Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Five Girls, One Room.

Some would say we have a pretty small house, especially for the size of our family. It is a little over 1600 square feet, but it is space well used. Suprisingly there are four bedrooms. One is downstairs and acts as our guestroom. Three are upstairs. I like to keep all my people on the same floor, so the three upstairs bedrooms hold all of us. Dave and I have the medium sized room. Jack has the nursery, which is supposed to be a den because it has no closet, but it is a great size for 1 (or 2) little guys. The girls, all five, share the master bedroom.

Most people who come to visit our house want to know how we fit all the girls into one room. Here is the answer!

We removed the doors from one end of the closet and it was a perfect place for a little princess crib. Our one-year-old, Georgia sleeps here.

Our ten and eight year olds share a bunk bed.

Hallee, our eight-year-old has the bottom bunk. We hung a little planterbox-type shelf for all her treasure and curtains for her to close.

Sydney, 10, has the top bunk. She also has a shelf, plus a corkboard for pictures, drawings, etc. We recently put this little set of drawers up on her bed for anything else that needs protection from tiny hands.

Leynie and Lexi, 5 and 3, have toddler beds opposite the bunkbeds.

We have one dresser in the girls' room for the bigs. It is old and hard for the littles to get the drawers open, but not a problem for the bigs. PERFECT!

You may be wondering where all the "stuff" is. Well, for starters we try to keep our stuff to a minimum, especially because we have a total lack of closet space in our house, but there must be SOME stuff.

We keep all the clothes for the three little girls in our room (when they were in their room every drawer would be emptied every day. ARG!). Our 5 and 3 year-olds wear the same size so they share a drawer, plus the small drawers for tights, leggings, etc. Our one-year-old has her own drawer in the same dresser. The drawers are really big and have plenty of room for all their clothes that do not need to be hung up.

We hung a second bar in our closet for the little girls hanging up stuff. This GREATLY decreases the clothes thrown on the floor, not to mention broken hangers.

For Christmas I made this dress-up bin for the little girls dress-up clothes. The bottom holds, shoes, purses, hats, etc, and the top holds the dresses and aprons. It fits perfectly just outside the closet.

The second half of the closet in their room holds the big girls' hanging clothes, a bin for American Girl stuff and a bin for other doll items. It also hold all the American Girl furniture, and doll house furniture.

Between the bunks and the wall was a bit of spare space. We made it into a playhouse for the little girs, since the little cottage we have takes up too much space in the room.

All the toys that have pieces, Playmobil, Legos, Little People, etc. are kept in an armoire in the Living Room and can only be accessed upon request. Moving all that stuff downstairs has really made it SO much easier for the girls to keep their room tidy. The toys they can use in their room are limited and do not have a million pieces, so they are easy to pick up quickly.

I HAVE to mention my favorite part of the girls' room. The bedding!! I REALLY wanted all the beds to be coordinating once we moved them all into the same room. I had a gorgeous crib set, handmade! And I found some cute duvets from Pottery Barn that I knew I wanted to use for the bigs' beds. So I bought a set of coordinating sheets from PB and some minky and mailed them up to Alaska to my extremely talented friend who had made the crib set. She used the new fabrics plus some of the fabrics from the crib set to make duvets for the little girls' beds. Voila!! 5 coordinating beds! LOVE IT! Then I used fabrics with similar colors to make a curtain for the window, the curtains for Georgia's "room" and the curtains for Hal's bottom bunk! The girls' love their room, and so do I!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Decluttering my kitchen.

One of my mottos is "Manage your stuff or manage your people". That's how I remind myself that if there is too much stuff for me to manage it's really hard to manage the people. Sometimes I do a better job than others at holding myself to that idea. The issue seems pressed at the moment seeing as how we are expecting baby number 7 at the end of the summer. The last couple weeks I have been purging our house one room at a time. Last week I took 3 boxes and 3 big garbage bags to the thrift store! Shockingly most of it came from my daughters' bedroom. Their are five of them sharing a bedroom, and at least two show packrat tendencies (they keep garbage, actual garbage as in wrappers and other junk they want to look at!!). They must get this from their dad because I LOVE to get rid of stuff. I love gettting rid of stuff so much that I sometimes get rid of stuff I probably should have kept. My husband has been known to tell me, "you can get rid of that, but we're not buying another one in a year", in attempt to make me stop and think before loading a bag of "junk" into my car and hauling it off.

It's so much easier to organize and stay organized when you just don't have as much stuff. This morning I tackled my kitchen. I decided I was not going to keep more than I have room to store. I am tired of throwing something into a cupboard and closing it as fast as I can hoping to avoid an avalanche (like my freezer). I drug an empty box into the kitchen and pitched in everything I haven't used in a year. Somethings I thought, "I might need this if I ....", or "well, I would really like to start..." But I am good at talking myself out of that. I pitched my popcorn maker (we always microwave, to my best friends shame), my hand mixer (which I have not touched since I was given a stand mixer), and dozens of other odds and ends that were just taking up space. The junk drawer was the worst. I think I almost lost my life in their a time or two, but I pulled through in the end! The end result makes it SO worth getting rid of all the crap! :) Tomorrow, the guest room...maybe.

The End Result!!

See, I'm not even hiding junk over here!

I am blessed to have this hidden corner where all the uggo necessities live.

The Junk Drawer!! Serious transformation. Turns out the "junk" was mostly my kids' garbage. Good Riddens!

The avalanche cupboard. See that, even extra room!