Well, like almost every mother I have ever known, my children’s rooms are sometimes less harmonious, peaceful, and CLEAN than I wish they were. I have avoided including a BEFORE picture of my boys’ room earlier this week (allow me some pride!) – however here is the after shot.
While I was in process of transforming their room from a war zone hit by a hurricane into the pleasant play-land it is now, I had a brilliant idea! (Hey, it’s my Blog and I can call it brilliant if I want!) Since this house has NO basement, NO cold storage room, NO extra bedroom, NO special place for me to keep our food storage, I have had to resort to creativity. I figure it’s much more interesting that way anyway, right?! This house has not posed as LARGE of a storage nightmare as our old two bedroom trailer did, but it still causes me to expend creativity that is sometimes a bit stuck in the box and having a hard time breaking out. Allow me to show you what we did when we first got here with the storage we brought here from the old house when we moved. (Thanks to my parents’ unfinished basement some of our storage did not follow us here, but is waiting for us to have a home where giant mounds of food are not only welcome, but comfortable!)
We decided that THREE and FOUR just simply do not use very much of their closet and I decided to claim the rest. The needed some toy storage and a VERY small amount of hanging clothes space, since almost all of their stuff goes in their dresser. I mean seriously, who else in the family has a hanging wardrobe THAT small?! I mean this even includes the Buzz Lightyear and Spiderman costumes!
We found a toy shelf that was STRONG (not for the sake of the toys, but of the boys – LOL) that fit really well in their closet. Then I stacked the food that came with us in the end corner of the closet not occupied by the toy shelf. I felt great about it – there was quite a lot of storage that fit over there!
As we have been here though, the storage has increased, but their closet did not grow with it! I ended up taking the games off the top shelf of the closet and finding them a new home in the Sunday Room. I took over that nice big ol’ shelf for – what else – more food!
At this point, it is again reaching that point of saying, “Wait, there’s no room in the inn again!” Not only that, but we had started to grow a collection of great big buckets that just wander around the house with no home to claim. (Although three buckets are currently making the BEST gate across the entrance to the utility hall from the kitchen as a mean of keeping FIVE away from those blasted back stairs! Another hooray for bulky food storage!) Well, since we are renting right now, building a root cellar or installing cabinets on every wall is not really an option. So now what? Well, they say necessity is the mother of invention, and I guess I just proved the adage right.
As I prepared to clean the boys’ room I started thinking of ways to reorganize the toys to avoid the dump-every-toy in-one-useless-mountain-that-makes-it-impossible-to-play method for playtime. (Between school for both HUBBY and I, the business, PTA, kids’ activities, church callings, LIFE…. I do not have time to track those boys every moment and make sure they are putting away one set of toys before getting out the next. And even if I HAD the time, I can think of about a zillion ways I would rather spend it!) I decided to let each boy select one set of toys that they wanted anytime access to. I put those and the great big Little People houses and such out on the bookshelf in the corner of their room. All the other toys were neatly organized in the closet and then they were sentenced to a life behind a locked door, with only HUBBY and I having access. (I am SO excited to see if we can come closer to clean on a more like regular basis in there now!) Now, when THREE wants to dump out the Legos, he will have to ask one of us and we will say sure, IF he has cleaned up whatever else he just had out! Hooray for forced reinforcement of the clean-up after yourself principle!
Anyway, the cleaning, reorganizing of their closet made me reconsider my food storage dilemma (which is really the point of this post, but I am just so excited to have hope for a clean room in that boy-ish bedroom that I couldn’t help myself!) – where could I squeeze in more food. I had earlier contemplated taking over the entire closet in their room and kick the toys out on their shelf into the bedroom itself. Fortunately common sense and a need for self preservation of what sanity I have left kept me from doing that – talk about ASKING kids to keep their room a disastrous heap ALL the time! However, as I contemplated the possibility of that closet converting to nothing but food, I got a bit excited. I decided if I still had to still share that space with the toys and the food, then the toys simply had to give up some of their claim on the space somehow. Enter my brilliant plan…
I cleared out the toys – all of them! Then I moved the food storage from the floor out too. I even moved the shelf itself.
I took my wandering buckets and BEHIND where the shelf would sit, I added an entire new row of food storage space! The shelf went back in, the other food storage was replaced, and the toys were again neatly placed on the shelves. (A totally side note moment – this was a great way to get in some killer weight lifting and work up a good sweat too!) Now there is plenty of space for toys, all my wandering buckets of food have a home, AND I still have more growth room already prepared!
This project did not give me as much added food storage space as building a cellar would have done. However, I feel terrific that I just added GOOD storage space (AKA not in the way or ugly to me or everyone that enters my home). I can now store about 16 more big buckets, 4 more boxes of #10 cans, and about 8 big bags of wheat! For what I have to work with, that is HUGE! Now I can’t wait for the next Case Lot sale to hit of a good food storage sale at my Maceys! We’ll see how long it takes for me to reach the no room in the room point again. However fast or slow that happens, I am SO excited for this little bit of added ability to prepare my family for a “someday if…” situation! I am a very happy mom! And it looks like the kiddos are fine with it too – at least FIVE was thrilled to be the first kid allowed into the closet after it was all done! More food storage=happy mom. Happy mom+happy kids=happy home!