How My Toddler Thwarts My Attempts at Organization
Sometimes my little helper does the complete opposite of helping.
Every few months I get the urge to do something with the toy mess we call the playroom. With the start of a new year, you could say getting organized is one of my resolutions. Unfortunately, there always seems to be someone sabotaging my efforts.
When my daughter was a baby, the toy mess was pretty well contained with a small toy box. At that time, it was baby gear that took up lots of space: bassinet, high chair, exersaucer, swing, etc. Once she outgrew those items, they were stowed away in the basement. We planned to pull most of those items out again as my son grew, but only a few ever saw the light of day again throughout his first year.
But, while most of the big gear stayed packed away, the amount of toys and books grew. They’ve been growing for three years. Both my daughter and my son have made it challenging to organize their things. Now that my daughter is 3 years old, she follows directions better and can be quite helpful with chores. My son, however, undoes just about everything after I get motivated with ideas on Pinterest.
First, we bought a kid-friendly sling book organizer. It seemed perfect for the kids to see their books, reach them safely and put them away. Apparently, taking them all out in a big pile on the floor is a fun game while putting them away is not. Stuffing the pouches with various other toys was more entertaining.
Next, I upgraded the little toy box. It works well to throw a bunch of stuff inside and hide them, but it’s not organized in any shape or form. In fact, it gets completely emptied out almost every day because one of my kids suddenly needs the one toy we can’t find anywhere else… which is usually at the bottom of the toy box.
Speaking of emptying out boxes, that is my son’s favorite activity right now. He loves to take things out, one-by-one, and sometimes put them back in. If he puts items back into a box it’s bound to get poured out at any moment. I’d use this to my advantage by quickly adding a cover to whatever box he’s filling up except he picks the most random stuff. Though, I suppose, neatly stacked boxes of who-knows-what would be an improvement over the pile on the floor.
I’ve tried sorting toys into different storage bins, but they never seem to last long. This is partly due to how enormous of a project it really is. I would need an entire kid-free day dedicated to sorting and organizing. I keep telling myself it would be easier to maintain once it’s done. It’s this partial, pseudo-organized mess that is the problem. But who am I kidding? If I got an entire kid-free day, I’m probably not going to be sorting toys.
Although my kids don’t quite understand why I want their toys to be picked up when all they want to do is play, at least I know they are learning. What they are learning? I’m not always certain, but it sounds like a great reason for undoing mommy’s work, right?
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