A Million Little Pieces…



No, I am not a recovering drug addict and it isn’t my life that is in a million little pieces, but my living room floor.


This weekend was a typical Colorado spring weekend.  The beautiful, sunny, 70 degree days of last week are a distant memory. The arctic chill of April on the Front Range blows 45 miles an hour against my door, as the snow drifts build up. This is a stay home and work on a house project weekend. My project of choice (if you can call it a choice) is sorting out a million little pieces. Okay, maybe it’s more like a few thousand little pieces, but still.

There are a thousand little pieces of kid’s toys that have accumulated in the bottom of a very large box in my living room. This array of pieces renders each Lego set, Thomas train or Little People house useless. It’s all because I failed to plan when my first was born. I didn’t design and build a “play room” with matching IKEA box shelving and clearly labeled pull out drawers for each piece, of each toy, they would receive for birthday’s and Christmas each year. The end result: a giant toy box (aka my entire living room) that fuels my guilt. Especially each time my mom buys a new puzzle for her and my son to build together. I know ten minutes after the puzzle is completed, a piece will be lost. I will feel guilty for her having wasted her money on a gift I am incapable of taking care of.

You would not think anyone could envy a preschool the way that I do. The preschool with all their carefully labeled drawers for scissors, crayons, blocks and Lincoln logs! Why it is that my son can take out one toy at preschool, play with it, and then PUT IT AWAY- but would rather be filleted on a skewer than put a toy away at home? I will never know.

So for hours on Saturday, while the snow fell and the wind blew, I dug through the box and sorted, determined to change my lot in life. I feel caught between a rock and a hard place. I need a space for a playroom. As well as storage options that I can afford. But sitting knee deep in finger puppets and plastic dinosaurs makes even the most welcoming playroom ideas on Pinterest seem like a fool’s errand.

Toya After hours of work, I was able to sort the pieces and parts into clear, gallon ziplock bags with the intention to actually buy those IKEA (or Walmart) shelves and to put the bags in containers and maybe even label th
em. I want my kids to have a nice space where they can play and create and not have to wade through endless little bits to find the missing piece of whatever they are building. But I feel overwhelmed by the time, money and effort it takes to accomplish that kind of organization. I feel like I am the only person who can be brought to tears at the sound of a bag of Legos being dumped on the floor accompanied by the shrill laughter of a two year old.  I want to just give it all away, but I can’t, because I can’t find all the pieces…


What do you do to organize the kid’s toys and playroom? Is there a chapter in the parenting book on how to organize life that I skipped?

I would love to hear your thoughts and comments.

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Rachel is a native Coloradoan, though originally from the Western Slope. She followed her husband Chris to his hometown of Colorado Springs after having met in engineering school at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO. Together they have four beautiful children, Tommy (2011), Tazzy (2014), Zach (2015) and Zinny (2018). Having a young and active family keeps Rachel on her toes trying to find ways to keep the ship sailing while still meeting all the demands of motherhood. Though Rachel loves her most important role as Mommy most, she also works full time outside the home as a Water Resources Engineer for the Colorado Division of Water Resources. This role helps keep her life centered, bouncing from detailed and complex discussions relating to Colorado Water Law with her husband ( a mechanical engineer) to daycare and preschool drop off and pick up schedules, while being constantly interrupted by the equally complex musings of her 4 year.


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