Decluttering To Make Our Home Toddler Friendly.....so overwhelmed - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 08-16-2012, 08:44 AM - Thread Starter
 
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now i know i should declutter for 6 billion other reasons and keep trying, but well you know what yoda says about that!

 

now my twins are 20m old and need the freedom to move around other parts of the house. but since i am living in such clutter, i keep them to the handful of large family rooms that are set up for them to play and bliss out in.  Now i want them to be able to get around the house themselves and realize that more than anything it is my clutter issues that are stopping me from letting them.

 

now mind you i dont even have the urge to let them in the kitchen or my office, so that's not on the todo list, thankfully.

and im in a rental house that we know we are moving from with the next year, so everything about pairing down probably goes double, but im also hesitant to spend the time or money to make too many solutions that wont come with me (It will be a cross county move with only a certain weight amount paid for)

 

but as for them, they are very adventurous get into the everything, climb everything sort of kids, probably from having such a save area to grow up in, they really dont get not chewing on a muddy shoe or dragging everything off a table.

 

 

so part of this is about babyprooffing, but the other part is run of the mill decluttering and kid safe storage, help a gal out!


partners.gif 2twins.gif  So what if I don't fit cleanly into a defined parenting style, my kids don't fit into a personality archetype either!

 
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#2 of 9 Old 08-16-2012, 09:53 AM
 
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I live in an old house with lots of kid dangers and combined with a toddler who learned to climb very early. I really like her to be independent and not caged in any place -plus, she could escape from anywhere so it's really fruitless to try to keep her away from things.

 

We've focused our childproofing philosophy on safety education. So, for example, I don't tell her not to climb up the ladder I left out (oops!), but I show her how to hold on with two hands and not go all the way to the top step. I show her the warning pictures on shopping carts and I ordered Mr. Yuk stickers to put on cleaning supplies and jars of nails and stuff like that. I let her see knives and power tools and things and let her feel the blades and then we talk about how she can't use them until she's 5. 

 

My biggest thing is making sure there aren't things stacked or piled that could fall on her and crush her. Bookshelves are anchored into the walls.

 

I have recently undergone a massive anti-clutter campaign and I'm a semi-devoted follower of the Flylady way. I don't like all her emails, but I have this set of pop up baskets for decluttering that I like because it sort of limits to how much junk I can pull out at a time. With a kid running around, any project that can't be done in 15 minutes tends to generate even more clutter for me! Lol! This way, I can literally take the trash to the can out back, stick goodwill stuff in the trunk of my car, and put everything else away. 

 

Good luck!

 

 

 

 

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#3 of 9 Old 08-16-2012, 10:06 AM
 
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A few years ago I had a six month or so warning before we were going to move, so I decided I was going to fill up my garbage can and recycling bin (both were huge) every week.  That meant that some weeks the night before garbage day I was running around the house just grabbing stuff to bring out.  Sometimes I would remember an area, say the utility shelves in the garage, and instead of doing what I'd do if I was "organizing the shelves," which would take me all day, I'd just start grabbing stuff and getting rid of it.  Eventually the shelves and the rest of the house were pretty bare.  It was a lot easier for me to not be thinking of it as cleaning or organizing but just filling up the buckets.  It also snowballed a bit because as I got rid of stuff I realized that it was liberating and I wasn't missing the stuff.  I just wanted to get rid of more.  

 

We've been in our new house for five years now and we are still pretty bare bones here.  My kids' room and my craft room could probably handle a little once over though.


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#4 of 9 Old 08-16-2012, 10:22 AM - Thread Starter
 
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bookworm, i would love to think that education would work here, but i have 20m old twin that are not talking yet, so although it clearly plays a roll, i cant count on it. and no one should when it comes to actual life and limb, kids by nature cant make those type of long term judgment calls, that why they have parents. 

i have taken a similar route with climbing, giving them fun things to climb and teaching them to safely get themselves in the highchairs for food rather than freeking out when they started learning it before the could walk as well. maybe if i had the time to walk beside a single kid all day long it might be different.

 

Jayne, i love the garbage can trick, and have used it in the past, think i'll start it up again. i am going to clear an off limits area in a kitchenette that we just use for recycling and dumping shit now for a few big boxes for donation, if i have a box for it to go into maybe it will actually go there rather than just sit around.

