Monday, February 1, 2010

Kids' Room! Still Clean!

So Leslie took up my invitation yesterday and asked to see my kids' room. The trouble there was that I promised to post it after 9pm last night... and my kids were already in bed. Going in and turning on lights to take pictures and video wasn't exactly an option! Today was crazy-busy and I'm just now getting to the pictures and the posting, but I promise that this is how the room looked when they went to bed last night. I am pleased to say that they are STILL cleaning up their toys every night before bed - we've turned it into part of the routine and it just hasn't been a problem. Yesterday some of Oksana's toys ALMOST went in the garbage (yeah I'm THAT mom) because she wouldn't come away from the computer and clean up when I asked her to... some things actually went into a garbage bag before she rescued them and put them away, so I'm hoping that's all it will take for them to know I am serious and that won't be a problem again.

As I've mentioned before, it's a small room, and with two of them AND all their toys (since we don't have a separate play area either) in there, organizing it has always been a challenge. The key was finally finding the right combination of kid-friendly storage bins to hold the STUFF. And also building an extra shelf on the wall (we already had one, but needed two). And, finally, GETTING RID OF STUFF. We still have a LOT of toys; probably too many - but I got rid of excess, of stuff they have grown too old for, of stuff that I decided was dumb, of stuff that we just didn't have room for. If you're afraid you're going to purge a favorite that you didn't KNOW was a favorite - bag the stuff up and put it somewhere unobtrusive (a closet, the basement, the garage) for a week or two. If the kids don't miss the items during that time, they're probably never going to notice the stuff is gone. And off to Goodwill it goes!

Moving forward, my plan is to purge the bins when they get full - but I'm going to have the kids purge them. Stuff is limited to the size of the bin in which it belongs - if, for instance, their dress-up bin overflows, it's time for them to decide which items they want to give away. If they HAVE to keep it all, then they can designate a second dress-up bin, BUT that will mean some of their other toys have to go. That's my plan, anyway.

And now, a photo tour!

The view from the doorway:

To the right is the shelving unit holding all of the larger stuffed animals. Directly across from the doorway is the dresser; clothing inside, books and games on top. Across and to the left is their bunk bed. Directly to the left, almost invisible from this angle, is one of the Sterilite-drawer towers I put together.

Next to the door:

The stuffed animal shelving unit and the other Sterilite-drawer tower. Every drawer is labelled; every toy category gets its own drawer, and every item they own has a place. This has proved crucial in keeping the room clean.

The dresser:

Clothes and pull-ups inside. Books and games on top. Oksana's dollhouse on the floor. It is an awkward place for it; it works for now but I have to move it every time I want to get a pair of pants for her. I'm hoping to find a better place for it once we move the kitchen out of their room.

The bed:

Their bunk bed is from IKEA. I love it; they love it. It's not as tall as a traditional bunk bed and I feel safe having them use it. Oksana's mattress is on the floor so we don't have to worry about her falling out of bed. Having a bunk bed is a HUGE space saver in the room; I really love it.

The kitchen:

Big, awkward, but it's a really nice set and they and their friends play with it all the time so it stays. I'm going to move it downstairs soon. It's one of the most awkward elements to their room right now. It's double-sided so I can't even push it against the wall.

The closet:

Drake's stuff on top, Oksana's on the bottom. Shoes on the floor. Shelves below each hanging rod so each kid has a place to store long toys (like foam swords) and their multitudes of bags and boxes.

The last wall:

A small toy chest that came with the house, and we still use it; a hanging IKEA dragon that holds small stuffed animals (beanies and the like); our reading chair; the other Sterilite-drawer tower. Two more bookshelves high up on the wall.

And... looking out the door from inside the room.

That's Pepper. Pardon her glowing eyes; I'm not a very good photographer (yet, anyway). My dogs follow me from room to room, expectantly, all day, every day. That's why you see them in so many of my pictures.

A video tour, if you'd rather watch that instead. I struggle taking pictures of our rooms because they aren't very big and I don't have a wide angle lens or a fisheye lens or whatever lens people use to get a good view of rooms. I always feel like the pictures just look really awkward. Which is why I always do video too. But I don't plan out my videos so my narration is, well, awkward (lol). Don't miss the part where my mom calls me in the middle of filming, that was great. I'm such a pro.

I'm in a hurry because I'm going to be late for TOPS, so I didn't proofread this at all, so if you see anything that doesn't seem right or sound right or isn't spelled right, be a doll and let me know? Or just ignore it politely, whatever you prefer! Thanks!

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