Sunday, June 17, 2007


Ok- don't get scared...just put on your 'funny cap!'
I promise this really is adoption related, I'll explain below. I'm about to share something very personal, it's not often I admit something of this magnitude...if you know me and my many quirks- you know that I am: borderline obsessive/compulsive (maybe I'm really over the 'line'), very organized (I actually dream about how to organize things better & make them more functional), and I have great attention to detail. Well, if all this is true- how did our play room get to look like this?

What you can't see here is the two stains on the carpet from chocolate milk & a couple of old sippy cups that were stuck under the recliner. Ok, so I know you are laughing now- I would be. I'm thinking of all my friends, and even my sister, who have commented on this very problem. Kid toys & stuff. Come on ya'll (there's my southern slang!), there's got to be a better way. Why are we letting ourselves be so stressed out by all this stuff?

I've been threatening for years that we would buy one of those old dressers at a yard sale (the kind with 6 big drawers) & let each child have 1 or 2 drawers for ALL their 'stuff.' I've been overwhelmed with toys since our first child was born. Everything seems to be in excess- and the kids don't even play with anything! I know I'm not preaching to the choir here...I hear this kind of problem all the time from moms.

So this is what I've done- I've torn every toy out of every corner and made a HUGE pile in the middle of the floor. I went to Walmart tonight and purchased 9 matching rubbermaid bins. The lovely built in bookshelves we have in the toy room will house all 9 bins and all of our children's books. There will be 7 bins (one for every day of the week) that will hold toys, activities, dress up clothes, etc. for DD#3 & DS #3. They (besides the baby) will be the youngest children and are still young enough to play with toys. Each bin will hold things for DD#3 & DS#3, divided equally. On the corresponding day (ex. Monday), they will only be allowed to open that particular bin and play with it's contents for the ENTIRE day. Technically, by the end of the day only the toys that fit in the bin will need to be picked up. Seems like a good idea doesn't it? The other two bins will be for #1: Baby toys (that DD#4 will have access to every day- but they all have to fit in the ONE bin) & #2: Angelina Ballerina and accessories. Angelina will be accessible to DD#3 every day because DS#3 has his trucks, dumptrucks, etc. available in his bedroom closet.

I am about to head upstairs and sneak into the toy room to do the night-time purging and sorting into the bins. I'll attach pictures of the room when I'm done.

How this relates to the adoptions:
I have been preparing the house for our 4 Liberian children for over a year now. It has come in many stages: painting, rearranging rooms, purchasing furniture, fixing and refinishing donated furniture, planning out the best way to function with 9 people in this house (laundry, eating, school, bathrooms/showers, etc.) I am still tweaking and am not done yet. I've been in this 'nesting phase' for a LONG time now. Just when I think I'm doing ok, I think of another thing to go through and organize. I still have a long way to go, but you have to understand that if I had it my way- every cabinet would be labeled in this entire house! Really, I'm serious!

Among all of this, I'm still trying to repaint the interior of our entire house and decorate (a process that we started 2 years ago when we moved in). Every surface in this house needed attention- ceilings, trim, walls, carpet, etc. With being pregnant when we moved here (and now) having 3 children among all my other responsibilities- it's really been baby steps. But...we are preparing and getting ready for the Liberian children.

Have you ever thought about how you might go about preparing to add 4 children to your life/home? Think about what you need for 1 baby. Think of all the things one receives at a baby shower to 'ready' themselves for the coming of a child. How may areas in one's life need to be thought about when adding 4 children who have interests, desires, personalities, likes/dislikes & teenage (or preteen) emotions/hormones!

Yea, it could get overwhelming- especially for the obsessive/compulsive mind... On that note, wish me luck as I sneak upstairs to the toy room. More pictures to come!


K.T. said...

I feel your pain and am not as organized about it as I was when they were younger.Now there are 400 or so childrens books ~not~ stacked neatly on a bookshelf in the hallway,and three toyboxes mounded over twice their heighth with toys the kids dont play with.I wont even disclose the 4 gazillion stains I have on my carpets but just say"I HATE CARPETING"

I thought of this quote from a really great lady:"Tonight, I started to refinish one set of bunk beds that were donated to us. I agonized at the paint color while I was in Walmart last night. Why am I worried about that? Look at what Zach is happy with! Do you think he's going to care that his mattress pad is a cotton/polyester blend or that what the thread count is on his sheets? Not likely. Do you think the girls will care who gets the floral sheets and who gets the butterfly sheets? Maybe."

What a wonderful blessing,for them to have a mother who thinks of all these things for them....

Maury Draper said...

LOL....yes, I am laughing at you...and I am laughing b/c we are so much alike!!! My question, is how do you keep that play room looking as clean as it does in those pics with all those toys to pick up?? I think I purge toys monthly. kids hate me for it...they are constantly talking about one of their toys that went to the dump or something...(Clay does that....I could never really throw a toy away, but he will!)

Just recently...their toys were so bad....I went in and gathered up 5 trashbags full of toys. I organized them all out by type of toy....laid them all out in the floor, and gave each kid 30 pennies and told them they could buy back what was the most important. Noah didn't have any toys in that pile b/c he is good at cleaning his room....he still got the pennies though, and bought back all their Build A Bear stuff.

The stuff the girls ended up buying back wasn't even the stuff I expected them to get. Now, when they complain about their toys being gone...I just remind them that they chose not to get that.

Of course, these bags of toys were collected after begging and threatening and everything else to get them to clean....they flat out told me they didn't care about those toys.

I think kids get so overwhelmed by all the toys, and they just aren't special to them like they were to us.

Sorry for the long comment!!! Good luck, you will have to keep us updated on your new organizing method....I love to organize too!!