? for Sarah (sohappilyme)

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-23-2006
? for Sarah (sohappilyme)
13
Thu, 11-19-2009 - 11:28am

OK, I know that you have your 6th kid on the way (congrats again) and you've mentioned that you have a small house.....HOW DO YOU DO IT?? I need to know. I only have a 2 yr old and a 19 yr old in our 3 bedroom/1400 sq foot house and we are TTC another. We know what if we continue the path we are on, we will have a bigger home in our future....2-3 yrs but until then I just wanted to get some tips from you about the best ways to use space.

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Community Leader
Registered: 07-26-1999
Thu, 11-19-2009 - 12:38pm

Amanda, I'm not Sarah (obviously LOL!), but we also have a small house, 3 bedrooms and 1150 sq. ft., the 14 year old gets a bedroom that is 8x10 approx. and the little girls share a room that is 8x9ish.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 08-23-2006
Thu, 11-19-2009 - 1:56pm
Thanks Tracy, I did not mean to discriminate!lol I will take advice from others as well!! I am glad to know that it works for people. I know that there are TONS of ppl out there who have far less space than I and many more kids! I also have a 15 yr old stepson who is there every other weekend and he sleeps on the couch (but when he had his own room, before Aubrey, he still slept on the couch). If we can get his 19 yr old son to move out I would still have the babies room together (if they are same sex) and turn the other room into a "playroom" for all the toys, a futon, a TV and computer. This way the 15 yr old will also have a place he can be more comfy while adding space for the 2 younger ones to use!
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Community Leader
Registered: 07-26-1999
Thu, 11-19-2009 - 2:29pm

No biggie. :-)

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Avatar for sohappilyme
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 11-19-2009 - 2:41pm
Um, I can't answer that. LOL. Okay, I can, but if there's a secret I just haven't figured it out yet. We have very little closet or storage space (although we do have some) and the kids have TINY rooms. Luckily they're all young (11 and under) and not quite teenage snarky yet, but we're definitely crammed in here. The two kids' bedrooms - one used to be the dining room - are TINY - long and narrow, each only wide enough for a sideways mattress plus a foot. To compensate for that, DH and I sent them off to our mothers for the weekend (they traded back and forth) and did a room makeover. I'll add those pics to the end. It REALLY helped. we got their beds completely off the floor (he built right into the wall so they won't move ever) which made the rooms seem twice as big. There's just so much STUFF everywhere, though, that I just lose it sometimes. (Not the stuff - I lose my mind. I can't seem to lose the stuff unless I happen to be looking for something in particular; then, of course, I lose THAT.) Since it's the kids' stuff that takes over, though, I generally warn them once or twice and then I go around with a box. Anything that's left out goes in the box and I wait a month or so before reopening it. I'll take everything but library books, school books, or wet towels, LOL. People are ALWAYS giving us stuff and it's hard to turn around and get rid of it but there's just NO ROOM. The good thing is that we are making good habits of not hoarding, LOL, but I am SO looking forward to the day that they have their own rooms and spaces. I do think this "boot camp" is good practice for not filling our new house with junk. It may be a huge PITA 90% of the time, LOL, but at least we're learning good habits. Honestly, if there's too much stuff there's just no way to organize it or keep it that way. Sometimes it's almost impossible to have a lot of people in a small space and NOT have too much stuff, so we try to do the basics like each kid/bed only gets two sets of sheets - one to wash, one to use - so we don't have a ton of linens. They each get about five of each type of clothing (long sleeves, short sleeves, jeans, shorts, etc) that they can have, although I have extras in clear plastic storage bins stacked against one wall. (Unattractive, but functional LOL). That keeps the laundry down and keeps them from having clothes all over their rooms. We're working on each kid getting a basket in the laundry room (DH is building new cabinets along the wall that will sit about 13" off the ground so a 12" basket will fit underneath) for shoes since they all seem to have about five pairs each, LOL. Um, shoot, if you e-mail me through my profile maybe we can go back and forth with some ideas. I'm having a hard time thinking of anything brilliant right now. =c) Oh, we do go through and "clean sweep" (love that show on TLC but haven't seen it in ages) twice a year. We take everything out of their rooms and let them decide, piece by piece, if they want it. Once the "keep" pile reaches a certain height, they can only keep if they trade something else in the pile for "donate" or "trash". (Spring and fall make it before the summer birthday and winter holiday seasons for us). I think it's a bunch of little stuff that helps - not one big idea - however right now we are REALLY falling down on the job b/c I've been in bed for three weeks. Anyway, check out these pics. We did this for about $100-$150/room in one weekend. If you can imagine those beds going down to the floor and how much room they'd take up - ick. Two girls (11,3) share the double bed (they used to have separate beds but slept together anyway so we combined them) and the two boys have their own. (The 5th is still in his crib in a small room off of our room for now). Oh, and ignore the fact that you can see the old John Deere logo showing through in the boys' room. It was 1am when I realized I didn't have another coat of paint and I REALLY didn't care, LOL. But anyway, email me! Maybe we can come up with some new ideas together!

