Monday, December 2, 2013

A Week without Kids - Organization 101

For months, it was in the works for the kids to go to my parent's house the Friday before Thanksgiving for the week.  Those planned breaks are great for the kids to get to spend time with Papa and Nana and also for me to get huge projects done without lots of "help" :-)  A week and a half ago I shared my PLAN for the time without the kids so I wanted to follow up with what really happened.

1. Friday - By the time the kids left, I was tired HA.  So instead of getting books packed up, I worked on doing some cleaning and planning for Saturday.  Darryl and I ordered dinner in and just relaxed.

2.  Saturday - Total shopping day.  I had my list, checked it twice and even convinced Darryl to come with me - his first real outing (other than to doctor appointments) in 2 months.  It was a lot of fun and I got everything done on my list.  We enjoyed lunch at our favorite lunch spot - Grand Traverse Pie Company and got Chinese for dinner.

3.  Sunday - I had planned to do just a few things but by the time the day was done, a vast majority of the boys room and the playroom were done thanks to the help of my husband sorting lots of toys.  We finished up those two rooms on Monday.
 One of my goals in the playroom was to set up a Playdough/art station.  I picked up to 4 foot card tables and put them end to end.  I like them because they are more narrow than a standard table.  Now, the boys can play playdough whenever they want :-)
 This was also a new purchase to help sort toys.  I love that it is open and the boys have already grabbed containers full of things to play with and actually picked stuff up and put it away.
 New art work!  Another goal - to actually complete the room!!  I picked up some great art work pieces at Hobby Lobby for 50% off :-)
 This unit was in my dining room but it is a much needed addition in the play room instead.  I had purchased a different unit but, after an hour of struggling to put it together, I returned it (Amazon has the BEST return policy EVER!)   The tool chest was in the boys room but I made room for it in the playroom.
 A perfect home for the baskets of stuffed animals - under the tables!  Oh, and new art work on the wall :-)

 Just to keep it real - this is the one area that is not completely done.  The bottom shelf in the closet holds the games.  All of the baskets on the floor? I need to get containers - stackables with lids - to put that stuff in so it can be put in the closet neatly.  I will finish that project before Christmas since I know they are getting more of those items as gifts :-) 
 Of course, they must have their kitchen - which they still love :-)
See that big empty space?  Don't worry, Art Work is coming - I have an art project planned for the boys to do this coming week.  I promise to show it once it is done.

 Moving on to the boys room.  I was finally able to do some finishing touches in their room like hanging a few more pieces of artwork (the Car Canvas with the red stripes). The boys each got a framed picture of them with Papa and Nana on their bed plus a basket to hold all of "their" personal stuff.
 The curtains!!  I happened to see some curtains on sale at Walmart that were shorter (the old ones hung to the floor and were always messed up) so they could hang nicely.  I am so much happier with these curtains :-)
 The boys like to hang drawings on their wall so I just rearranged them to be a little neater.
 The book rack is new.  The boys have some favorite books so I put those in this rack to keep in their room.  They can actually see the covers making it easier to read books.This has also led to a new habit of each of the boys picking out a book before bed for Darryl to read.
 This is one of my favorite areas.  The boys love big trucks but I have struggled for several years of how to store them.  I had "light bulb" moment and picked up two bookshelves.  All of their trucks fit on the shelves and there is a little room for growth (which is a good thing!).  It makes their room look so much neater and they will be able to use those shelves for years.
The closet.  This is still not perfect but it will have to do because I am not redoing the closet with a new hanging system right now.  I do have ideas for the future but that is not a necessary project :-)

4) Monday - My main goal today was the dining room AND to get all of those books packed up.

 Now that the 9 cube storage shelf was in the playroom, I had to pick up one more black bookshelf similar to what is in the boys room.  This is my weekly school storage and scrapbooking area.  I love that it is so much neater and self contained.  The "not in use" school stuff is in the basement now.

 I was able to move the marble table back to a more prominent place.  I love it here.
Just to show off my photos :-)

5) Tuesday - Finishing the Basement
 This shelf WAS full of books.  Now it houses school supplies, craft supplies and some extra storage bins. 
 I still have one shelf of books - mostly some favorites, bible study books and lots of kids books for the future.
 The train table use to be in the playroom but I moved it back to the basement.  In the summer the boys can always haul some toys down here to play.  The drawer carts are for over flow scrapbooking supplies
Even the cedar chest was cleared off AND I hung pictures.  Because I put 16x20 photos of the boys in the dining room, I need somewhere to put the "old" ones.  I have decided to put them in the basement so I can always see them :-)  Notice the stacks of boxes - all books to go to the used book store!  There are actually 13 total boxes.

Tuesday evening Darryl and I drove into town to deliver all of those boxes of books and enjoy dinner.

6) Wednesday - On Wednesday I focused a couple of things.  One, I went through the house and put away all of the little things that were still out.  Ending with vacuuming all of the floors.  I put up some Christmas lights outside and also did 90% of the Christmas Decorating.

I was beyond thrilled with what I got done during the week and enjoyed a relaxing holiday after all of that work!