Thursday, December 31, 2009

I Need Your Input

To continue, I need your input if you have any, because we have so much stuff!! Now to some folks we have nothing, but for our size house we have too much. We had to trim down when we moved here, and I think it's time to trim down again. Mostly, our stuff in storage is boxes and totes of children's clothes at different sizes. Also we have a couple of totes of seasonal changes of clothes for hubby and I. Our dining room closet holds my hanging dresses as my own closet is too short and they drag. It has a tote of toys or something, a sleeping bag, a bag of misc. fabric, and some blankets and our DVD and VHS player on the shelf. The problem with this closet is that the sliding doors are stiff and don't roll well, and there is a big ventilation pipe off to one side of it. But there is a hanging bar all the way across, that only has about a dozen items on it.
We have another closet in the tiny hall between the kitchen and the dining room that holds all games mostly. We have hooks down low so the kids can put away their own coats, and a basket for mittens and hats. Otherwise it is three or four shelves of games--most of which we can't play together because of the young ages of my children(pre-readers). Many of them are group games, that we don't want to get rid of because our families like to play games--trouble is our house is so small, no one visits us for very long--not long enough to break them out...So keep or donate??
Our front closet has a coat bar and shelf, and we have it stuffed with coats, hats, mittens etc for hubby and me, as well as the vacuum, and several boxes (china, other good dishes, some clothes) our suitcase set, and misc. bags for travelling. I haul around two sets of china dishes that are heirloom dishes--can't get rid of them...
Our kitchen has plenty of cupboard space, including a large pantry-type setup at one end, that holds our bulk stuff or dry goods. I also keep home canned stuff, and homemade jelly on short shelves in there. I have a shelf or two for our homeschool stuff also.
My biggest trouble spot is the area around the desk. I want to put the bassinet here at some point, cause it's near our bedroom, but we have a piano that we don't know what to do with, but as Nathan will be old enough for lessons soon, I don't want to get rid of it. Our interenet connection enters the house at this spot, so I am not exactly sure where we would set up the computer. Plus I have two boxes of odd fabric tucked in the corner, and a large bag of trim (you know--edge binding, ric-rac, lace, eyelet etc). I wasn't sure if I wanted to keep all of it, but in these uncertain economic times, I figure if I have fabric, I could at least make clothes, or blankets if I had to!! But the piano collects junk all the time. The top of the bookshelf does too. The desk isn't much better. The drawers have paper for the printer, sewing patterns, quilting instructions, and odds and ends...
We also struggle to keep toys under control. I have a toy box with a top tray in the living room. The little sink and stove tuck behind the living room chair, and books and puzzles are in the built in cupboard in the the living room by the heat vent, with doors I can shut. The dining room has a plastic three-drawer set that we keep stuffed animals in, cars, and blocks. However, we have a bag of large foam puzzle pieces, fabric car mats, animals that won't fit, and the cars/trucks are getting too many...Not to mention the collapsable tunnel in the dr closet, the lincoln log box, etc. We don't have as many toys as some, but given the house space, we HAVE to keep it limited. How much is too much??
I have very few knicky-knacky things around. Very little in our house is strickly for looks. Mostly it is functional. I have done some rearranging, I think it's helped a little...Any suggestions would be appreciated!!! What works well for all of you?? How do you all keep on top of clutter, and get maximum storage out of the least amount of space?

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please be kind, folks:) Differences of opinion are fine, but let the love of Christ reign here...