Death by IKEA and a Happy Laundry Room...

I have a true love/hate relationship with IKEA. I mean, it is so cheap, has a trillion things, is so colorful and happy... but yet it can feel like the devil's playground when you are overstimulated and suddenly feel frozen with indecision when you swear you knew exactly what you were coming for just mere moments before. 

In my silly overambitiousness, my recent quest has become to promote independence with the girls. I want them to be able to get their own clothes out, put them away, get their own coats or jackets, etc. I figure I can't expect them to do things if 1. They can't even reach it. 2. There isn't an actual place to put things. Herein started my quest for uber-organization. So obviously I started 15 projects and have yet to finish one. Sometimes I just don't know why I do things. 

My first ambition was to make the laundry room a fun, happy place to be in. I mean, no one likes to do laundry... I might as well make it random and awesome. I wanted fun bins to bring in a bright color that I was going to paint one of the walls. Quest accomplished at Home Goods where I found these orange and grey bins to go on the shelves. 

So I went with an orange wall, did a grey chevron roman shade, pulled out a mason jar and put on a chalkboard label for items left in pockets, ordered a decal from Etsy, and hung a framed "Martha Stewart stain guide." 

I hung an old shelf with hooks on a lower level so the girls could have a place for their main jackets, backpack, my purse, etc. Put up a hook for items that need to be hung up immediately, an ironing board hook and also a broom/swiffer caddie thing behind the door: 

Here is a random 'before' picture: 

Here is the after: 

Laundry is miserable. This needs to be a happy room. End of story. 

So that project is mostly finished (the cabinets need to be organized... they are ginormous but I am not utilizing them, perhaps because I would always need a ladder). My other project is redoing the closet in Summer and Layla's room. I had previously gotten some drawer units and whatnot, but the high shelves and place to hang their dresses just didn't work. They couldn't really hang up their own clothes, and I just thought it was a ton of wasted space in the closet. I found an idea that would work from iheart organizing that looks something like this: 

I wanted to get additional shelves to hang above the lower rods for smaller bins for hair things, belts, etc. Their closet currently had the one builder-grade wire-ish shelf that hung across the top. Not good. 

So I planned ahead for this IKEA trip. I even got someone to watch the girls. We had dinner plans with friends that night, but I had what I thought was a good amount of time to gloriously shop without children. I thought I was being smart about this. I know I do plenty of stupid things, but taking multiple children to IKEA when I need a large item is something I never want to do (again). I had a list... expedit shelves, bins for the shelves, and three frames. I also wanted to look at wall shelves. That's it. 

It was a rainy afternoon, but no one was on the ICC per usual so I made it there in good time. I smartly parked at the exit, proud of myself for thinking ahead. I brought my list, notebook of measurements (just in case), and purse. So my first mistake was not grabbing a cart by the entrance. I hesitated but thought, "No. All the stuff I'm getting is on the lower level." I ride up the escalator and am met with the happy, modern, bright patterns and adorable setups. It's this joyful land filled with things that are so cheap but they make look so good. I snag a yellow bag and put my annoying notebook in it, grab a brochure and pencil. My trip officially commences. 

Almost immediately I see curtains that look like a perfect color for our bedroom AND they have the grommets at the top... oh wait, miracle upon miracle, they are long enough (I have absurdly long windows in EVERY room)!!! And they are only $27.99 a pair! I can't believe it! I put two sets in my yellow bag and it is already awkwardly heavy. I'm not even through the Living Room showroom. Oh well, I usually have three kids with me. I can carry a bag no problem. I continue on my way, stopping to look at the different wall shelves. There are so many of them, and they are everywhere... and when I think I like one I end up running over to another set-up thinking I like different ones and low and behold they are the same exact wall shelves. I plow through sofa-beds and get to the wall units and media storage. Here I write down the article number, aisle and bin for my expedit shelves like a pro. But then... wait, there are cute inserts with drawers that I could get for these shelves. Oh no, there are multiple types of bins in slightly different colors. Crap. What do I need. Losing focus. I jot down the insert article number and the names of the different bins. I can make the official decision later. I can't think right now. My arm and back are throbbing from this awkward bag. I start second guessing the curtains but I know if I put them down I am never finding them again. I see more wall shelves that look good. Ugh, those are the shelves they put products on. I run through Kitchen and Dining trying to get back on track. In Workspaces I slow down when I see all of the fantastic looking organizational stuff. Our office needs a better system... I could get this stuff to help that out.... no no no, stop, focus. I am continually seeing different shelves with different bins and fabulousness and my mind is whirling over what I actually need. Ohhhh the closet systems in bedroom are amazing, I want all of it. I somehow blow through children's IKEA with the sheer motivation being my back is aching from these stupid curtains and I make my way downstairs. Alright, I only have 30 minutes to find all of the stuff down here and get on the road. Crap. Here is where it went majorly downhill. I grab a cart to appease my back. Ohhh a trashcan would be fantastic to hold wrapping paper in. Hmmmm these $3.99 spice racks are all over pinterest for their book holding qualities, I should get a few. Bins. Oh these bins. I agonize for several minutes, finally grabbing two in turquoise (??? I need five). I get to curtains and I am now met with another set that I think I like the fabric better but they don't have grommets. Decisions. This woman won't get out of my way. I hate her. I think I like the grommets. Ugh do I really need these right now? No, I don't. These can wait. I put them back twice before I put them back in my cart. I get to the frames section with mere minutes left before I am supposed to leave. I can't find the ones I want. Wait which ones do I want? I liked it best when it was a bigger mat, right? Aghhh I have no idea. None of these look like the ones that I want. Ten minutes later I frantically grab several and nearly sprint to the massive warehouse area. 

