Jennifer, and having an "organization" theme for today's "7 Quick Takes." (Seriously, go to her blog. She has such pretty pictures to go with her post! And her house is so cute. As in, I've actually been there and know this person in real life, even though I may or may not have met her on the internet first.)
1.) This week some sort of organizing-bug hit and I spent yesterday afternoon cleaning out our mess of a bedroom closet and our coat closet. I got all of Anna's schoolwork she did at the homeschool program she attends, and organized it by subject in a $1, 5 pocket file I picked up at Target. The day before that I cleaned out what used to be the guestroom, and what will now function as Mary Lu's room, and got my homeschool stuff organized on the bookshelf in our schoolroom. I also found some over-the-door hooks for the girls' bedroom that now hold bathing suits and a backpack (for $2.50. Can you tell I love the dollar section at Target?!) I am generally too lazy and unmotivated to dig in and organize, but when the fancy strikes, I run with it!
2.) Now I'm in a dilemna over what to do with kids' shoe storage. We have a rubbermaid container with drawers in our coat closet, and each child has a drawer for their respective shoes. The thing is though that this particular container is large, and awkward in that space, and I'm not really a fan. I'm wondering if it would be better for each child to have their own basket/bin/something-from-the-Target-dollar-section to keep his or her own shoes in, in their bedroom. Of course THAT leads to the issue of, my kids' rooms are small. Homes built in 1912, and added onto in the 1970's, don't have big, huge, sprawling bedrooms with lots of space for shoes. Bedrooms are mostly for sleeping anyhow so I'm really (usually) okay with somewhat cramped quarters. But the shoes. Yosef and Biniam have a good-sized closet so I could find space in there. Anna and Kaitlyn, however, have a shallow closet with not very much room. They have toy bins under their beds, although I might be able to fit another shoe bin underneath. How do YOU store your kids' shoes?
3.) Speaking of under-bed storage, we de-bunked our boys' beds last night and moved their old, rickety dresser
that recently fell over on Yosef into the original, un-finished part of our basement. I can now use that for storage of linens, etc. (YAYYY!!!!) and I've decided to put all of their clothes in shallow bins under their beds (one for shirts, one for pants, etc.). We've been doing that with PJs for a long time now, and they are able to manage their clothing really well that way. (They put away their own laundry.) The dresser however always got too full, and things were just stuffed in there and it fell on top of Yosef...basically they showed themselves a lot more capable of maintaining order with a bin under their bed than with a dresser, so for now, that's what we'll do.
4.) Our garage STILL needs desperate, desperate attention. It is a mess. It looks like a tornado came through and deposited a lot of random stuff all over the place. We don't park in there (it's detached, and there's no room, because of all of our junk) and we probably won't even when it's cleaned out and organized. We'd like to use it for storage, but we really need to go through and get everything situated/thrown away/sold on Craigslist. My main thing is, we have an extra fridge out there that I'd like to plug in and start using. Kevin doesn't want to do this, but I'm tired of my kitchen fridge being so full of stuff that it's a pain to get to anything. We buy four (!) gallons of milk at a time, and until two of those gallons are gone, things are pretty tight. Anytime I have a party and need to chill drinks, it's a nightmare too. (As if I entertain or throw parties more than about three times a year. But I can pretend.) The other day I made a peanut butter chocolate pie that had to be refrigerated, and I was barely able to make room. SO I really look forward to utilizing that garage refrigerator. Kevin will come around. I just know it. (We have a huge industrial-ish freezer down in our basement that is WONDERFUL. It was even more wonderful before I accidentally knocked something frozen into the lightbulb and killed the light.)
5.) One of the hardest things for me to stay on-top-of around here is clothing my kids have outgrown. We keep it all because we have five children, and Anna's things become Kaitlyn's things which will eventually become Mary's things. Someday we may have more boys, so we keep Yosef and Biniam's old clothes too. But it is so hard to maintain order of all this stuff! We do have some organized bins out in our garage, but I need to do some more sorting and get some more bins. Darn. That doesn't sound very fun. Part of me would LOVE to just donate all the clothes to the ARC, but honestly, this whole hand-me-down thing saves us a lot of money and hassle. (Well, I suppose I'm trading one hassle for another.) So I will keep going with it. Even if it kills me. And it might.
6.) I'm also attempting to find a good place to store a large printer/copier/scanner. This thing is a behemoth. I'm so glad that we received it free-of-charge from Kevin's aunt, because we really needed one, but where shall I put it? I'd like to have it actually set up for use, as opposed to just storing it and then having to lug it around when I want to use it. I'm THINKING maybe I should put it in the guestroom. Then I can move the laptop in there when I need to print or whatever. I have an old changing table in that room that it MIGHT actually fit on. We will see.
7.) Today I'm hoping to get to Walmart to pick up school supplies and lunch boxes for my soon-to-be-kindergartner-sons! They're so excited! I found them backpacks recently but they still need lunchboxes. (Anna of course still has her backpack and lunchbox from last year.) Last August when we got school stuff, we made a fun morning of it and then met Kevin for lunch. Hoping to do the same today, although I still need to make a list of what we need and also, you know, get the five kids fed, ready and out the door. No small feat. But if we go out to lunch, I get to have a soda. So I'm thinking we'll do it!