Junk Closet

DSCF6106Am I the only crazy mom who has a junk closet? A closet so full of games, puzzles, crayons, stickers and other junk that if you want to put anything away you have to shove it in and hurry and slam the door before it all tumbles back out at you?

Please tell me I am not alone in this.

The closet in my hallway is my junk closet. It is crammed full of fun activities that I can’t even get to. Fun stuff that I can’t even find.

Until now.

I couldn’t take it any longer.

I took several games to play at a family overnighter. When I got back and opened my game closet I didn’t even want to put them back. There was no room.

I was depressed at my own filthiness.

Am I the only mother who gets behind on her organization? Am I the only one who gets tired and occasionally just shoves stuff away instead of putting it in the right spot?

I let our games sit in the corner of my living room until I got up the courage to sort my way through the crap in the closet. And when I finally did it took all day.

I started by getting everything out.

Here’s what my living room floor looked like at that point:

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Then I sorted through the different types of things. I put games in one pile, puzzles in another etc.

Then I got to the random, miscellaneous items that I didn’t know what to do with. I am embarrassed to say that I had 12 bottles of bubbles stowed carefully away in my closet. Twelve!

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I’m sure I had that many because if I glanced quickly at the closet I couldn’t see any bubble bottles. That’s because they were hiding behind other useless things. It would take us 5 years to go through all of those bubbles.

And don’t even get me started on the crayon boxes. I think we had enough 24-piece crayon boxes in there to send one with my boys to elementary school each and every fall. And my boys don’t even like to color.

There were games in there that we have never played. I put those in a different pile – a donation pile.

I know there was stuff in there that I haven’t seen or used in years.

You should have seen my 18-month-old. He was in heaven during the big sort. Mom was the one making the giant mess this time. He got to look at and play with everything and he didn’t even get in trouble.

After sorting everything I started to put it back, but I did it differently this time. Instead of stacking my games I stood them on their side. That way if we want to play on we don’t have to get out six or seven at a time.

Why didn’t I set it up like that 8 years ago when we moved here? Maybe now we can play Candy Land or Chutes and Ladders again.

I took an ice cream bucket and filled it with crayons. Then I went through every single one of our markers and tested them. About half of them went in the garbage. The other half went in another ice cream bucket.

I did the same for the pens and colored pencils. Now each and every one of our writing utensils actually works.

I sorted all of our small games that didn’t have boxes into their own Ziploc bags. Then I put them in a basket with our card games. Now they aren’t shoved away in the corners catching dust.

The end result turned out great. I feel like I did it. And if I can do it, anyone can.

It probably won’t last. The junk will creep back in and my laziness will overcome the organization, but for now it feels good. And it looks good.

And we can finally have fun with our games again.

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