Friday, November 30, 2007

It's Done!!!

I did it! I did it! (Can you just imagine me doing the “happy dance” and singing this?) I finished organizing the girls' room! I really had my doubts that I would be able to finish, but I did! It was tedious, tiring work, but I am so pleased with the results! Here are some Before and After photos…
Remember how dreadful this area looked?
Well, here it is now!! Stuffed animals in a nice little tower from Target, shelves decluttered of some of the knick knacks, clean laundry put away, toys in a nice basket I had bought some time ago at Hobby Lobby.

Here's Rachel's toddler bed in October...

...and here is her new Big Girl bed now! She's doing a great job making it every morning by herself! And I removed all the little pictures from the wall, so it doesn't look so messy.

Here's the area between the girls' beds before...

...and after. I washed, pressed, and rehung the valances. I found a tablecloth, topper, and glass for the round table that had been used a few years ago in another room. Under the tablecloth (I should have taken a picture) are three shoe boxes the girls use for Treasures. The table top is clear of junk except for a small pretty box, a lamp, and a photo.

Here's Hannah's bed before...

...and after. She was pretty good about keeping her bed tidy to begin with, but I did remove all those little pictures on the wall, and it looks neater.
Remember the mess on the Chinese trunk?
Gone! Now you can see the beautiful carvings!

Abbie's crib before...

...and her new toddler bed now! Clean wall, too! And she can make her own bed now, too!

Messy dresser top before... tidy now!
Totally messy toy area... now neat and organized. I had the stacking drawers in other parts of the house and use them here for Barbies and their clothes, and doll house furnishings.

And I set up a little baby care center for Abbie at the foot of her bed.
I wish I had taken some "before" shots of the drawers. Here's an "after" shot, though. Everything fits, everything's in season, and there's plenty of room in the drawers again!

Another messy dresser area...
...and another tidied dresser area!

Remember those shelves I kept the girls' clothes on for the next morning?

Here's the replacement - a bookshelf I had in the basement, just waiting to be put to good use! The top shelf is for their clothes each morning, as well as their panda collection. The middle shelf holds their activity gear, as well as the PullUps Abbie wears at night. On the floor is a basket I already had, now filled with more stuffed animals.
I really didn’t think the transformation was going to be especially impressive, until I took another look at the “Before” photos. I guess since I’ve been working on the room throughout the course of a month, I had forgotten how really bad it had been. After looking at the Befores and Afters, I remember! And I have to say I’m very impressed with the difference!

Since it is so close to the Christmas Spending Frenzy, I really did all I could to keep costs to a minimum. I purchased the stuffed animal tower for about $20 at Target and got the fabric drawer for it for less than $5 (it was on sale). Everything else was brought in from other rooms (mostly the basement). We did, of course, purchase Rachel’s new bed, but that was going to happen whether I did the challenge or not – I just had new incentive to get it ordered and in place. Sometime in January, I hope to find matching quilts and bed skirts for Hannah and Rachel’s beds, preferably on sale. I still need to get new window shades that work, and a bulletin board for over the white bookcase. But this is not about decorating – it’s about organizing, right?

The thing I’m most proud of is the fact that the stuff (mainly the clothes) did not just end up being shifted into another room, to sit in stacks and just clutter up a different space. It would have been so easy to do that, but I made a conscious effort to make sure everything that came out of the room (if it wasn’t discarded or donated), was put away in its proper place. So this room makeover isn’t just for show – it’s true organization!

A few questions…
1. What was the hardest part of the challenge for you and were you able to overcome it?

The overabundance of clothes and stuffed animals! I got a few of the animals out of the room and corralled the rest in just a few places, so they are now under control again (unless they start breeding or something!). The new house rule is: “One animal in, one animal out.” As for the clothes, I got everything that was outgrown or out of season out of the room, and it has made a huge difference! I can find things, everything I pull out fits properly, and the drawers open and close with ease!

I also found it “challenging” to find the time to work on the room, especially during Thanksgiving week (I thought I’d have more time because the girls were out of school, when in reality, I had less!). And I couldn’t exactly work on it in the evenings after the girls were in bed, so that really limited my time!

2. Tell us what kind of changes/habits you have put into place in order for your area/room to maintain its new order?

Containing animals in baskets and on shelves. The “one animal in, one animal out” rule. Laying clothes and activity gear out for the next morning in their new designated space. And just taking a few minutes each day to keep on top of the tidying. When you start with an organized space, just 5 minutes a day can really keep things under control!