 

i struggle with the craft stuff too, i made the mistake of setting up my craft room next to the kids room and now dont feel like i can sew in there after the kids go to sleep next-door. so i haul it out to the dining room and then have to pack it up again before i go to bed.  problem is that as im sure you know sewing projects, specially things like quilts or stuffed animals which is my current goal are best laid out in a orderly fashion and dont take well to being moved around, so i have not gotten the crafts done that i want and it is dumping me in a funk. here i am this super crafty lady and my kids dont have a blanket or stuffed animal or anything that i made anywhere. but what we do have is boxes of parts that i cant seem to finish, guess that is a separate thread


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#5 of 9 Old 08-16-2012, 10:35 AM
 
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i struggle with the craft stuff too, i made the mistake of setting up my craft room next to the kids room and now dont feel like i can sew in there after the kids go to sleep next-door. so i haul it out to the dining room and then have to pack it up again before i go to bed.  problem is that as im sure you know sewing projects, specially things like quilts or stuffed animals which is my current goal are best laid out in a orderly fashion and dont take well to being moved around, so i have not gotten the crafts done that i want and it is dumping me in a funk. here i am this super crafty lady and my kids dont have a blanket or stuffed animal or anything that i made anywhere. but what we do have is boxes of parts that i cant seem to finish, guess that is a separate thread

 

I am having exactly the same problem with my craft room!  It's not next to the kids' room, but I haven't been able to use it for like a year, at least, because (a) it is impossible to use when my 3 year old is awake  --  he wants to be in there with me and pull everything off of the shelves and get into *everything* and (b) since I haven't been able to use it, it has become the catch all for all my crap, my cutting table is piled high with so much crap that if I want to cut, I have to do it in the dining room.  It's so frustrating!!!  And then because I have allowed my sewing/crafting to take a backseat to just about everything else, that room is at the end of the list for cleaning/organizing.  I think your post is going to spur me to push that room up to the top of the list.  My kids need some mama-made, damn it!

 

Alright, that doesn't help you.  :(  Is it just your machine that keeps them up?  Maybe if you used your room for everything but the actual sewing?  Also, a loud box fan has made such a difference for us in terms of keeping the kids asleep between their bedtime and ours...


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#6 of 9 Old 08-16-2012, 10:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
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yeah mine has turned to the catch all too, sad huh, its the cobblers sons has no shoes sort of thing. i had their quilt design finished before they were a week old, but never strted it, i have the perefct socks set aside for the pefrct sock monsters and they are dragging around some randon teddybear that was given to us by a stranger, she is starting to get atached to a raw scrap of fabric that i cut out to make a snuggle blanket for it out of, a year ago!

 

i think we need a Mommy "UFO" thread


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#7 of 9 Old 08-17-2012, 09:49 AM
 
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bookworm, i would love to think that education would work here, but i have 20m old twin that are not talking yet, so although it clearly plays a roll, i cant count on it. and no one should when it comes to actual life and limb, kids by nature cant make those type of long term judgment calls, that why they have parents. 

 

I'm sure twins are challenging to keep up with. Of course, we lock up medicine and keep knives up high and so forth. But even if kids aren't talking, that doesn't mean they can't understand you! Not to rely on for now, so much, but you might see a payoff after you get out of this stage. My daughter started escaping from everything at about 13 months old, so she definitely wasn't verbal yet. But now she seems to really understand why certain things are better not to touch, taste, or use, instead of it being just a "no" or "because I said so". And maybe they aren't as tempting? I'm not sure. 


I'm curious to hear some craft storage suggestions too. Maybe there is some benefit to just closing off a space in your house and having that be off limits to the kids. (gates? padlock? orngtongue.gif). I don't know if you have time or resources for this, but I've been getting together after bedtime with some girlfriends a couple of times a month to do crafts. Kind of like a sewing circle, I guess. I actually have finished some projects this way (albeit slowly).

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#8 of 9 Old 08-17-2012, 10:54 AM - Thread Starter
 
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yeah i do definitely agree that is is worth everyones time to explain why, not to just say no and i also supper agree that they understand way more than they can communicate back to me.

 

we have for a while now categorized things as "ouch" or "yuck" or explained that the item belonged to someone else. and i think that will all pay of in the long term. same as we do our best to tell what  them what we would like them to do, rather than what not to do. 

 

i dont have girlfriends where i live, i was moved here not by my choice when i was very pregnant and only know a few folks. my closest friend here is a self admitted crafting disaster.


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#9 of 9 Old 08-17-2012, 09:23 PM
 
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I think a lot of this depends on the kid. You could tell my oldest not to touch something, and as long as you told her why, she didn't touch it. Not my younger one. I mean, she does stay out of the Mr. Yuck stuff. I think both of my girls found those stickers creepy, so they are great. But I still worry about her getting into Tylenol, so that is always out of reach, and usually hidden so she can't climb to get it. It's a whole different ball game with twins, though. My brother's twins would get into things as soon as their mom was changing the other's diaper.

It sounds like you have 2 big motivating factors that could help you be really ruthless with your decluttering. The kids, of course, but you also don't want to have to move things either. In your case, I think you should start with one room-- make it an easier room. Pick one area in that room to focus on at a time. Maybe just setting a timer for 15 minutes and just search the area for stuff to get rid of. If you do it every day, you'll be surprised how much stuff you can get rid of in just a week.

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