Archive for December, 2011

Yes, I have pics of the kiddos getting all excited about Christmas (a few of them are below).  But this post is really focused on what Mommy and Daddy were most excited about under the tree this year:

Toy organization.

Also known as:  taming the Lego and tool chaos.

(can I hear a “Hallelujah”?)

Legos are very popular in this house.  They multiply by the thousands, it seems, every time the boys smile at their grandmas.  😉  But the resulting sprawl was getting ridiculous; we had Legos stashed under beds, crammed in kitchen buffet drawers, stuffed in cabinets and nooks and crannies… well, you get the idea.

For the sake of comparison, here’s a “before” pic of the boys’ room… in other words, what we looked at, griped about, stepped over (and on), and fought with on a daily basis:

A trip to IKEA, a can of wood stain, and some creative uses for a long-ago Home-D*pot purchase later, and… wa LA:

How did we do it, you ask?  We split the blue PBK bookcases we already had in the somewhat small room (former floor models, which were a great deal — 75% off — a few years back) and put in between them an Ingo desk ($70) and two wood shelves ($15 each), all from IKEA.  Below the desk are four large containers on casters (also IKEA, $6 each) and a Lego stacking storage unit with pull-out scrapbook-type storage ($59 from Amazon).

The tool organizer mounted between the desk and shelves had been sitting unused in the basement for more than a year.

Total cost for the entire set-up: $174 (plus several hours of work constructing, staining, and installing).  Finished projects are now kept in full view, and out of tiny little sister’s hands.  A large, flat, smooth work surface makes creating easy and fun.  And… every single Lego now has a place that is NOT the floor.

As part of the organizational re-do of the boys’ room, “The Tool King” Bode’s play tool bench and accessories (which he ADORES) was moved from the boys’ bedroom to a corner of the downstairs family room/playroom.  We didn’t want him to feel slighted in comparison to what was mostly Jonah’s Lego extravaganza upstairs… and by the look on his face, I think we achieved our goal:

We took the second of the unused tool organizers and mounted it on the wall, filling it with the assorted plastic screws, nails, etc. that formerly were tucked in various boxes and bins throughout the house… wherever creativity had struck through the years.  A pegboard Bryan had already put on the wall a few years back served as a great place to display the larger tools (the hooks were extras we had from Bryan’s basement workroom).  The large bin for the “kid wood” was simply moved from the bedroom.  Total cost for this little tool corner:  $0.  

It took some work, but the boys love their new spaces.  And Mommy and Daddy love that we can look forward to walking through the house in the dark without piercing our feet on millions of sharp little plastic pieces.  The cost of our reclaimed sanity?  Priceless.  

This year, we could honestly say “Merry Christmas to ALL”, and to all a future of more fun, more creativity, less bickering and nagging… and far less painful nights.  🙂


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Scene from this morning…

Mommy and Daddy: “Kids, pick up your rooms so Mommy can vacuum while you’re sledding!”

(a few minutes later)

Annie (age 2): “Mommy, wook! I did it!”

Mommy walks into Annie’s room and sees THIS:


Floor.  Completely.  Covered.


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