Monday, July 29, 2019

Home Tour in a Blink

Living room
Play room
Play room, view 2
Kids' sleeping room (technically the master bedroom, due to it being the largest bedroom)
Master bedroom (technically not, due to it being the medium-sized bedroom)
The primary bathroom
Downstairs video game area
Video game area, viewed from behind

The Bear at Four Years Old on the Nose

A. His Schedule – He usually gets up about 7 a.m., sometimes takes a nap in the afternoon, and goes to sleep about 8:20 p.m. I’d like to get him to go to bed a bit earlier, and also to ensure he gets a nap every day, but sometimes the battle is easier to concede than to fight. He used to be an early riser but not anymore!

B. His Size – He seems to be about average for his age.
·                     Weight: 35.4 lbs. (45th percentile)

·                     Height: 41.5 inches (75th percentile)

C. His Personality – He is an exuberant child. He loves fun and pursues it actively. He loves the outdoors, fixing things (with daddy), creating messes as well as cleaning up, cuddling, and trying to make us laugh. I think he could be an excellent actor if he were so inclined, but I also think he’d make a great engineer or scientist (e.g. chemist or biologist).

D. His Favorite Things
·                     Colors: Rainbow
·                     Shows: He’s not nearly as interested in TV as his brother, so it’s hard to say
·                     Toys, Play, and Art: He loves superhero playsets, Play Doh, and slime, and is a prolific colorer
·                     Time of Day: Hard say – any time that he’s around people, I guess – he seems pretty extroverted
·                     Bedding: He still likes his multi-colored pillow (looks like it has rainbow tiles on it) and his blue cloud blankets, though he’s getting a bit big for them – he’ll try to go to bed with up to three blankets if we let him
·                     Foods: Fried chicken, chips, fries, ketchup, Lucky Charms, and popsicles
·                     Activities: Too many to list, including running, gardening, building things, bug collecting, playing in or with things that are messy (slime, sand, dirt…), painting and coloring, watching a movie while snuggling, receiving backrubs, taking baths, water play (e.g. washing the car), and swimming!
·                     Animals: He likes all animals, including dogs and cats, birds, bunnies, chicks, and horses
·                     Heroes: He likes superheroes a lot, especially Batman

E. Things He Does Not Like – Alone time, when people say they don’t want to be his friend, going down for a nap, when people don’t want to play with him, and sitting down for story time

F. What He’s Thinking About – Probably doing something with his dad, like gardening or building something, or what he could be doing to have more fun (like getting out his paints, or his toys)

G. Surprises – He’s so different from my other son! He’s an extroverted, thrill-seeking, funny, cuddly guy!

H. Best & Worst Things –
·                     The best things: Definitely that we, as his parents, are so important to him – I know one day it will be us who have to track him down instead of him constantly asking for our attention (“Da-da, Da-da…Mooom, Mooom…”). It’s also lovely that he’s finally showing some interest in interacting with his little sister.
·                     The worst things: Probably how upset he gets when he’s sad – I think he feels things more fully (wholly, completely) than most people – when he’s happy, he’s sooooooo happy, but when he’s having a rough time, he’s sooooo upset. I think he needs more assurance than most people that he belongs and is loved. For my part, I’ve been trying to use the Love Language of touch more often with him, via backrubs or sitting with him in my lap. One other thing that’s tricky with him is getting him to respect other people’s property. He’s pretty good about taking care of his own things though.

I. Family and Friends – He’s a tricky guy to pin down – he says that no one likes him, yet objectively it seems like he’s popular with other children. He seems to want to be close with his older brother, yet frequently it seems like his efforts to play together are met with frustration by his older brother.

J. Parenting – I’m trying to make sure that all my kids feel loved unconditionally, and like no matter what, I’ll be on their side – that I care about their feelings.

A Guest Bedroom at a Friend's House


  • Bring my supplies (see photo and list above)
  • Know ahead of time what you want to keep in the space, and what you want to remove from the room
    • To remove: extra lamp, trash can, three-drawer organizer, bathroom shelving
    • To keep: Batman mannequin, artistic painting, nightstand, bed 
  • Wash and dry linens
  • Sort consumable (toiletry) products
  • Dispose of expired products
  • Recycle cardboard / paper
  • Put holiday (gift wrapping) items together
  • Move bed towards the wall (freeing up floor space near desk)
Bonus Steps:

  • Get a library card in her town!
  • Go to lunch!
The "bonus steps" are because if I don't schedule breaks, I don't take them.

After Photos

The donation pile (just what's on the floor, not the pets!).

The pile of stuff for the spouse to go through.
The bed!
The closet!
The desk and bookcase across from the bed! After taking the photo on the left, I decided to do some tinkering to remove stuff from the very top of the bookcase, which I think makes it look calmer.

What a great guest space!

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Downstairs "Disaster Room" Overhaul in ONE Day!


While a bit odd to have a bookcase in the middle of the room, it was a functional move, in order to have the projector be directly across from the screen.

Although I thought we should donate (or sell) our old dining room table, my spouse had other ideas, turning it into a secondary workspace besides his desks.

This weird white sheet is actually a background, in order for my spouse to hide the appearance of clutter when he's working from home and on a conference call. It was not, in this iteration, successful.

