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Time For A Change

Well, it's that time of year again! New Year's resolutions and good intentions on steroids. While most are making plans to improve some area of their life and just hoping for the best, we have been busy at our house!

For quite a while now, I have struggled with keeping up with clutter. Some might think, hey, you're home all day, what's the problem? Therein lies the problem. I am home all day! Along with a 9 yr old, a 7 yr old, and a 3 yr old. Not to mention, the husband who is right next door at work and pops in and out at varying times. When you throw in books, paper, projects and all those enriching activities that fill a day...well, it tends to fill your home.

After Christmas (which was lovely, by the way), I looked around at the piles of gifts, dishes and paper and groaned. It didn't help when a couple of days later the tree toppled over. Oh, what a beautiful mess!

My children do pretty well about cleaning up as long as it hasn't turned into a chaotic mess. But when it reaches that point, they simply do not know where to start. I found my attitude turning sour way too often as I felt as though I was doing the same chores over and over. I felt overworked and under appreciated, even though I knew I wasn't. Feelings! Can't trust them, you must trust what you KNOW! So, what to do?

My children love going to the library and are very careful about keeping up with their books. I thought, "Why not apply the same principle to our home?" I've been cleaning out the hall linen closet and have converted it to the Toy Library. All toys (except for a few 'lovies' and special toys) and games are in the closet. Children must go through Mama to check out an item. When they do check it out, I have a pad that I write down their name, the date, the time, and the item. When they clean it up and return it, it is checked off. Although I am not quite finished, it has already eliminated so much chaos! When something is out, I know who left it there. The children know they are responsible for what they take out. They are enjoying the fact that there is so little to pick up at any given time. When they already had things strewn, I wouldn't allow them to take out games. Needless to say, we've been playing games this week!

I also am working on the schoolroom. It wasn't working as a playroom/schoolroom. (See above!) I have cleaned out a cabinet that used to house games and now it holds all the videos and art supplies. I plan to utilize the same approach as the Toy Library.

I've moved the children's bookshelf to the living room so they can more readily access the books at any time. All of this is really opening up the schoolroom. I am excited to have space for more visual aids and to house all of our school things in one room, instead of various shelves and cabinets throughout the house..

In the meantime, I've also done a little rearranging and decorating in the house. I hope to finish everything over the next couple of weeks and share a home tour. I can't wait to complete this project and start reaping the benefits of peace! :)

Comments

  1. I'm right there with you. One of my goals for this year is to become more organized and declutter my life. I took a fall down the stairs last week which put my organizing on hold so I'm hoping to get a good start to it this week. Thanks for sharing!

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  2. Oh Lisa, we live the same life! I have been doing the same thing and trying to get rid of toys that haven't been played with (can you believe I took the polly pockets and hid them and it has been more than a month and they haven't even asked about them!)I love the toy library concept. Lots of great ideas here.

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  3. Didn't know you were still blogging!

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