Monday, August 11, 2014

Clean up, clean out, organize!

I love to organize things. I love to sort and arrange and line up things. And I think that's why the state of my living room has been driving me crazy lately.

My house has the same clutter as everybody else's -- mail, magazines, things that didn't make it back to their rightful places. But for the most part, I try to make sure things do have a rightful place.

And luckily, Jeff is the same way. He has WAY too many T-shirts (because he loves them), but other than that, when he gets something new, he almost always gets rid of something old.

And of course, we're trying to instill this in Biscuit.

Since Biscuit got here, we've let him keep all his toys in the living room. His room is on the second floor, and we definitely didn't want him trying to climb up the stairs to play. So we thought it was pretty harmless to devote some space to his stuff.

The toys started out in a small basket. Then it took a larger basket. Then a large bucket. Then a second bucket was added. Then they started spilling out over that. We tried to narrow down the pile, especially before his birthday and Christmas, but it just seemed to grow and grow. And I just kept thinking, "This won't be forever."

But lately, I've noticed Biscuit has been spending more time playing in his room and in the loft area at the top of the stairs. And it was a sign unto me!

Two weeks ago, I told Biscuit, "We're going to move all your toys upstairs to your room. What do you think about that?"

"I won't ever be able to play downstairs again?" Biscuit asked.

"Dude!" I said. "Of COURSE you can play downstairs. I just mean that we're going to move your toys to your room so the living room will look nicer."

We're lucky enough to have double closets in Biscuit's room. So I told Biscuit that we were going to redo his closet by putting shelves for his toys on one side and putting his hanging clothes on the other side. I gave him a pop-up hamper and told him he could use the hamper to bring down any toys he wanted to play with. Then at the end of the evening, he could put them back in the hamper and take them back upstairs.

He still seemed doubtful until Jeff and I got done. I took him upstairs and opened the toy side first.

"Whoa!" Biscuit said. "That's AWESOME!"

Then I opened the other side.

"That's cool, too," Biscuit said, "but the other side is AWESOME!"

Of course, we did all this work, then gave him the hamper to use. He brought toys downstairs the first day and seemed very pleased with himself for getting it all figured out. And then we put him to bed with his toys spread out all over the living room.

We all laughed about it the next day and agreed that it was going to be a learning curve.

But it's a step in the right direction.

Here's what his closet looks like.

This is the toy side. Jeff installed the shelves, and we used the
hanging cubbies for all of Biscuit's hats. He still loves hats. And it
was funny because when he packed his toy bag to go to Mama's this
week, he originally had four caps, two firefighter helmets, two cowboy
hats and a police hat in his bag. I repacked his toy bag without him
knowing it, but it just tickled me that he had included all those
hats! I think maybe it was because he could easily see them all.

The rods were already installed in the closet. Biscuit doesn't have
too many hanging clothes right now, but I figure that will change
eventually. The blue and green cubbies have the days of the week on
them. Each week on Sunday, I put pants, shirt, underwear, socks and
PJs in each day's cubby. That makes mornings a lot easier. The cubbies
on the far left with the animal faces usually holds stuffed animals.
But a good many of them went to Mama's house with Biscuit.
I'm sure she's thrilled to have all those critters at her house for a visit.

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