New Year, Fresh Start?

I’ve never been a huge fan of the week between Christmas and New Years. I always feel a little lost at sea and am usually anxious to get on a routine again. This year, we decided to spend the awkward last week of the year in Belize on the beach. I’ll admit it was a great call – the hotel was great and the kids had a wonderful time. Kale’s parent’s joined us too, and we really enjoyed the time spent together.

Traveling in general during a pandemic is interesting, let alone to another country. However, masks were mandatory outside the resort, the local people are vaccinated as tourism depends on it and we were outside literally all day every day. We tested negative to come home and got ready to start the week. The next day, I had a scheduled PCR COVID test and went thinking that too, would be negative. I was shocked when the results came back with the opposite outcome. Starting the year quarantining with an asymptomatic COVID case is not what I had in mind. But, we pumped the breaks on a routine and hunkered down at home.

Like most people over the past few years, all of this time at home makes you look at your house with a more critical eye. We purchased our house four years ago as a spec house. While we might have made slightly different choices for ourselves, the floor plan was efficient and the outdoor space was a game changer. Over the years, we have added our own personal touches like the fireplace renovation.

This week at home gave me some time to really iron out details for a few of the items on my list. After a quick consult with the Neat Method, I had a clear direction for our organizational needs and got to work purging and sorting. I am naturally a very organized person, but I also appreciate speaking to an expert within a profession. Our local Neat Method rep is named Sydney, and I felt like she got to know how we use our space and then helped me make some decisions about how to better utilize these ‘problem’ areas.

The easiest space on our list to tackle is the playroom. It is the largest room in our house and the most used with the least amount of direction, spatially speaking. I didn’t invest a whole lot of money on this space when we moved in. It grew with our kids and over time, I added a few things here and there to give it personality. Here are the things that don’t work with the existing space:

  • Their toys have outgrown the cubby storage that is so commonly used for playrooms. Bin organization is a joke, things just get dumped into them without rhyme or reason.
  • The sofa that came with us from our previous house doesn’t fit everyone on it for movies. And when we have friends or family over, we end up unfolding the pull out so everyone can fit.
  • The bookshelf (not pictured below) is great, but we could use more wall storage for items I want accessible (but not too accessible).
  • Consistent storage solutions that work. I have tried a few different things – canvas bins (too flimsy) and metal bins (too heavy).
  • I also felt like we needed a space that could become more of a media room in the not-so-distant future. So having a way to conceal toys better was a priority.

The space isn’t short on natural light, so it feels like a happy space regardless, which I LOVE. Being home and having some time to slow down and make considerations allowed me to feel confident pulling the trigger on a few things.

  • A modern closed storage credenza to go underneath the TV. This will balance out the space and hopefully initiate more focused play – rather than just dumping out everything they own. I also wanted to bring in some wood tones to add contrast and warmth.
  • Clear bins will allow kids to see what is in there before dumping them out on the floor. I plan on labeling each bin with what should go inside (cars, duplo, etc.).
  • I plan on keeping the wall decals for the time being, and I like the blue fabric. So I ordered a larger sectional in a similar blue that will allow everyone on the sofa at the same time! Nighttime cuddles for the win!
  • It’s time to move on from our existing bookshelf (not pictured) because I think we could use a bit more wall storage. We have some adjustable storage coming that I think will be a perfect addition and utilize the tall ceilings better.

Some simple solutions and re-organization will go a long way, I think. Two of my favorite purchases that aren’t going anywhere soon are the Nugget Sofa and the Steeple Climber. My kiddos love both so much, they’re the perfect way to get out the wiggles. The Steeple Climber is linked below, along with the hammock hook I purchased to install ours with. When Ryan with Aligned Art installed it, he literally hung off of it, so as long as it’s installed in a joist, it’s not going anywhere!

Lead times are a moving target still, but by spring we can hopefully have a complete playroom.


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I’m excited to show you the other changes we’re making over the next few weeks!

XO, Aubrey

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