Order was needed.
Some kind of system to find stuff and put stuff where stuff belonged after stuff was being looked for and stuff was not found. Another thing also became achingly apparent... we had a lot of... shi.. I mean, stuff!
There were homework supplies on the kitchen table. Fast food (yeah, yeah, we go there!) toys in the sofa and randomly surprising us throughout the house. Paper and crayons were wherever we last used them. Play dough in a grocery bag in the kitchen. And my checkbook and papers wherever there was a spare corner.
I would have taken a before photo, but 1) we have been using this for a while now, so that would have been forever ago and 2)I would have had to take a photo of every corner of the house, between pillows, under chairs and places where spiders want to be left alone.
So, here then, is one of the many areas I simplified and organized to help not only hide the mess but also try to make sense of it and bring things together that were often used in a common, neat area.
What you see here is an old TV stand. It was brown and sticky colored... yep... sticky colored! It had two rickety glass doors on it that were barely hanging on their hinges and also a couple of screws loose.
Don't we all!? ... I don't judge here... :)
Anyway, we used it at first for the TV sure, cause that is what we bought it for. Later it held my son's toys in his room and when he outgrew the little toys we used it as a side table in the living room to hold board games. Until our daughter was born and decided it would be a whole lotta fun to dump all the pieces of all the board games on the floor. At the same time.
Fast forward to some sanding down and a lousy paint job on mama's part and I re-purposed this old thing into something (still not quiet attractive) kinda useful!
Each shelf holds three Ikea baskets. The top one has one for me and one each for the kids (dad has his own area for his stuff... also, dad doesn't need something the size of a basket to hide his mess). No need for an insider view here. There are checkbooks, a calculator and a couple of binders in mine. My son has school folders, forms and toys he gets from parties, friends, etc. that don't really belong with anything else. He also keeps his empty wallet in here. No need to put it anywhere safe. It is, after all.. always empty. Maya's basket holds the same kind of crud, minus the school work.
I actually love their baskets, cause any time I find something lying around the house I don't even need to ask where it goes, I just pick it up and toss it in their basket. They know where to look if they can't find something. It's the single Hotwheel car on the floor, the pair of sunglasses, the one lost My Little Pony, the three Lego blocks or the homework from under the table. I don't really care... it all goes in the baskets.
Next shelf is...
scrap paper and coloring books with a box of crayons and a box of colored pencils.
All. The. Stickers. (and tattoos)
and the play dough.
Then on the bottom shelf...
all the other kinds of colors. No, not the paint... I'm not that stupid.
It's metallic markers, dry erase markers, high lighters, twisty crayons, regular markers, Wondercolor pens, erasable window markers, oil pastels and dot markers.
all the glue. all the scissors.
And lastly, it's the other random supplies.
Colored tissue paper squares, for, you know... spreading around the room like confetti (according to Maya) and tape... glorious tape, which in this house is like crack for my kids... HOURS of entertainment with tape. Tape the fort together, tape sticks together, tape on our bodies, on the wall, let's put some under the table... you get my drift.
My day planner, a kid-made can that I use for highlighters, pens and pencils, an empty decorative box
(shh... it's actually where I put the slinky when I don't want the kids to ruin yet another one, or where I hide a toy they are fighting over and I don't want them to find... *insert evil mama laugh here*).
And my favorite sign in the entire house...
Yes, I cleaned up the table for the photo. It doesn't always look so... clean.
No, I cannot lend you my monkeys!
How do you keep it together?
(the house I mean... not you... we all know none of us are really keeping it together)