Lily wants to paint a picture and after she is done with the paints, water, and brushes, they will sit on the table for the next week, until I finally relent and clean them up myself. She plays with her dolls and they end up taking over her bed (which does not bother her because she will not sleep in her room and instead sleeps in R.J.'s top bunk) until I get so frustrated that I end up putting them away. She changes into jammies or play clothes and her dirty clothes end up in a trail up the stairs, or in her room, or on the bathroom floor. IT IS A STRUGGLE.
I was talking about this with a friend from work and one of his daughters has similar struggles with cleaning up. He said that they have a large container in the play area as well as the bedroom and will fill the containers with items left out in order to get the clutter out of sight. This allows a little more time for the toys, shoes, clothes, etc. to find their proper places, but still makes the areas in need cleaner and less cluttered. Genius.
Immediately after school yesterday I went out and purchased the largest bins at the store (Lily leaves out a lot of stuff), brought them home, and explained how they were to be used. Of course this did not work out as simply as I thought it would, instead it led to more items piled in the bin than it could fit, me yelling and on the brink of an anxiety attack, tears and a screaming fit from Lily, but I think we are on the right track. *Sigh*
I am confident that this process will work with the help of my calmer more patient husband. I think that once we get a plan in place with Lily it will work. Once she understands that these bins are not just another place for her to permanently store her shit, but instead a temporary holding place for items that need to find their homes, my house will be less cluttered. Fingers crossed.