Somewhere in the process of permitting our plans here in Austin, we ran into an antiquated neighborhood zoning rule that mandated that your garage could not protrude closer to the street than the rest of the house. In order to accommodate this and get the plans permitted the entire right side of the house was stretched and the person who came out the real winner in the whole thing was Parker Pinkston. Her closet went from generous to begin with to downright luxurious, possibly the size of a small bedroom. Amazing, right? Kind of. As most of you moms already know, the more space you have and stuff to fill it can easily result in bigger messes to clean. I love that she is so inclined to play by herself in her room. She loves to play with her babies, play school and doctor, and just about anything imaginative. (She just started Spanish and regularly speaks made up words to her babies and then tells them what they mean "in Spanish".) The problem with all of that independent play at the end of the day was the mess. It was taking longer and longer and things were getting more and more disorganized. The second issue was that she doesn't have a dresser in her room. While her closet is huge, her room is a much more modest size, so we are using shelving for her clothes. I didn't spare you any of the disastrous details in the before issues below...
Here's what we did to fix that shelving / clothing situation: First, there was ample hanging rod space, so I knew we needed to maximize that. We ordered more hangers and hung everything from tees to pants. This did a few things: 1. It left less on the shelves. 2. She can't reach it, so while she can still go in there and pick out her own clothes she needs out help getting it down which means I don't walk into a pile of clean clothes on the ground like I was before. What's left in those Nordic baskets? Socks, undies, pajamas, swimsuits, tights, dance clothes, hats and the like. While four baskets would easily fit, we did three on a shelf so that you can slide the top one over for easy access to the two below. Last we labeled everything with a p-touch label maker.
The empty basket below is one of the keys to keeping this thing organized! This is our 'I don't have time to put everything away properly at the moment, but still need to pick up, so I'm going to put everything in this basket' basket. Then when we have time we go through it and can re-sort what is in there into the proper bins. We actually haven't even run into this problem very often, though, because of how we organized this other section of her closet...
Such a mess of toys right?!
Here's the thought process on this side: She can reach some things that she loves. Those things don't have small pieces (since we will soon have a crawler on our hands) and they're easy to clean up. If she were to destroy those lower two shelves and that great big basket of stuffed animals, that's a manageable clean up. (The first pink bin is instruments and the second is dress up clothes-- her favorite!) Within those top two pink bins, though, are plastic bins of legos, magnatiles, doctor play things, all of the play things for her calico critter house and more. If she wants those she has to ask, and if her room is a mess then we have to pick it up together before she can get them out. I have no idea where this lines up with different play theories, but it's how I stay sane, so I'm pretty sure everything will work out!
That shallow blue paper box that you see sneaking into some of the frames is an idea that my friend Margaret gave me. It's for momentos-- first movie ticket stubs, mother's day art, etc. At the end of the year we go through and keep our favorite 5-7 things, put them in a ziploc and label them with the year. Everything else gets discarded.
Before Photos by Katie Jameson || After photos by me
(For more organization posts, click here!)