My kids don't fight anymore...

Okay, maybe that is a small exaggeration. Compared to what their relationship used to look like though, it is not. Everything used to be a fight. I had to have two of every toy b/c they fought over every little thing, even a rolled up piece of paper at one point. I had read in Simplicity Parenting that it was common for kids with a multitude of toys to fight constantly over them. One is usually trying to keep order (Brighton) and the other is usually the destroyer (Maggie.) I started simplifying the toys a week or so ago. At first it was hard. I was in the mindset that everything needed to be donated. So I donated about 25% of their toys. We still had way too many. Next step was moving some into storage. That was easier for me because I didn’t feel like I was just throwing money away. I moved about 50% more of their original toy stash into storage. The quarter that’s left is a combination of favorites, toys that inspire creativity and about 15 books, 5 for each child. What happened next completely surprised me, even though the book suggested it would happen. They stopped fighting. They started playing with each other for an hour at a time without yelling or hitting or destroying. What a gift this is. They honestly haven't even asked for one of the toys that have disappeared. In fact, they don't even play with the toys that I left in the house anymore. They don't ask to watch television. It is pure imaginative play. Yesterday they built a "Christmas" train and took clothes to New York City. lol
After that, they went and built a house out of pillows in the master bedroom. Played in there, reading books to each other for an hour. This is the sibling relationship that I have always wanted for them, I just never knew it could be this easy to attain.

Another benefit of having few toys, I don't spend an hour cleaning up every night anymore. I encourage everyone to try this for a week. You can always bring the toys back in. This ranks as one of the best things I have ever done, parenting wise. A big thank you to my friend, Jeannine, for recommending yet another life-changing book. 

These are just a couple pics from the same day of the kids doing some chores I wanted to include. They LOVE feeling like what they're doing is making a difference. I love it too, except for the puddle of water Maggie usually leaves on the floor after washing dishes, small price to pay though! 
B cleaning the screen door w/ vinegar.
My shaggy dog washing dishes.

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