Where the *($@ do I put it all?

Living in south central Texas (as opposed to in the upper midwest of the United States) has two gigantic pitfalls:

  1. Summer – Not only is it six to eight months long, but it throws 66 days of over 100 degree temperatures when you’re in your third trimester.
  2. Basements do not exist.

The former, I’m very slowly adapting to.  The limited amounts of wind chill, below freezing temperatures, and snow aid immensely with this adjustment.

The latter is becoming more and more problematic.

We’ve gone from Just the Two of Us to adding The Tackler and Lil Diva.

With each child the Amount of Crap increases exponentially.

So in four years we’ve gone from Closets Near Capacity to Where the %*&)(@% Am I Supposed to Put This?

I spent all of last weekend sequestered away – mostly in the master bedroom that has doubled as a storage room since The Baby Girl Clothes Siege began in early 2010 – as Lil Diva outgrew the first batch of clothing and new ones took their place, the castoffs had nowhere to go, and began piling up, procreating, and producing offspring.

When Lil Diva became mobile, my son became The Tackler of Tiny Sister and I didn’t get 20 seconds to pee, much less organize and find a place for everything.

And the clothing, left unchecked, reproduced faster than rabbits.

I’m buried. And I can’t take it anymore.

I know I’m part of the problem. I have slight hoarding tendencies. I admit it. I don’t like to get rid of anything in case it could be useful in the future or anything of sentimental value.

Much of it could go.  All of the newborn/baby items technically are done with their usefulness. I’m not planning on having a third child.

Key word: planning.

How many people do I know who didn’t plan on having another child – some who had fertility issues conceiving, one who even had a vasectomy reverse itself – and yet Surprise Child made an appearance?

A few too many to just write off the possibility of it happening.

Right now I’m happy with two children, but will I still feel that way in two years?

I like to be prepared for every possible scenario, and until I can rule out Child #3, I can’t bring myself to clear away all of the items No Longer of Use.

Hence, the Where The *&)(@%* Do I Put This? problem.

My previous home in the Midwest had a huge basement – I had an office, recreation room, bedroom, full bathroom, laundry room, work closet, and storage closet all just in the basement.

I really really really miss it.

Oh to not have a playroom on my main floor, directly by the front door, so exploded toys aren’t the first thing any guest sees.

Oh to have a way to block off the noise.

Oh to have the storage space so we could reclaim the garage that is now sharing the burden our already large closets are incapable of containing.

Oh to have an inter-dimensional portal to store excess items……….


How do you organize your house to “fit” into it? Because I could really use some help here….

About Kelly K @ Dances with Chaos

Kelly K has learned the five steps to surviving of motherhood: 1) Don't get mad. Grab your camera. 2) Take a photograph. 3) Blog about it. 4) Laugh. 5) Repeat. She shares these tales at Dances with Chaos in order to preserve what tiny amount of sanity remains. You can also find her on her sister blog, Writing with Chaos (www.writingwithchaos.com) sharing memoir and engaging in her true love: fiction writing. It's cheaper than therapy.
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8 Responses to Where the *($@ do I put it all?

  1. Katie says:

    Eke, that is a tough one. We have a lot of our items stored in the attic, since most of the basement is finished into a big family room, rec room and office. Thankfully we have a huge, accessible attic that makes for a wonderful alternative storage space. To protect clothes, etc. from the moisture that goes with the humidity of Midwest summers, we got a whole pile of plastic crates and transferred everything into them for storage. They also stack nice:)

    I’ve also made huge Goodwill runs in the last few months. Painful, especially for a slight hoarder like you 🙂 but it’s such a wonderful cleansing feeling to get some of that stuff out of your house! If you think about it — do you really NEED the mountain of newborn clothes, etc., even if you do have a third?? Maybe go through and keep things that were especially useful or that have sentimental value, and then get rid of a substantial portion as well. After all, if you have a third, you’ll undoubtedly get more clothes as gifts and probably will want to buy some new stuff for baby anyway.

    And if you really can’t bring yourself to throw stuff out and your house is overflowing, you could always get a storage unit. A few months paying for one of those and you just might re-think that Goodwill trip:)

    • Kelly K says:

      I have invested in many plastic bins – I’m just running out of places to put them. 🙂

      I was lucky to get a bunch of hand me downs and those currently not in use have been passed back to their original owner which freed up some space and also cut down on what I had to hold onto. I don’t really have ton of clothes for boys or girls because of this, just a handful for each size. It all adds up quickly though.

      I’m thinking of getting one of those garage shelving things set up from the ceiling for extra bin space… The attic is hard to store anything in because of the excessive temperatures all summer long. Without attic and basement, garage is only thing left.

      Thanks for the tips!

  2. Dianne says:

    I second the plastic storage bins. When the kids grow out of clothes, I have 5 bins that I choose from to put them into. 1=girl winter clothes. 2=girl summer clothes. 3=boy winter clothes. 4=boy summer clothes. 5=sentimal clothes that I am saving and hoping to one day make into a quilt. When I get around to it, I go through the bins and either try to sell them at consignment stores (that is why they are labeled by season) or give them to friends that have younger kids (that is why they are also labled by gender). As far as toys, etc. Either sell them or give them away. By the time you have another one (or not) they will probably be recalled anyway and baby items are so cheap to buy on craigslist or consignment stores you might as well get new things then.

    • Kelly K says:

      That sounds very useful… My issue is I have “grow out of” and “grow into” clothes for each sex, as I’ve bought some things ahead of time. I tend to have a lot more summer versus winter clothes (for obvious Texas living reasons). As most stores won’t take out of season clothes though, that sounds like a good idea as opposed to my “by size” organizing.

      I’m going to have to weed out some toys. Most are in use every few months at this point, as Lil Diva is growing into The Tackler’s toys. I’m ready to ditch the under 1 year baby toys though, and have weeded those out.

      I buy a ton of stuff off of craigslist and consignment/used shops – toys and clothes.

      Thanks for the suggestions!

  3. Vicky says:

    With my 3 children storage is tricky enough, but I have to add in my hobby-turned-business – sewing. Before it became a business, it took a lot of room up in fabric but now I have stock to store and more fabric than I ever imagined. There isn’t enough room and I spend a lot of my life pretending not to see stuff. And daydreaming about turning the kids rooms into sewing rooms/offices/extra storage rooms when they leave home in about, oh, 20 years from now! I have noticed that as the children get older, their toys get a little smaller – some light at the end of the tunnel.

    • Kelly K says:

      I suppose by the time they’re in their teens it will all be about computers and iPods (given that my son is already addicted to apps on ours now) – so much less stuff. That will help.

      Of course, they’ll want the closet space back for clothes which is where I’m storing everything now… especially my Lil Diva.
      That could prove to be…. interesting.

      That’s awesome that you have a hobby you were able to turn into a business! Nothing like being able to do what you love doing and get paid for it. I hope to be able to do that with writing one day.

  4. CG says:

    I think the approach of ooching (give away a toy here, some clothes there) – spread out over a longer period of time is better. That way, you don’t have the risk of getting “Baby Black Hole Syndrome,” whereby the more baby stuff you have, the harder it is to get rid of it. It eventually becomes so massive that you fear the very idea of getting close to it because of the mess it will create just to get rid of the mess.

    Once it is stored, the black hole has started – and you may be too late to spare those items. But you can avoid adding mass…

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