Monday, January 24, 2011

I Did It!

So I got rid of the playroom and I am loving it!  It might seem like a big task but really it was simple and I think it has made our lives a tad bit simpler:)  You might be asking yourself why and how and I can answer both of those questions...
Why-I am a firm believer that less is more.  I used to say that I wasn't going to buy toys for my kids (remember that Amy) but it started slowly and got more and more out of control.  I like to buy things for my kids and I started thinking that this was *the* toy that would bring them hours of contented play--guess what, nothing was like that!  They had so many toys that we converted our dining room into a play room and then I felt like I needed to fill that space too.  Can you see how this happened!  Madness, really.  The worst part is my kids weren't playing better or longer, it seemed the opposite was happening.  They were playing less frequently and with more toys they were less satisfied.  Then the toys started "creeping" into our adult spaces.  I was tripping on things in the kitchen, pulling toys out of the couch, there were even things in the bathroom!  uggg!!!! After Christmas I knew things had to change...

How-I woke up one morning and just dug right in!  I got each child two bins and filled them toys that they actually do play with.  Everything that didn't fit into the bins went into piles.  One pile was for goodwill, one for grandmom's house and one for craigslist.  I started to see a light at the end of the tunnel.  I decided that all of their toys could go upstairs into their rooms.  They have large rooms and large closets.  So I took everything up and told them they could play while I finished downstairs.  I have a large chest that I kept full of board games and a cabinet that I used to keep books for downstairs.  Two more bins for art supplies and homeschooling items.  I took all of the ride on toys and big toys out, too.  Somethings went to the garage for spring and I did keep a grocery cart and baby stroller downstairs.
The effect has really been great.  The kids haven't missed any of their toys and they play upstairs for long periods of time.  They have been more creative in their play and I have seen lots more pretend games, reading and just contentment.  I love that the toys aren't taking over our lives anymore!  They do make a mess upstairs but it is more contained and I can take ten minutes before bed to clean it.  I am on my way to bringing to my dining room back, I just need a table;)
 The cabinet that holds books and one box of legos that need adult assistance

 The chest is perfect for puzzles and board games

 The now empty shelves...the baskets on top hold diapers and some special books that the kids need me to read with them
The plan is to get rid of the couch and add a table.  Not sure what I am going to do with the shelves yet but I might keep them as decor:)

It feels so good....

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Paper Work

My husband is super organized with his paperwork.  He has read books about different systems and he has a great one that works for him.  His office is always in pristine condition and he tries to *help* me be the same way.  What I have discovered is that what works for one person might not work for another so I have my own way of organizing papers.  I have had a wire basket that I threw everything in and then I went through it once a week.  It worked ok but it never looked nice and I was often rooting through looking for things.  So I was reading Jen's blog (which is amazing) and I decided to switch things up.  I am so excited with the outcome and I can't wait to show my hubby!
First I took the old, ugly, overflowing bin and emptied it into piles sorted by category so that my papers looked like this:

I gathered my new supplies from target:)

I don't really save much paperwork, so that's why my piles aren't very big.  My husband takes care of all of the important files.  I just cover the bills and receipts.
Then I used my new files and the free template to print out labels.

 Stuck them on the file folders

 And filed them away...isn't it beautiful!

 And it's perfect on top of the desk...pretty and clutter free!

What do you think?  Worth the 30 minutes it took and the $12 at target?  I say yes!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Big Change

I am getting rid of my playroom and I feel like dancing!  The toys have over taken our lives and my kids don't even play with them!  I find toys in every room of the house left abandoned.  Sometimes they take things out for less than a minute.  I am going to majorly reduce/ get rid of toys and even some of the furniture in their rooms.  Each child will get to keep their favorite toys in their bedroom and that is where they can play:)  Contentment is a struggle in this house and I feel like part of the reason is all of the "stuff" that the kids have.  I have really been praying about contentment and the kids hearts and this is one solution that I really feel God laid on my heart.  Tomorrow I will take some pics of the playroom now and keep you updated on the progress as time goes on.
This might sound mean but really they don't play with their toys anyway and I think that it will make things so much better for all of us!  Stay tuned...

Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Great Redo

I am constantly rearranging and cleaning, decluttering and reorganizing...join me in a challenge!  I am going to attempt to do one thing each day in the house to make things "better."  We finished the Christmas toy overhaul and putting things back, getting rid of things and getting our lives in order.  I have started to keep more things in Jack's room.  I made a big pile of things to go up there and when I dropped it off in his room and looked around-well see for yourself!  I really can't believe I am going to share this embarrassing picture but hopefully the after will make up for it!
 Apparently telling my 4 year old to clean his room with little to no direction results in a very messy bookshelf!
 My kids love to play sleep...hence two unmade beds!
 A toy organizer that I am OVER!
I am not a spender...especially not on furniture for the kids rooms.  Jack has all of my husbands furniture from when he was a child and I love it!  This End Up made such quality things.  We have a lot of things from a neighbor, too but some things are broken and time to be tossed!

The AFTER!!!
 It looks really fresh and streamlined.  The tag on the quilt is driving me crazy but that's a quick fix
 I got rid of all of the books except what would fit on one shelf.  It makes it much easier for Jack to put them away on his own.
This is his reading chair.  Now that it's in a better spot he uses it more.  I am in the process of some wall art and I will post when I am finished.
What do you think?  Do you keep toys in your children's rooms?  How do you organize what is in there?