Thursday, June 19, 2014

Legos, Computers and Toys...Oh My!

Do you have any areas of your house that just don't work anymore?  Maybe a space where you avoid because it is so disconnected, so cluttered, or just not functional. 

We sure do.  But now...we have two fewer of those spaces, and I'm excited!

Did you know that playrooms and offices really shouldn't be in the same room?  You think I would have figured this out a few months ago when Sydney was supposed to be playing and I found her standing on Dad's desk trying out all of his highlighters. 

Or the time she emptied the contents of some files on the floor.

Or had the water for her toy kitchen gracefully posed above the computer to pour into the cup she had balanced on the tower.  

Yeah--episodes like those truly should have clued me into the fact that two year olds and unsupervised play time in the office don't go well. But it took a while.  Call me a slow learner.


Another space that was driving me batty was the girls' closet area.  I know what most of you think of when you hear the word closet.  I assure you that the typical enclosed area with a door is NOT what I'm describing.  Our house is over 100 years old.  These closets are like mini-room with slanted ceilings and are quite large.  But not very functional if you are taller than a ten year old.

When we first moved the girls up there, we decided it was the perfect space for Jayme to play with Legos.  After all, she was the only one using them.  And she fit quite nicely in there.

Fast forward a few years, and Jeffrey and Ellie want to build too.  And Jayme grew up a foot or so.  And no longer comfortably fits in her closet. 

So she brings the Legos out into the main room to play.  And her creations get scattered by her sisters.  And pieces get left out.  And stepped on. (Ouch!)

And now they've reacquainted themselves with our old tub of K'Nex.  So there are K'Nex and Legos for me to dodge each day.  Cleaning their room was a daily struggle for them.  It was taking forever.  


Are you seeing my ah-ha moment yet?  It hit me this morning!  Bryan and I had been talking about the playroom disaster last night, and really wanting to declutter the house.

The kids and I took action today.

We moved the toy kitchen and accessories upstairs to the closet.  Sydney and Ellie both fit comfortably in there and can play independently with no computers to fry.  We got rid of broken and not played with toys from the rest of the playroom, and toys went back into bedrooms. 

The Legos and K'Nex got moved downstairs, along with a couple of small tables for building on.  We brought a bookshelf and the building pieces are now housed neatly in containers instead of on the floor of the upstairs closet.  One of those place for everything kind of moments for us.

The Lego/K'Nex storage area and one play table.
The kids who are old enough to play with Legos know better than to mess with the office stuff.  And they fit a lot better in the larger area. 

Sydney is being trained currently to leave this room alone unless she has been invited in by an older sibling or parent--who will be supervising her.  We do have blocks and Lincoln Logs in there as well, as I want to encourage siblings to play together.  But she can't be in here by herself anymore.   

The other play table, and the blocks and Lincoln Log storage.

Clean-up this afternoon was so much easier!  No cramming into small closets.  No water by a computer. 

And Ellie was excited to unpack her kitchen area during quiet time. 

We'll tackle the rest of the girls' room tomorrow, and another drive me batty area will be taken care of.

How exciting!

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