We also received the bookshelf this week, which my lovely son put together for the girls. It will shock none of you to learn that I went with white. One of the key pieces of this refresh that I talked about in week 2 is that the pieces are able used in other places in the house when our remodel is complete. I chose the white metal shelf because it will work well in my office or move with T to her new room. I may have also been swayed by the fact that it was $200 with shipping, and as much as the green shelf had my heart, I just couldn't.
I was super happy with my shelf decision until I discovered that –surprise! surprise! - it does not solve all of the world's clutter problems. This is perhaps because we had 13” x 4 shelves of space before and now have 21" x 4 shelves, which for those of you following the math results in only 28" of total additional space in which to cram all the things. Sometimes I miss the obvious thing (function) for the aesthetic one. I know I'm not alone here.
So what's a girl to do? Take a trip to The Container Store, of course. Cue my 6-year-old, “Mom, why are you moving all of my things into different containers?” Because, my dear, you are a total pack rat and all the baskets and bins might be the only way that you and your throw-away-all-the-things mother will ever be able to live in semi-harmony. I digress.
One of the biggest challenges to designing a space for kids can be to remember to provide space for them to hang their own stuff. We can look at all the pretty pictures of the styled shelves and matching rooms and white walls on Pinterest, but our kids still like Pokemon or Beyonce or photos with their friends. Not all rooms in all houses are Insta-worthy and that is good thing. Sometimes, we have to just get real. Sometimes we have to walk the balance of our own aesthetic and that of our kids (or spouses).
If you looked closely at any of last week’s photos, you might have seen my younger daughter’s artwork stuffed between the bed and dresser or behind her shoes under the dresser or in the tower of clutter next to the bed. We need to deal with the work of the prolific artist who lives in this room.
I found two solutions that I think might help. If you recall, our walls are solid wood and we are a bit hesitant to just drilling holes willy-nilly. I’ve made great friends with the Command aisle at my local Target in this process. Anyway, I am loving this option from Land of Nod, which is a three-part magnetic art rail. I’m hoping I can use some larger command strips to hold this up in T’s bed area so that she can rotate her art according to her mood. The rail has only one review, and it isn’t the most positive review, but I’m hoping that this will still work as T’s art is usually pretty light. A secondary solution would be a mighty magnetic strip, which I can say from experience works amazingly well. I have two of these in my office. The only problem with using these in younger kids’ spaces is that the magnets often become toys and get lost and then the papers that you are trying to corral end up on the floor. It’s possible that I speak from experience on this one.
Because there is limited hanging space, T will have to rotate her art out when she makes new things. Like possibly every single day. Limiting storage space is an excellent way to help kids purge regularly. However, there are always things that they aren’t quite ready to part with and which need to be stored for a little bit longer. Enter the document box. My favorite is the Stockholm collection from The Container Store because they are nice quality boxes and come in amazing colors. I purchased one box on my trip this week, but will have to go back to purchase another. I was shocked to find even more art saved in crevices all over the girls' room than I thought possible. If you are looking for a better priced option, check IKEA for another good collection.
Abby would also like to hang some photos and momentos. We are looking into bulletin boards that might incorporate into an art wall above her bed. She's started collecting some ideas for her wall here. Check it out. It's pretty cool.