The best way to spend BLACK FRIDAY – CLEANING and conquering the chaos monster.
De-cluttering. Cleaning. Establish harmony where there was chaos. It was a wonderful day.
I worked from 6 am to 8 pm. My mom and dad helped, and the boys helped too. Mom and I cleaned, Hubby cleaned some, my father supervised and advised. Big Brother made a real effort to clean, and Little Brother helped pull toys back out of tubs after then had been sorted, and tested (played with) every toy encountered. Big Brother swept and took a wet rag and cleaned spots on the floor and the toy table; and generally fetched and carried for everyone. Big Brother is a hard worker that genuinely wants to help and participate and do a good job.
I went though all the toy tubbies. I pulled out about 4 or 5 tubbies worth of toys to get rid of (re-home, goodwill, recycle, trash). I sorted all the toys back into the correct tubbies, and several tubbies got new labels. Dress up for example became 2 tubs, one dress up clothing (clothing only) and the other Dramatic Play (the doctor kit parts, accessories and so on. The batman toys got their own tub (shoe box sized) and the unplayed with ‘build a train’ and others lost their spot. Such a great feeling. I love order.
I gutted the living room also. The sofa, both chairs and the table got moved, and cleaned out and under. A new arrangement was required to fit in the tree, and so everything got moved, all the toys, all the toy tubbies, all the elements of the living room. Windows and sills and walls and baseboards all got a good scrub too.
While mom was here to occupy the boys, I took the opportunity to tackle the laundry room. The laundry room is my catch-all, being the only room on the main floor with a door, a lot gets tossed in there and the door shut. So there is generally a good amount of stuff in there that needs sorts, putting away and so on. Arts and crafts live there, as does all out school stuff and a good selection of “adult interaction” toys (puzzles, actual games like CandyLand, the wooden tile matching game and so on) as well as “limited use toys” (like the unit blocks) that I rotate out for a few days, then put back based on how I feel and how mature the boys are acting. Other “controlled” substances are also in the laundry room; the play dough tubbie and the extra crayons for example. All the art and crafts supplies cleaned out; the tubbies sorted, the random things put back into the correct tubbies. Old, dried out, leaking, or used up supplied got trashed. The stack of cardboard and paper and recycled options (cardboard tubes, small boxes and so on) got a harsh “going thought” and a lot got thrown out. All the tubs got cleaned out, and resorted and many relabeled or labeled for the first time. All the toys in there sorted and cleaned out and organized so I can rote them though more often and so they are just plain neater to look at. The laundry all caught up and the room mopped. Nice to get that room in shape; it is truly the hardest room to keep under control.
All the Christmas gifts that have been stashed all over the house, especially, the laundry room and the back of kitchen cabinets, were gathers and snuck up to my closet and hidden in the Christmas gift tubbie.
An even bigger task then sorting, cleaning up and out, re-tubbieing and relabeled toys AND arts and crafts I tackled the growing collection of home schooling materials. I took my one big “stash all” tub and sorted it into several smaller, more functional, tubs. Putting workbooks and idea books that are too old in their own tubbie out of the way; making one tub for the books we use now, and another tub for references for me, catalogs and so on and yet another for supplies and manipulative and tools that are non-books.
Ahhhh order. Such a fantastic day. By the end of the day every tubbie in the house (toys, art, school) had been got though, cleaned up and out, and put to the best possible use. By the end of the day 5 tubs were “removed”; 16 other tubs were labeled or relabeled to note their new use; and at least 7 tubs were newly created. The house fairly sparkled.
The Christmas decorations are slowly going up and I feel like the house is in a good place, not only for them, but for a busy season and a time of hosting.
From now on, I think, this is going to be a family tradition. Feast on food and family on Thanksgiving, feast on cleaning and order on Black Friday to start Advent off the right foot; emotionally and physically (clean house, not behind).