Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Every once in a while

I have a good idea. And every once in THOSE whiles, the good idea actually works (that's grammatically correct, right?!).

Here is Strip's bed:

I promise there's a bed under there. We don't make her sleep on a bed frame and a plush wonderland. But as you can tell, she is quickly poising herself for a starring role on Hoarders if we can't let go of these stuffed animals.

I was a stuffed animal lover myself (as a child. They drive me nuts now as a parent), so I know where's she coming from. But her room is smaller than mine was, so the ratio animal to square footage is not so good. As I was cleaning and organizing her room the other day, I started to separate the ones I knew she played with from the ones I'm sure she's forgotten about, and they all ended up back on her bed.

If we can't donate them, we had to come up with a better way to organize them. When I was little, they had hammock type nets that you could hang in the corner of the room and pile them all up. Problems with that? 1. They are ugly 2. her room only has one corner where it would fit and it's over her dollhouse, so they wouldn't be easily accessible and 3 I'd give it 3 minutes before Nugget climbed on the roof of the doll house, crawled into the net and ripped it off the wall meaning we'd have to go to the ER (to patch up Nugget), Home Depot (to patch up the wall) and Costco (because you can't patch up a pressed board doll house).

Option 2, I actually had. It was an ugly, white, plastic chain that you could hang from the ceiling, then hang all of the animals on the chain. Problems with this? 1. It's ugly. 2. There's only one corner of her room where we could hang it (see above) and 3. If the kids thought the poles in our basement (that were there for support. We did not put poles in our basement nor are we pole dancing people) were fun, imagine their delight of climbing a chain resulting in a trip for 2 to the ER along with the above mentioned.

Option 3, Google.
After googling "stuffed animal organization" and passing the other 2 options, I found this bad
boy. It's by Boon and it's a plushy bag with a mesh "window." The kids can stuff it full of their animals, still know that they are there and it becomes a decorative
pillow/seat/whatever in their rooms instead of a gang of plush.

Problems with this? I worried with the way my kids played that they would rip the mesh where it attached to the bag and as much as I'd love another sewing project i have no desire to fix seams and reattach zippers.

Problem 2 is that many of the reviews said it was too big (and they have even bigger ones!). So if I got one for each kid, and they didn't fill them up, there would be a deflated bag of animals on their floor. And if we DID manage to have enough to stuff it full, where would we put the things?!

Problem 3? The price. They averaged $60 each so I would be paying $120 for fuzzy Flex Force garbage bags? I think not.

Garbage Bags....hmmmm..bean bags? Bean bag covers! That's it!! They are basically bean bag covers, but a bean bag cover is MADE to be plopped on and if I got ones like the kids already have, they have super reinforced zippers and seams. I AM A GENIUS!!

But... they just got bean bags for Christmas and the covers weren't cheap. LOVE the quality, but didn't want to buy 2 more. It was time to hit ebay.

I found some in a great selection of colors for less than $7 each. I then noticed they were bean bag OTTOMAN covers. I was about to close the page when I thought, "Even better!!!" I can get TWO per kid and they will be small enough to have little kid seating in their rooms to read books, play, whatever!"

I bought four (gotta love buy it now option) and the seller had them to me super quick! While Strip was at school, Nugget and I got to work.

Step one:

Assess the masses

Step 2

Get to stuffing!!

There's no method to this
madness, just grab an animal
and squish it until it's in the

Step three

Keep going! You might have to sit down, but keep shoving
those crazy animals/angry birds/grinches into the bag until
full. Then zip em up!

Step 4: Ta da!

Now take a breath of relief. All of those animals (and some who had fallen off the bed) are stuffed snugly into little seats! Out of site for mom, but kids know where they are when they need "students" while playing school! They are on the floor so they can sit on them when playing and are easy to open, get out the animals and stuff for clean up.

And I know what you're looking at. "What's with the unicorn? He's not in there,"

You are right. But he's a pillow, he's a pet, he's a PILLOW PET! So he didn't have to get stuffed in the bag.

Rooms are back under control, and I can now walk by Build-a-Bear without wanting to punch something.

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