Monday, March 1, 2010

Organizing Challenge Complete

WOW! 28 days went by just like that! I can not believe that February is gone and now we're full swing into the birthday month of March over here. I really enjoyed being a part of this challenge, it definitely gave me the kick in the rear I needed to get our playroom/guest room organized. I didn't get to finish everything I would have liked to accomplish, BUT I was able to complete the most important tasks that I shot for. I would have liked a fresh coat of paint in this room, a few more things for the walls......and books on the bookshelf, but that will just have to wait for another rainy day. One of the reasons that I wasn't able to finish all of my tasks was that in order to even begin to organize this room we had to make a major, major change for all of our children. Samuel had been sleeping in the playroom and the girls both had rooms of their own upstairs. So, one of the first things that needed to be done was to start sleeping Sarah with Emily in the same room so that we could move Samuel upstairs to his own room. Thankfully the transition went SUPER, but we did have a few semi-long evenings of adjustment with the girls before they learned how to co-exist in one single room. And of course with moving the children around there was organizing to be done in each other their rooms upstairs too, and that took some time away from what I could have used for this project. Anyway. On to the challenge. We were asked to provide before and after photos and to also fill out this questionnaire for the judging:

1. What was the hardest part of the challenge for you and were you able to overcome it?

I would say the hardest part of this challenge was moving Samuel to his new room like I mentioned above because it meant moving Sarah into Emily's room. I was really tentative to make this transition but after some research and reassuring by lots of friends who had been through this before we just decided to go for the plunge. Moving Samuel meant being able to take the pack-n-play and changing table out of that room (which with everything else in there made WAY too much clutter) and being able to let that room function as just a play room and guest room, which is the way we wanted that room to be utilized.

2. Tell us what kind of changes/habits you have put into place in order for your area/room to maintain its new order?

A little while ago I posted about habits and how we were trying to implement some new ones into our routine. One of those habits is putting things away right after we are done with them. Well, with the playroom in chaos it made it really hard for the girls to put away their play things because everything didn't have a 'spot' yet. One of my motivations for this challenge was to get those toys organized so that I could teach my children that everything has a place and everything belongs in it's place. So we purchased a closet organizer from Lowe's (see question number 4 for picture and more details) as well as some baskets and made sure that there was a specific place for all of their crafts, toys, games, puzzles, etc. My mother even helped by helping Emily create little labels to go on their craft bin so that she knew where to find things.

3. What did you do with the “stuff” you were able to purge out of your newly organized space?

Some things that just did not belong in this space were just moved to a new space that fit better. For example, there was a large basket of baby toys in the playroom and I just moved it up to Sam's room when we moved him. Other things like games that I know we'll never play or toys that haven't been touched in months that I know the kids don't benefit from we put in a box to go to goodwill. Other toys that were seasonal, like the Little People's Christmas Nativity set or the Thanksgiving set I moved downstairs into storage in the basement.

Question Number 4 is below because I thought it was best to answer with the picture of the product and Question Number 5 is at the end of this post.




(The cork board you see in the above photo was purchased so that I could display the kids artwork, but will be covered with fabric for a quick wall hanging when company arrives so this piece serves two purposes)



(We moved the futon kitty-cornered along this wall and put the side table along side it (the long bin underneath is what I mention in question number 4). Also we purchased new curtains for a total of $14 at Walmart, the old ones didn't even fit the window length. When company comes we'll just turn the futon so that it fits along that back wall, add sheets to the bed and it'll be good to go.)





4. What creative storage solutions were you able to introduce in order to create additional space as well as establish some limits and boundaries?

The biggest purchase we made was from Lowe's and it was this closet organizer with baskets and an additional two shelves at the top for extra space (see picture below). I think all together it cost like $75 but it was totally worth it for peace of mind and for teaching my children a valuable habit. I wanted something that would look pleasing to the eye because this is also functioning as a guest room and also wanted something that would containerize and hide some of their smaller toys. We did have a bookshelf in the closet that was trying to function as this item, but it just wasn't working out because's a bookshelf. So I ended up moving the bookshelf out of the closet and bringing in its matching shelf from another room and putting it along the wall that the crib had been on. You can see that in the picture above. We also put a long bin underneath the futon and it has the kids' play clothes in it. I heart long bins that slide under beds or shelves. Probably my favorite organizing solution for small spaces. It's easily accessible to the kids and it cleans up and out of the way in a jiff if company is coming. Speaking of, check this out to see another use for those long bins.







5. Why do you think you should win this challenge?

I think I should win because I started about 6 years ago knowing little about organization and upon getting married, having children and living in a one story ranch (although 8 months ago we did move into a larger home) quickly learned how important being organized is, not just for my benefit, but for our whole family. So I feel that this room is a microcosm for the whole of what I have been learning over the last few years (largely from the Organizing Junkie). Also.....I have three children all under the age of five and I was able to accomplish all that is seen above.......enough said! :-D

Thanks to OrgJunkie for hosting this great challenge! What a fun way to get motivated to organize our clutter and to gain ideas from others. Now....if I could just get motivated to tackle our master bedroom closet!

To see my original post that started me on this challenge, go here.


Mary said...

This looks AMAZING!!!! What a HUGE difference to purpose that room and take all things out that shouldn't be in there. It's motivating to see what a big difference that makes! Makes me wanna get crackin! AWESOMELY AWESOME JOB!!!

happygal said...

Look at that! You have a beautiful room now! Kudos!

Rana said...

Your room looks great. I agree it's a huge accomplishment to get something like this done with 3 kids under age 5.

Aimee said...

You did a lot! Way to go. I bet you are going to really enjoy having the space all nice and tidy. :)

Anonymous said...

great job Amy!!!

MemeGRL said...

Wow--some of those photos were startling to think were even the same room! Great job. ay you and your family enjoy it!

Angie said...

What a nice, clean space! Great work - and very impressive with three kids at home!

Katie said...

Nice job!

Tricia said...

Wow! Huge difference. Looks wonderful!