Today I traded valuable time during Jack's nap for a less cluttered family room.
I previously mentioned that the next big project for our house would be clearing out the office in order to turn it into a playroom for Jack and his ever-growing collection of toys. Before Christmas we had all of his toys strategically tucked around our family room. A ride-on firetruck next to the chair, a basket of long-outgrown baby toys and a pile of random things on the other. Another riding toy, a few balls, and a Little People farm set tucked next to the TV. And so it went until every out of the way space was filled with toys.
Then came the holidays.
Jack must have been a very good boy this year because our very generous families gifted him with plenty of new big boy toys to entertain himself over this long Winter. And suddenly, our strategically tucked away toys started slowly creeping towards the center of the room until it felt like the family room was NEVER picked up.
We do not have a large house and our family room is our only living area. It's where Jack plays. It's where we spend our days. It's where Mark and I unwind and watch TV after Jack's tucked into bed for the night. And although I don't mind tripping over toys during the day (hey, a toddler lives here, it's going to look like it!) I do want our adult time in the evening to be free of the clutter that I've spent all day looking at, tripping over, and playing with alongside our little boy!
Eventually I got so tired of looking at the toys that were completely invading over our family space that I was motivated into action. We spent the last two weekends working on clearing out the office (again, see: toddler lives here, it's taken us much longer to complete this reorganization project than it would have in the Land Before Baby!) and we've pared things down, and found places to tuck the things that were stored in there, and we are mostly finished with clearing it out. We have a few boxes to move and we still have to get the desk out of there so we can replace it with a yet-to-be-acquired toy box, but we've made enough progress to allow me to move the bulk of his toys into his new playroom.
So naptime today was spent sorting through toys and boxing up what he's outgrown. I really disliked this task. First, it was just not fun. I should have taken a picture mid-toy sort. My family room was laughable. It was a big task because I've put off doing it all this time so we had baby toys up to the new items Jack got for the holidays. I had to sort everything and also make sure that I matched all the little blocks/balls/pieces with the right toys so that I didn't pack anything up without all of its parts. Then I moved the couch and the chair to make sure I got all the little pieces out of hiding and vacuumed behind/underneath while I was at it.
But second, it was just another sad reality check. One that I didn't need with my little boy's 2nd birthday already looming over us. This is the first time I've had to pack up outgrown toys and I had to say goodbye to the little baby toys that Jack first grasped with his little baby fist. His first favorites. I remember sitting on the floor and playing
Ultimately I ended up with a large storage bin filled with all his cast-off toys. I also packed up his music table and another decent-sized toy and just by doing that it really freed up some space! But then I moved most of his things to the bins we designated in the office and WOW! We have a family room!
I'm just giddy with excitement about getting some space back and his toys all having a place again. Hopefully we will finish up the remaining tasks in the