 is trustworthy. The under the bed space is still full, but at least it's no longer overflowing.

Next it was on to the books. We have a LOT of books. I always find it interesting that we have almost no duplicates. The princess is really the only one who looks at picture books, and her books are in the living room. To make them easier for her to find, we put them in plastic tubs on the shelves and labeled the tubs. Unfortunately, the princess can't read well enough to put the books back in the proper tubs. So, she pulls out books and then puts them back in the tubs, but not the right tubs. Then the next time she wants a specific book we point out the correct tub and she dumps the tub to find the book (which is not in the correct tub, 'cause she can't read). It's a vicious cycle.

Lego's are also a problem. DS4 loves to build Lego's, but can't bear to take his creations apart. We have a large tub of Lego's, but we also have lots of little tubs of "special" Lego things. And since you can't really label Lego tubs with what is actually in them, the Lego tubs are just stacked.

Maybe I should stop trying to clean and try to find a new place for the kids!

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