We make our kids clean up the playroom every evening before bedtime. And they usually do a pretty good job with it.
But in November and December when things were pretty hectic, the nightly cleaning ritual got pushed to the side in favor of let's just get them to bed and the sooner the better.
And occasionally I would go into the playroom and quickly throw toys in toy boxes so they kids would at least have a way in and a way out. And I would have trouble breathing because the mere sight of the mess made my chest feel tight.
And as Christmas approached and our trip to Massachusetts got nearer and nearer, I went into the playroom less and less.
I knew that it needed to be cleaned out. I knew that we needed to get all the old and broken toys out so that all the news toys could come in.
And in the back of my head, I kept hearing the words, "Whenever a new toy comes in, I make sure an old toy goes out."
Why oh why do I read organizing blogs? And seriously, do people really do that?
But as Christmas approached I kept hearing these words like a nagging voice in the back of my head and they haunted me because I had no time to clean out the playroom. It was all I can do to purchase presents, pack, volunteer at school and plan Christmas parties. I had no time to be sorting, rearranging, tossing, and organizing.
I had no time for removing old toys so that new toys could be brought in.
So Christmas came and went. And as expected, the state of the toy room got worse.
And even though, there is joy in the mess, my breathing grew more and more labored every time I approached the playroom. This mess was out of control.
I knew what needed to be done.
My husband knew what needed to be done.
Even the kids knew what needed to be done.
So we spent all day yesterday doing what needed to be done.
We sorted plastic food, baby dolls, dress up clothes, Lego bricks and swords. We tossed broken toys. We removed unused toys. We rearranged.
And we whined a lot. We even stopped in the middle of our work to go to Dairy Queen.
Because a Chocolate Xtreme Blizzard is a great motivator.
And our playroom went from this...
I can breathe again.