My house recently got a dramatic makeover. A few months ago, my mom sold the house that she and my dad lived in for over twenty years and moved into a very cool apartment. Naturally, she could not bring everything from a five-bedroom house to her two-bedroom apartment, so there was a lot of extra furniture. My parents had some beautiful antiques that they had bought over the years and that they had inherited from my grandparents, so these were not pieces to get rid of. Happily, my mom sent many of them to me. A moving truck arrived at my door on Sunday morning and two men unloaded couches, tables, chairs, dressers, lamps — so many lamps! — pictures and china and glassware. My family room got a complete makeover. My previously empty living room is now full. Even my bedroom has a new love seat and end table where the ironing board once stood. (The ironing board was never a decorating choice — just laziness.)
We also redid Zuzu’s room as a result of hitting the furniture jackpot. Previously, her desk had been located in a corner of the empty living room. Now that the living room really looks like a living room, her desk has been kicked out. We ended up moving her old desk to the kids’ playroom to be an art table and Zuzu got a nice antique desk in her bedroom. But getting that desk into her bedroom required a major stuffed animal/doll furniture/book purge. Lots of things had to be moved to the attic — which is our playroom — to make room for her big girl desk.
The truth is, Zuzu is a complete packrat. This a tendency she inherited from her father, whose junior high school papers are stashed in our basement along with ancient computer keyboards and cassette tapes. (Needless to say, I am very much looking forward to the big electronics recycling day in River Forest on May 5.) And, like her father, Zuzu embraces a level of chaos in her bedroom that would give me hives. Years ago, her room was overrun with miniscule Polly Pockets accessories. Now it is overrun with Harry Potter Lego pieces and American Girl Doll hair accessories. And getting her to tidy up is no mean feat. I don’t blame her – picking up all those little pieces is tedious.
JR’s room isn’t much better. Although he is not into Legos yet, he recently got into Playmobil, which has some ridiculously small pieces. He has a Playmobil Zoo, for example, that not only has teeny tiny meerkats, it also has teeny tiny meerkat scat. Are you kidding me? And he has a lot of multi-part building toys, like Wedgets, Magna-tiles and Geo-Mags, that he uses to create elaborate habitats for his Schleich animals. It’s a clean-up nightmare.
So, I now have a grown-up looking house with lots of nice furniture, and big kids whose toys have lots and lots of small pieces. How am I going to keep my house looking halfway decent? Well, for one thing, I have stashed a Toydozer in each kid’s room and another one upstairs in our attic play room. The Toydozer is a new, kid-friendly clean-up tool that was, naturally, invented by a mom who was tired of cleaning up Legos. The Toydozer has two parts: the base or “gatherer” resembles a dust pan. The second part is a scoop that you use to sweep the little toys into the base. Then, you just dump the collected toys into a bin or container. In case you are thinking to yourself that the scoop will surely get misplaced, rest assured that it actually attaches to the base with Velcro when not in use.
The best thing about the Toydozer is that kids will actually use it themselves. It is made out of colorful, sturdy plastic and the scoop is very easy for little hands to manipulate. Plus, you might even convince your kids that it is fun to sweep the toys into the base. In fact, Toydozer was named one of the Top 10 products that makes clean-up time more fun. Even if you can’t convince them that cleaning up is fun, at least with the Toydozer, you can assure your kids that the task will be done quickly and they can move on to something else.
The Toydozer retails for $18.99 and ships free from their website. To learn more about the product and the mom who invented it, go to the Toydozer Facebook page or follow them on Twitter. If you are interested in buying your own Toydozer, you can get 20% off the retail price with the discount code BLOGGER20.
I also have one Toydozer to give away to a lucky West of the Loop reader! To enter the giveaway, leave a comment to this post telling me what your biggest clean-up challenge is. Is it art supplies? Legos? Playmobil animal scat? I am curious to know.
You can earn an additional entry the following ways:
- Follow @toydozer on Twitter.
- Tweet about this giveaway with a link back to this post. Use the hash tag #toydozer.
- Like the Toydozer Facebook page.
- Share this giveaway on your Facebook timeline with a link to this post.
Please leave me a comment for each additional entry that you earn. All entries must be received by April 20. That’s Friday, people! I will select one winner at random. Good luck!
This post is part of a Toydozer blogger outreach campaign. Participating bloggers, including me, have been provided with a complimentary Toydozer to review and have been compensated for their time. All opinions expressed herein are entirely my own.