I'm truly not too proud to admit when something isn't working. And call it January, but I'm renewed in my mission to make my house work for me. So, I've been assessing some things lately, things that could be better.
Last January (do you see a trend with the January?) I blogged about our newly created Lego storage solution, and I have to say, 12 months into the deal and the solution was mostly good.
I love the separate bins for all the Lego pieces. A year ago I would have said and probably did say to my husband as he sat on the floor for forever with the children and sorted ALL! THE! LEGOS! that it wouldn't last, that the Legos would get mixed back up in a matter of weeks, certainly the color separation would not last A YEAR! The It Feels Like Chaos Household could NEVER manage color sorted Legos!
I was wrong! The color separation has lasted an entire year! The kids actually DO put the Legos back into the right color tray. Their dirty clothes in the hamper is an entirely different less successful story, but this? Blue Legos with blue Legos, they will do!
Now, the surfaces that I envisioned as building areas atop the Lego storage drawers and on the nearby table are really mostly used as display areas for all the random Lego creations my kids build and then cannot bear to take down EVER. They seem to build on the floor and the table is always messy looking. I would much rather the table be an open white space just ready and waiting for whatever creative thing they wanted to build that day and then take down so that the next day or for the next person that lovely white, open space was available. And to be honest I'd love to see the clean, uncluttered table every time I walked into the playroom.
But, that is not reality!
There is give and take here. We have started working with the kids to clear off the table when it gets way too cluttered. But also, they play with the random creations on the table that look like clutter to me. So, I've learned to let it go a bit, my desire for the clear, white space. They call it "Legoland" and now that the girls have their girl Legos all 4 of my kids have fun playing "Legoland" where they make up adventures and stories to act out with their Lego people and Lego buildings and Lego vehicles.
There was something that was not working at all, though, for any of us and it was the binder idea to store all the instruction booklets for the Lego creations. It was a great idea in theory, but in the practice of our lives this happened:
The binder rings stopped meeting properly in the middle (4 kids will do that to the best of them) so pages kept coming partway out. Also, some of the books would fall out of their protective sleeve if the binder were turned and held the wrong way and it was hard for the younger kids to get the books back in.
So, out with the old and in with the new! This weekend I took all the instruction books out of their protective sleeve binder pages
where they were sorted by type of Lego
and piled them all into one stack and put them into a plastic bin with a lid!
I slapped a label on that baby and slid it under the Lego play table. DONE!
So simple that it made me smile! So much easier for the kids to rummage through without fear of messing up a system and so much easier for them to put all the books back when they are done (or I refuse them dessert until they clean up their mess).
It reminds me of a question I ask myself often, "Why do I make things so hard?" Really, usually, the simple solution is the best one! Save yourselves the effort and go straight to the bin!
Find more Works for Me Wednesday here.