We're already feeling the closeness of the coming school year. Our vacation is the second week of August, so we want to be in the mindset of being ready for school when we return. Something we've been needing to do this summer is go through the kids' toys. They've already cleaned their rooms and we've gone through the toys in the basement to decide what to keep and what to donate. We have two kitchen sized trash bags to donate. It's not that much, but enough to make a difference in the clutter. I always have the kids help with choosing things to donate, but occasionally Will and I just grab some things we know they won't miss and throw them in the bag. It's just one or two things. The girls have been donating toys forever, so they're very cooperative. Sometimes they surprise me with how willing they are to put something in the donate bag. If tears become a factor I don't push it and let them keep the item. I don't want to get rid of their favorite toys. I want them to have the things they like to play with, I just don't want things around getting broken and abused. I'd much rather something go to Goodwill intact so another kid can take it home than have to throw away broken toys. Going through toys, putting labels on bins or bags with the kids makes me feel really good about teaching them organizational skills. They are growing up in a fairly neat and organized house, so I think we're setting a good example. S tells me she loves having a clean room. Her favorite part, the only part she likes, really, is the "decorating" part when she's finished putting things away and she can arrange her desk, dresser and display shelves. She also likes hanging things on her walls like crafts she's done or magazine pictures of American Girl stuff she wants. I told her I'd like her room if I were an 8 year old girl. She does a nice job making it pretty, but not without voicing how much she hates cleaning!
G is very unpredictable when it comes to cleaning. She likes to organize and seems to have a natural ability to do so. She started putting away toys at a very young age without my asking. It's not uncommon for the second child to do things like that because they learn from watching the older child, but she seemed to LIKE putting things away. Maybe she's learned to throw fits from her older sister, because sometimes when she has to clean her room she throws one. Other times she just gets it done without an argument. She also likes having a clean room and making her bed. Her downfall is "UNDER THE BED" dun dun dun! It gets to be a MESS under there of dirty clothes, books, hair ties, and trash. How do children have so much paper trash in their rooms? Soon, we'll be lofting G's bed. She has a very tiny room. Very tiny. Lofting the bed will be a huge help in giving her space. She'll get a desk under her bed. I think she'll love having the desk to use to draw and write in her room. And she won't have anywhere to push all that clutter when she doesn't feel like picking it up.
The work done this weekend will go a long way to making our home a more pleasant space.