Monday, September 17, 2012

The Joys of Homeownership: Order from Chaos

Behold, what I am calling my greatest contribution as a homeowner, dad, and husband. (Hyperbole is a friend of mine.) Peanut's playroom was out of control and I couldn't take it anymore. The mess. The clutter. The disorganization. I was living my own little version of hoarders, and Peanut was the problem. The playroom was so nauseating to look at I couldn't even stomach being in there. I was physically incapable of sitting down and playing with her in there. It would give me a panic attack. This is just a small glimpse of how bad it was:

That corner was the bane of my existence. The bookshelf you see? So adorable and useful when Peanut was a toddler. But nothing in that corner was accessible anymore. You want to play a game? You have to climb over a horse of all things and risk falling into a box of princess dress-up clothing. It's happened to me before, folks. And it's not pretty. You want to do a puzzle? Good luck getting one out without four others falling on you. She had outgrown the only things that were accessible - the books.

It's sad, really. The playroom was our first major project after we bought the house. We poured a lot of money into it. And I couldn't stand being in there. It used to be a screened-in porch that was not functional in the winter or summer, or when it was raining. Other than that, it was great. Combine that lack of functionality with the fact that for the first few months in the house, we kept her toys around the fireplace in our living room, and we desperately needed a playroom. (That also meant no fires that first winter. Meaning I would have to wait an entire year for my inner pyro to emerge.) We had a blank slate, designed it ourselves, and the contractor did a great job:
Before (horrible)
During (Brutal)
After (Adorable)
Tired of playroom-clutter-induced panic attacks, I made it my mission to find an affordable bookshelf that fits in that space and could also store most of the stuff that lived on the floor. It took me more than two hours to put this thing together, mind you. (Remember: I'm not handy.)

Much better.
Most of the rest of that Sunday was spent reorganizing the toys and rearranging the furniture. Check out this snazzy new setup I of all people came up with:

Pretty cool, eh?
I guess all of those years watching HGTV are finally paying off because I was the one who said we should double that little storage unit as a coffee table. To celebrate, we played a board game on it that night. The first time we had ever played a board game in the playroom. Can you believe that? Now I can sit in here comfortably and without anxiety. There is order. There is neatness. There is sanity... in the playroom at least.

Until, of course, Peanut is let loose in there by herself for fifteen minutes. Then she'll call me in to play with her and I'll willingly accept the invitation only to discover a crime scene of Calico Critters, Barbie dolls, and Littlest Pet Shops spewed across the floor.

"Peanut," I say. "You know I don't like to come in here when it's messy like this."

"Then get out," she answers, matter-of-factly.

Our work isn't done with the playroom makeover. There is still this at her craft table in the dining room...

This is ONE pile. One of many.
Where do you think she gets that from? Here is my pile of papers, which I've now hidden in the guest bedroom. It'll reach the ceiling before I actually shred it...

Procrastination is a virtue
Worst of all, is this:

This picture gives me heart palpitations

Peanut's plates, cups and snacks are the new bane of my existence. And that stupid penguin mug that holds her forks and spoons? I want to throw it across the room and shatter it every time I reach for a utensil for her. Why? Because whenever I need a fork, I get a spoon. If I need a spoon, I get a fork. It's like a bad Alanis Morissette song. (And still NOT ironic, by the way.) My solution? I make Peanut set her place at the table. Boom.

Not to mention the Tupperware. The next person to come up with a solution to that organization problem will be very rich. One thing at a time.

Previously on Joys of Homeownership: the handsome man who ended the drama of our wet basement. Click here to read it (and see a picture of that handsome man.)


  1. You might want to block the wife from the post, so you're not pulling bathroom duty! Lol either way it is everyone's truth, it is just how it is with kids... Everyone does the quick ten minute closet shove before company comes!

  2. Our house is the same way. We can spend a WHOLE DAY cleaning our play room and getting everything organized but if we let the kiddos in there for ten minutes the immediately rip everything back off the shelves. One of these days I will be super organized and label all the containers. Then maybe they won't pull them all down? Anyway, the room looks beautiful! I love all the windows and natural light! Our playroom is in our basement for now. I would love to have a room like yours!

  3. Tupperware is awful to organize. I threw out half of ours and now I just store them with their lids on. Takes up a lot of space but I was so tired of having 20 lids, 10 containers, and none seemed to match.

    1. rubbermaid sells those ones that the lids all fit together and on the bottom of the containers. My plastic storage containers are now all confined and easy to get to.


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