Several years ago, my husband surprised me by carpeting our garage (which also meant giving up parking his car inside). That’s just one of the many reasons why I love my guy.
In Oregon, we have quite a few days of drizzle so a playroom where the kids can run-a-bit-crazy-wild has been such a huge gift. It’s a two car garage, with a little extra room to one side.
We used carpet tiles, which we also ended up using in our family room, because they are just so practical and easy to install. Big spill–tear up a square and replace it– that’s why I’m sold on carpet tiles!
The garage/playroom is also where we exit and enter the house. It quickly becomes a dumping ground.
And recently, it got so bad, that even I was contributing to the mess because putting away a pair of shoes so that I could trip over 20 more, felt pointless.
So–this weekend, I attempted to mercilessly clean up the garage.
I was brutal.
If I couldn’t find a spot for an item…it was gone!
Now I’m not saying the garage is clean yet…but it is a lot more organized and usable and I invited a friend over this afternoon to look through our Goodwill pile. The pile in the photo above was about twice the size it is now (here’s my official “sorry” to her husband), but she has little guys just a few stages behind ours, so it was really fun to think of them enjoying the boys’ Spiderman slippers and ninja swords.
So here’s what it was looking like before the clean up.
But to be fair to our crew– this was on Saturday morning after a Friday night slumber party…
And to be fair to me– this was after we’d already attempted to “clean it up”…
The bins…I can’t guarantee that what’s written on the labels is what’s actually in the bins…but it gives me a good starting place when I’m looking for something.
At least the Christmas bins are obvious…
Camping supplies and the other “real garage items”…
The walkway past the shoes, to jackets, and out the door…
The cabinets above and below the sink did not have covers, so after our dog chewed a hole in our bedspread a while back…I used the remains to cover the openings. Mostly so that the kids know to stay out of those areas.
Boxes for keepsakes…
The cups idea developed last summer, but I didn’t actually implement it until today. In the summer (and throughout the year) our house is often full of children. Last summer, I had many “drink of water” requests and a pile of cups in the sink, so I eventually found some bright, dishwasher safe cups, labeled them with the names of our most frequent requesters (our kids & neighbors) and then a few extra for friends. My plan is to eventually hang each one individually from a ring on the towel bar, but I ran out of rings this afternoon.
Close up of our “cup ring system”…
This was another Craigslist freebie…from a retiring teacher…it holds tons of books!
And a final shot below of the whole room…
But not before I take a final shot–at myself.
Lest you-think-that-I-think-that-I’ve-got-it-all-together (and just in case any sleep deprived new mamas) happen to read this post:
–On Saturday, I complained…well no…more like ranted because I found 9 dirty socks in the Lego bin.
–We ate take-out Thai food on Saturday night and my husband stopped by Taco Bell tonight.
–Our youngest, not under close supervision at nap time, took off her pull-ups twice and tracked the contents across the carpet.
–I found half a hot dog in a playroom cupboard.
–I snapped at our neighbor kiddo (who is practically part of our family).
–I threw away about 37 markers just because I didn’t want to deal with them.
–I definitely deserved a repost of “There Are Rats In My Cellar“.
–And if you want to see some snapshots of the rest of my REAL life, visit me here.
All that to say…I’m thankful this is accomplished, but in the big scheme of life and what matters…I’m thankful for God’s grace (and my family’s forgiveness) because even when things are cleaned up on the outside, it’s sometimes the inner mess that really needs some work.