Funny, those are two of my favorite sites, too. I have just checked out your site/blog for the first time and really enjoyed and connected with your time with Jesus -- even amongst the mess. I have 4 children, six and under and feel a bit overwhelmed by all the clothing and Christmas gifts. Any suggestions for 'attacking' the piles/clutter when the kids are so young? Thanks, Maria in CTmszematis@yahoo.com
to Anonymous: I'm a Grandma of four, with three grown children. Iimmediately related to your "issues" of piles and clutter and Christmas gifts. I suffered the same dilemmas, "back in the day!" what worked for me, was to get rid of as much little, plastic stuff as possible. Such as the toys from McDonalds. Do as much cleaning out, sorting through, throwing away as you can when the kids are sleeping or gone somewhere with Daddy or Grandma. Be in a constant mode of getting rid of "junky" toys. the kids will never miss them! Use lots of containers in the kids rooms to dump stuff in...the only things that are important to keep pieces of together are puzzles! A rule that I used was that all toys had to be out of the living room before bed at night, or Mommy would keep the toys for a certain amount of time. I gave each child a plastic box or tub and they could drag the tub into the living room at night, put their own toys in, then take it back to their bedroom. Worked really well for us. There were times when toys were taken away and put at the top of Mommy's closet, to be seen but not to be played with. Very good lesson for little ones.As far as Christmas gifts..when the kids were too little to do this themselves, we would do it for them - give away to Salvation Army, whatever charity you support, the same number of old toys as they received new ones. For example, if David received five Christmas toys, he would need to go through his stuff and select five toys to give away, before his new toys could go in his room. This, also, worked very well. We would always talk about children that didn't have as much as he did, and how good it was to bless others. ok. enough said. Except! don't beat yourself up with trying to keep things too tidy and organized. It's just about impossible to be tidy, organized and un-messy. You just have to decide that happy kids and a relaxed Mom is more important!
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