Today I got the kids up instead of waiting for them to wake up. Guy and Aurora got up on their own, however I got the other two older kids up. After breakfast I told them I was going to take a shower, and when I got out Gunny Bag was going to come.
Gunny Bag is a bag with a face drawn on it that comes and eats toys that are left out. I try to give the kids a fair warning before bringing out the bag, and if I can tell they are trying I go around very slowly gathering toys to let them have more chances to clean them up. I have tried Gunny Bag before but had little success with it, however I have noticed that I am not usually very consistent with it. It usually only comes out when I get really frustrated with the mess, and then it eats the toys, which then stay in the garage for months, because I forget about them.
This time however I am trying to be consistent Gunny Bag comes each day after dinner. This weekend we had some plans that stirred things up a bit, so Gunny Bag came this morning because it hadn't come on Sunday or Monday nights. However the plan is for Gunny Bag to come each night, gather up the toys that are not taken care of, and then on Saturday morning, he comes back and "throws up" all the toys, the children then have to take care of the toys or they will be eaten again. And if Gunny Bag eats something 3 times, he just might decide he really likes it, and it never comes back. If Gunny Bag comes and there are no toys to eat, Gunny Bag cries. The kids really like this part, and try to make Gunny Bag cry.
Anyway, I told the kids Gunny Bag was coming, and they better clean up. Thankfully they were motivated, and Gunny Bag didn't get much to eat this morning. I then gave them their job charts and helped them do their jobs. This combination made for a more open and less stressful day. And a much cleaner house.