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Making a Small House Work for a Big Family


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I've used a few ideas already mentioned:

 

1. Put a small table in the kitchen, with just a couple of chairs, or even stools that fit under the table, as workspace. A bench against one wall might allow everybody else to crowd around sometimes.

 

2. Schoolbooks and materials in a laundry basket or box, in the bottom of each child's closet or under their bed; put it back after school each day. Once, when we lived in a townhome, I put the school stuff in a kitchen cupboard, and stored some canned goods and pots and pans in the linen closet. (I was teaching in the kitchen, and needed my materials handy, but it was a very tiny kitchen so I also needed to put it all back out of sight after school.)

 

3. Move the family dinner table and a small china cabinet or cupboard into the living room. Our living room had table and chairs, the china cabinet, a loveseat, one upholstered chair, one rocker, one shelf of books, and a piano.

 

The "dining room area" and the "sitting room area" were each in half of the room, kind of...if we were all in there together, to watch a movie or something, some people sat at the table. It was not a big deal. It was also cozy for a couple of people to be watching TV and a couple of people to be playing a board game or something. 

 

So move furniture for better flow, pare down until there is almost no clutter visible (and put stuff where you need it, which might not be typical), and really stay on top of "everything in its place."

Edited by Tibbie Dunbar
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Oh, and for a while when we were trying to live especially lean in terms of stuff, I got 2 used e-readers (without wi-fi capability as we don't like it, but that is a different thread) and sold/gave away almost all of their books and repurchased them as e-books to use with the e-readers.

 

The good: they were just as happy to read books on the e-readers, they couldn't destroy the books, books were not much more expensive as e-books than as Amazon used paperbacks, and we could get the next book in a series right away.

 

The bad: when the e-reader is lost or out of battery and you've lost the charger or damaged, you are SOL for books until it is fixed.  Eventually we settled down and got a bigger house and I've been buying used paperbacks again.

 

But if I were really trying to keep space open, I'd do the thing with the e-readers again.

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I'm not sure what you mean. He is still wobbly when he sits, so I'm having a hard time imagining him sitting in a chair like you'd put up at breakfast bar, but maybe I don't understand you.

I'm thinking of a bar stool height chair with arms.  You can tie a sash around his waist and the back of the chair to help him stay in place.  

 

We actually had an antique 'high' chair that worked like this when I was a kid.  It was great not to have to have room for the tray.  Ours was a bent wood, but here is something similar in function:

 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/ANTIQUE-BEAUTIFUL-WOODEN-HIGH-CHAIR-/271859308245

 

IOW, a chair that is high but with no tray, but with arms.  Not a 'high chair'.

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I would replace the high chair with a model that fastens onto a regular chair.  My children used this type - https://www.amazon.com/Fisher-Price-Booster-Seat-Blue-Green/dp/B00CSAWIP0.  When the tray was removed the chair could be slid under the table the same as any other chair.   You might also consider a sack'n seat.

 

 

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I spent my preteen years in a three bedroom double wide trailer that had six kids and two parents live in it. Looking back, I realize how my mom managed:

Bunk beds. There were two of us in one small bedroom, three in the slightly larger bedroom. Bunk beds was the only way it would fit. The youngest slept in the master bedroom with my parents. The two toddlers shared a full size bed that was a bottom bunk.

Very little stuff. My sister and I shared a six drawer dresser. I had very few clothes and they were reworn, not washed every day. I had a small desk with a bookshelf attached to it. I had a couple books. I can’t think of any toys that I had. My sister had a few toys that were kept in her side of the closet. My other siblings, the toddlers, had a toy box in their room. If toys didn’t fit in it, they didn’t get kept.

There had to be a place for everything and everything was in its place. My mom got rid of a lot of stuff. Minimalism was necessary and not a fad. The one indulgence was homeschool books, because we lived far from a library.

We played outside whenever the weather was good.

 

I am frankly overwhelmed with the clutter and mess in my 2400 square foot house that houses five people. Granted, it’s old and has no closets or storage space, but I want to downsize. I want to return to my preteen years of minimalism and small spaces.

Edited by MedicMom
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I love our unfinished basement. We've put those rubber floor mats on part of it to make a play area. My daughter has a short lofted bed in her room that has dresser drawers and a desk under it- it's short, the desk pulls out. It fits under her sloped ceilings.

 

 

One of our first homes was a tiny 2 bedroom place with a HUGE unfinished basement.   It was dark and gross, and not ours, so we couldn't just go ahead and finish it up.

