What I removed from the playroom:
1) A big blue bucket of stuffed animals. These stuffed toys had been pared down to only my favourites from my own childhood, but my boys never, ever, ever play with stuffed animals. I have packed them away in the basement.
2) Big play-dough machines and doo-dads. While the boys do sometimes play with play-dough, they only ever use their hands for tools. Out went the two big kits we had.
3) The little orange table and green chair. These were also from my childhood, and they went upstairs into Colin's new bedroom.
4) All the big toddler toys. We had several of them, little walkers and chairs and the like. Benjamin used them when they were age appropriate, but now he would rather play with what the older boys are playing with.
Changes to the playroom:
1) I shuffled two bookshelves from being side by side, to making a corner.
2) The costume toy chest from the upstairs bedroom came downstairs.
3) I brought in 6 boxes of the boys toys: transformers, space set, pirate set, cars, men, and art books. The other 6 cubby holes now take some of the misc. pieces.
4) I gave up storing Lego in me beloved blue Lego box I had as a kid, and opted for a longer, flatter clear container, that enables the boys to sift through Lego pieces in the box, rather than turn it out onto the floor.
Really, there weren't any huge changes, but somehow it has made the biggest difference in the world. It's been about two weeks now, and the playroom has yet to descend into the chaos that used to be a daily routine. The boys are now able to manage a tidy up mostly on their own, due to the fact that it isn't so overwhelming. The biggest difference is the Lego box. That Lego was dumped out every day, and the boys used to end up in tears when I cracked the whip for them to clean it up. And if the day gets away from us and the boys go to bed without cleaning, I can do the whole thing in a couple of minutes.
Next project: The Living Room crackdown.