I’ve given away bags and bags of stuff – and I’m sure I could give away more. But at some point, I don’t particularly want to get rid of everything or become an ascetic. I like my stuff. That’s why I bought it in the first place. That’s why I have so much of it.
So, now then, the problem becomes in finding a good storage solution for all my stuff. (I originally wrote, “our stuff,” but let’s be real. The stuff might “belong” to my kids or Hapa Papa, but really, it’s all mine, mine, mine.) Unfortunately, I only have so much space in the house or garage. (The garage is laughable. All the new housing developments have these teeny, tiny garages that can fit almost NOTHING in them. We refuse to park on the street. Our garages must ALWAYS be able to park both our cars.) Furthermore, I like my things to be organized in logical and easy to access places. After all, if I can’t see it, I won’t use it. Which then defeats the purpose of keeping it!
Ideally, if I had all the time and money in the world, I would just blow my wad at the Container Store or some other mecca of clear plastic awesomeness. But I don’t and I think I’ve spent quite a good deal of money already on storage ideas. They are kinda working – but not really.
My main problem areas are books and things that require the use of a table such as craft/coloring/playdough items. For books, we just have so many – and we keep getting more. It’s because I LOVE books. And even with me not buying a ton, we get them as gifts or party favors and there really are just SO MANY GOOD BOOKS!
I have THREE children’s bookshelves (that’s right, THREE) all through the house and STILL, they are bursting at the seams. I suppose I could also get regular bookshelves, but it’s a little harder for kids (allegedly) to find the books they want that way. Plus, WHERE WOULD I PUT IT? sigh
I suppose I could just swap out books like some people swap out toys. But really, let’s be honest. I am super lazy. I would just forget entirely.
As for crafts and activities that require a small table, I want all of these things to be within easy access for the kids. If I put them in cabinets, then the kids won’t see them and as a result, won’t play them. I’ve had them in clear bins, but because there are lids, the kids have trouble opening the boxes and also, don’t think to use the stuff.
I just recently switched over to having some things into “kits” (eg: having all the coloring pages and books in the pink box) and other things in the stackable bins/shelves. (Believe it or not, those are from MY childhood. Say what you will about hoarding, it sure can come in handy!) We’ll see how that goes.
My other problems such as clothing can’t really be resolved unless I start giving away all my kids’ clothes. But since I still plan on having one more baby after Glow Worm, I am resorting to storing them all in large 15 gallon bins. (It helps that I lend out the clothes, too. So I’m not having to store ALL the clothes all at once.)
The main issue with clothing is that despite my children having a large dresser and closet in their room, I don’t use them. Why? Because I have all their clothes in my room in a Family Closet of sorts. All their baths and changing occurs in my room anyway. I don’t see why I would make my life harder by having their clothes in a completely different room. Of course, that means that with each baby, I have to de-accumulate more and more of MY clothes to make room for THEIR clothes. I suppose we could super-organize our walk in closet, but I’m not sure I want to spend the money just yet. It’s more of a hodge-podge system right now that kinda works, and kinda doesn’t. Blergh.
Anyhow, I can’t believe I just went on and on about organizing crap, but you know what? It’s important to me and a major thorn in my side. Experienced organizers and friends, what have you done? Please share with me your wisdom!