 

DH hung inexpensive lighting around the basement, we found a big piece of carpet that someone was tossing (little carpet shampoo and it worked for our needs), and we picked up an entire bolt of super cheap clearance fabric.  Then we set to work using the fabric and hanging it up by the panel to create a play space in the basement.  It worked fabulous!  We put a couple of sofas down there, a TV and a game system, and most of the toys.  You wouldn't have wanted to shoot darts or play at a pool table given the ceiling height, but it was great for the kids to play in, and we didn't mind being down there either.  We would use the TV or I would take a book and sit and read while the kids played. 

 

Sure, it would have been nice if it had been finished, but it sure worked great for us once we dolled it up.  I STILL miss that basement 12 years later.  I think about that space and how if we had it now I would section of a portion for me for a sewing room and quiet spaces for the kids to do school work, plus have all the space behind the curtains for storage.  

 

There are some really great suggestions on this thread.   

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I'd turn the basement into a play area with all the toys.  Even if it's dry, try to keep toys and stuff off the floor, do indoor/outdoor rugs, make sure you have a dehumidifier.  I'd do a low bunk like others suggested, only do them l-shaped and at one end have a dresser as the support or fit it with in the support (google it and there's many different configurations that could work).  Also I'd give the boys the biggest bedroom after the baby moved out, even if it meant DH and I had to squeeze into a smaller space.  DC and even just DD has always gotten the biggest room because they have more stuff then DH and I do.  Think about shelving to get books and other "stuff" off the floor (floating shelves).  As for the dining area I'd do a banquet type table that requires less space.

 

*Like some other posters we don't even do dressers.  If it can be hung up it is everything else goes in a hamper.  

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I never used dressers in my kids bedrooms. I got one of those closet drawer sets and stuck it in the closet. We just never had big enough bedrooms to hold a dresser also.

 

My friend had 8 children in a four bedroom house. She gave up her master bedroom to put four boys in it with two bunk beds. After 15 years, she is finally reclaiming it because enough children have gone to college.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Edited by bethben
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Where are your kids doing independent work? Are you teaching them all together? Right now, I teach at the kitchen table and then kids have their own work at their desks. (We only have two desks right now: the youngest kid only works with me.) I'm not sure how school would work without a quiet space to work. 

 

For written work, mine sit at the table but are welcome to wear ear protectors to block out sounds.  Like these: https://www.amazon.com/Snug-Kids-Earmuffs-Hearing-Protectors/dp/B00CBDJ8PM/  For reading assignments or work on the Chromebook, they can go to the couch or their beds.

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I'm not sure what you mean. He is still wobbly when he sits, so I'm having a hard time imagining him sitting in a chair like you'd put up at breakfast bar, but maybe I don't understand you.

Our son was born when we were living in a small university-owned apartment while my husband was in grad school. We never owned a regular high chair. We just had one of the very small chairs for babies/toddlers that attached to the table.
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For lighting and safety what about adding 1 or more egress windows to the basement? https://redi-exit.com/product-category/egress-window-wells/

 

Then add lots of full spectrum daylight lightbulbs. As long as the basement is dry it is very usable. Even painting the walls with a good cement block paint goes a long ways.

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Right now, I am doing 2-3 loads of laundry a day. The idea of making the laundry situation more intense seems unworkable. Maybe when the youngest is out of diapers...

 

At one point I reduced the amount of clothes a lot, so kids only had a few outfits.  It was kind of an experiment, but what I found is that it actually made laundry much simpler - I wasn't doing more, I was doing less.  It could be worth trying, just pack away the clothes and see how little you really need.  You might have to take a few things out again, but it may be a lot less than you expect.

 

It's dry, but the floor is pretty uneven. It feels weird (and dark and depressing) to be down there. I'm not sure how to fix that without finishing the basement.

 

 

 

Kids often don't feel the same about this kind of thing, they may not care at all about playing there.

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We have two bathrooms--a tiny one with a tub (mine), and a big bathroom with a showerstall (for dh and my boys).

 

Each showerstall/tub has extra shower curtain rods, spring loaded, in them.

 

My off season pajamas are stored on a high shelf in a closet.