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FIVE KIDS.

Sarah
Avatar for sohappilyme
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 11-19-2009 - 2:53pm

Oh, wow, you remembered our beds? WOW! Gosh, i wish I could have come up with something brilliant. I really do. Right now I'm staring at a HUGE mess and feeling under qualified to put it mildly! (I'm moving stuff around to clean the carpets - UGH). Other than severely limiting what the kids have - not that its breaking news to do that, LOL - it's just really tough. I'm with you, though - the more room you have, the more junk you have. And I REFUSE to use my attic (I hate critters and we live in the country - it's one thing to keep them out of the house, but you've got to pick your battles and know they'll get in the attic, LOL) so I'm "fortunate" in that I'll never repeat the experience of my grandma (a whole barn) or my mom (a whole shed) full of STUFF. All I "store" is seasonal stuff, good clothes that will fit someone soon enough to justify keeping, and at this point baby gear I'm restocking. Oh, and school papers (we homeschool) and books. But my goal is to keep things in those matching plastic bins, labeled on all four sides, so they stack beautifully and at least look neat, even if they're not the most attractive way to decorate. (They're in a small room off our room - an ambitious type might call it a closet, LOL). It feels good to be THAT organized with stuff I know we'll use, but I'm still REALLY looking forward to that new house. And heaven knows we'll have earned it by the time we get rid of this debt and then build the darn thing stick by stick ourselves. SIGH.

I agree with you on the quandry of moving around small children. Our youngest (#5, he's 2) will have to go into one of the other rooms within four months of the new baby. He'll be around 3, so that's probably not too young for the "high" beds but the boys' are higher than the girl's bed and that worries me. All four kids want him to sleep with them, though, so I might let him sleep with the girls for a while unless he can stay in a toddler bed. Fat chance of that, LOL. Anyway, I feel your pain. =c)

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FIVE KIDS.

Sarah
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-23-2006
Thu, 11-19-2009 - 3:04pm
OK, those rooms are rediculously cute!!!! I sooo want to steal the little girls room! No only would it free up space but my daughter (over 3 by the time we have another) wold LOVE it! Its really sad that dh, nor myself, are handy AT ALL! I mean AT ALL!!! Maybe when you get out of the 1st trimester funk, you can come over and hook me up! That is really a very cute idea and so functional! When you sale your house will it come down easily or is this goin to be up forever? That is the 1st thing dh will ask.
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Avatar for sohappilyme
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 11-19-2009 - 4:06pm
Well...LOL. We're planning to build our house on the same property and we were going to just tear this one down. We've since decided that we'll remodel this one and connect it to the new on via a portico or something (per city code - can't have two unattached houses on one piece of land) so my mom can live here. (Then we get to rent out the house she lives in now for a $1000/mo+ profit, and we're already paying her bills so it will be a boon for us). The beds WILL come down then. We'll turn the girls' room into a master bathroom (add a door thorough the wall), and the boys' room will be a guest room of sorts. The boards are just screwed into the walls (the wood) so taking them down and patching them up would just be a matter of filling holes like you would from a picture on the wall. I've got tons more pictures if you want to see the progress - email me and I'll send a few to you. (Not tons, LOL, but enough to get the gist). But all DH has to do is put his drill on "reverse" and those screws will back right out and the beds will come down!

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FIVE KIDS.

Sarah
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2005
Thu, 11-19-2009 - 4:08pm

I've had 4 in 964 sq ft no problem.

Community Leader
Registered: 07-26-1999
Thu, 11-19-2009 - 4:09pm

I definitely remembered the beds.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 08-23-2006
Thu, 11-19-2009 - 4:31pm
I would LOVE more pics.....but can you tell me how to figure out what email I have attached to my ivillage account? I looked in my profile and board settings and I cant figure it out.
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