Mummy Confession: I absolutely love the holidays, but I abhor the cleanup.
We’re all in that post Christmas daze around our house, and it seems each step of getting through those post holiday dramas has to do with cleaning. All the extra new toys and thingamajigs received from those we love now need to find their place. Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind the cleanup. I would love my house to be neat and tidy. This never seems to happen, though, because, well, kids exist.
I’ve heard it said, “if you love cleaning up after parties you never attend, then you will love being a parent.” Truth. So, to help those of you out who need it during this organising phase of the post-holiday time, I have compiled step by step of how it happens in our house. For this example, only two children exist.
1. Bring all the toys and their places to go in one room.
2. Proceed to dump out each box and storage compartment one by one, to sort as you go.
3. Have child A then dump out all remaining toys and whatchamacallits on the floor.
4. Tell child to leave the room
5. Child comes with 15 new toys she has hidden in the crevices of her bed and closet.
6. Put books into a pile, tell child B to take them back to the room and put away nicely where it belongs. (Child B never returns)
7. Sort through items one by one, putting in their various storage receptacles.
8. Have child A take out half of the toys you have put away to play, promising to put them back when they are finished.
9. Go check on child B to find books (including those given in step 6) strewn about the floor and child playing with 27 other toys that child A hadn’t found previously.
10. Sort books.
11. Take a break for lunch.
12. Deal with child crying because she stepped on a toy she didn’t put back where it belonged after she was finished playing.
13. Kiss boo-boo.
14. Take a break for the day and put storage containers to the side.
15. Resume day as normal and put kids in bed after dinner.
16. Finally get all the toys sorted (total elapsed time, about 10 hours, into the next day)
17. As you go to put all storage back in its proper place, the kids wake up.
18. Go back to step 1. Repeat until exhausted, or kids have taken a nap, or give some other crazy opportunity to clean without distraction. Throw in another hundred steps if you have more than two children.