Read Part 1 of my quest to better organize my two youngest daughters’ shared bedroom.
When Home Depot asked me if I wanted to check out their storage/organization options for kids’ rooms, I was psyched. I’ve known for awhile that the stuff situation in the bedroom that my two youngest girls share had gotten totally out of control, and I’d become somewhat overwhelmed by the exploding jumble – too overwhelmed to actually figure out a solution.
It’s definitely a first world problem when your 2- and 4-year-old daughters have so many playthings that the stuff no longer fits easily in their bedroom-slash-playspace. We are blessed, and I totally recognize that. Between birthdays and Christmas and grandparents and hand me down toys from older siblings, the girls’ bedroom was simply overflowing with small plastic people, dollhouse furniture, crayons, books, doll clothing, dress up clothes, stuffed animals, Barbies and random pieces of disassembled toys. And in contrast to the abundance of toys in it, the girls’ bedroom had ZERO storage. No shelves. Small closet. Just no place at all to put anything away in a tidy and organized way.
So last week, my pal and organizational guru Jay and I headed out to bring home some practical storage solutions for the girls’ room. ( You can check out what I went with in the photos below.) But when we got the boxes home, and Jon began assembling the storage units Jay helped me pick out, I realized that the very first thing I had to do — before adding the new storage units to the room – was to RADICALLY declutter. It was time to get rid of some of stuff…a lot of stuff.
Since I embarked on my turbocharged decluttering of the girls’ room in recent days as Step One in Operation Organize, and I mentioned what I was doing on Facebook and to some of my friends, I’ve had a few other parents tell me that their kids would never let them do what I did, which was to jettison what turned out to be probably 2/3 of the toys and toy-like items in the girls’ room.
But see, here’s the thing; I only got rid of stuff that I was sure they wouldn’t care about or probably even notice, and yes, I did it when they weren’t looking. That’s right, I pulled a fast one while Jon distracted the girls, hauling out things like nine of their 12 teddy bears (see, I’m not TOO cruel. They still have three teddy bears.), all the baby toys that two year old G hasn’t touched in at least nine months, the headless Polly Pockets, the doll stroller with three wheels, the terrifying clown doll that nobody wanted to touch or even look at, the deflated Happy Birthday balloon made of some space-age material that’s been tied to the closet door for at least six months, all the broken crayons and dried-out markers with missing tops…you get the idea. I also packed up all the clothes that G has outgrown so that I can go ahead and hand it all down to friends with babies, and I also boxed up the stuff that’s too small for C but still to big for her little sister and I put it in the basement — neatly labeled and no longer cluttering up the girls’ drawers and closet — to be pulled back out when G grows a bit.
It was AMAZING how much junk I hauled out of that room. By the time i finished this extremely satisfying job, the amount of stuff left that needed to be organized and put away had been significantly reduced. So at that point, I was ready to set up the new storage units in the girls’ room and start putting what was left away – neatly and in a way that would make it easy for the girls to find what they want to play with, and to put it away themselves when they are done.
And let me tell you that not only did the girls not complain about the items that went missing from their room – they’ve yet to even mention any of it — they were absolutely thrilled with their newly organized and clutter free room. C in particular just couldn’t stop exclaiming how much she loves having her room so tidy and easy to navigate. She’s a very orderly person by nature, and she is far more at ease and happy in environments that match that natural tendency toward organization. So having her playthings so neatly organized and easy to find put a huge grin on her face. Once I finished putting everything in its place in the room late this morning, C barely left her room for the rest of the day. All she wanted to do was play with her toys in there, and when she would finish with one item, she’d carefully put it away before taking out another toy. She actually loves being able to do that.
So, suffice it to say that this was an extremely satisfying project. I’m very happy with how pretty and practical the Martha Stewart storage units that I picked for the girls’ room are, and the total cost was under $150. I like both the way they look in the girls’ room, as well as their functionality. And now that I’ve tackled organizing the little girls’ room in such a top to bottom way, I am totally inspired to work with my two teenagers to do the exact same thing with their bedrooms, and I told Jon today that our bedroom is next up on my radical organization to-do list.
If you would like to see how the decluttering-organizing project unfolded in the girls’ bedroom, as well as the final results, just click through the photos below.
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