Wednesday, November 12, 2008


On Saturday we are celebrating Harper's fourth birthday. Which means our home will welcome friends, family, and gifts. . . This time of year (birthday time tumbling into holiday time) is always exciting and a little overwhelming. Lately I've been itching to get to some of the cleaning out/organizing projects that we've been neglecting. If I frame it the right way, Harper is still at an age where she is excited to help and old enough that she actually can be helpful.

We have this horribly ugly wall of paneling in our kitchen. In the past I have disguised it by scotch taping Harper's art all over the thing. This week we took down all the old artwork and created a slightly better look by attaching a few lengths of chain to the wall. Now we can hang her work with clothes pins. I'll have to take another picture when the wall is covered with art. For now I captured the beginning of the alphabet letters she's been working on in preschool

We had a collection of Little People toys taking over a huge amount of real estate in our toy closet. Harper rarely plays with these sets anymore and Michael is a little young for them. We arranged each set on the table, took a picture which included all the pieces, and then placed each set into its own bin with the picture on the outside. They are being relocated to the basement. This way we could still bring a set up for Harper if she asks for one, or she can take them apart and play downstairs, and will be able to sort them back into bins on her own.

We use the small front hall area of our house for Harper's kitchen and doll stuff. She has a set of bins in there which hold all the food, dishes, baby blankets, etc. Harper is famous for getting nearly every little piece out and then freaking when we make her clean it up because it seems like such a big impossible job. Over the weekend I had her help me re-sort all those items into their bins. We took pictures of each bin's contents and taped it to the outside of the bin so she can remember where everything goes. It's been three days and so far, so good. No more complaints about cleaning up!

We also did a big toy box clean out. Harper helped reunite toys that belonged together. While she wasn't looking I squirreled away a few toys she really has outgrown and threw away some broken items. I now feel like we have some hope of getting reorganized after the birthday/holiday whirlwind.

We're on a roll, anyone want me to come over and organize your toys?


MamaK said...

Kelsey, thsi blog entry SERIOUSLY looks like some kind of magazine "how to" article! Brillant! Want to swing by and organize Kaden's infant "stuff"? Maybe decorate his room (ahem)?

Erin said...

Holy cow! Excellent work!

And OF COURSE I WANT YOU TO COME OVER AND ORGANIZE. Choose ANYTHING in our house. Toys. Paperwork. Pantry. Clothes. It all needs major help.

Swistle said...

Ooo, ooo! Me, me!

Also, our house had two walls of paneling, one in the living room and one in the kitchen, and furthermore they were TOTALLY NON-MATCHING. The one in the kitchen wasn't too bad, in that it was made of actual wood, and was of a medium color. The one in the living room was obvious plastic, and also was DARK.

One day Paul couldn't stand it another minute, and he PRIED the plastic wall off. He said he figured whatever was underneath couldn't be worse. And what was amazing was that this is not a story of "What a mess!" but instead a success story: it pried off easily, and had a totally smooth drywall wall underneath (I'd been worried we'd find nothing but frame).

Encouraged, he turned to the kitchen wall. But that one is not only nailed on but GLUED on. In other words, that one is staying on until we tear down the wall. So I painted it. It took about 5 coats of Kilz primer, if I remember correctly, before the wood stain stopped trying to leak through, but now it looks really nice.

Mommy Daisy said...

Well if you're offering your services... I desperately need to do this at my house. Problem is I don't have the space to store toys anywhere other than where they are...unless I can talk Matt into clearing out a spot in the garage (but I won't hold my breath for that).

You did a great job. And I'm sure it will be a lot easier heading into birthday/holiday season now.

Emily said...

Uh...let me think for a second...YES.

This is awesome. And I love the feeling of accomplishment that toy organization/purging brings. Especially when you know you're going to be adding to the stash in the next couple of months...

Lil Mouse said...

this is awesome and exactly what i want to do when we have to for our little one.

Jen said...

I am so jealous! I used to be that organized and then we had 3 kids. I feel like I am in a constant state of clutter, but you have given me hope. Maybe I'll work up the courage to start tackling our massive amounts of toys before the holidays roll around. Thanks for sharing!

Kate said...

How fast can you be here?