My middle munchkin likes to keep her papers and projects in defined piles on the floor. Fine, at least she "organizes" her stuff (or something like that). In case you were wondering, why yes, yes I am twitching.
Of course, I want her to learn that a truly clean room means keeping her floors clear enough to vacuum. The solution was almost too simple, under bed storage bins. That way her items are still in the piles she loves so much, but now those stacks are more easily confined and out of the way for vacuum day.
New Use For Old Drawers
I am cheap, well let's say "frugal" it sounds better. So after dramatically grabbing my heart in the store aisle because of the outrageous prices of under bed canvas and plastic bins, I decided instead to "shop" my garage for past salvaged goods and see what I could make for my munchkin. Oh, by the way... when my friends want to know why I was on the side of the road salvaging old ugly drawers (and not even taking the broken base they came from), well let's just call it "creative vision". And don't worry, I'm a germ freak as well as a salvager... I'm still choking on the Lysol fumes.
It was a very very easy process, just the way I like my projects. That is the best part of salvaged items, the work is already done for you, all that is left is to customize to your taste.
1. Sand, prime & paint: I admit I was a bit lazy and barely gave them a once over with some fine grit sandpaper. The drawer fronts were a glassy laminate finish, so that is what I focused my light sanding on. I used a spray paint to prime, since it is a laminate drawer. My favorite primer is Kilz brand, it hasn't failed me yet! Then I slapped on two coats of leftover white paint used on other pieces of furniture in the room (Behr brand "Bleached Linen" in a satin finish). I wasn't too concerned with covering up brush strokes, since I like a little texture.
2. Attach wheels or furniture gliders: Attaching wheels would have made the drawers too tall to fit under the bed, instead I attached furniture gliders so it would slide easily on the carpet. You can find nail-on gliders, adhesive gliders, or rubber adhesive strips which work wonders.
3. Attach handles or pulls: I considered using cute little drawer pulls, or even a white rope with a nautical tie. Since both options required a purchase, and I had already determined this would be strictly a "salvage" operation, I opted to use some leftover ribbon from gifting and use the same principle of the nautical rope. Drill a hole in the center, squeeze your ribbon through, then tie off the back and pull taut before tying off the front and clipping the extra ribbon. I didn't use any special type of knot, but doesn't it look kind of like a tie knot? If your little one is prone to "pick at" anything pretty and you want to prevent the ribbon from fraying, use a little super glue along the edges, or if the ribbon has a waxier base, you can simply singe the edges using a hot glue gun.
4. Enjoy the fruits of very little labor: Nice and easy, who could ask for less? Just make sure you leave the organizing to your munchkin. It encourages them to take responsibility and find pride in their work!
I think my munchkin did a fantastic job organizing her things! The other day I asked her how she liked her new under bed system, and again I explained "your things are literally a foot from where they were before, but isn't it so much tidier?". Her response, "and much prettier too mom!"....ahhh sweet victory!!