 

My current season pajamas are stored on hangers in my bathtub on the extra shower rod. My socks and underwear are stored in a small plastic tote in the bathtub. When I take a shower, I put the small bin on the toilet, take down the jammies, and drape the jammies over the bin. When I'm done showering, I put the jammies back on their rod and pop the underwear bin back into the tub. Sometimes I also store sweaters that I use a lot or thermal longjohns on the curtain rods, too. And when I'm washing clothes, I also use the extra rods to hang clothes and air dry them. And I keep my bathtowels on the extra rods as well. Each shower/tub has 3 curtain rods total--one for the shower curtain and two extras for towels, clothes.

 

Every single door in our house has an over-the-door shoe holder. The ones in the bathrooms hold my shoes and also lots of toiletries that we use in the bathroom--deodorant, hair gel, etc.

 

My DH built shelves to go above doorframes. He bought planks of wood and wooden shelf supports, we stained them black, and he put in the nails to hold the shelf supports and we put the planks on the shelf supports. Lots of books we rarely use go up on the shelves above our heads.

 

We converted two tiny closets into little offices for the boys. IKEA has a kitchen table that has hinges on it. You put it up against the wall when not in use, and then unhinge it when you want to use it. That table was too big for the closets, so my dh and I made our own tiny hinged table tops. We had some extra dining room chairs, and the boys have a diningroom chair in the closet and when they sit down, they unhinge their table top and can work in there and store a bunch of stuff. We use cleaning caddies under their diningroom chairs for stuff and I hung pencil holders on the walls. They each have a little duck neck clip on light in there that clips onto the clothes hanger rod for lighting (extension cord goes under the doors.). Hang on! Just remembered that I have pictures of the closets: https://dustylizard.wordpress.com/2016/03/15/the-school-room/ Scroll down to the 3rd picture. The room in the pictures is the largest one in the house. It was an addition onto the house and is supposed to be a bedroom, but it's the schoolroom/playroom/computer room. DH and I have the smallest bedroom, boys have the middle sized bedroom.

 

Ak! Thanksgiving is almost here! I have to GO! If I think of more things, I'll write more later.

Edited by Garga
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We had all 4 kids in the master bedroom for awhile. I took the doors off the closet to make the room bigger. The closet became an alcove and the foot of the bunkbed went into the closet so we could fit another bed in. Think outside the box. This may not work for you but having an extra foot of closet space as part of the floor plan made a huge difference. Trundle beds would help if you can't fit bunks.

 

 

Dh and I have the smallest bedroom. To fit it all in we had to take the closet doors off. My bed is right up against the closet, so the bottom of my closet also is where I keep my 'side table'. I like having that little space for an alarm clock and a place to rest books or drinks. 

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A cute but practical idea I saw once in a rather cramped cabin was, there was one of those double wide closets in it, with the two sliding doors that always seem to get in the way.

 

The owner took the doors off.  She bought two bedspreads--one for the bed, and the other to hang over the closet opening on a heavy shower curtain rod.  That way you could see into the whole closet if you pushed the spread aside, and also it didn't look so strange to have the bed right up against the opening (one side of the bed was basically right along the closet doorway.)  The closet went really tall inside, so she had a high hanging rod above a standard height one.  The high one looked like she used it for out of season stuff and extra seasonal tablecloths that you would only use occasionally or that you would rotate into use for brief periods.

 

These were fairly pictoral bedspreads, showing forest animals, so they constituted 'instant decor'.  She had deep green curtains over the windows that coordinated well with the bedspreads but had a more 'black out' function.  There was no room for a big dresser.  I think she had some shelves on the wall over the head of the bed IIRC, and a tall but narrow dresser as well.  They didn't have the floor space for full underthebed drawers but I imagine that she had some boxes down there as well--I don't recall for sure.

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Our couch is directly in front of a bookcase. To get to the bookcase, you have to slide the couch away. That's ok. I put slider things under the feet of the couch so that it's very easy to use. Obviously, we don't put books in there that we want to get all the time. It's more for storage of books not being used all the time. I also use one shelf to display my DHs Doctor Who memorabilia collection.

 

When we had to buy a new couch, I bought one on tall feet so we can store things under there. We store partially made puzzles on cardboard under the couch. We just slide the cardboard out from under the couch and keep working on it. We have cats, so we had to get a piece of cardboard to put on top of the puzzles so kitties wouldn't undo our work and eat the pieces, so it works.

 

I store a ton of kitchen things in the basement. The door to the basement is in the kitchen and I'm popping up and down the stairs all the time for stuff. My kitchen is small and there's precioius little storage in there. Instead of being frustrated and running up and down stairs all day, I count it as exercise. :). My basement is unfinished, dark, and dingy, but I have cupboards I can store my stuff in (cupcake pans, crock pot, etc.)

