Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Pre-Christmas Cleaning

I don't know about you, but prior to Christmas I like to take time to clean out the kids' room; not only to CLEAN it, but also to cull out some of those toys that are broken, have pieces missing, or have been outgrown. This makes Santa's visit a little less overwhelming to know there is space in their rooms for their new treasures.

Sometimes just THINKING about cleaning kids' room can seem overwhelming. It seemed that way for me a few weeks ago as I planned to attack Kiki & Leve's room. In addition to the cleaning and culling it was also time to put away their laundry. Because we now do laundry at a laundromat I go about 3 weeks in between visits so when it's time to put away it is a major task, not to mention that this time I was also going to pull out all their Summer/Fall clothes as Winter has arrived...let's just say I was looking forward to end result, but not the process!

Here's how I made it more manageable.
First, I grabbed a couple of extra baskets/boxes to create a few helpful areas:

1. Garbage.
My kids love to save little scraps of paper and are notorious for using tissues to make doll beds that later get shredded into confetti. Ugh. SO I saved myself a million trips of emptying their garbage by getting on large basket.

2. Items That Belong Elsewhere
Instead of running around the apartment, I simply gathered everything into the basket and walked through and put things away at the end. In case you're wondering, yes, those are my metal snips in the box. Double UGH.

I also recovered 8 sippy cups/water bottles. Awesome.

3. Toys
Because their room was a disaster when I started, I didn't worry about actually dealing with the toys right away; I just put them in a pile to go through later...one of those boxes also became the "donate" box when we got to that point.

4. Laundry
My final sorting box was for laundry. My girls LOVE to use their clothes for doll beds, places for stuffed animals to rest, curtains for puppet shows, etc. They are only allowed to do this with clothes they've already worn, though...which means that by the time we finally go through the room there is quite an accumulation of dirty clothes/play items.

I began at the door and worked my way around the room sorting everything to it's box. Once that was done I took the garbage to the dumpster, put the dirty laundry in my 'laundry closet', and put the "goes somewhere else" box in the hallway...already the room was MUCH tidier!

Next, I sorted their clean clothes into the following categories:
1. Clothes for storage for next summer or someone to grow into.
2. Clothes to hand down to cousins.
3. Clothes that were gross and needed to be rags
4. Clothes to be worn this winter.

I boxed/bagged #1-3 and put away. Then, the girls and I went through #4 and they tried on each item of clothing. We did this as I wanted to make sure the item fit, if it needed repairs, and to find out if they even LIKE wearing the item. I was surprised at how many pieces they didn't actually care for and could be passed down! I made a pile of those, as well as items that needed repairs and/or needed length added or an alteration to make it last longer.

I then put their clothes away.

Next was toys.
The girls helped me with this. We sorted the toys they liked, they picked out ones they didn't love "so much" to donate to kids who don't have toys, and argued about toys that were broken-beyond-repair that needed to be tossed.
(This was the LONGEST part for us!)

Once sorted I took photos of what was in each box. Those photos then went on the outside of each box to help the girls know where to put things away.

Finally, I actually got to CLEAN their room..dusted, wiped, vacuumed...it smelled great! Of course, an hour later it was in upheaval with dollhouses, kitchen play, and such...at least I tried!

**You'll notice I still haven't done much in the way of decorating the apartment...part of me keeps thinking, "We'll be out of here soon." and doesn't want to bother...of course, Chad has been living here for 6 months and we've been here for 3 so I might want to rethink that! Tee hee!**

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