The expedit shelves are on aisle 1, bin 24. I find it promptly but I am met with an extremely large box. I mean, I know how big these shelves are (they are the ones I made my bench from). But are they really this big? And heavy? Over six feet long and 50lbs? My cart won't do, I need to get one of those other flat-bottom-big-things. I backtrack to the front of the warehouse to grab one of them, and push both carts over to the shelves. While holding the back of the cart with my foot, I try to finagle the huge shelves onto my cart. Profusely sweating and running severely late, I must have looked like I needed help because a woman came over to hold my cart in place while I maneuvered the shelves. I thanked her, then loaded my stuff up on top of the new cart and shelves. These curtains. I mean, they can wait. I take them out and set them aside. NOOOO I forgot to write down where that adorable pink insert with drawers was. The computers are all occupied. And I never did find the correct shelves or decide on anything. Oh well, whatever, I have to leave. I am so late. I am running to get in line. Finally grab one that doesn't look too long and try to look like I am not utterly frazzled and sweaty and irritated that I have no idea what I bought or what I even need anymore. No, checkout woman, I have no idea where my IKEA family card is. Clearly you have to scan it before you start scanning my things because you are standing there waiting for me to find it. Ah YES here it is. Did it even do anything? No. I paid and left, thinking to myself how I was going to get these shelves into my car by myself. Determination presided. Despite the awesome pouring rain, I lifted them up and pushed them partly in, then ran around the other side to lift it over the console. Went around back again and pushed it in fully. Success! At least it is raining so my profuse sweating isn't too noticeable. I packed everything else in, already regretting not getting the curtains. Ahhh rainy traffic. I can feel a migraine coming on. I finally get home and throw on some clothes. My hair and makeup is a lost cause. The entire ride to dinner I sat in the way back between Summer and Layla. Neither of them shut their mouths the entire ride and all Summer wanted to teach me was some 'Avocado' song/game she learned with her friends at school. I barely did it one time when I decided the 'quiet game' was essential. That didn't last, but we finally did get there and I had TWO lemon drop martinis and prime rib. I'm pretty sure most things can be solved with two lemon drop martinis. 

So I got the shelves but only two bins. The frames were the wrong size. I wish I bought the curtains. I never found the wall shelves. And I keep thinking, that trip could have been MUCH worse. I could have had children with me! I have since made an updated list with EXACT items (along with article numbers) and I may just go straight to the lower level and get the things I need. That was just out of control. 

So I am now mid-23498 projects (I am also moving their old drawer units into our closet and reorganizing), with none of them completed. Which kills me. Oh and did I mention we drove to North Carolina for a wedding last weekend?? A total of 17.5 hours on the road between Friday and Sunday. (I knew we were going to be driving to NC, but in my head that meant like 4-5 hours. I didn't process that it was Charlotte which is significantly farther. Geography lesson learned the hard way). It was Matt's cousin who was getting married and it was actually perfectly amazing. A GORG venue and tons of fun people. The girls were invited and considering we are going to Nashville without them in two weeks, we figured we would bring them. While they struggled a little (Livi fell asleep during the ceremony which I was THRILLED about but then she started snoring...) we all had an amazing time. All of them were on the dance floor until they dropped. 

They were also big fans of the photo booth: 

Weddings are just so happy, especially when the couple is flat-out adorable and their love is SO obvious. Next time we'll fly and it will be even better. 

And lastly, did I mention Matt is out of town?? He had to be in Virginia on Sunday afternoon (we dropped his car off there on the way), and yesterday he had to go back down to North Carolina until Thursday. Sorry, there has been no "Girls Only Weekend of Fun"  this time... it has been pretty rough. Counting down the minutes until tomorrow night.... 

Happy Wednesday! 

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