Why I’m mainlining ibuprofin today

Janie and Sunny have a playroom.

The natural state of this playroom is complete and utter chaos.

This is neither cliche, nor hyperbole.

Until yesterday afternoon, despite their parent’s numerous requests, pleas, bribes, outright threats, and one of Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle’s patented cures*— the room looked like this:



I would have taken an image of the closet, but I couldn’t get to it.

I’m not a big fan of housecleaning,** but there is a line, and this room crossed it.  So my husband took the kids to the family museum, and I grabbed a roll of garbage bags, clapped on my headphones, and got to work.

Three hours of high-octane music later, The room looked like this:


Never underestimate the power of my Adrenaline Playlist.

I pitched two full garbage bags of broken or damaged toys, orphaned game bits and puzzle pieces, desiccated art supplies, dismembered dolls, crumpled paper, old workbooks, and plenty of etcetera.   Doll clothes were sorted by baby, American Girl, and Barbie.  Barbies and Barbiesque dolls, who were mostly naked, were given their own bin in which to party and Sunny’s baby dolls were put to bed or to snooze in the stroller.  Sunny’s collection of Odd Creatures*** were incarcerated in their own pale-pink bin. I separated and isolated three sets of blocks and a Jenga set, and needless to say, the books were rescued and rearranged.

There’s even room for future Christmas and birthday gifts in there.

There’s a garbage bag of plastic toys^ and two of stuffed animals waiting for someone to miss something.  Anything that isn’t claimed after a week will go to our area’s domestic violence shelters.

Oddly enough, the kids love it.  They could find stuff.  They played in there until bedtime and put everything away when they were done.

We’ll see how long the honeymoon period lasts—but I’ll tell you one thing:

Never. Again.

Except for this weekend, when I start on their bedroom.^^

Wish me luck.


*The one that claims if you refuse to put away your child’s toys, he or she will eventually have to put everything away to either find a particular toy or get to the door.  And just in case you’re wondering, I’m fully aware that Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle is a fictional character, but it sounded logical at the time.

**To the same degree that Don Juan was not a proponent of monogamy and the Marquis de Sade did not delight in Sunday School picnics.  Which should have been my first clue that the Piggle-Wiggle cure wouldn’t work.

***True story:  I’d warned the kids I was doing this and told them to remove any toys they absolutely wanted to keep, because I might not know.  Sunny ran to the room and came back with a long, stuffed pink leopard-spotted snake looped twice around her neck, carrying Itch, an orange plastic stegosaurus, two matchbox cars, the ugliest stuffed bat I’ve ever seen, and a handful of mini-rubber duck in various outfits (a doctor, a football player, and a Chinese duck complete with traditional headgear and “mandarin” jacket—rubber duck puns are weird).  Her Bubbleguppy was already under her pillow.  Jane, who was playing a computer game, decided to trust me, though it’s possible the question didn’t register.

^Most of these  go beep, baa, vroom, r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r, or belt Hannah Montana tunes—I’m pretty sure it’s not necessary to explain that this is not a coincidence.

^^ If I can bend enough to pick things up by then.  My back thighs feel like someone took a baseball bat to ‘em, which makes sense—I did the equivalent of five thousand toe-touches, standing and sitting.  My sinuses have yet to forgive me, either, but that’s a given.

17 thoughts on “Why I’m mainlining ibuprofin today

  1. I had limited success with the Mrs. Piggle Wiggle cures. Not that that stopped me from trying them over and over. I’m sure it was my flawed execution. I did have one kid who became nearly trapped in her room from the detritus. Then my father guilted me out about it being a fire trap.

    Congratulations on your success! I saw the photos last night on twitter and had flashbacks.

    • The only Mrs. P-W cure that ever worked for me was the one about doing the dishes just right so the evil witch couldn’t keep the princess in the tower. Note that it didn’t work on my kids, just on me. Hate doing dishes . . .

      I’m still figuring out twitter—I’m glad the photos worked.

  2. The “before” pictures look just like my kids’ room. Now I have to choose between feeling inspired or ashamed. ( 😉 ) Well done! I completely appreciate what it took to accomplish this tremendous feat!

    • Thanks, Anna. Don’t feel ashamed, though. Kids are stubborn creatures.

      Have you tried the Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle cure, yet? It’s got to work for someone. 🙂

  3. I am so overwhelmed by these photos I don’t even know what to say. It takes a lot to make me speechless. A lot. But look at you and that great rug you found underneath it all !!!!

  4. Well done, Madame! I’ve got a few rooms that look like your before pictures but I can’t do anything about them until I purchase some shelving units. It’s that prospect that’s killing me.

  5. Unbelievable job. Wow.
    I cannot comprehend that it only took you three hours. The after shot is fantastic.
    I’ve never tried the Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle cure, but I am going under the assumption that the kids will outlast me without any issue.
    My husband on the other hand is a complete neat freak, and hyperventilates when we get too much. I recently reorganized the basement which involved getting rid of some things, but nowhere near your dedication. I got some cheap IKEA shelves and moved their treasures from the floor to the shelves. I didn’t do it for them though. My husband puts up with enough junk from me…it seemed the least I could do for the poor man.

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