The Pit of Despair has been returned to a Safe and Happy Room. The floor is cleaned, the beds are made, the dressers are even cleaned off. The best part is that I didn't step foot in there. How, you ask? My family decided that they would take care of it on their own. Even DH had a big part in it, which is really surprising because usually, the cleaning tasks and direction fall to me. Today was certainly a pleasant surprise.
All of the girls (even LH) started out the morning in the bedroom, filling more paper boxes with anything they could grab. By 11:00, they had filled 22 - no joke. They were so excited to pull me in and show me the clear and clean floor. They wanted me to wear a little blindfold like they do in those home decorating shows. I have to admit I was completely shocked. They really had managed to keep out only a few handfuls of toys each and put the rest away.
DH went in there right after I did and immediately did the math of space needed to store 22 boxes vs. available space in garage and proposed a solution. He would see if he could reduce the total number of boxes and they could try to fit them under the bottom bunk. He then sat down and painstakingly went through all 22 of the boxes with all three girls sitting right there with him. The consolidated and sorted and got the total number down to 12. That was few enough to fit neatly under the bed and the room is once more clean.
Of course, within 20 minutes they had pulled out the beloved Pollys and had them strewn across the floor to locate just the right pair of shoes. The difference this time, was that it took 15 seconds before bed to get them all put back into their bin and the furniture back in the dollhouse. (that sounds like a euphemism for something but I can't figure out what.) They are now tucked safe in their beds snoozing for the night. Once they were bathed and kissed they fell asleep remarkably quickly. Maybe it was working so hard all weekend. Maybe it was the calm and peace of a tidy room that helped them nod off without three drinks of water and four trips to the bathroom.
I am feeling quite a bit of peace myself, right now. I know that the whole idea of removing toys to get a clean room will work. A few months ago, we packed up all the stuffed animals in the whole house for a matter of months. During that time, the bedrooms were as clean as I have seen them ever. It isn't rocket science to figure that less toys equals less mess. It still surprises me, though, what a large improvement the removal of a small amount of toys can make.
What I am most proud of is that the girls made the decision on their own. They made a plan and they followed through with it. The results were better than expected. I really could not be more proud of them right now.