February Challenge: The Kids' Room

So, I'm a week late on this, but I only just found it today.
And yesterday I started cleaning up Marley's room. Honestly. You couldn't see the floor when we started... and after two hours it's still not cleaned up all the way. So, I'm posting somewhat extremely embarrassing before pictures (although not as embarrassing as they would have been if I had found out about this challenge yesterday morning).
The goal is to have a functioning room for two by the end of the month. I know I'm not due until July, but honestly M came a month early and I got screwed out of my "nesting phase" so absolutely nothing was prepared for her. Since I'm feeling the organization bug right now I'm making it a goal to at least have a space saved for Smalls by March 1st.
Also, I'm coming out of a pretty serious depressive episode and I feel that if I can get the apartment cleared out, I'll have a better chance at not relapsing before winter next year. I'll be good to go so to speak.
And bonus - we have the funds right now to do some organizational shopping. And I'm flippin' stoked about that.
So, while the challenge will be focused on the Punkin Head's room - I will be attempting to get the house in order - many great purges this month.

1. What do I want the purpose of my room or area to be? The Room needs to function as a nursery and "big kid's" room. The space also needs to serve as a playroom with a space for the punkin head to color, play with her babies, barbies, kitchen toys and lastly as a children's library. It sounds like a tall order for one room - but I know this room can handle it. It's huge. 
2. What do I need in or near the room to serve that purpose? All of M's toys need to be in this room. All of them. We will have to do a bit of a toy purge for this to happen, but I think she's up for it. Most of the things that are needed in the room are already in it. Her books, her queen size bed, her dresser. I need to add a crib (obviously), or rather the space for a crib by the end of the month. I would like to add a reading nook and crafting area.
3. What can I remove from the room? The rocking chair will hopefully find a new home in the living room, if not in the master bedroom. Her shoes (which are taking up a good chunk of closet floor space) will hopefully be in a brand new shoe cabinet in the "entry way" - budget permitting. The ugly old shelving in her closet that is holding toys will definitely be removed to make room for Smalls' changing table.
4. What problems do I see with the room? There is simply too much stuff in it. Too many big toys - play kitchen, barbie vanity, child-sized hutch. Nothing is really kid friendly at the moment. Shelves are great, but my 3-year-old can't keep them organized. I haven't found a system that works to hold the small stuff, to corral the stuffed animals, to keep the Barbies in check, to keep the babies comfortable, etc.
5. What organizational tools might solve those problems? Baskets. My plan is to start at the Dollar Tree, work my way up to the Dollar General and or Wal-Mart and then hit up Ikea. I'm on the look-out for ways to organize her drawers, double her closet hanging space since what now fits in two closets will have to fit in one. I'm on the look out for toy storage options, hopefully clearly labeled drawers and bins for everything. Also, more book storage. And something to store her ungodly amount of stuffed animals.
6. What habits need to change to solve the organizational problems? I am going to have to stay on top of it. I'm already working out a morning and evening chore plan for the punkin head to keep things put away. We're going to have to do more mini-purges throughout the year just to keep the amount of stuff that accumulates from getting too overwhelming. With so many doting grandparents and great-grandparents, she often winds up with more stuff than she knows what to do with. Also, I'm just going to have to bite the bullet and spend a little time each day cleaning up after her. She is only 3 after all.
7. What kind of a budget do I have to create the organized room of my dreams? I have allotted myself $500 towards setting up a nursery for Smalls. This includes a new crib, bedding, and decor for the baby. Of that $500 I'm thinking at least $250 can go to organizing.
8. What kind of a timeline is necessary to organize the room? I'm thinking 4 hours a week until the end of February.
9. What is my plan of action? First of all - today the room will be clean. Everything put away as best as I can with our initial mini-purge done. The mini-purge consists of me asking M which toys she would like to send to a new home as we pick up. Those toys go in a Goodwill box. I will vacuum and dust. After that comes my terrible sketching skills as I attempt to draw what needs to go where in order for the room to function - what I would like the finished room to look like. Next will be a great toy and clothing purge. I haven't purchased clothes for M in over a year, but the hand-me-downs are out of control. She has so much clothing it's ridiculous. The next stage might involve a bit of rearranging. I'm not 100% on this. Once we have the area cleaned up and cleaned out, it will be off to the Dollar Tree to figure out what we can purchase to make things easier on me. Then it will simply be bit by bit to figure out what we need to buy and where we can put things away. 

And now... on to the embarrassing pictures...
 An overall view of the room... what's most embarrassing is we spent about 2 hours yesterday cleaning up... and it still looks like this.
 The changing table that will be placed where the shelves are in the photo below. This space will become Smalls' sleeping space.
 Smalls' new closet, currently the toy closet. I was sitting in the rocking chair to take this picture. Hopefully that rocking chair will find a new place in our home. Most of the cleaning took place here yesterday.
 The Punkin Head's dresser/shelf...always a mess.
 Punkin Head's closet. It looks really empty right now because just about every stitch of clothing she owns is in the dirty hamper. Usually this thing is crammed full. Today I'm working on laundry. The tub of clothes is filled with clothing she has outgrown that will go to the storage unit for Smalls to use if Smalls turns out to be female. The shoes... they're always just piled up like that. Can't wait to figure out some new storage solution. No one in this family does well with shelves. Hopefully we can get some cubbies or a cabinet. 
 The Play Area/Library. It is always a mess. As you can sort of see, the bookshelf is completely full and there are books all over the floor. As much as I want to get rid of the Barbie vanity, I think the punkin head would kill me if I did... or at least never forgive me. I'm hoping to find a new place in the closet for it and to put her small table there for coloring and "crafting."

Alternate view of the play area... just so you can see how awesome we have been at cleaning up after ourselves. I'm hoping where that little hutch is I can put a reading nook and some spice rack bookshelves. 

By the end of this month - this room which is currently a disaster will surface as a fully organized, functioning space for two little munchkins.  


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