We have four small children. Okay, we have a preschooler, 2 toddlers, and an infant. But just because I'm out numbered does not mean that they get control of my house. I haven't been pregnant or breastfeeding (or both) for this long to just hand over the keys to the short messy ones. That's right, I store 98% of their toys in their room (or in their part of the yard).
We have a lovely Ikea corner shelf in our "great room" (if you can call the living room/dining room area of a 900 sq foot house a "great" room) with grown up pretty things on the top three levels and a couple of books and toys within reach for our little friends. In fact, I have exclusively Sandra Boynton books on display next to pretty wooden toys. I opted for wooden toys instead of the plastic turtle shape-sorter that makes too much noise because well, it makes too much noise, and that shade of green just doesn't cut it in my great room.
When they play with their toys, they play with them all over the house (except the master bedroom and the laundry room which doubles as my office). But at bedtime, all the toys return to their appropriate storage for a good night's rest, or, at the very least, to a basket sitting outside their door awaiting storage the next day.
You ask, "Why, Mommy Brain? Why do you bother putting the toys away?"
Oh, let me tell you. First of all, they put them away, but that's another blog for another day. It's the same reason I make my bed every day and (attempt to) clean off the bathroom counter. I like order. Admittedly, I like it too much. In fact, I think it's my own twisted way of controlling something in my life since I can actually control nothing (God is in control - another blog for another day). I don't clean* my house for my visitors who all know how many small children I have. I clean my house so that when I sit down at the end of the day, I can stop twitching because I am surrounded by a clean and peaceful living space.
If you wonder why I twitch, it's the noise. Small children are loud, and I am, at heart, an introvert.
To change things up next week, I'm going to put out the Richard Scarry books and some different wooden toys.
*Clean is a relative term. What I'm referring to is relatively neat and tidy... not necessarily sterile.