As my girlfriend and fellow blogger picked up my daughter this morning to shuttle her off to school we chatted briefly about the aggravations of kids’ games. The pieces. Oh the pieces. A milliontrillionzillion little tiny pieces… all over the house. Amiright?
I’ll admit that I am far from being an ultra-organized mom. We proudly display all 1,001 of my son’s “castle guys” and “pirate guys” all around our home. Bathtubs, closets, dresser drawers, toy boxes, freezer, counter-tops, washing machine and inside shoes. You name the place, there’s been a random “guy” found there once upon a time. But the games? I’ve got that one 100% under control. Most of the time. I’ll let you in on my little secret and hope you can put it to work for you.
Avoiding Mess & Stress, that’s the name of the game. (Hah! I crack myself up!)
A year ago I was tired of the games being strung out all over our floor. The current storage location wasn’t working for this momma and we needed to fix that little irritation!
This, of course, is a milder recreation of what used to be, but it gets the point across sufficiently if you multiply this by 75% or so!
So how, you ask, did I contain all the games and keep them from being dragged out every day and strewn about my immaculate (ah-hem, go with it) living room? Well, girlfriend, I installed some low-cost wire shelving and converted my coat closet into a game and puzzle closet.
Genius, I know. A closet with a door does wonders by hiding the clutter because, let’s be honest, the closet itself isn’t exactly a picture of perfect organization either. But close that door and viola! Everything inside virtually disappears! And you know that saying “out of sight, out of mind”? I know it works (to some degree) with bags of potato chips and cookies, but it also works with kids and games! They tend to forget about continuously dragging out games when they can’t see them all the time. And as a bonus friends arriving for play-dates aren’t tempted to rearrange the organized chaos either!
So how do we keep from stringing the Bingo chips and Go Fish cards from here to the ends of the earth? Well, that part is a bit trickier and is yet to be certified foolproof, but I tend to play the games with my kids. The younger one is still in that age category where he needs some help. Big sissy, she’s pretty capable on her own, but most are two player games, therefore mom must participate in either the player or assistant role. I’m getting fun time with my kiddos and have control of the location of the pieces as well as the putting-away portion of the game.
Our rule is you don’t get a new game out until the last one is finished and put away… again only 100% enforceable if I’m participating. This does create a precedence though that (I hope) they can absorb and follow through on as they get old enough to play all of our games without parental supervision.
I know the question rambling through your mind. “If you made your coat closet a game closet, where do you put your coats?” Well, since nobody in my house could ever find the elusive doorknob to put the coats IN the closet anyway, I hung hooks on the entryway wall and hoped they could hit one at least 25% of the time as they walked by and chucked the coats at the wall…