am i the only one? we live in 500sq feet - kitchen, living room, and bedroom which is basically 2 beds on the floor behind a wall. so its the whole space that gets trashed, the kids can't just go to the non-existent playroom. It gets so bad you can't walk anywhere without nearly stepping on a "piece" from some game or puzzle . . . . .even if we play outside it only takes a minute for a kid or 2 to run in and start pulling stuff out. my MAJOR pet peeve, and I see our boy-friends doing this mostly, is when they take a puzzle, dump it, move on to the next thing, dump it . . . . or when boxes get stepped on and then the corners break and it no longer can stay closed . . . .
i'm starting to put things with little pieces out of reach, but then i get requests for the item, and i oblige. i feel like i am running around cringing lately when we have guests, and i do not want to be so uptight about it. but the kids we have over are much rougher with our things then my dds are.
one issue, particularly on our friday playdate, is that my friend and i want to visit with each other as opposed to facilitate kids activities (which we pretty much do all week long, ya know?) we want to chat in the kitchen, while the kids (2 2yo's and 2 4yo's) play in the next room. we have a nice time, but the chaos and destruction - AGH! it takes me a good hour to pick it up, and dh usually helps too.
i also usually tell my guests who offer to help that it is ok i will do it, after all, they are the ones who have to travel - walk or subway ride 20 minutes at least - to get to me. besides, they don't know where everything goes :)
i feel like we should at least go through the motions of asking the older kids to help clean one thing before we part ways.
btw - the friends we visit most often have homes that are less organized than mine and there seems to be lots of stuff strewn everywhere as the norm. trust me, mine is no palace, but all our things have a home and at the end of the day i more or less put everything in its spot. but i feel that is necessary in such a small space, and on days we do not have friends over i can do it in 20 minutes while dh does bathtime.