Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Taking back my living room

Last week a friend who is in the process of putting her house on the market asked for tips for getting the clutter under control. It seemed as she got one area of the house cleared out, another area fell apart.

Ah. A familiar story. I was reminded of the time we put our house on the market when the Babies were not even one.

I dug deep, trying to be encouraging and helpful, while at the same time being reminded of the often-circulated e-card...

While it wasn't easy to keep the house semi-ready for an impromptu showing, I did remember a couple of helpful tips. One was to clear out a room and then shut it off (as much as possible).

Another was to round up as much of the kids' toys from the living space and relocate them to one room. Leave a few toys in the living room but keep the number to what can be quickly stashed in a basket.

When we de-toyed our living room, we moved a ton of play stuff to our small bonus room, leaving just a few things behind. We were lucky to have the space, but at their age, we weren't comfortable with them playing in the bonus room without us up there. Most of their play happened downstairs, in the living room.

Over time, the toys crept back downstairs, especially after the house came off the market.

At Christmas, we added a train table.

This Saturday, as I listened to them play independently-- upstairs in the bonus room-- I counted a train table, a crate of books, and two boxes of toys in the living room.

I also realized that it was time to take some of my own advice--advice that would be useful even if the house wasn't on the market.

There was no reason to have all of these toys downstairs anymore. We have a playroom and the kids are finally big enough to play in there without constant supervision.

So, after 4-5 trips up and down the stairs, we finally had our living room back. It was a moment of freedom reminiscent of the day the baby gates came down.

It was a moment worthy of pictures.

Like matched with like. My OCD inner child beamed.

And all was well...

Until the twin tornado touched down.

Surveying the damage, I realized I had skipped the first part of my decluttering advice: purge the unnecessary.

These kids have too many toys. It's time for some things to go.

But, for now, I am going to shut the playroom door and just go back to enjoying my clean living room.

It's been too long...


MandyE (Twin Trials and Triumphs) said...

Love it!!!

When we put our house on the market a couple of months ago, we finally put our furniture back in normal position. It feels SO GROWN UP! Hee hee!

We have a bonus room, too, but I haven't been comfortable to move the girlies to the complete other end of the house, upstairs. We'll be biting that bullet, though, when we move next month.

Growing up, we (all) are! :) :)

Tasha said...

Ahhhh, I remember those days well. And still have that problem from time to time with 8 year old twins. BUT we do a daily cleaning to declutter the LR.
Isn't it nice to have a toyfree living area.....even if it is for an hour :)

Olusola said...

I am so doing this when I get home tonight. I just gave the girls their own playroom a couple of weeks ago and it never occurred to me to actually move ALL their toys in there DUH!

Heather Brandon said...

SIgh. Your living room is beautiful. I was in the process of moving the toys into our extra bedroom, but DH has decided it should be the workout room. Back to the drawing board.

Rory Bore said...

When I look back on this summer, it will be fondly remembered as the Summer of The Big Purge!!!
Many things have finally left the building.
Now, since I only have the living room, I can't get it "Back", but it has become more manageable. And being summer I do have my cozy backyard gazebo in my garden to escape to.
But now that I can actually see floor - I swear these kids are getting One Thing each -- and one thing Only for Christmas!

Tami said...

The playroom I use for my day care is gated off. 1) so the toys stay in there 2) so my living room stays a living room 3) so my dogs don't chew up all the toys. =)

I like how you made a playroom. It quickly becomes a disaster. But I bet the kids know exactly where every toy is. LOL

Kerry said...

Out of sight, out of mind...!!
The playroom looks great, and your living room looks cozy :)
You should see what I am sitting amongst right now...

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