Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Tackle It Tuesday

Tackle It Tuesday Meme

For my Tackle, I am going to continue THIS!

Tackling the Toy Dragon!

Last Wednesday (not Tuesday, which made it hard to find when I looked back) -- I got a good start on it. I have all the keepers in one bin -- which needs to be sorted, but that won't be too bad. Then the discards are in another box -- and this is the tough part. What if I need something from there someday? In the comments, Shawna suggested bagging them and stuffing them in the garage. That is probably what I will end up doing. ... thanks, Shawna.

OK, that is another issue of mine -- letting things go! I notice it is not the WORK per se that causes the problem -- it is the decisions.

This Tuesday will be busy, so it's probably good that the only part of the Tackle I really have to do is physically put the clutter in a bag and physically Put. The. Bag. In. The. Garage.

Planning Next Tuesday's Tackle

Next Tuesday I will tackle the regular-sized toys. The ones that aren't part of a set but are complete in themselves. These can be categorized into:

  • Things with Wheels.
  • Stuffies.
  • Realistic animals.
  • Action figures.
  • V-techs and similar electronic toys.
  • Swords and other weapons
  • Balls and other sports gear.

I am sure there are other categories, but those are the ones I can think of without actually looking.

  • OH, there is the dress up box, but that one has been managed fine for years. I have a place for it and everything goes in that place. It could do with a weeding, but that is lower priority than the jumbled mess of Everything Else.
  • And there is the puzzle and game shelf too -- my closest approach to Montessori right now -- that works OK too. That's because I have an active hand in that stuff.
  • The construction sets, if they don't get scattered all over the house, have a bin to repose in.
It's the little-kid, pure-toy gear that gets in disarray. .. that gets tumbled into a chest (pictures next week)

Some Meandering Thoughts

One unique disadvantage in our house is that there is no Little-Kid bedroom. The bedrooms are divided among the five older kids, who have ongoing and OK solutions for their Stuff Storage. My part in that is to remind them to:

  • tidy their rooms once a week
  • organize their rooms about once a month.
  • declutter seriously about twice a year (usually Advent and Lent are good times).
But the Little Kids have no such place for their stuff. This is vexing. The ideal would be to have a sort of Kindergarten set-up.... everything on shelves, organized by theme. But at present there really isn't a place in our house for that. Every surface is devoted to books.... ahem.

Well, writing this out has been encouraging. I didn't realize that there is some stuff I am already doing OK. I was focusing on the chaotic parts. Organizing from the Inside Out recommends that you look at what you are already doing OK, and building on that. This is a lesson that seems to apply to many other things too. Keep the baby, toss the dirty bathwater.

It is also Julie Morgenstern, the author of the Organizing book, that mentions the Kindergarten as the ideal organization model --- everything arranged by theme and readily accessible, but tidy, easy to restore. That will have to be my thing to ponder for this next week: If I had a space devoted to this Toy stuff, it would be easier to maintain. The challenge is that we aren't a Little-Kid house anymore -- our average age is steadily climbing and is now, believe it or not, somewhere over 20 (almost 14 if you just count the kids). So we have been inadvertently moving away from a LK-friendly environment, and it will be somewhat of a sacrifice to have all those stuffies and trucks and things out in the open instead of buried in a wood box, which is where they are now. Have to think about that....

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