A Beautiful Mess

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Hey all!

Wanted to touch on something that seems to always be a part of our lives: messes.

Toddlers are messy.  And to no real fault of their own.  They are figuring out what every single thing in this world is and their ferocious effort to figure all of the things out is both exhausting and incredible to watch.  I guess I would have that much energy if I slept 12 hours every night... I don't know.
My friend Olivia took the following pictures with her Dad's old camera that uses film.. i know... FILM!  What is this?! They are the most beautiful pictures and I love her like crazy for helping document these two crazies!

I've always been a pretty tidy person.  Keeping things picked up, clean and organized keeps me calm and content.  So you can imagine the change in my life when I found out we were having twins and now, twins that are on the move.  They definitely provide a challenge for a tidy home, to say the very least.   But we somehow manage, for the most part.  I wanted to share some of my tips and tricks for keeping things tidy and making sure your home doesn't resemble a daycare center.  If that's the look you're going for, then have at it.  But I like to still have some resemblance of our "style" and plan to keep it that way... even when we add more kiddos.

1.  Less is more.  Cue the eye-roll, as all moms probably know this but know how hard it can be to uphold it.  From the get-go, we were blessed to have very generous friends and family that gave clothing, toys, etc. and we were loaded down with everything plus the kitchen sink for twin babies.  As they have grown and are 20 months now, (whaaaa) we have been shedding "things".  For example, as soon as we could, we moved the babies to booster seats at the table and put the high chairs in the basement.  That change was not only good for our poor tiny dining area, but good for the babies to be at the table and to make meals family time!  Another area we have downsized a bit is the toy department.  At one point in time, we had enough toys to keep a dozen kids busy, but thanks to my mom, she sorted through them and pulled out all the "baby toys" including teething rings, rattles, etc... things toddlers don't need or use anymore.  I also went through the MOUNTAIN of books we had in the basement and kept the durable, loved ones while donating some of the repeated and unused books.  Keep tip here: clean out and get rid of the toys/ books that are no longer relevant, played with and used frequently.  This will keep the clutter to a minimum.  I do it about every 6 months.

***I have to call out a tool I used earlier this summer, that really may have helped me with this restructuring of our house.  The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo is nothing short of brilliance.  I read this in less than 2 days (which is saying a lot for me) and got to work, starting in our bedroom.  Her methods of keeping a tidy home are fool proof, if you follow her advice to a T.  I'm still working at it, as having E&B makes it a little more challenging.  But.  Her methods have really helped me in deciding what is excess and what is necessary, what to discard and what to store away.  I HIGHLY recommend it.  

2. Change up the space of play.  Our living room used to look like a bomb went off daily (and still some days does).  We used to have a box of toys under the TV and almost every day it would be spread across our upstairs, in the couch cushions, under the table, pretty much resembling a daycare.  I decided to move all the toys downstairs in one confined area.  That's not to say the twins don't bring toys upstairs and spread things around the house, BUT there's a play area and its specifically for their toys and everything has a spot down there... away from the main living space.  It also will help us as we teach them to put things away.  Someday.  Maybe.  That will be the day.

In the basket under the TV are diapers and wipes... that shelf used to be overflowing with toys, books, stuffed animals...  
The other view... crayon explosion!
One side of our basement is basically La Petite.  This is actually pretty tame and considered "picked-up" 
The other side is the adult oasis of relaxation!  Jk. But we try to keep it toy free... that happens like 20% of the time.
3.  Creative storage.  I was handed down an old chest built by my Great-Great-Grandfather....  It has been painted more times than we can count and can hold tons of storage.  I think it's pretty easy to find these old chests, antiquing, garage sales, and if you can, I think they are AWESOME for just throwing a bunch of toys in and hiding them away.  Plus it's a great one to help with the first tip:  weeding out the un-played with toys.

4.  Life is but a beautiful mess.  My husband has helped me with this one and I don't even think he knows it.  Growing up, I was the kid that wouldn't go outside without shoes, a food fight at school terrified me and the thought of voluntarily getting messy didn't seem like fun (ahem, finger painting).  I know.  Kind-of a wet blanket.  But as I became a wife and mother, I think I've lightened up a little.  Every mess can be cleaned.  Eventually.  It might mean an extra bath or shower, or a good scrub with the magic eraser.  But most messes (with food or crafts) can be cleaned.  Most.  I'll update when I've come across something otherwise.  So end-all-be-all here is, live life and don't be afraid of the mess.  Once I changed that, I have been living a bit more at ease.   Look at how much fun your kids are having and (within reason) let them explore, make a mess, dump the crayon box out and put each one back in one at a time (Bennett).

90's day at the park... not really.. just for us...

We've been parkin' a lot lately and I don't hate it in this nicer weather!

Hope everyone is ready for FALL!  We definitely are.  My favorite season!  Tomorrow is September and I have a feeling we are closer than we think.  More updates this fall :)

See ya'll soon!

Lauren, E&B

Buddy and his rock collection... guys. I have no clue how this started. But its so cute how protective he is over them.

Just tryin it on for size... 
Kinda big...
Neighbor play date!  We have the BEST neighbors and we love how much our kiddos look up to them! 


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