Thursday, January 24, 2013

Multiple kids in one room?

We have four kids. Three boys and a little girl. If you are keeping track, that makes 6 people in a 3 bedroom home. No basement and no attic. I have to be creative with out space........very creative. This past few months I have really been working on organizing. I thought I had the boy's room organized, then it exploded. We cleaned it only for it to explode again. Obviously, my organization was NOT working. I had to figure something else out.

First, I got rid of their toy shelf. You know the shelf with that holds all the bins? Great in theory, but it just wasn't working for us. I kept the bins, they did come in quite handy. I organized all of the toys into categories. Like with like. By the time I was done, everything had a place. I labeled each bin and put them up on the shelf in their closet. Each time they wanted to play with something, they had to check it out from me. Like a library.

 Before you all get upset with me and tell me I'm depriving my children, by not allowing them to have ALL of their toys within reach at all times, take a deep breath and read on. I don't believe that children NEED toys to have a good childhood. I believe that a good childhood involves imagination and creativity. That stick can become a gun or a fairy's wand. I believe that children can quickly become overwhelmed if we overload them with toys and toys and more toys. Okay, I will step down off of my soap box for now.

Back to their room:
Just getting a majority of the toys out of their reach was not enough. Despite picking up at the end of the day being a DAILY chore, their room exploded again! Something has got to give here. What am I doing wrong? Is it just their age? They are 8, 6, and 4. They should be able to keep a tidy space, shouldn't they?

I spent 3 hours in their room yesterday! THREE HOURS!! Yes, I am yelling. This is ridiculous! I shouldn't have to spend that amount of time in any room cleaning and organizing, unless it is a deep clean type of situation. Even then, 3 hours is a stretch.

I have read many different articles and blogs on organizing. I simply do not have the space. Most rooms are made for one, maybe two children to share. I have three in this room. Moving one of them to the other bedroom is not an option. First of all, they like being together. (Safety in numbers I guess.) Secondly, they don't want to sleep in the pink girl's room. I am not against different genders sharing a room, I would rather not though. I don't know why, so don't ask.

The fact of the matter is, I have three boys, their toys, their clothes(in the closet and a dresser), a set of bunk beds and one twin sized bed in their room. I am limited on how I can re-arrange due to window and door issues. The beds are pretty much stuck where they are.

Anyone have any advice for me? Links? Been there, done that advice?

1 comment:

Lucia said...

Ah yes, we're living a similar nightmare ;). Our big problem was clothes. They play in their dirty cloths, they pull out their clean cloths so you can never quite tell whether they were clean or dirty. For us, we decided to house all 4 kids in one room. The girls have one bunk bed and the boys the other. The second bedroom then became a dressing room. We use a family closet system for cloths and we keep the door locked. This keeps the clean cloths clean and Dirty cloths in a laundry basket. They are color coded and labeled, Red for DS1, Teal for the twins and black for DS2. The toys are in the room with the kids. Every night they get to pick up their toy mess from the day. All stuffed toys and dolls go in a large plastic tub, the smaller toys go in a toybox and the little fiddly toys go in milk crates under the train table as do the trains and train tracks. It works well for us, it is teaching them a pattern that every night we pick up before bed so that the room is nice for the next day and they can find what they need. It is also teaching them not to DUMP every freaking thing into a pile because they will have to pick it up in the end. Downstairs, the kids have a shelf for books, tag readers and hand held video games (in little plastic bins). The last place we keep toys is in our "classroom" which is one bin of Legos, and one Bin of Knex which they can use supervised. We also have a dresser with baby proofed drawers full of board and card games and a bookcase with locked doors full of all the adult games. Reducing access has really reduced the filth considerable and it's actually manageable to deal with