The toy room is the bane of my existence. I've cleaned it up a billion times and made the kids help me a billion more. And every time, the toy room throws up on itself and all over the basement. I am thankful it is mostly confined to the basement, with the exception of a few things I keep upstairs for the baby to play with. But every time I look down the stairs, or have to go to the basement for something, I just wanna cry.
So this week, I decided to take action. The last time I cleaned it up, with the aid of my children, I gave them all "the lecture". It goes something like this. "If you dump all your toys out one more time, I am going to throw it all away. You don't take care of your stuff and you have no respect for your belongings. I'm sick of it and I'm not going to tolerate it any longer." Now, I've probably given this speech multiple times. And they all made the appropriate somber faces and promised not to dump the toy room again. Of course, they are children, and their memories are two seconds long. So what did they do? They dumped the toy room in the name of a really cool fort. And of course they didn't clean it up and before too long, you couldn't go downstairs without injuring yourself.
So, as I began cleaning up the other day, but I decided to make good on my word. Or mostly anyway. I threw away a large garbage sack of crap. (Crap = broken toys, McDonalds toys, stuff I don't wanna see again) Then I boxed everything else up, except for just a few things. Then I took each kid in and made him/her look in the empty toy boxes and I asked them what I said I'd do next time they dumped it! Miracle of miracles, they all remembered what I'd threatened. It was worth it to see their dejected looks when they thought I'd actually thrown it all away.
They are now attempting to earn back their precious toys. And I've decided that anything they don't care to earn back before Christmas is going to the DI. And if they dump it again, they get one warning, then I really will throw it all away!! And this mom means business!! Stupid toys!