Tackling the Playroom

Tuesday, August 22, 2006
Reading some other friends blog posts on cleaning up and clearing out over the last few weeks set me to thinking about the play room in the basement and our clutter hidden in the basement. The clutter hidden behind the doors in our basement is a task to tackle in the winter when we are trapped indoors. But, the play area in the basement is a mess that I face on a daily basis, manuevering around to get into the laundry room or office. So, inspired by my fellow bloggers, I set out to bring order to Chloe's clutter. To be honest, the only time Chloe really played in the basement was when I was in the office working and she really didn't play, she would stand next to me in the office yelling at me to hold her. I couldn't get her to play in the room. She would rip the covers off the speakers, drag empty shopping bags to the basement, throw the drink coasters throughout the room, hide the remote controls and press all the buttons on the television and satellite equipment. Other than that, she wouldn't play with any of her real toys. So, most of the time we played upstairs in the family room. After thinking about it, I realized that Chloe liked playing in the family room because what toys were in there were in sight. In the playroom, I kept everything hidden in wicker baskets. The toys were just thrown in there. She never thought to open them and look inside.

So, I decided that I should reorganize the playroom. Now that Chloe has been having play dates with Lilly, I thought I should take on this task and prepare the room for what we hoped to use it for, an entertainment and play room. So, after searching the IKEA catalog, I set out to the store, list in hand and purchased storage items to display all of Chloe's toys and books. Of course, I tend to go crazy at IKEA and had to purchase Chloe a new table and chairs, which replaced our worn out coffee table (that we never used) and a drawing easel. I set it all up, organized and even dusted off my labeler from my teaching days. I was even able to clear out the toys hidden in the chest in our family room!

Chloe loves the new play room and that is key. As I was organizing all her toys she was screaming with excitement to discover toys that had been hidden away from her for so many months. She played with her train set, crawled through her tunnel and carried around all her handbags.

But, the true test of the new play room came when we hosted a play date at our house this week. The new room was a success and Lilly and Chloe played with all the items, opening bins and taking out all the toys. The room looked like a disaster afterwards, but it cleaned up in no time and everything went back in to its nicely labeled home. Matt couldn't believe that we had hosted a play date in the room. He refused to believe that two children could have played in their b/c it was back to being so tidy in only 10 minutes. The only tell-tale signs were the smashed Oreo cookies in the rug that I had yet to vaccuum up.

So, the room is a delight now. I am so happy I took on the chore and it looks like it is going to be our new hang out, as it was meant to be.

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