Here it is, the product of all that nesting a few weeks ago: our new toy and book organization system.
And we did it this way so that we can teach our children (what Mommy still struggles with) — how to put things away when you are done with them. And this way we can keep track of the things and keep track of the putting away.
As I told Lia, “I want you to have a good life!” (And she replies, “But Mommy, I HAVE a good life!”)
So all the books and toys are moved upstairs into the extra room off the loft. The books are organized into sections (Bible, Afrikaans, Science, Language, etc.). This way we can find books when we are looking for them. For example, it has been very handy to just reach in and pull out all of our Thanksgiving books without having to hunt.
The toys are in baskets, labeled. Dress up, doo-dads, stuffed animals, dolls, etc.
Here is the basic idea:
Every morning after the dishes are done, etc, we go upstairs and choose a basket of toys for the morning. Or a small collection of toys from different baskets. Then we take those toys downstairs and play with them in the morning. Before lunch we carry them back upstairs and put them away, unless they will want them in the afternoon, too.
Before bed, we gather up the books in their room and go upstairs to decide what five books to bring down for the evening.
The loft is secured with a gate. Lia can open it, but does not go upstairs unless she has permission. I really should put some jingle bells on it, just in case.
Of course, there are some toys that are perpetually downstairs. There is the play kitchen and kitchen toys (in the kitchen). And there are toy instruments and large toys in the music room. And there is always the garden.
And it’s working really well! We even had a friend over to play and were able to keep it all under control. It is sooooooo much easier to keep things picked up and to monitor the mess-making, as well as the clean-up
Now, I must admit that since there are so few toys lying around that I am often tempted just to pick them up myself. I try to resist that temptation. 🙂