Monday, May 25, 2009

Kids Bedrooms

The One Year to an Organized Life book covers kids' rooms in September, so I continue to be out of sequence here. I must be driving my husband and my friend Shelia batty. I still haven't finished the study--no. I will be lucky if I finish it by the end of June at this rate!

In the meantime, I've been focusing on other things. We did the big bedroom swap here a few weeks ago. We have a three-bedroom house with three children. The kids' rooms are upstairs, and one of them is bigger than the other. Chris, the oldest, has been in the larger bedroom since he was 3. We've told him that if he wants to have his own room, he would need to move to the smaller room.

We bought bunk beds for the younger boys, and Kieran (the middle son) was also not crazy about moving into the other room.

But once we finally made the move (and stopped just talking about it), they've all made the adjustment nicely.

I'm still working on cleaning the younger boys' room (including the annual swap-out-the-winter-and-outgrown-clothes routine, which can be time consuming with three and out of storage, organizing sizes, etc.). But I tackled Chris' bedroom last week. I convinced him to go through his books and put some aside to give away. The ones that were in good shape we took to Powell's (and he earned $24 in credit for them), and the others we donated or posted on
I know that I should be engaging the children more in cleaning out their rooms, but honestly, it is easier to do the initial cleaning myself because I can declutter while I am doing it. I do wish my children were excited about decluttering and moving their seldom-used stuff along, but they are not (understatement of the year). I would have a very difficult time getting rid of anything if they were helping me. So I declutter and clean, and I will expect them to keep it clean, or at least reasonably clean.
Here is Chris' new bedroom:

And this what I have yet to tackle in the other room! (Leftovers from when Chris occupied it, in addition to various clothes, toys, etc.) Plus, I need to sort out the closets in both rooms. So much to do!!

We're very happy with our purchase of the bunk beds and dresser--we got the whole set for $750 via Craigslist, and they are solid wood. We're using the toddler bed for Nicholas for now instead of the usual twin bed because the toddler bed has rails.
Aye, aye, aye! Just looking at these photos is overwhelming! But I think I must tackle the rest of this mess before I get back to the study!!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Drowning in Paper!

Yes, I'm still working on that darned study! I found the kitchen and bedroom easier because I could compartmentalize the tasks. The study is one of the largest rooms in our house. I also find that when I declutter and organize, I tend to create more of a mess than I had before...just in the organizing process. So even though I'm actually making progress, it's not very easy to see it.

Last night when I was getting ready for bed, Mike asked what I had been working on that night, and it was hard to give him a specific answer. I've just been working through the stuff.

My usual habit is to have a dark garbage bag for "giveaways," a white plastic bag for garbage, and a brown paper sack for paper to recycle. This weekend is the school rummage sale, so a number of bags have been donated there. (And note: I am not planning to attend! Mike will be at a writer's conference this weekend, and the only way I might hit the rummage sale is without kids in tow. But with the kids along, all we would end up with would be RUMMAGE! So it's going only one way and not coming back.)

It's really astonishing how much time all this organizing can take when you've never had a sense of good organization in a room. For example, I've looked through old greeting cards and have a bag of them to keep--I've recycled a whole lot of them as well. I pile the children's best artwork in a pile. I stack photos in a pile (yes, they've been strewn all over the place!); same with bookmarks. Anything that belongs to Mike or that needs to be filed, I put in his corner of stuff. He's been gradually going through it, but the piles continue to expand.

I've organized most of my art supplies, the fairly large supply of gifts to keep on hand, the cards, the books, the office supplies, the photo frames, the stuff to hang on the walls, the gift bags and wrapping paper, the CDs (well, the ones we are keeping--are in a bag), and the supply of stationery. I've put toys into a bin for the family room. I have another bin for Kieran's art supplies. (We have several bins around the house--this, too, needs organization!)

One of the things I discovered last night is that we have a plethora of greeting cards and stationery. Plus one of my favorite things to do is to make cards, but I don't often take the time to do so. (I'm hoping that by organizing my art supplies into the plastic-drawer bins, it will make this easier in the future.)

I also love to make gifts--such as these margarita candles I made for Mother's Day.

When I listed one of eight things I would like to do (in my other blog), I listed "making more of my own gifts" as one of my things. I would love to do more of this kind of thing.

Gift giving and card writing is important to both Mike and me. (When I was a young girl, I collected stationery--each box was numbered, and at one point I have more than 100 varieties...but how often do I write letters any more? I still have some legacy stationery, though I got rid of a bunch last night.)

We tend to overpurchase when it comes to both gifts and cards. Mike is positively addicted to thank you cards! I've suggested that he use some of the other cards we have in plentiful supply, but he likes them to be small so he doesn't have to write as much! (My husband is King of the Thank You Cards. And the Queen, by the way, lives in Boise, Idaho.) I'm determined to, one day, make him a stack of 100!

We have enough other types of greeting cards to last us at least a year, and as I've written previously, I have a box of gifts for kids and another for adults. I am a perennial bargain hunter, so I see things that would be good for gifts on sale--and then they stack up. Of course, that doesn't stop me from going out and buying the perfect gift for someone if I feel the whim or the need!

So that's all for now. One of these days I really will finish cleaning and organizing the study and get back to Regina Leeds' book! I'm determined!