Thursday, April 14, 2011

Books and Rearranging the House

My girls have too much stuff in their room. Well, actually they have too much stuff period. But part of the problem comes from them sharing a room. I figured the more stuff we can get OUT of their room, the better.

So, I have thought of three ways to do that. Only one of them is a new idea:

1. Get rid of stuff. It's on-going.

The toy room last summer when we first rearranged. It stayed like this for several hours. It does not resemble the toy room today. Sadly.
2. Keep toys in the toy room. We are blessed to have a little space when you first walk in the house---I guess it's kind of supposed to be a home office. The original owners used it for a kids' TV room. It used to be our homeschool room. Anyway, it's our toy room but there are also toys in their bedroom. The more toys we can fit in the toy room (and get rid of) the better. I DO let them keep special toys in their closet shelves so they aren't available to the general population who may come over to play. They each have one shelf, but they need to be decluttered.

3. ***This is my new idea*** Get books OUT of their room!

I read this post today at Heart of the Matter and it really made me start thinking. I was already considering what I could do differently with the closet in our homeschool room. Right now it's being used to store store out of season clothes, toys that are out of the rotation but no one wants to get rid of, and art supplies. And OK....junk too. It's not being used well is what I'm saying.

The homeschool room closet when it was newly painted and organized to be the girls' bedroom. But then we switched to the other bedroom for them and this became the homeschool room. Wouldn't it be great with shelves in here full of books?
But what if I put shelves in there? What if I moved the girls' bookshelves out of their rooms and into the homeschool room? Or just move the books out and let them use the bookshelves for other things? (But then wouldn't they just fill up with junk? We could put canvas baskets on the shelves?)

I just noticed in this old picture there are no books on the bookshelf. We tried them in the bedroom closet for a while. I am an organizing schizo. See previous picture caption.
What if I gather up all the children's books and school books and categorize them where they will be more useful and neat?

Where could I store the art stuff? I have cabinets in the laundry room where I could store that stuff with a little work. Then they could do art on the kitchen table and NOT mess up my homeschool table all the time. Playdoh could go there too.

Instead of hanging in a dollar store sack on the laundry room door.

 I could use some professional organizing advice. But I'll take advice from you guys too! Bwahahaha!

Seriously. I need help. And if you need more information before you start suggesting things, I'll be happy to supply you with that. I need help!


  1. I agree with the book thing. Although I have books in BOTH the kids rooms and Kate and Emily are too crowded and we have no toy room. SO can I whine- NO because I choose to live here--- gotta keep telling myself that!

    Okay, back from my sob story-- are the cabinets full of useful junk OR just junk in the kitchen? Why arent they utilized better? Are you sure you can move art there.

    How will you fill when the kitchen table is always messy with art? Wont that be more frutrating than the room you can close a door on?

    SOrry playing devils advocate!

    I like the baskets thing... it allows the girls to have a CERTAIN amount of junk that they inevitably WILL have but keeps it contained and isnt unsightly-- cuz it's held ina cute little basket!

    Going back to The house that cleans itself-- is the art stuff going to be out of the way? will it be a hindrance to go get it if needed? or do you really not NEED it in the home school room?

    Purging is ALWAYS needed-- I grant you that, but usually it is more the problem of organization so if you move things around-- THE SAME AMOUNT OF JUNK-- but it is more organized you are still WAY better off

    There, that is my book-- no come help me move my school room and arrange all my crap!

  2. I went to that original HOM post and commented there, but below is an address for a peek at our library.

    The closet in your school room - yes, clothes in storage buckets in the attic or wherever.

    Next, wire shelves from top to bottom in that closet. Then lots of various sized clear buckets with lids, one per item. i.e. a marker bucket, crayon bucket, playdoh bucket, water color bucket, math bucket (blocks, change to count, whatever), spelling letters bucket, yadda yadda yadda.

    Oh - you were talking about putting books in the closet, so here's my two cents. Shelves full of books in any given room look great and are then considered 'decor' (sounds better than 'addiction'!). Shelves full of toys in any given room are more likely to look like a mess. I'd vote for getting the toys behind doors and the books out in the rooms, rather than the other way around.

    If you use that closet for toys, put shelves in and tell the children, "If you want it, it fits in there NEATLY." Let the girls take turns picking a toy to stay, put it in an appropriate spot in the closet, and keep going back and forth until the closet is utilized but not too full. The rest gets the heave ho. New stuff comes in, then something has to go. Same deal with the buckets. A bucket of dolls, a bucket of dress up clothes, a bucket of dishes, etc. Easy to see, find, and clean up.

  3. Carrie, with proper shelving, you could get all your books in your homeschool room. I am convinced of it. And didn't you already rearrange? I have yet to see pictures.

    The only reason art stuff is in there is remember my grand idea to have an art table in the new homeschool room. Only it didn't work out. They just need access to the stuff. They do art everywhere. I think the laundry room would be fine.

    But, I COULD divide up the art stuff and give them each a plastic lidded box with art stuff in it and store drawing paper in their individual desks. That's where the need to be drawing/arting anyway. NOT in the homeschool room and NOT at the kitchen table. Hmmm.....

  4. Q--your library is amazing!!! That's what our toy room is going to be one day...a library. It will be so nice.

    Point well taken about hiding other stuff besides books. Good call. I'll have to think on that one.....

  5. I keep all of our books in the living room on 2 large bookshelves. I put a few trinkets on the shelves, too, but for the most part, it's just books everywhere.

    For bedroom clutter, Jacob has one small toybox that my dad made for him. He can keep whatever toys he wants in his room, but they MUST fit in the box with the lid closed. Everything else goes in the basement "playroom"

  6. I forgot to add: Jacob is 8. So all of the books that he's outgrown are stored in plastic tubs in the basement "playroom" in case we have more children.

    Oh, and playroom is in parenthesis, because right now the entire basement is unfinished, and the play area consists of a couch, one of those area rugs with the roads and stuff printed on it, and a lot of plastic tubs of toys. I'm hoping to get it better organized this summer while I'm off work.

  7. OK--ya'll have helped me think through this. S also looked at the closet. I've decided I want to get the non-book homeschool stuff into the closet. Magnetic letters, math blocks, office supplies, etc. I want the IKEA shelves to be BOOKS. Only. BUT...that may mean they don't all fit. I honestly can't imagine if I can get all the books out of the girls' rooms or not. Hmm. That's a job for this summer I suppose.


I don't get to talk to a lot of actual grown-ups during the day, so your comments make me really happy! :)