Nothing but chaos in a small house. - Mothering Forums

 
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#1 of 12 Old 08-18-2014, 11:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Nothing but chaos in a small house.

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#2 of 12 Old 08-18-2014, 12:20 PM
 
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I am in a spot very similar to yours. Except we are a family of 8. So I can completely relate.

Before the birth of baby #6 I had enough. Well, enough of the mess. I purchased a big box of the large ziploc zipper bags and organized all small toys into these. Did the same with school supplies. For larger toys I purchased the cloth bins from target. Then I explained to the older ones that only one bin or baggy is allowed out at a time. And to get another set out they must first clean up what they already have out.

They didn't seem bothered at all by the new rules. And they were/are thrilled that everything is easy to find and clean versus the old days when pieces were mixed up or lost. It took a few days for it to really become habit. Sometimes more than one bag or bin is out bc they want to play different things but they do so well cleaning their own mess up now bc it's simple. I don't See it affecting their creativity or imaginative play at all. They still go outdoors and run wild and makes messes there as well as tons of imaginative play together using no toys/mess at all.

I am much happier as well and this is key for a happy home. So in a way they are thriving even more. I hope you find a method that works for u all soon.
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#3 of 12 Old 08-21-2014, 11:52 AM
 
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I just have two littles, so I'm not there yet. But, I wonder if there is a way to keep the free, integrated play/project time... it seems really valuable to have that kind of flexibility to play/learn/make. Could you split the difference? Like maybe institute a block of "clean up time" after a block of "project/play time" as part of a daily rhythm? Like, allow two hours in the morning for project/play, then cleanup, lunch/rest... and then a more focused kind of play in the afternoon (like with the baggies)?
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#4 of 12 Old 08-21-2014, 02:30 PM
 
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than you for the idea = i tried with 3 ziplock bags to start with ... it worked a bit
= when all the petshop figurines where gathered in one bag, DD2 was then interested into playing with them
..but she also managed to put them all back in (not a small feat for a little someone who resists putting things away on a regular basis !!!)

got medium size only, should get some larger ones though ..... there's so much more mess that needs organising in there !
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#5 of 12 Old 08-23-2014, 11:04 AM
 
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I don't think it's the least little bit wrong to say that only limited amounts of stuff be out at once. I don't think it's necessary to require everyone to participate in the "stuff" acitvity--they just don't get another "stuff" activity.

For example, right now we're playing with crayons and coloring notebooks because it's Joe's turn and he chose, and if you don't want to do that you can get out exactly one book, or you can go run around in the yard with the dog, or you can do anything else doesn't involve getting out "stuff". And tomorrow (or this afternoon, or in two hours, or whatever) it's your turn to choose.

And Joe, if you're bored with your choice and you want another one before your time is up, please put away all the bits for crayons and notebooks, and then come to me. Remember that you only have until 2:30, because at 2:30 everybody cleans up and gets out the stuff for homework.
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#6 of 12 Old 08-23-2014, 12:49 PM
 
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Do you have any outdoor space they can use, at least part of the year? When I have my kids and their cousins (10 total, a few times a week) I kick anything that involves a ton of stuff like crafts or building out into the yard/picnic table. It's the same mess but seems less overwhelming to me when it's not directly underfoot.
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#7 of 12 Old 08-26-2014, 04:27 AM
 
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We have 9 (soon to be 10) people in about 1400 sq. ft. (4 adults, 1 teen, and 4 littles). We have more breathing room than we used to because my 22yo is about halfway moved out (meaning he doesn't live here but most of his stuff does).

I got fed up with the toys in the living room, so now every time I have to ask them more than a couple of times to pick up I just do it myself. All the toys I pick up are packed away. Well, except for the cars, which I leave out for my grandsons when they visit. I thought they'd be upset and 'get the message.' What I found was they actually play better with what's left and rarely ever miss any specific action figure or toy. Rarely they'll ask if they can trade a figure out for one I've confiscated.

Now, they mostly play dress-up (I don't have the heart to pack up their dress-up clothes), legos, and they build elaborate tents. The toy mess is way down. Having lots of people in little space is HARD. Even if I wittled everyone down to 10 items of clothing (which is NOT happening with a 17yo senior in high school), that would still be 100 articles of clothing. Two pairs of shoes each? Still 20 pairs of shoes. It's just a lot.
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#8 of 12 Old 09-21-2014, 11:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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#9 of 12 Old 09-22-2014, 01:48 AM
 
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should have done that much earlier .... haven't been so thorough about it but am following in your footstep about it ....= thanks for posting, that will help me too ....
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#10 of 12 Old 09-25-2014, 09:06 AM
 
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following this as we live in a small 3 bed house (roughly 63m2 of "useable" space") but are moving into a one bed flat (but 70m2.. i know, work that one out!! lol) we have 3 kids

we are having a massive decluttering spree and eventually, im sure, we will be down to what we absolutely need and very few items of "want"
our biggest problem is going to be LEGO
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#11 of 12 Old 09-27-2014, 07:56 AM - Thread Starter
 
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#12 of 12 Old 09-27-2014, 01:59 PM
 
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not much progress with toy organizing over here
... but school resumed so we are more into homework and TV and less into toys anyway
(+ am spread between three school this year, plus involved with the parents association ...
parents in one of the schools ... some of them are a sort of "weird lot" so things are not so smooth for now ...)

am no longer tripping over stuff & most of the floor in the girls room is clear ...
so maintaining our good progress for the moment ....
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