Monday, February 27, 2012

A Mess

Well, things are about to get real...
This is a fairly clean version of what it looks like these days:
Notice the play mat, toys, rogue sock, swing, bumbo chair, hand sanitizer, breast pump, boppy and burp rags...
 Also...more burp rags, car seat, blanket, and stack of books.
 I would love advice from other parents on how to keep my house from looking like a baby's play place 24/7.  I mean, Pearl kind of does run the place, but I don't really want it to look like she does.
Any advice on how to keep the baby stuff hidden would be appreciated.


  1. During baby times, it's pretty hard to make it NOT look like baby has run of everything (and it gets worse once you start baby proofing with either gates or the "cage" as we called it!) I have shelves filled with Ikea & target baskets to try to hid away all the toys. For diapers, wipes, and other daily baby needs, I have a caddy with a handle that lives in a central location. Also, storage ottomans are pretty awesome! good luck!

  2. My advice to you. Relax mom. This actually gets worse before it gets better. My kids are now 10 and 9 and they still leave the living room a mess. Well not a mess, but legos, toys, coloring books, etc. I'm after them constantly to clean up. Never works so great. I've really calmed down about cleanliness and I feel better now LOL.

  3. I have finally just decided to not worry about the mess. In the grand scheme of things, this sort of mess only takes up such a short section of our lives....and it will be over before we know it. I bet one day we'll be missing that mess a little bit. ;) HA! BUT in the meantime...I just put a few large strategically placed baskets around the house, they make for quick cleanup.

  4. i wish i had some helpful advice, but this is something i struggle with too. if she's awake then chances are the house looks like i run a small daycare.

  5. Well, this looks quite familiar! ;) I've been wanting to get a nice, big, pretty (round maybe?) basket for keeping toys, etc. in the living room. We also have a storage coffee table ottoman which I plan on taking blankets out of (we never use these blankets) and maybe keeping toys or whatever inside it. We have moved the swing to Holden's room. It's actually better there for napping...we can close the door and turn on the noise maker and just turn the monitor on. The carseat is in our living room a lot...but I try to eventually take it back to Holden's closet. However, the stroller is currently taking up residence in our living room....I am more likely to go for a walk if it's conveniently located there next to the door. Ha! The play gym and boppy live in our living room, too. And burp cloths...UGH...will the spit up EVER end?!?!?!?!?!

  6. I dont have kids...I have a dog and his toys are everywhere. Now imagine when I do have a kid. I'll be emailing you for advice.

  7. Your living room is remarcably ordered and neat! I see no problems at all. :) Mine looks much worse, and I don't have any kids yet... :)

  8. storage ottomans, shelves w/ wicker baskets/, etc. And like all the mamas in the world say, enjoy those sweet clutter filled years now:-) xoxo

  9. Welcome to life with kids... :) (It gets SOOO much worse when they are mobile and can move stuff around themselves. And I mean so, so much worse. I know - that's not encouraging, right?)

    I HATE my living room looking like it's dominated by babies though, so I think I know where you're coming from. My bedroom is already covered in guitars and youth ministry books. My living room and kitchen are MY rooms and I feel better when it stays (at least remotely) tidy. I don't know if you've ever been to our house but it's small - less than 850 sqft. The distance from the living room to the girls' room (which is the furthest away room) is not far. My logic is, if I - the least athletic human alive - can throw a rock down the hallway and hit your room, there's no reason why you can't keep your stuff in there. In our living room is a square ottoman/toy chest. The girls brings toys out to the living room often to play, but when they want to switch gears (playdough, game, snack, movie) or it's time for bed, I make them pick up before we move on to the next thing. If it doesn't fit in the square ottoman (with the lid ON) then they have to haul it back to their room. The ottoman gets cleaned out every few weeks and all the little stuff that has accumulated there goes back to whatever bin it belongs in in their room. I'm sure the idea of Pearl picking up her own stuff seems laughable right now but kids are capable of learning to put things away as soon as they are capable of getting them out. I don't have room in my LR to store a slew of baskets of toys (And I'm of the opinion that my girls need far less toys than they are given. Right now we are on a ‘you get something new, you have to get rid of something old’ ultimatum.) and I consider it raising responsible humans. I don’t want to be the mother of that kid that goes off to college and leaves their dirty underwear on their roommate’s bed or something… 

    Some of the bulkier baby stuff (swings, play mats) will disappear as she outgrows them but some things are a part of your life for a long time and need to have a home. We have a high chair/booster that fits on a regular dining chair to save room so I keep the Bumbo on another dining chair. Tucked under the table I barely see it when I don't want to but it’s in the living area easily accessible. Mostly you just have to take this crap that has suddenly invaded your life and figure out where is convenient to store it. I don’t think your furniture goes all the way to the ground but I’ve been known to store an extra diaper and travel wipes container stashed under a chair in our living room. It’s space that wasn’t being used and can’t be seen by visitors, but it’s damn convenient for those “Oh my word! Where did all this poop come from!?” moments. (You know… instead of walking that 20’ to the changing table… Far too far away…)
    I think the best advice I can give you is to constantly be doing a little bit. I read somewhere that you should never leave your living room without taking at least one thing with you that you can put away on your way. Might sound crazy, but it totally helps things at my house from escalating to us all swimming in waist deep toys and laundry and all of the tissues that Ingrid pulled out of the box (again.)… but occasionally that happens too. And my second piece of real advice is to give yourself grace. Lots of it. I’m convinced it’s the main thing moms with small humans to raise need.
    Love you, friend.


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