Friday, December 13, 2013

Projectpalooza UPDATE

Benji often takes my phone and snaps photos all around the house.  As I was looking through my photos one day, I saw these two that he took.  This is our playroom and this is the closest I have come to posting an update on Projectpalooza since May, so I thought I'd at least show you what I had at this point.  There are so many things that I like about this room and it's really hard to see them in these two photos taken by a five year old.

1. IKEA's Expedit shelf - You can see the dark shelving unit on the left, especially in the second picture. We bought six cloth drawers from IKEA to fit in this unit and the other, smaller Expedit unit seen on the right side of the top photo.

We ended up moving the smaller shelf to the position you see it in and putting all of the toy cars (small and medium sized) in orange milk crates we had at the house. CAUTION: I noticed the other day that there are some small scratches on that shelf from the milk crates being pulled in and out. Probably because there are 200+ metal cars in them and they pack some weight!

2. Foam floor mats - We have hard floors throughout our home, so it's nice for the kids to have one softer surface to play on. Also, these don't seem to get as dirty so quickly, but I do try to sweep once per week and then either mop or get on hands and knees with disinfectant wipes every once in a while. Mopping on this textured floor is difficult! Also, if the kids spill or decide to draw on the floor or rip them, they are easily and inexpensively replaced. No, my kids have never done anything like this; they are 100% angelic. Why do you ask?

3. All of their toys have a home and in one place.  We never had that before we converted this room.  The toys were split between their bedroom and the living room.  But, things got lost under beds, dressers, and behind couches all the time.  It was nearly impossible to find all the pieces to a game or a puzzle quickly.  With everything on shelves in one room, the kids know exactly where everything goes easily and their things (usually) get put back where they belong before naptime and then again before bedtime.

4.  Books -  You can't see it in these photos, but on top of the Expedit shelf, we have all the kids' books standing upright, in a row, so they can easily see which book they are grabbing.  I recently did some re-arranging of furniture (impromptu, as always!) and had to take down their book shelf so Calah's crib could fit on that wall.  I put this rolling 3-drawer unit in their room and filled it with their games and puzzles (on the right in the pic below):

My next step is to get the shelf cut in half and put up in this corner and place the extra books that won't fit in the playroom on this shelf.  With our Christmas decorations up, I had to move one of the end tables and a lamp into the kids' room.  I also brought Benji's Cracker Barrell rocker (that we got at a garage sale for $10!) into the room and put it where that laundry basket is in the picture above.  I also brought in their little papasan chair, so now they will have a space to read in their room when they need a "chill out" time.


I'm not done with the playroom yet, but we have made a lot of progress in the past few months between other projects, events, and other activities. 

1. A place for art supplies. I do have some organization supplies that were purchased with art supplies in mind.  But, I have three problems.  I don't know where to put them at this point.  I don't know where to put them that Calah and Jo won't just make a complete mess of them every five seconds.  And we have a very small, fold-down table in the living room where the kids eat (part of the sacrifice we made when we moved the toys into the dining room), so they'd have to carry the art supplies to the living room and there's not a whole lot of space for creativity.  The floor is NOT an option with an 18-month old in the house.  I'm strill trying to figure that one out.

2.  Wall art. I have two pieces of art that need to be hung and would like to get some stenciling words up on the wall, too.

3. New labels for some buckets and labels in general for others.  I made my own labels with pictures for the buckets on the Backyardigans bucket shelf (you can see a tiny corner of a pink bucket on this shelf in the first picture on the near right) but some of those labels have been torn off.  And I need to make some labels for the cloth drawers that will stay on but not ruin them if I want to remove them.

I tried to get some pictures with our Canon the other day and even with new batteries, it kept saying battery low and shut off, so I don't know if it's dying on me or if it can be fixed. Once I figure that out, I can take some good photos.  My android is not the best - as you can tell by looking at 99% of the pictures on my blog.  They have a blue hue and are blurry.  I have reset the settings to the default and it helped a little but it's still not great.  

Hopefully, I'll be able to send another update to our progress before another several months pass by.  Thanks for being so patient with me!

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