Who knew happiness came flatpacked from Ikea??

This week I had a moment when I really noticed how being a parent changes your perspective. Things that make me extremely happy now would have seemed so so boring before may lovely little horrors came along.

As our little monsters have got bigger so has the mountain of toys they own. Not only do we have all my son’s toys, we also have my daughter’s dolls, prams and tea sets etc. We are very lucky that our house has a separate room to use as a playroom and I honestly think that without it my husband might have ended up rocking in a corner somewhere from the amount of mess our kiddywinks can create.


The problem up to now has been that we’ve never had any real storage in there. One built in cupboard (complete with gas meter) just isn’t enough. When my son was little I bought a couple of plastic crates and his toys went in those. As more toys arrived I didn’t really think about long term, I bought a couple more crates and when they got full a couple more… until somehow we ended up with multiple boxes of overflowing toys around the room and in the cupboard. Because the toys never went away out of sight the kids didn’t focus on playing one game but wandered randomly from one game to the next, and the floor daily became a minefield of trip hazards. Adding to the clutter was the changing table that was still lurking from when my daughter was tiny.

Finally after much cajoling I convinced hubby that we could survive without the changing table and that getting some extra storage would make the playroom much nicer. I wanted to involve him in the decision but naturally I had an idea of what I wanted. The STUVA system from Ikea was pretty much perfect, I had seen the TROFAST system at a friend’s but preferred the idea of closing cupboard doors to open boxes on a frame. We sat down one evening and looked at the options. I explained why I preferred to cupboards and amazingly we managed to agree. It’s a standing joke between us that we never ever agree on what to buy for the house so this was a minor miracle!

Last weekend we went to buy the system. It took two trips to get it right because even though we took a list of what we wanted and were (for us) very organised, we decided at the last minute to get some drawers, and then picked up the wrong boxes.

Hubby: are you sure these are the drawers, they’re pretty heavy?

Me: Of course I’m sure (I’d looked at the picture and everything)


Me: You know those drawers I said were definitely drawers…they’re not.

Queue 2nd trip to exchange storage boxes (that look pretty similar in the pictures I think) for drawers.

Eventually it was all built and now we have a fabulous tidy play room.

tidy room


My bit of perspective came when I realised that I was bouncing up and down with excitement at the idea of buying a few cupboards and tidying up. Before I had kids I would never have thought of tidying up as being exciting. Before I was a parent I would have wondered why someone had so much stuff and thought the tidy picture looked a bit messy but now it is happiness – and it came flatpacked in a box!

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