3. What did you do with the “stuff” you were able to purge out of your newly organized space?

A few animals went to Goodwill, and several went into a temporary bin in the basement to see if they’ll be missed before I give them away as well (so far, so good). As for the clothes, a few items were donated, but the rest were put in their proper bins in the basement (clearly marked by size) to wait for the next sister to wear them. A ton of hair accessories that just didn’t “work” were also donated, and a lot of little junky toys (Happy Meal, party favors, etc.) were surreptitiously discarded!

4. Now that you have completed the challenge, do you think having and keeping your space organized will make a difference in your life?

I really do! Each evening as the girls get ready for bed, we choose and lay out their outfits for the next day, as well as activity gear (gymnastics, swimming, ballet). The mornings run so much smoother when I’m not racing around trying to find something for them to wear that’s clean, coordinated, seasonally appropriate, and fits! Not to mention the fact that I’m not risking life and limb trying to walk around the room! Also, the girls love how tidy their room is now, and they really seem to be making an effort to keep it under control on their own. They’re really taking pride in their space!

6. Why do you think you should win the challenge?
Oh, goodness, the “before” photos should answer that question! Seriously, though, I have always been a dreadfully disorganized person, and this challenge has really helped bring me a step closer to being the more organized (and more relaxed and pleasant) Mommy that I want to be! And my girls are happier and more relaxed when I am happier and more relaxed! Not to mention the fact that the entire project only cost me about $25! And I didn’t just move stuff to contribute to the clutter of another space – everything was put away properly!But really, our entire family are “winners” in the long run, because we have a lovely, uncluttered space and a whole lot less stress!

Now, I think I’ll tackle Al’s and my bedroom in January! Stay tuned for “Before” photos…

And for some real inspiration, visit Organizing Junkie to see all the entries in the 30-Day Organizational Challenge! You'll love it!


Lady_MSnow said...

The Room looks great!

Dawn said...

What a great room for your girls. It looks great. I really like your idea of one in, one out for the stuffed animals. They can really overrun kids' rooms so quickly. I also like your idea of having a specific spot to place outfits for the next day. It saves a lot of stress in the morning. Good job.

Marla said...

WOW, I bet the girls are also doing the happy dance with you in their now big girl room!

momof3crazykids said...

Wow you did a great job! Looks good!

tiffany said...

I LOVE it! You did A LOT of work and it sure shows and I bet the girls are pleased with their new room. :) I even like the mismatched bedding and think it looks homey but have you looked at Walmarts bedding? I dont know what you have in mind but I bought quilts at Target for our girls room and they are cute and Pottery Barn like except a better deal but then I saw some that were also similar and PB like at WALMART for about half of what I paid at Target. I was just too tired to return and switch it out so kept the Target ones. LOL Anyhow, so true that it isnt about the decorating and it already looks fantastic! :)

Lindsey said...

Wow! It all looks so cute! Great job with the room, and I hope they can keep it that way, LOL!

Mom Chatter said...

Way to go! I looks GREAT! :)

You're so right about an already organized room being so much easier to maintain in 5 minutes a day! It's good to hear that your girls are doing their part to help keep it that way, too!

Enjoy that room! :)

Jennifer said...

Great makeover. I love the Barbie doll solution.

Amy said...

WOW! Great job! I need that sort of encouragement! :)

Amy said...

Girl -

I wish I knew what to tell you about Santa on a budget. If he's magic then there's no reason why they can't have this or that, right? I've tried to explain it, but the kids come back with "But Mom, he makes them for freeeeee!" Geez. Also trying the "We need to let him take some to the other boys and girls" to which I get "We'll give them some of our old toys".
Not easy.

Lindsy said...

Good work!

And just another idea, as I find this one I got from a college roommate so helpful: a shoe bag for the back of a door. One with clear pockets and made to hold shoes individually. Such a great way to keep small items separated into small groups (e.g., hair ties and pins; toothbrushes and paste; hose; a flashlight).

Billie said...

HI! I'm Nevaeh's mom to be. Thanks for stopping by to visit me. Wow! 3 beautiful girls from China! Just seeing them makes me excited for my own!

By the way...congrats on the room! The true test is keeping it looking that way!