Have you ever had an amazing idea… only to find out that the reality of that idea wasn’t what you had envisioned? You may remember my post last year about our playroom. I spent 3 days painting the mural and turning our “formal dining room” into the idyllic childhood retreat. I envisioned endless afternoons of dress up and puzzles, toy cars and teddy bear picnics.
A whole room just for toys and playing! What could possibly be bad about that? Well, turns out that 90% of the time it actually looked like this.
Truth is, they rarely played in there. Toys were drug out in droves littering the kitchen and strewn about the family room. Every day was an unrelenting battle to keep all the clutter in check. And, despite my best parenting tactics, asking the kids to help clean up was like pulling teeth.
After enduring this for over a year, Handsome and I were D-O-N-E, done. He suggested putting their toys in their rooms and I suggested incinerating all of it. His idea got more family votes. So we did a trial run, donating anything the kids did not actually play with and finding organized homes for the rest in their bedrooms. The change had some surprising outcomes.
I was concerned that moving toys upstairs would just mean messy bedrooms, but once the toys were out of sight, they were also out of mind. This lead to our kids spending a majority of their time playing with each other (imaginative pretend-play, games, etc), rather than fighting over playthings. They usually think of one or two things they really want to play with, which do end up downstairs for the day. But it’s a heck-of-alot easier to help them put away a couple toys at bedtime, than to tidy an entire playroom. We’ve reclaimed our main living space from the toy clutter free-for-all! And finally, my stress level has decreased dramatically. Being a visual person, the playroom chaos subconsciously ate away at my soul and I resented that room (hence the incinerator suggestion). Apparently, I’m not alone.
Now that the toys are officially upstairs for good, we are re-purposing our spaces. The old playroom is being transformed into my art studio/office. Since the kids do a lot of creative projects with me, I think this will be a better use of the space. But because I need visual calm to be creative, the mural got a fresh coat of white paint. Bye-bye bug friends.
Ahh yes, a blank canvas to begin again! I did leave the blue sky though. This large table was previously up in our bonus room serving as a desk for both Handsome and I, plus hosting crafts and kids projects. It was always a mess. Down here it can be dedicated to creativity alone!
I just need to figure out some serious storage solutions for all this crafty goodness. For 10 years I lived within 20 minutes of an Ikea and totally took that for granted. Now the closest one is 3.5 hours away. Roadtrip time!