(Blog entry title lifted from a Grizz blog entry. Hey, if he's not going to use it, I will.)
So, we have a dining room. And we have kids. So except for the random visit from family which includes too many people to squeeze around our kitchen table/island, the dining room is used for pretty much anything BUT dining. Luckily, it's fair-sized, as dining rooms go, and it has a BIG closet with lots of shelves. (Which I love. You have no idea how much I love closets, especially big ones where there normally are none.) So you have your basic table and chairs and china hutch. You also have two smaller china cabinets, inherited from hubby's Lladro-collecting mother, filled to busting with said collection. You also have a globe on a stand and a pair of bookshelves tucked into the corner near the closet. And a teeny bit of leftover floor space to move between all these things.
Much as the dining room is rarely used for dining, so is the table rarely used in the intended manner. When we home schooled, it was Joey's desk on one end and Michael's Tinkertoy/Legos/Knex play area on the other. This year, with the boys in traditional school, it became the repository for all returned homework papers and projects, none of which could be discarded until we were absolutely SURE we wouldn't need them anymore. The table got so full that things overflowed to the bookshelves, which were already crammed with paper and pencil cups and assorted school supplies, books, and science kits. So our first summer project this year was to determine if an actual table still existed in the dining room. Michael was easy--if it was homework, it went into the recycle pile, period. He kept a handful of things we found in the stack, mostly paper airplanes he and his buddies made and a couple of art projects. Joey is more like me--we develop sentimental attachments to random pieces of paper like nobody's business. It took him a while and he saved a great deal more (which I promised to put into storage for him), but he finally managed to wade through all his papers. I undertook the task of sorting through leftover notebooks and supplies to see what might be salvageable for next year and got the shelves (mostly) organized again. In the end, our task was a resounding success. Yes, there IS a table!
At least until Michael's erector set project gets shifted from the kitchen island to the dining room at supper time. And Joey's Heroscape landscape wanders up to the dining room so that the model airplane can take over the folding table in the basement.
In other news, we have four boxes and counting of outgrown kids' books to donate to their school and/or the local library and/or Goodwill. Lest you think this means our shelves are now empty, fear not--the basket in the living room and the random piles here and there simply have a real bookshelf home now. Or will, as soon as I get around to going through the piles and basket. Then maybe I can start on the closets full of board games...
Too. Much. STUFF.