Sunday, November 6, 2011

Kid Clutter

A while back, Lacey documented the state of her pre-baby home, and boldly announced her plans to keep it as kid clutter-free as possible. I had to laugh, because our house is absolutely crammed with Adriana and Lucia's junk. I am very impressed by people who can keep their kid stuff in designated kid zones and completely out of the adult spaces.

I thought I would just document ONE room, to show you the extent to which we let our kids take over our house.

First, we always have a blanket down on the floor for Lucy. I just pulled some of Adriana's old toys out of storage since she is more alert and pays attention to them now.

The vibrating chair is not normally in this room, but I haven't taken it back upstairs since our playdate with the twins. It is usually in our upstairs bathroom or bedroom or hallway, begging to be tripped over.

The swing is so valuable that I don't even care that it takes up so much space. Do you like the poo stain on the right strap? If anyone knows how to get poo out of whatever material straps are generally made out of (nylon?) please share. I have tried everything and it still looks gross.

Next up is the diaper pail, laundry basket, and diaper basket. We do so many clothing changes in the living room that keeping a laundry basket here seems to be the easiest way to keep the mess under control. I am not a changing table person, so all diapers and related supplies go in a basket and we change the kiddos in front of the fireplace, on the floor.

Our mantle houses everything we use a lot but don't want Adriana to mess with...kleenex, lotion, vitamins, medicine, etc. We also set glasses and pop cans up here, but lately I've been pretty good about taking them to the kitchen every time I get up. The booties are up there to prevent the evil cat from making them his pets and hiding them in weird places around the house. The DVDs are of the fairy or princess variety.

The bottom shelf of our built in is devoted to Adriana's books and crayons, for easy access. It's really convenient, right up until she decides to knock all of the contents onto the floor. The water bottle is a permanent resident of the living room since breastfeeding makes me crazy thirsty.

Here is where it gets ridiculous. There was a time when everything was nice and organized on this shelf, but yeah. We need to weed out the toys she actually plays with and put everything else in storage until it's Lucy's turn. I've also thought about putting 98% of the toys in the girls' rooms once we make the switcheroo and everything is organized, but then I'd feel like we would have to play up there. I like that we pretty much only use our upstairs for bathing and sleeping.

Here's a shot of the whole room, on a daycare day. If Adriana was home, the contents of the toy shelf would be strewn all the fuck over the place.

Not pictured:
  • The numerous stains from Adriana's inability to put her snacks/drinks in her mouth instead of on the carpet
  • The numerous spots on the couch containing remnants of toddler drool/boogies and newborn barf
  • The coffee table drawer full of more stuff we don't want Adriana to mess with and other kid crap
Does anyone have any toy storage solutions that they love? How do you keep your kid clutter in check?


Jessica said...

Did you see the photo I posted of our toy corner in the living room today? It looks remarkably like your toy shelf. Let me know if you come up with something better!

Emily said...

My living room looks a LOT like yours, so it's safe to say that I don't have any awesome storage/containment ideas. Hopefully someone else has some nuggets of brilliance to share.

Lacey said...

Hahaha! I have taken post-baby home pictures and I have a blog post in draft mode waiting to be finished. But, I will say that post-baby doesn't look all that much different just yet. I think it's when they hit the toddler phase that stuff really starts to take over your home!

Swistle said...

I remember being in my early twenties, nannying and being pretty sure I was not going to let my house look like theirs because it was SO DEPRESSING. Now I look back on their house and can't believe how tidy and clean and baby-stuff-free they kept it. Speaking of DEPRESSING.

Suzanne said...

We also have a downstairs diaper pail and a downstairs laundry basket plus a shelf for baby medicine/diapers/wipes/etc. I think it's a HUGE improvement over the giant, bulky changing table we parked between the kitchen and the family room for the first 8 months. Now we have a toy box, a dedicated kitchen drawer and three bookshelf baskets to at least HIDE the baby crap.

Mommy Daisy said...

I love this post! My house always looked like that when my son was younger. Since I only had/have one and he's 5 now it's much easier. But his room looks like a toy store exploded in it! However, I choose to make less fuss about it because it mostly stays in there. I have my living room and kitchen back. There are good things about them getting bigger. ;)

P.S. I live in Lima. Too bad we're not closer.

Shalini said...

This is WONDERFUL to see. Our house has been a disaster from day one and I don't even care. Houses are for living!
As for toy storage, I've tried it all and nothing works. NOTHING. I would have to throw all the toys away for them to stay tidy (oh god once I even took a label maker to the baskets of toys). But then they would just play with the recycling and make a mess of THAT.

Navigating the Mothership said...

Our house has gotten much more infiltrated with kid stuff everywhere since embarking on the journey of baby + toddler, but I do try to keep two spaces fairly tidy: my bedroom and the living room. And it's just part of the living room - like I don't want to see kid crap everywhere when I sit on the couch at night. Our teeny tiny townhome makes this a challenge, but somehow it calms my soul to have things tucked away. I'm a big fan of dumping things in bins to minimize clutter. We just got this cube thing from Target that I'm liking for toys...

StephLove said...

Our house (well apartment) was messy BEFORE kids and things have only gone down hill since moving into a slightly bigger space and adding two kids to the mix. I can't blame it entirely on the kids (I don't seem to have much interest or aptitude for tidiness) but it is amazing how their stuff is just everywhere. I wish our house was big enough for a play room and we could throw everything in there and shut the door like a lot of our friends seem to do.

Mama Bub said...

Aren't those hospital issue water bottles the BEST? The one I got with Hannah was cracked, so it didn't last long. I want to go back for another one!

Mama Bub said...

Uh, another WATER BOTTLE. Not another baby.