Edited by Garga
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I second removing closet doors. I removed the doors of my closet in my little bedroom and hung curtains. But even those seemed to get in the way, so I have nothing in front of the closet now. It's just an open alcove in the bedroom. I like it like that! It made the room feel bigger.

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For shoes, I use a 3-tier bookcase that I got at a yard sale by the front door. The boys' shoes are all stuff on the bottom two shelves and underneath, and the top shelf is for my dh's stuff (wallet, keys, little doo-dads that don't go anywhere else etc.). It's skinny, so fits behind the door when the door is open.

 

Gloves, scarves, hats are stored in a plastic bin. In the winter, I bring the bin out and frankly, just leave it in the upstairs hallway. Sure, we have to walk around it, but whatever. When we need something, we fling everything out in a pile, grab what we need, and fling it all back into the bin. It's not pretty, but it works for us.

 

 

I think of my house as the working model vs the model home. My house is about efficiency and what works for us in our day to day tasks and not about being a designer showcase. That's not to say my house is ugly. It's not! It's a bungalow from 1949 and it's cute, but I'm also willing to run up and down stairs to get my kitchen stuff and move the couch out of the way to get to a book and have no doors on my little closet.

Edited by Garga
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I, too, limited the amount of clothes the boys have. The boys' clothes are in dressers in my room, even though my room is the smallest. That's just how it worked out. We use their closet to store bedding in a giant 5 foot tall pile. (Comforters, guest pillow, etc.)

 

If your DH won't move rooms, perhaps he'd be willing to use a dresser in your space for the boys' clothes?

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In regards to a scary basement, my basement is scary. (Click on link for a picture of my basement--5th pic down https://dustylizard.wordpress.com/2012/11/09/a-piercing-a-near-drowning-vodka-and-my-russian-basement/)

 

When my son did Chemistry last year, we had a lab kit with dyes. Not food coloring, but dyes that WILL stain whatever they touch permanently. So, I put him lab kit downstairs. It's pretty sweet with a microscope and all sorts of chemicals and supplies (lab coat, glasses, etc.)

 

He looooves his lab in the basement. Sometimes he'll go down into the buggy basement to do school work. Sometimes, kids think a dingy basement is cool. Go figure.

 

Speaking of basements, my MIL gave me some rolling coat racks and those are in the basement, with our coats on them. I have a spot upstairs for ones we currently use, but if you want a different one, pop down to the basement to get it.

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Where are your kids doing independent work? Are you teaching them all together? Right now, I teach at the kitchen table and then kids have their own work at their desks. (We only have two desks right now: the youngest kid only works with me.) I'm not sure how school would work without a quiet space to work. 

 

We've never had a desk in 11 years of homeschooling. Kids used to have lap desks, but honestly, they just grabbed a large picture book and used it as a lap desk most often so we got rid of them. Kids do all independent work on the couch or on their bed or laying on the floor depending on preference. I sit on the couch or at the kitchen table or on the floor in front of a white board to teach. 

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In regards to a scary basement, my basement is scary. (Click on link for a picture of my basement--5th pic down https://dustylizard.wordpress.com/2012/11/09/a-piercing-a-near-drowning-vodka-and-my-russian-basement/)

 

When my son did Chemistry last year, we had a lab kit with dyes. Not food coloring, but dyes that WILL stain whatever they touch permanently. So, I put him lab kit downstairs. It's pretty sweet with a microscope and all sorts of chemicals and supplies (lab coat, glasses, etc.)

 

He looooves his lab in the basement. Sometimes he'll go down into the buggy basement to do school work. Sometimes, kids think a dingy basement is cool. Go figure.

 

Speaking of basements, my MIL gave me some rolling coat racks and those are in the basement, with our coats on them. I have a spot upstairs for ones we currently use, but if you want a different one, pop down to the basement to get it.

 

Ha, that looks just like my basement!

