Generally I do go around the house and pick up after the kids have gone to bed. Pick-up being picking the toys off the floor and putting back on the hearth where they live during the warm months. During the day the kids do a pretty good job of picking up when I ask them too, but in their creative spurts I like to just leave it and let them wander back and forth between creations.
As much as I like a clean house, I also like a house that feels lived in. I look around my house in the evening and say to myself, " I can tell the kids had a lot of fun today." With four children under eight, my house will not be a show place. I can remember 18 months ago when we put the house on the market and how clean it was. And, I can remember what a bear I was to be around trying to keep it in the state. I would rather just enjoy my days with the children.
This is our family room, AKA the 'preschool'. It is the only playroom we have in the house and serves 100 other uses. I love my built-in bookcases, and there is our storage for school books, games, manipulatives and we have some other general books mixed in.
The craft area looking much neater than normal. Generally it serves as the staging area for the crafts that we end up doing either on the kitchen table or outside on the deck.
Mary's desk. She is about half and half about doing her work here. But, she likes having the quiet room to escape to if she wants.
The computer desk. And yes, most of the clutter is mine.
These three areas are part of a larger room that we split into a living room and office area. It is supposed to be a no toy zone, but that doesn't always work out. It is, besides the master bedroom, the least toy-cluttered room in the house.
Coming back into the family room from the living room we pass through the laundry area. Today was actually a LAUNDRY day so I am just about done, otherwise the piles look much worse.
The kitchen table piled with the day's art activities, books and other younger children stuff that just seems to find its way to the table.
I have saved the worst for last. I will probably hear the collective gasps across the internet world for daring to show this picture. But, this is what my children can do to their bedroom in 24 hours.
While the room was not 'clean' last night, there was a floor visible and the toys were generally in the right places. But, last night Katie decided that she wanted to sleep on the floor and pulled down every pillow and blanket onto the floor next to Mary's bed.
And today, Mary and Katie decided to have a dress-up day and changed costumes in-between every lesson. In order to get to the dress-up box the castle and house have to be
thrown off gently removed from the top of the box.
The white hamper are their clean clothes from Sunday, still waiting to be put away.
I do get in there every so often to shovel it out and make sure things are put where they belong. And, since it is so bad I will probably 'crack the whip' over them tonight to pick up before going to bed. But there are three girls sharing a bedroom so chaos is expected and I try not to get too upset about it.