Like any AMAZING blogger, I like to do whole projects and then not ever post them or tell anyone about them. Recipe for blogging success!
If I don’t tell you ANYTHING about what I’ve done or what I’m doing, then you’ll just always be thinking “man, I bet there’s some amazing stuff going on over there. Like, probably some whole house renovations for $10 or less!” And then your imagination can just create better projects than I would really ever do, but I still get credit for doing the stuff in your head. It all works out.
So that’s why I’m not going to tell you about Weston’s little closet makeover that we did like 6 months ago. I think at some point I did show you this great tragedy:
That’s what we were dealing with: books everywhere, no organization or place for toys, and not even any closet doors to hide all that mess away so you can pretend like it’s not real.
So if I were telling you about this project, which I’m not, I’d show you how we cleared it out and unscrewed the old closet system.
Then we basically just took a ton of measurements and spent like 12 hours standing in Ikea, furiously scratching out math problems on paper, brainstorming, smoke coming out our ears, and then BUYING ALL THE THINGS! and hoping it would all work out when we got home.
We just used Ikea’s Algot closet storage system, but the real genius was Andy’s brilliant idea to use their Sortera recycling storage bins for toy storage!
Let me just tell you: LIFE CHANGING. These bins fit perfectly within the depth of the closet and hold ALL the awkwardly shaped toys you swore you’d never own before you had kids:
- giant Buzz Lightyear figurines
- Legos that would otherwise be embedding themselves firmly in the soft tissue of your foot
- tiny plastic things in shapes of animals that your kids are oddly emotionally attached to, and magically NEVER lose, despite the fact that they can’t even find their own shoes when you’re running late and their shoes are LITERALLY right on the floor in front of their face, and you’re impatiently standing there saying “They’re RIGHT THERE! No, RIGHT ON THE FLOOR. IN FRONT OF YOU.” While your kid looks confusedly up at the ceiling, where no shoe has ever, ever been found.
We used this opportunity to buy a label-maker (OMG.) and Weston had a great time being “in charge” of typing and printing out labels for each bin:
We had bins for legos, bins for costumes and dress-up clothes, bins for play kitchen toys, bins for stuffed animals, BINS FOR ALL THE BINS! It was amazing!
…for like a few months, and then we moved.
But seriously, I felt kind of like an awful mom, because I realized that all Weston needed to keep his room clean was a *system* and the tools. Once we created a system he could follow, he really got behind it and felt empowered in his room. Kinda like how I was with my closet makeover: once you have a system, it’s amazing how neat you can become. Should’ve done that YEARS ago – for BOTH of us.
Also can we talk about label-makers for a sec? Can we just give ourselves a moment to admit how having a label-maker in your hand transforms the messiest of us (me) into Sudden Organizing Fiends, who can find an excuse to label and organize EVERYTHING, kids included? It’s MY PRECIOUS – the One Ring to Rule Them All – and it turns me into Gollum, wanting to Label Everything In Sight, with no self-control. I have to leave mine stored out of sight or things start to get weird.
I have this one, if you’re looking for one. It’s legit – you can change the font and font style, add borders; it prints out in this smooth, satisfying way… Just thinking about it right now is making me get twitchy.
Anyway. The closet:
We made over the whole rest of his room too – that’s where all the other junk went. I’ll show you that, promise.
The moral of the story for us: don’t wait until a couple months before you’re going to move (even if you don’t know it’s coming) to finally figure out how to live in your house right. And: it’s amazing how much neater your kids will be if you actually give them somewhere to put their stuff, instead of just walking into their room, sighing helplessly and leaving.
Anyone else find good storage options for toys? Our toys seem to reproduce behind closed doors… I try not to ask questions.