Here's the problem with cleaning out the basement during daylight hours. Your kids wander down there to see what you're up to. When they see boxes full of stuff, they of course want to see what's in there, and then instantly think they need to get it out of the box, take it back upstairs, and make things messier than they were before you started cleaning in the first place.
A couple of weeks ago, Curtis saw a box in the basement labeled "board games." He implored me to get it down and reveal the contents. They were all grownup games--Scattergories, Cranium, etc.--so I didn't think he'd be too interested. But one caught his attention. My most loathed game. Monolopy. (Or monop-you-ly, as Curtis calls it.)
"Dad, let's play."
"Sorry, buddy," I said. "If we get that out while Tate's around, you know he'll destroy everything."
"Can we play it when he takes his nap?"
"Sounds like a great idea." It did sound like a great idea. (Because Tate hasn't started to grow out of taking naps, to Traci's endless chagrin.)
Every few days, Curtis would bring it up again.
"Dad, let's play Monopoly."
"We will...during Tate's nap."
This actually worked for a couple of weeks. Until Curtis had finally had enough.
"Dad, I want to play NOW. "
So I gave in. I thought he'd be bored by the time we got the game set up (which takes forever, one of the many things I hate about Monopoly). Nope. He loved it. (Even with the non-napping Tate destroying everything.)
Now we have to play it every day, multiple times a day.
From now on, I'm only cleaning the basement after the kids are asleep.