Does that make me an optimist???
I spent yesterday clearing out the--what else--STUFF in the closet of what is now the new playroom. I thought I'd need to get rid of alot of things but really, everything just had one or two small obstacles preventing it from being somewhere more useful than the closet. The clothes that the kids need to grow into could go in the attic. I just needed to rearrange a little up there so that they would fit. The clothes for me to shrink into--they can go on Craigslist for a while, then charity or Freecycle if that doesn't work. The Barbie tent--Freecycle. The 5 or 6 various broken things? Fixed 'em. The pictures that needed to be hung? Hang them. All those misc bins? Consolidated them down to one. In short, there was plenty of room in the closet for me to take half the kids toys and store them away for when the other half gets "stale", so that I can rotate them out. And there's room to spare.
Now that so much of the kids stuff has been moved into the playroom and so many of their outgrown/unworn clothes have gone to better places, THEIR closets are half empty too. It is such a relief to open up a closet and see it neat and tidy and reach in for just what I need without 10 other things falling out. I don't know why I didn't do this a long time ago!
The last thing I did for the playroom was to dig out the huge white board that someone had given us several years ago. We'd used it for a while, but found we had no place for it and its been in the garage ever since. Well, now we have the perfect wall to hang it and it is in its new spot, ready to become permanent. Here's the interesting observation: my daughter had a friend come over to play yesterday, and her friend showed up with her Nintendo DS. I can't tell you how much time my daughter has spent begging me for one. Did she play with it? NO. Did she even look at it? NO. The DS was pitched into a corner while they spent an hour playing "school" at the white board. And her friend forgot it when she left.
and lastly, when cleaning out the closet I came across my daughter's ice cream maker--a kid version she'd gotten for her birthday many years ago. I can't remember the last time we used it -- its been at least three years. Well, as luck would have it our grocery store had Horizon organic cream marked down to 99 cents. So after dinner, the kids and I had a great time making (and eating) ice cream. It was so much fun that we all wondered why we hadn't been using it all along. I suppose it was because its alot of trouble, and a mess, and I haven't wanted to deal with it. But the "new" me has alot more time on her hands to spend with the kids!!