Tuesday, May 22, 2012

My relationship with our playroom

I have a real Love/Hate relationship with our playroom.  (Read more about that here or here.)   I LOVE that it is a completely separate room where we can keep all the kids' junk stuff toys.  I also LOVE that I can close the door and ignore the mess most of the time - out of sight, out of mind.  However, I HATE arguing with my kids about cleaning it up and I HATE the chaos that perpetually lurks behind the door.  You see, my kids clean up by throwing things into a closet or a box or some random container.  I guess they also subscribe to the out of sight, out of mind philosophy.  Things works for a while, as long I keep the door closed.  Eventually, though, the mess and chaos get out of control and I have to unleash my inner neat freak.  That's what happened this weekend.  I spent a good part of Sunday afternoon and Monday morning cleaning, straightening, and organizing - AGAIN!

Here's the conundrum that the playroom currently poses for me.  My girls are 9 (almost 10), 7, and 4 (almost 5) and the fact is they really don't actually play with much of anything in the playroom.  Megan uses the art easel to play school.  Once in a blue moon, they will play with a 1 or 2 of the bazillion dolls that are in there.  Occasionally, they will get out the art supplies to make a birthday card for someone.  Emily does like to dress up some, but uses the same two princess dresses every time.  They NEVER play with the little kitchen or the 2,000,000 My Little Ponies or the 2 katrillion stuffed animals or the other 90% of the dolls or the other bucket of dress up stuff or the blocks or the puzzles or the Princess tent Emily had to have or the musical instruments - you get the idea.  Since the little one is only four it doesn't seem quite right to get rid of all that stuff completely, though.  I know that, eventually, that room will become a teenage hangout, but they are certainly not ready for that yet.  So what I am supposed to do with it in the meantime??

My strategy is to begin purging little by little.  Today, I took the kitchen (that Rachel got as a present on her 3rd birthday), all the play food, and the grocery cart up to the attic.  I also threw out a gigantic 50 gallon trash bag full of papers, broken toys, and junk.  I think soon, I will also pare down the doll family and the stuffed animal menagerie a little as well (although some of the dolls & animals out there actually used to be mine!).  But even then the question is whether to pack them away and keep them in the attic until I'm a grandmother or give them away or trash them.

The mess and constant need for organizing is definitely frustrating.  I think trying to figure out what to do with the stuff is difficult, though, because getting rid of it means my little girls aren't so little anymore.  They aren't ready for that teenage hangout space just yet, but I know that, soon enough, they will be.  Maybe then I will look back on these blog posts and actually miss all those dolls, all those ponies, all those stuffed animals, and all that chaos!

Some "AFTER" Pictures
SOME of the dolls

The toy box with the Princess tent she HAD to have folded up behind it and forgotten

The art "center" - If you can't see the labels on the bins, don't worry.  Apparently my kids can't see them either.

If you can relate to this post, stay tuned.  Tomorrow I will post a list of all the random stuff that went into that giant trash bag!!!  What would you find if you cleaned out your kids' playroom???

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Robin Kramer said...

Your cleaning is causing me to twitch, and I mean this in a good way. The twitching is entirely referencing my own reaction to the hoards of toys and animals and figurines that are strewn all over our house.

Way to make progress!

Tammy said...

LOL! I threw out the Barbie plane that fell apart today! :) It's hard L! I did have the kids sort through the toys on the floor...which was almost everything...and put into a keep, giveaway, toss bin. That helped me to get rid of a few things, and have less guilt.

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