Monday, March 3, 2008

Hoo Boy.

You're about to see why I need to get rid of a lot of stuff. If you've ever been to my house, you know that I have too many toys. You also know that my kids' rooms are almost always messy.

When Alex or my kids clean, they just throw things onto shelves all willy-nilly like and although the floor is clear, the shelves are still messy, which to someone as anal as me is almost as bad.

So today in both rooms, I took everything off of all the shelves and reorganized them. It will stay this way for exactly 4.8 seconds. (I've already had to reorganize several times. Why do my kids always demand to play with the toys I've just organized into appealing, easy-to-locate spots on their shelves? Don't they know that they're not supposed to touch things that are clean? This goes for Alex too.)

Quinn's room is easier than the big guys', mostly because he only disorganizes his toys. He doesn't produce nearly as much trash as Sam and Jack.

Here's what I am donating and/or throwing away from his room:

These items include a sheet that is so stained that, even though it's clean, I can no longer in good conscience put it on my child's bed.

It also includes a set of ABC Sesame Street books that no one reads anymore, and a bunch of Music Together CDs that, although I am a little sad to get rid of, we don't listen to anymore.

The thing I had the toughest time getting rid of though, are those little blue pieces of plastic. They're part of a garage in Quinn's room. All they do is get thrown around the room and not get used as they are supposed to. Regardless, I walked back and forth between my junk box and Quinn's room three times before I was able to commit to throwing them away.

Here's what Quinn's room is supposed to look like:

See what I mean about too much stuff?

But really, that's not as bad as Sam and Jack's room. Here is the before picture:

Because both Sam and Jack can read now, I decided to label their shelves so there could at least be a pretense of their following my crazily rigid organization system.

This room took a lot of time and ended up with me throwing away a lot of crumpled up paper, rescuing several straw cups, removing their dirty laundry from their toy shelves, and tossing at least one partially eaten apple. (Who raised these messy kids, anyway?)

I was only able to find a few things I'm willing to donate at this point in time. I'm sure subsequent cleanings will result in more. Here's what I found:

And here's my final result:

Again, I have way too much stuff. I'm embarrassed to tell you that they also have a basement playroom full of toys as well.

My shelf labels are as follows (top to bottom, left to right):

* Banks
* Workbooks
* Puzzles and magnetic boards
* Puzzles
* Puzzles (And this is after I sold about half of their puzzles at a garage sale last spring.)
* LeapPad
* Coloring and sticker books
* ROBOT DESTROY (A favorite phrase around here. It's usually accompanied by jerky walking and a preschooler version of robot dance moves.)
* Bristle blocks and Legos
* Weaponry (Never thought I'd be that mom.)
* Chapter books
* Art supplies (This one, in particular, is the bane of my existence and the source of much of the clutter in their room.)
* Notebooks
* Boxes (I know, not everything in here is a box, but cut me some slack, would ya? I'd been cleaning for a long time by the time I labeled it.)
* Dinosaurs and folding playsets
* Capes and dress-up (Very important in my house.)
* Flashlights & binoculars (The very fact that I have an entire cubby dedicated to these items should tell you why I have a need for my decluttering project.)
* Stuff (I'm trying to contain that in just one cubby. How do you think that will go?)
* Space paraphenalia (And, no, I don't expect them to be able to read that, but it amused me.)
* Dr. Seuss books (Mostly thanks to Alex's Christmas-time trip to Sam's Club when Sam was less than a year old. Good purchase though.)
* Paper books
* Tall books (We all have those, right? The ones that will not fit on any standard sized bookcase known to human kind.

And I still had three empty cubbies! These bookshelves rock. I highly recommend them.

So there you have it. I refuse to post photos tomorrow, after they have torn everything off those shelves and thrown it on the floor. At that point, I will hurl everything back onto the shelves, which I will then relabel uniformly "Stuff."

Total items today, if you count each book and CD separately: 43


Anonymous said...

Ah yes, the art supplies. Would I be a bad mom if I just threw them all away? How much money would I need to put in the therapy fund for my budding artist?


Kelly said...

Great job!! How long did that take you??

Linda said...

i find when you label you tend to follow. My husband does not. Woo hoo...we have the same furniture!

Anonymous said...

Your house is going to look amazing. All you have to do now is teach the males you live with how to matach the label with the item. And I love the photo of Q in his duck head and cape playing on the floor. YM

Sue said...

Looks fabulous! Now lock the door and don't let them in!!

I think we have a love of IKEA in common :-) And I think I could match you in the too many toys dept. I need someone who has no emotional attachment to them to come and get rid of them for me. An intervention?

Stimey said...

Kelly, it took me far too long. Although I'm really happy with it. And Jack's face when I read the labels to him was priceless. He was ecstatic. I'm going to be devastated when I walk by their rooms tonight and see that they've destroyed all my hard work while they were supposed to be sleeping.

Sue, an intervention sounds ideal. I'm sure there is a professional out there who can help us.

m said...

For art supplies, I bought a cheap white two-drawer dresser at IKEA and stuck it in a corner. All the crayons, markers, paints, craft scissors, and so on are now out of my sight in "the art drawers." Yes, they're messy inside, but as long as the drawers are shut, do I care? A sanity saver for me, I have to tell you.

Anonymous said...

The shelves hold the baskets or storage boxes....trains to the train basket...dolls to the doll basket.
I must confess I always end up with the basket of everything random, ahhh the playroom "junk drawer"!

Manic Mommy said...

The after looks fabulous!

I have the lesser version of those cube shelves from Target. If I went that high, the boys would climb them. Are they affixed to the wall?

Just curious.

Manic Mommy said...

ps Just noticed the boy with the duck cape in picture #1. LMAO. Too funny.

Stimey said...

Yep, they are affixed to the wall because they look just too much like ladders for my comfort. Regardless, we have a strict no climbing rule, which is mostly followed.

And, yes, that's my little duck boy. He wears that thing everywhere!

whymommy said...

The rooms are absolutely fabulous. So pretty!

Rick said...

Barnyard Boogie never looked so good. I think this is the first time someone has shown me a photo of one of my illustrations framed and actually hanging on their wall.

Thanks! I even down loaded the photo.