So here it is. Saturday morning and the detritus has hooked up, bred and multiplied! We were at this exact same situation last week! Can nobody remember to take things upstairs and put their ‘stuff’ away?! (Me included although I am now getting better!)
I made a rule, doing my slightly bossy/exasperated bordering on losing it altogether impression (this generally commands the attention of those its intended for!).
“Right, if there is something on the stairs….THAT YOU HAVE TO STEP OVER TO GET UP THE STAIRS…pick it up and take it with you. If you don’t know where it goes just pop it on my bed.” (one smug Aloha Mummy I can tell you!)(Notice the word POP).
Well, the smugness only lasted a day! Everything I gathered from around the house and placed right in the middle of the stairs (there was no way it could be missed!) was suddenly uncategorized, unclaimed, assumed to be mine …….and dumped on my bed. There was clearly no ‘popping’ involved! By all accounts I was now the owner of the Red and Blue Power Rangers masks, a loo roll, crumpled laundry, a Star Wars lunchbox (I did not put that on the stairs…I’d put that in the kitchen! The blighters are sourcing additional ‘Stuff’ to add to the pile!), Harry Potter Trivial Pursuit, Lego, Lego, Lego, a party bag with the obligatory whistle (thanks for that birthday child parents…you wait!), plastic yoyo and spit bubbles, an Angry Birds hoodie…I wont go on!
Ok. Another plan needed. Think…think… (I felt like Winnie the Pooh; perplexed facial expression and finger tapping my temple….) Got it!
“Right, if I call your name come to the bottom of the stairs and take your pile of stuff that I give you upstairs! I will only give you things that are yours or believed to be yours. If they are not yours, seek out the person to whom they belong and trade as they will probably have something of yours too! If you think it is something of mine just pop it on my bed.” (smug Aloha Mummy once more!)
This didn’t work either.
I still ended up with the toilet roll…dumped (pardon the pun!) on my bed. Again, no popping was evident given that the roll had in fact unrolled and now spread from the foot of the bed to the pillow.
After some more thinking, tapping of my temple and most importantly me allowing my ‘Monica side’ to kick in, I had it!
Behold the Crap baskets!
So, if you haven’t yet discovered these little beauties, listen in! I bought 4 baskets which each sit on a stair. Each basket is owned by one person in the house. When the basket is full the idea is that it is taken upstairs or around the house and all the contents are returned to their original lodgings. ‘A place for everything and everything in its place.’
In the initial stages this worked quite well. Baskets were regularly de-cluttered, I didn’t have to leave trip hazards on the stairs and I had no loo roll strewn across my bed! Result!
However, this small victory was a little short-lived. I began to find that as the baskets grew fat and full, ‘stuff’ began to cascade down from the higher baskets to the lower ones. I began to find, once again, all sorts of items -which were not mine, taking up residence in my basket. To be honest all that ever seemed to be in my basket anyway was an umbrella and a pair of sunglasses – loving the British weather!-a pot of nail varnish which I never seemed to have managed to get around to using, baby wipes, handy pack sized tissues and a hair elastic.
I began to feel defeated. Until…Lightbulb! My plan was simple, genius even, but surely too good to be true?!
I gathered the basket owners.
“When you hear the music for Mission Impossible it means that you immediately stop what you are doing! You run to the bottom of the stairs and claim your basket! You must then get all the contents of the basket put back into their rightful homes. But! You must get them put back before the end of the music!!! If you succeed and your ‘stuff’ is replaced and your basket returned to the stair empty before the music ends, you may have a sweetie! If you do not succeed and the music ends before your basket is returned….sadly you may not have a sweetie! …But you must still finish emptying your basket! (needed to get that one added in!)
I must add here that this was for all of us. Hubs, Aloha Mummy, Twin 1 and Twin 2. Admittedly I would have a head start because I would be pressing play on the cd player (yes…I am that old fashioned!)
But, do you know what though? It only bloomin worked! IT FLOOPIN-LOOPILY WORKED!! We had clear stairs, a fun game and sweets! (I won’t mention a tune that stuck in our head for months!!!
Dum dum, dur dur dum dum, dur dur dum dum, dur dur dum dum dur dur, dudel-ummmmm, dudel-ummmmm, dudel-ummmmm, dur dup!
This solution worked so well…until 8 weeks ago! Now we have our new Bubs I like to keep the stairs completely free of everything – can’t be doing with any trip hazards! So now, the baskets live somewhere else but we still have the same process…baskets fill, music plays, challenge is laid down and accepted, sweet awarded!
Sweets of choice at the moment- Bananas and Shrimps!
So, how do you keep your stairs clear (and ensure your sanity!) and what would your choice of sweet be?! Will you take on the Mission? Will you fill your life with the Crap Baskets?!
The Aloha Mummy 🌸