After hours and hours of sorting, tidying and cleaning, the house feels wonderful! I have to remember to do this before every "school" year.
Here are all the bits and pieces that we discovered at the bottom of the toy boxes. The kids loved it, "I remember this!" "Hey this is mine" and then they started squirrelling items away. I made them keep everything in the living room and after allowing them to reminisce, I was pretty ruthless about throwing things out. I honestly thought that the children would kick up more of a fuss about giving away so many of their toys at once (I had just been through their rooms), but they loved having so much space again. We can breathe!
And we got to learn along the way. Here is an old video tape that Champ dismantled which Kiki then "dressed up"in.