Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Weekend Project

Note: I've noticed that sometimes in the e-mail updates, you can't read everything I write because it cuts off the right side of the words. Remember, you can always go directly to the blog HERE to read the updates anytime and see the entire post.

Anyway, we had a very productive weekend around here. I have been wanting to do something about Dean's room for quite awhile now, especially since Christmas when Santa brought him the gigantic Train Table that has been taking up all the floor space in the middle of his room that he normally uses for alone playtime. Dean has (thankfully) always been really good about entertaining himself and playing really well alone in his room, but since we put the train table in there, taking up almost all of the big empty floor space, he hasn't really been playing in his room much - which makes my days much longer!!! When I received my latest Pottery Bard Kids catalog I fell in love with the Cameron Wall Unit storage thing. Here's a photo of it:
However, the price was just a bit prohibitive at $1800. I don't even want to imagine what the shipping to Maui would have been (probably another $1800!!!). So I set out to find cabinets and cubby systems that we could build ourselves to come up with something similar. We needed to combine Dean's previous bookshelf system that was in his room with the bookshelf that was in his closet holding random toys with his toybox in his room. I wanted something that we could hide all of his toys in to make the room just look more clean and organized (the large toybox basket thing just wasn't working anymore and was just making the place look messy and he was outgrowing it). Here are a few "Before" pictures of his room so you get an idea of what we were dealing with:
I thought the cabinets in the Pottery Barn unit would be a good idea for toy storage, allowing him easy access to a lot of his toys and making it easy for him to clean up (and hiding everything at the same time!). The cubby system on top would be nice for storage of all of his books (as he is now reading at about a 2nd grade level according to his preschool teachers - we can't keep him in enough books - he has A LOT of books and he spends a lot of time reading alone in his room and looking at books) and we could store some of his smaller toys in baskets in the cubbies as well. We also moved his dresser into the closet.

Our little weekend project was a HUGE success!!! We spent a total of just under $500 and ended up with a storage system that, although I'm sure it's not quite as nice as the Pottery Barn version, it's just as functional and it looks pretty darn close to me!! Joel did an awesome job building everything and I must say I did a pretty good job supervising!! AND there was a minimum of swearing and slamming doors involved in the project (which is quite an accomplishment when Joel is building and I am supervising). :-) Check it out:
Pretty cool, huh? And ever since the weekend, Dean is back to spending lots of time playing in his room - listening to music, playing with his train table, building lego creations on the floor, or just kneeling in front of his bed with a book. I think he just needs that space!!

The only thing left to do in his room (hopefully this weekend) is for Joel to finally build him an actual bed frame (we've just had his box springs and mattress on the floor since we moved him from his crib into his "big boy bed"). Joel's plan is to build a bed frame that has drawers underneath that we can use for additional storage, hopefully allowing us to get rid of the dresser in his closet. We'll see! We also want to paint one wall (the wall with the storage unit on it) a blue that matches his bedding - probably the blue of the large background that you can see in this photo of him reading before bed last night (notice the little "Grandpa CR" toy man from his Mainstreet Village collection. You can read the story about that HERE. He still insists on having Grandpa CR on his nightstand at all times. When we were putting everything away after the room re-do, I had put Grandpa CR back in all the Mainstreet Village toys and Dean had to go dig him out that night before bed, saying "Where's Grandpa CR? Where's Grandpa CR?". We very narrowly avoided a major meltdown!!):
I love that he will read himself to sleep at night after we have Family Storytime - this is a new thing the past few weeks. We've started allowing him to bring a few books into bed with him after we read him a story and we leave his light on. This has put an end to any resistance to going to bed most nights and usually he reads himself to sleep within about 15 minutes and we'll just go in and turn out his light. I hope he never loses this love of reading!!

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