Toys: A Parental Breaking Point

I have three kids and I am drowning in toys… There are naked dolls in every corner, tutus overflowing from their storage box, abandoned, random game pieces in every room, and zillions of Lego pieces scattered throughout the house which, if you don’t already know, are excruciatingly painful when accidentally stepped upon.

Before I had children I swore that my home would never be invaded or overrun by plastic. Nine years and 3 children later, I am eating my words. Some might say our playroom rivals that of a small toy store.

My husband and I have reached our parental breaking point. No matter how we ask – sugary sweet, polite, yelling… one time or one hundred times, nothing works. So last night every toy in the house that had not been put away at the end of the day was scooped up and placed in large black garbage bags. Attached to these bags was the threat that their treasured items were going to be donated. After a morning filled with tears, we decided to cave give the children one last opportunity to salvage their loot by helping to clean up and organize all their bagged toys.


New Rule: From this day forward, they must put away every toy they take out each day before bed or the toy will be bagged and either donated or earned back.

As to whether or not this tactic will work, the jury is out, but something has to change! I’ll keep you posted on our progress.

What do you do when your children won’t clean up after themselves?

Written by Rachel Alltmont

Rachel Alltmont

Rachel lives in New Orleans with her husband, Jeff, whose family is deeply rooted in New Orleans. They recently opened Alltmont’s Fine Custom Framing, where she is busy developing a series of family/kids art programs to be held at the shop. Before “retiring” to become a stay-at-home mom to three, Rachel was a Washington D.C. Public Relations rockstar. She is currently obsessed with Pinterest.

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