Aren’t Mother-In-Laws The Best?

When Sherry’s mom was here a couple of weekends ago for Clara’s birthday party she clocked more than her fair share of hours helping us clean the house in preparation. Perhaps her most miraculous accomplish was in the future playroom / second kids bedroom (aka: current junkroom) which looked like this when she arrived (no kidding):

Since our junk basically screamed “I Will Topple Over On Your Baby!” we were just planning to close and lock the door during the party to keep all of the littler guests away from certain death. That plan went to pot when we realized that we couldn’t physically close the door anymore (mainly due to the poorly timed delivery of a large box full of replacement parts for our recalled outdoor grill, which came the day before the party).

So before one might consider us candidates for an episode of Hoarders, my mother-in-law took it upon herself to get things organized. Ahhhhh……

Now the door closes, which was definitely necessary for the party (let me paint you a picture: kids everywhere). Surprisingly, Diana didn’t actually throw that much away – except maybe a few boxes that we had been hanging on to (like the one for Sherry’s sewing machine in case she and Oh Brother didn’t survive their first few rocky weeks together). So this really is just a result of sorting and putting things in some semblance of order (pillows with pillows, baskets nested inside of each other or stacked, etc).

Now it’s almost like this entire room is our mega “decor store” from which to pull frames, accessories and pillows when we need ’em elsewhere in the house. At least that’s what we tell ourselves when we feel super slothy for having a room full of not-sure-where-it’ll-land-yet stuff after five months of living here.

Oh, and notice that vintage kids chair? That was a birthday gift from Sherry’s mom. It’s the actual chair that she and her six siblings used when they were growing up to eat meals. Cool, right? I mean, in that totally-not-up-to-current-safety-standards way. But nonetheless, it’s fun to have in our possession (imagining my mother-in-law as a baby eating mushed up bananas is always a trip). We’ve got big plans for it as Clara’s big girl chair after she’s past her highchair days. In fact Sherry’s already googling around to make sure we can safely fix it up (making sure there aren’t any lead/formaldehyde issues since those were used in old furnishings). That’s my slightly neurotic girl.

As happy as it made us to have the room walkable again, it’s obviously still miles away from being a usable playroom. Luckily there’s no rush to get started (since the living room, office, sunroom, nursery, and kitchen are all playrooms for the bean these days). But Clara and I did take a few moments to enjoy the fact that we could actually see the floor again. The fact that all 6 feet of me can now lay down in there is nothing short of a miracle.

Thanks Nonna! We promise to (do our best not to) mess it up again.


  1. Ashley says

    We just cleaned our garage and it felt amazing afterwards! Yea for spring/ really feeling more like summer…cleaning :)

  2. says

    I have learned time and time again that I can’t paint anything without getting it all over myself. I have a rockin pair of elastic waist tapered sweatpants and oversized t-shirt that I use as my painting/drywall attire.

    • says

      I was just going to comment about that. The correct spelling is “Mothers-in-law”, not “Mother-in-laws”. And I agree. They are great!

  3. Kim says

    I’m totally weird, but an organized room or space is like heaven to me! Wish I could borrow Sherry’s mom to help with our garage :)

  4. says

    I love organizing! I just organized my bathroom sink cabinet and it is glorious! I feel so much better now whenever I go to grab a q-tip or whatever. My biggest thing is boxes. Everything looks better in a box, it’s like instant organization. Or a tray, just line it up and BAM organized. It amazed me what a few simple changes could do to clean everything up. Here’s my box love :

    Stacking also works wonders, but I suppose that can be a whole other rant.


  5. Emily D. says

    5 months, that’s nothing. We will have lived in our apt for 4 years in a few weeks and I still have an extra room like that. First it was boxes from moving, then presents from my wedding shower, then wedding stuff, now still a mix of all of that plus more! I need a MIL like yours!!!

  6. Chantel S says

    We have that same kiddie chair… got it at a yard sale last year, I just spray painted the heck out of it…it is white now…My kids LOVE IT!

  7. says

    Wow, looks great! Send her this way next please? Our garage is a bit like the “before” pictures there, full of unopened boxes from last year’s move and several mid-stream home and furniture projects. My husband just announced that fixing up the garage is the first task he’s tackling when he gets home from Afghanistan. I knew I married the right man!

  8. Janelle says

    Five months? That’s nothing. My husband and I lived in our first apartment for 18 months. I finally finished unpacking when it was time to pack again. We’ve been in our first house for a month short of four years, and we still have things that haven’t quite landed yet. Fortunately, we’ve managed to at least relegate them to the attic or a closet in an extra room, though.

  9. Betsy says

    Kind of jealous that your MIL so great!! I practically have to take a week off of work in preparation for when mine visits…

    I’ve been itching to re-finish some wood pieces. We got some great unfinished pieces at this place called “Good Wood” (it recently closed near Short Pump… bummmer). Anyway, everything we did originally was wrong, and needs to be re-done. Live and learn! Can’t wait to see what you guys do with that great chair. :)

  10. says

    Wow, Please may I borrow her in London, My boyfriend just moved into my flat and it is a complete mess, i’m sure she could organise the whole thing. Help!

  11. Beth says

    I am sorry for being a grammar nerd: shouldn’t the title be “Aren’t Mothers-In-Law The Best?”

    Personally, my answer would be “heck no” but Sherry’s mom is awesome!! :)

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