Ok, so anyone who knows me well, knows that I am basically a scatterbrained mess most of the time. I usually know where things are, but there is no logic to why it was placed there, and if someone else went looking for it they would probably end up in Egypt before they found it. So, I amazed even myself yesterday when I took on the task of organizing the boys' room. And not just cleaning it, but really coming up with a system for them to be able to successfully clean it on their own, and for me to retain some of my sanity at the end of everyday.
Up until now there really has been no system, and everyday around 4pm the battle of wills starts when I ask them to clean up their toys, which usually involves lots of crying, whining, pleas for "a special treat when I'm done" and other such nonsense. But, now hopefully no more!!
First I went through their room and got rid of a garbage bag worth of broken and/or unplayed with toys and ripped up books. Then it all went back into the bins in categories (cars in one, animals in another...), the bins were all labeled, puzzles where seperated out and into their own bags, and the books reorganized on the shelves. Now the way it works is each boy has their own set of bins they are responsible for every week, those are the bins they clean up at the end of every day. Their play kitchen is both of their responsibilities, but the bulk of that clean up will fall to the child with the least to pick up that day. The books are now on a 'take one at a time, unless you ask permission' policy, along with the puzzles both cardboard and wooden.
If on any day one boys refuses to pick up a bin, or if it is lazily put away (not all of it contents are picked up, or the toys are just thrown into other empty bins), that bin gets removed for the remainer of the week. If I see either one of the them with more than one book, or one puzzle out without having asked permission, then those get taken away for the remainder of that day. My only flexability comes when they are sick, or away, then I will clean up their bins for that day.
At the beginning of each new week, which will be on sundays, the boys get to pick three bins that will be their responsibility, and then I divy out the rest. I also set up 2 bins, each one has their name on it. Those are bins where they can put any special toys or treasures they have that they do not want their siblings to touch.
I am hoping this system will work out well. I have really struggled with how to divide up the responsibility of cleaning their room since they both share all their toys and have bunk beds. It isn't fair when one is being lazy and they both get punished for it. Hopefully this way things will even out and become more fair, and now the boys know exactlly what I expect from them when I say 'clean you room'. Of course there will be issues that need to be ironed out as the first week progresses, but I think I have made a good step forward.
Now I just need to see how I can get Kenzie to stop pulling out all of her socks from her drawer and stuffing them around her room. :-D