I’m not going to give you the illusion that my house is photoshoot ready 100% of the time. Like I’ve said before my house is lived in, and I’ve put to bed the notion that an immaculate house is what it takes to be considered a great mom. Having said that, I’ve talked before about my anxiety, and I will admit that I notice a difference between a tidy house and a messy one.

So how did I find my balance? I recognized that I didn’t have to erase our days to keep my anxiety at bay, but when it comes time to tidying up, I need to know that everything has a place. I need to know that I won’t be shoving things here and there to give the illusion of tidy. So, I have been working to find organizational fixes to my every day problems.

Today’s focus is on the beloved yet dreaded toddler art station. Walking past it was my Hunger Games. For real, I don’t know how such a tiny space can spark THAT much anxiety, but it did. From the endless paper, to the assortment of writing objects (some with lids, some without), and all the random Dollar Store crap that has accumulated over time. A tiny catastrophe located between my kitchen and my living room.

Nightmare.

I racked my brain and Pinterest for ways to cope, but nothing seemed to fit my kiddo’s needs. Then one day, I found myself in the As Is section of IKEA (I say as if I’m not there ALL the time) where I found this cute little kids table with baskets hanging from its top, and I immediately knew how I could make it work.

I did a simple IKEA hack on this bad boy to create the exact function and look I had envisioned.

First thing’s first, I replaced the too bright orange baskets that came with it for more neutral white ones. Next, I sanded, stained and waxed the wood to get the darker finish that was more in line with the design of the space.

The baskets would be great to house the paint, stickers, and other non daily art supplies, but what I really needed was a fix for the waste of paper. We have colouring books and drawing pads, but those still didn’t provide the clean look I had hoped for. My daughter loves to draw, and nurturing that love is a priority. In the end, I was able to cover the table in a white board film I purchased from Staples. Perfect fix! Now she is able to draw to her hearts content using the markers we have set out nicely in a Dollar Store container without the mess of papers, or the guilt of waste. We also put some small note pads in there as she likes to “take notes” of her day and “write down” observations on our nature walks–for real she’s too funny!

It’s a simple fix, but honestly I find those to be the best kinds. I don’t need something complex, I just need something that is going to work. My daughter is absolutely in love with this little hack which, at the end of the day, is the biggest mom win of all!

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