What you may not notice is that we have filing cabinets, a desk/work space, a lounging area, and a dressing area (our bedroom is too small to accommodate my spouse's clothes).

My Plan

Keep (in the room)

  • Easels
  • Work table
  • Wardrobe
  • Dresser
  • Desks
  • Desk chair
  • Filing cabinets
  • The "good" printer
  • Armchairs
  • Yellow rug
  • Gray "fancy" rug
  • Air purifier
  • Video game equipment
  • Blue table lamp
  • Foldable kids chairs
  • Foldable kids table

Remove (from room)

  • Stuff on top of table?
  • IKEA square side table?
  • White sheet background?
  • Train table
  • Gray IKEA rug?
  • One tall wood bookcase?
  • Grid bookcases?
  • Container of sheets
  • Tall white drawer organizer
  • Extra vacuum
  • Green circle pillow
  • Extra binders
  • Video rocker chairs
  • Stuff on top of wardrobe
  • "Bad" printer


  • Create a place for me (not just my spouse) to work and store books?
  • Hang up as much art as possible with Command strips
  • Move filing cabinets and printer(s) nearer to desk
  • Coral game system cords
  • Clear off work table?
  • Try to sell items?
  • Move white sheet background, or disassemble it?
  • Hang kid art in alcove
  • Move bookcase out of center of room
  • Move easels and art supplies together, possibly in alcove
  • Place unwanted items on curb (for free) or place in car in order to take them to Goodwill
  • Clear off top of wardrobe
  • Move dresser and wardrobe out of alcove


A break for lunch! Indian buffet food!
For free, two unneeded video rockers.
I cleared out the "dressing room" alcove in order to put kid items here. The wardrobe and clothes dresser were moved to the other side of the room, where the filing cabinets used to be.
 The middle always looks worse than the beginning.

To donate, one color printer. We rarely need to print in color, but if we did, we could: outsource it to my mom, print it at the office, or print it at the library.

The kids' alcove!
The work space, behind the lounge space. I will need to mount the projector to the ceiling, but that will come later. The never-ending dining chair reupholstering project (chair the left of the office chair) remains.
All of the file-y stuff is now on the right of the room in this photo. I tried to put the black and white printer on one of the bookcases, but didn't have a suitable electrical extension cord for that to have worked.

The feet of the white background sheet are rather large, hence why it's not up against the wall. I didn't tidy the papers on top of the table because they are not mine.
Ah, yes, it is organized well.
I am ready to watch a movie now!

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Attic Organization Speedy Fix

I took off one Friday, around early June, to organize my attic. The project unfortunately took the whole day, save lunch, and then a few hours during the weekend on Saturday and Sunday. But I did finish, and finishing is what's important!

Here's the story, organized chronologically.

My husband brought all. the. things. down from the attic and into our living room.
Yikes, that's a lot of things!
I started placing the things I definitely wanted to keep in front of our TV (so, moving them away from the couch area). When possible, I tried to use clear storage bins. And label, label, label! I mean that literally, as I labelled at least two sides of each box, sometimes three!
The not-yet-sorted pile grew a tad smaller.
Break for lunch - Indian buffet!!
The pile of stuff to take back up to the attic grew larger. Note that I don't really like Space Bags because they tend to open up, making the items you're saving inside them smell like, well, an attic. Plus, Space Bags tend to fall over.
How was there still this much stuff left to sort?
I started moving things back into the attic in zones (groupings based on type of item). I put the stuff I was least likely to need the farthest back.
This is what it looked like at the end of my Friday.
Living with the living room was challenging, probably more so for the adults of the home than the kiddos.

Clothing sorted by age and gender, yes please.
And now, a break in order to sell this piece of furniture on CraigsList. Do I recommend doing more than one project at once? No. Do as I say, not as I do here.
Look, a deer! When you go to the zoo with your kids and they find animals that aren't part of the exhibits... (so, yes, I did make time for fun during the weekend).
So. much. free. space.
This is the other side. Not sure where to mention this so I'll just say it here - I found that it made sense for us to have one box of Halloween Costumes and one box of Halloween Decorations. Why I used to just smush them together in one box, I don't know, but sometimes you need a costume and don't want to sift through, say, pumpkin-carving stuff.
 Ah, the new (green) dresser, a secondhand snag from CraigsList, pleases me so much!
 Labels, for when you're brain is exhausted and can't even. Labels = less thinking, more doing.
 Yes, that's a lot of donations!
 Another angle of the giveaway stuff.
 Wow, so little left to deal with!
 Oh, hey there living room without an entire attic's worth of stuff in it!
 Still some space in the attic, for whatever life throws our way in the future.
 The sports and camping stuff (my husband's).
 Kid clothes. Boy stuff on the right, girl stuff on the left.
Another view of the kid clothes.

Couple things to clear up here. First, why are we keeping so many kid clothes? Some of them are in sizes that are larger than our kids - they are hand-me-downs that our own children have not yet grown into. Second, one thing I keep in the attic is Toy Rotation toys. What's that? It's toys that are age appropriate for our kids right now, but that don't all fit in the playroom. If the kids want one of them from the attic, they can trade out one of their toys that's in the playroom for it.