The extra dowel came yesterday to complete our Expedit bookcase. I guess they wanted to be safe, because they sent us six instead of just the one we needed. We started putting it together right after dinner, and it took about 2 hours, as is the case with a lot of IKEA furniture; that's how they keep their prices low. Anyway, Jack did a great job and remained quite patient as Kent endeavored to help, and then I started filling it up right away while Jack was putting Kent to bed.

When Jack finally got a chance to walk out to the living room and see how the organizational part was coming, I asked him whether it made his heart go pitter-patter like it did for mine. I should have taken some "before" pictures of the little metal shelving unit we used to have a lot of this stuff on, because it was pretty terrible. Our cookbooks and DVDs were overflowing on the little metal thing, and now they have such neat little cubbies. I like the fact that, even though it's the same stuff, it has the appearance of organization simply by being in a grid. The baskets at the bottom are for some of Kent's toys, and we have a shelf of his books at the bottom as well, right where he can reach them, instead of the weird round basket we used to put them in, or the piles on the floor where they usually ended up. The red boxes are meant to hold some of Kent's stuff, like his art and his keepsakes like ticket stubs and other stuff we want to save for him. I also have a cubby for a couple of cat figurines and a framed cat picture with a cat playing Scrabble, a cubby for my little glass paperweights and a blue and white vase I randomly bought in college, and a cubby for art that holds a couple of art books and a canvas that Kent painted last year. There are even two empty cubbies right now, but I'm sure I'll find a purpose for them soon.

This bookcase has a ridiculous number of possibilities. I am so in love with this piece of furniture. I want everyone I know to have one. When I win the lottery, that's the first thing on the list. Okay, I should probably start buying lottery tickets or something. Nevermind.

I had a purpose in mind for the little metal shelving unit, too, as soon as we got all that other stuff off of it. It's the perfect size to hold Kent's art supplies so that he'll be able to get them out when he wants and will also know right where to put them away when he's done. I'm starting gradually with that, only putting out his crayons, paper, stickers, and his box of stringing beads for now. We'll work up to having the markers, glue, pompoms, paint, etc. within his reach, but I think he'd just be too overwhelmed if I put everything out at once.

One of the tenets I love about the Montessori program, which is also just good organizational advice in general, is that it's important to have a consistent place for everything so that we know where to find things and get used to putting them back every time we use them. Kent and other small people like him need to have predictability in the space around them, so our lack of organization wasn't doing him any favors. I can already feel within me that this system is going to spill over into other areas of the house and our lives in general.

Now you see why we needed a whole road trip to Houston just to get this. The Expedit is so much more than a piece of furniture. I think I've just decided that I need to make an IKEA tag for my blog.

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Wow what a wonderful change!
I love your new bookcase - it IS awesome looking! And everything looks so organized and pretty!! I LOVE it!
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