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dressing up the dresser

I've been on a bit of a mission lately. I'm capitalizing on this second trimester bliss–lots of energy, decent mobility before I get really huge and awkward and a strong desire to simplify everything around the house.

Yesterday, I bit the bullet and began my attack on Emma and Mary's bedroom. Their room has been going downhill lately. Swiftly downhill. To the point where I often don't even step foot into their bedroom because it overwhelms me. I tell them to throw their dirty laundry into their hallway, I retrieve it and look away. They make their beds each morning as part of our routine, but I haven't been cracking down much more than that.

my favorite kind of storage

Dan goes in their room each night to read and will often tell them that if he doesn't seem some improvement in their rooms when he gets home the next day there will be no horseback riding that week. But the girls' idea of room improvement is shoving things into random dresser drawers, under beds, and into toy baskets. That's not working.

It's not a new concept around here, but it's one that needs to be revisited more often:

Less is more.

Less toys means they play better. Less clothes means the laundry is more manageable, their dressers are tidy and there's a place for everything. Less "things" in their room, means less "things" on the floor, under beds, thrown into baskets.

mary's bedside

So yesterday afternoon the three of us waded into their bedroom and began an attack. We cleaned out, reorganized, threw out, and gave away things from every corner of their room. Everything is gone from under beds. Every dresser drawer has been opened, folded and reorganized. Every book put back into place and many, many toys have found new "homes" out in the (storage) barn, or with another needier family.

mary (back)

I cut back their room to have just a few things : a small basket of schleich animals, with a fold-able wooden fence, a suitcase of dress-up clothes, a suitcase of doll clothes, and their books. But I'm thinking, once I get the downstairs toy situation under control, the suitcases will be moved there, instead.

emma's bedside

It is amazing to me, what simplifying and organizing does for children's play. They could barely get through the last of the dusting and vacuuming before all three girls were belly down on the floor setting up elaborate scenes with their animals and fencing. The room felt lighter, happier and more peaceful. It was a space that they enjoyed.

Once we were completely finished, I gave them a tour of their room. We talked about what was in every drawer, where the Schleich toys went, how books go on the book shelf, where dirty laundry belongs. I pretended they were new children that were moving into my home who needed instruction on how we do things.

emma (back)

And then I gave them a quiz.

They ate it up.

As a treat, and because I had borrowed a sewing machine for another project, I secretly whipped out a little dresser scarf for each of the girls yesterday afternoon. Their bedside table tops are eye-sores. And this was one way to dress up the dresser and added a little touch of sweetness to their room. They were so excited.

About as excited as I was to have a sewing machine in my house again, even if it's only for a few days. When Emma found out I had it she said, "Good. Because I have sooo much sewing I need to get done." A girl after my own heart.

If you haven't heard, I've started an epidemic around blogland, introducing people to the inspiration that is tumblr. Each day a few new friends succumb to the disease. I love it. I have a few kids rooms posted on my tumblr from the past few days that are inspiring me lately–with the exception of the first one, with the bunk beds. I simply liked the beds, otherwise the room is a little too busy for my new simplifying mentality. 🙂 So stop by, take a look around, be inspired. There is so much goodness out there to enjoy.

I've been on a bit of a mission lately. I'm capitalizing on this second trimester bliss–lots of energy, decent mobility before I get really huge and awkward and a strong desire to simplify everything around the house.

Yesterday, I bit the bullet and began my attack on Emma and Mary's bedroom. Their room has been going downhill lately. Swiftly downhill. To the point where I often don't even step foot into their bedroom because it overwhelms me. I tell them to throw their dirty laundry into their hallway, I retrieve it and look away. They make their beds each morning as part of our routine, but I haven't been cracking down much more than that.

my favorite kind of storage

Dan goes in their room each night to read and will often tell them that if he doesn't seem some improvement in their rooms when he gets home the next day there will be no horseback riding that week. But the girls' idea of room improvement is shoving things into random dresser drawers, under beds, and into toy baskets. That's not working.

It's not a new concept around here, but it's one that needs to be revisited more often:

Less is more.

Less toys means they play better. Less clothes means the laundry is more manageable, their dressers are tidy and there's a place for everything. Less "things" in their room, means less "things" on the floor, under beds, thrown into baskets.

mary's bedside

So yesterday afternoon the three of us waded into their bedroom and began an attack. We cleaned out, reorganized, threw out, and gave away things from every corner of their room. Everything is gone from under beds. Every dresser drawer has been opened, folded and reorganized. Every book put back into place and many, many toys have found new "homes" out in the (storage) barn, or with another needier family.

mary (back)

I cut back their room to have just a few things : a small basket of schleich animals, with a fold-able wooden fence, a suitcase of dress-up clothes, a suitcase of doll clothes, and their books. But I'm thinking, once I get the downstairs toy situation under control, the suitcases will be moved there, instead.

emma's bedside

It is amazing to me, what simplifying and organizing does for children's play. They could barely get through the last of the dusting and vacuuming before all three girls were belly down on the floor setting up elaborate scenes with their animals and fencing. The room felt lighter, happier and more peaceful. It was a space that they enjoyed.

Once we were completely finished, I gave them a tour of their room. We talked about what was in every drawer, where the Schleich toys went, how books go on the book shelf, where dirty laundry belongs. I pretended they were new children that were moving into my home who needed instruction on how we do things.

emma (back)

And then I gave them a quiz.

They ate it up.

As a treat, and because I had borrowed a sewing machine for another project, I secretly whipped out a little dresser scarf for each of the girls yesterday afternoon. Their bedside table tops are eye-sores. And this was one way to dress up the dresser and added a little touch of sweetness to their room. They were so excited.

About as excited as I was to have a sewing machine in my house again, even if it's only for a few days. When Emma found out I had it she said, "Good. Because I have sooo much sewing I need to get done." A girl after my own heart.

If you haven't heard, I've started an epidemic around blogland, introducing people to the inspiration that is tumblr. Each day a few new friends succumb to the disease. I love it. I have a few kids rooms posted on my tumblr from the past few days that are inspiring me lately–with the exception of the first one, with the bunk beds. I simply liked the beds, otherwise the room is a little too busy for my new simplifying mentality. 🙂 So stop by, take a look around, be inspired. There is so much goodness out there to enjoy.

15 comments on “dressing up the dresser”

  1. You so read my mind. I’ve been tackling my girls room and there is just too much stuff. It is slow going, but we are making progress. It sounds wonderful, and how much happier they will be when they can actually play. Great job with the dresser scarves.

  2. Molly, have you read the book Simplicity Parenting? It talks very much about the hows and whys of this (as well as addressing simplifiying in many other ways)- it is really fantastic!

    (the dresser scarves are so sweet, too)

    xo K

  3. love this post, molly. i think to teach them (show them, actually) that living in an orderly environment is more enjoyable is a really important lesson. and i love the sweet dresser scarves. enjoy the weekend!

  4. This post is indescribably appropriate for me today. I have the best memories of doing this to my own room with my Mom, usually once every summer and once every winter. I have yet to properly achieve this kind of organizational simplicity in my adult life, but I do have high hopes for the future!

  5. Power tools and pumpkins! I love it! And the effect of all those polka dots is better still. Definitely on my radar screen for next year…Thanks, Molly

  6. I was JUST having one of those conversations with myself about my two boys’ toy situation–that there would be both less nagging/frustration on my end and less “what can I do, mama” on theirs if we’d just cut back. We already do some rotation of toys but I think it’s time for another purge and even smaller “batches” out at a time. Thanks for the inspriration.

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