Among the assorted Legos, Lincoln Logs, and Little People toys I found:
My copy of Brideshead Revisited
Two shoes, not from the same pair
6 empty cereal boxes pilfered from the recycling bin for future "art" projects
Four American Girl Doll outfits
5 pairs of underpants
One torn Twister mat
Pieces to three different puzzles
One pair of LL Bean Moose slippers that Campbell now refuses to take off
FIVE bags of trash.
Seriously - I took five bags of trash out of two closets and one toy box. I was ruthless in what I threw out - puzzles with missing pieces, games with missing boxes, Ella's collection of poker chips, precious artwork, wrapping paper, homework from last year, and lots and lots of wadded up paper.
It was such a cathartic exercise. I actually enjoyed sitting on the floor and sorting all the blocks, Legos, train tracks, Little People, and GeoTrax into their proper bins and then storing everything neatly on the shelves.
I even cleaned out enough stuff that I was able to move the basket of Elizabeth's toys from the living room to the toy box. B did a happy dance when he saw that the toy corner had been cleaned out.
When the big girls got home, I showed them the improved closets and pleaded with them to keep everything neat for at least a few days. Ella rolled her eyes and immediately began checking for her treasures. Lily shrieked with delight at all the "missing" dress-up clothes that I had located and returned to the dress-up basket.
Next I'll tackle the mess that is their desk. But I need to wait until after trash collection day - our garbage can and recycling bin are filled to the brim.