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If your DH doesn’t want to switch rooms (assuming he’s not even at home all day and you are trying to deal with this daily), I’d start using the master space as storage too. Bookcases, closets, work stations, etc, would find their ways into the master out of necessity (maybe at least piano). When he gets tired of that, making a switch to a different room will be easy. 😉

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My small home constantly feels cluttered. I'd love some help troubleshooting. We are a family of six in a three bedroom ranch. We have a small eat-in kitchen, a single bathroom, and three bedrooms. There is a basement, but it it unfinished with very low ceilings. If we finished the basement, the ceilings would be less than six feet tall.The eat-in kitchen feels really stressful: having a table large enough to fit all of us and a high chair makes it really hard to move around the kitchen without constantly moving the table to have space. In the living room, we have a piano, a futon, and a school desk for one of the kids, plus book shelves for books and mostly school stuff. My only daughter, a tween, gets her own room. I have two boys sharing a small bedroom: it is always very cluttered, because just having two beds and two dressers looks really cluttered. I don't have room for their toys and stuff in the living room, so it goes in there, too. The ceilings are too low for a bunk bed. Right now, the baby is in our room, but I'd like to move him out of our room in the next year. Even if I got rid of all the toys from the boy's room, I don't know if I could fit three beds and three dressers in that room. I would strongly prefer my tween daughter not to share a room with a brother. I know the previous owner managed to raise six kids in this home, so it must be doable... I just don't know how.

 

How do other larger families make small homes work?

I'm not that great with stuff like this but what about one of the beds on top of storage things. They tend to be a bit lower than bunk beds but still would give extra storage for the boys room.

 

Also if the basement is too short for an adult space could it work as either a toy/play area for small people who don't need to height or even a sleeping area for the boys? By the time they are old enough to need a taller space your dd might be ready to move out?

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Bunk beds won't work, but will a twin daybed with trundle work for the two boys? That would give them space to play during the day, and motivation to pick up in the evenings. Or that plus a regular twin bed for all three boys in there?

 

Is there a more space-conscious high chair you can buy? I have the Graco Small Spaces one, and it folds down small enough to shove out of the way during the day. I fit mine into the pantry, a friend puts hers between the wall and stove. It has other features I don't love, like it doesn't roll around the kitchen super easily (wheels on only two points, not all four) but I can still maneuver it around and the compactness was my primary issue. 

 

Daughter gets to keep her own room, but it becomes a storage area, too. You'll be the one in there the most storing off-season clothing, extra clothes, toy rotations, living room books, homeschool supplies, anything not in daily use. I do really think the solution offered about her sharing with the baby is a good one (with your room becoming storage instead), but not everyone is comfortable with that type of arrangement. 

 

Your room might become the de facto boys' closet. Keep one dresser in their room, split between the two boys' clothing. Overflow goes into the second dresser, which is now in your room. Books and school stuff might also need to go in there. I'm with the poster who said this may be the mental push DH needs to get on board with giving up the master. It's a hard mental leap to make, but it really is the most practical solution. Work on him! Y'all can still use the bathroom and closets, it's just the bedroom that the boys need - three beds (baby, too), all their clothes, and their toys. 

 

The idea to reverse the dining table and living room area is a good one, too. We lived in a few homes that had tiny eat in kitchens. Our table needed to seat 8 so those were the homes where we kept the table in the living room (I hated to eat on carpet, but what can I do) and turned the eat-in area into a small den - sofa, coffee table, a few toys ... a desk might work there, too, depending on the layout. I've also had homes where we ate on an old ping pong table because it folded up out of the way. We had to use a sheet as a table cloth. Our shirts kept getting caught on the edging and would get roughed up. So many sweaters ruined! I can laugh now but I cried back then. It worked, and it was only one season of life. 

 

:grouphug:

 

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We have a small, one-cook, dine-in kitchen.  We have a solid, double pedestal table with a L-shaped bench around two sides (fits into a corner) and chairs around the outside two sides.  When the kids needed a high chair, we used an older version of this clip-on, space saving high chair that takes up minimal space (1 place) at the head of the table and no ground space--made a world of difference--and easy to sweep under.  It comes on and off easily and can be flattened for easy storage or travel.  The table has to be solid because kids do bounce around and you want your table to stay put.  We can get 7 people around our table.  If we added a bench on the outside long side, which we didn't, we'd be able to get in another body.  I also make sure that any chairs we put around the table are low-backed so we don't hit our elbows and fit flush to the table, giving the illusion of more space.

 

ETA: Ours was more like this one that wipes down easily.

Edited by ChrisB
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Can you partially finish (or just set up) the basement so that you have a playroom and family closet down there? Without dressers, the largest room could hold 3 beds . . . Make two of them short lofts and one an on-the-ground platform (or low crib/toddler bed. This would give them some floor space to play on. In the closet you can put a single dresser or those day-of-the week cubbies and use it to store ONLY a weeks worth of clothes for the kids organized by day. This will make getting dressed daily easier and cut WAY back on the amount of clothing in that bedroom. It also makes the ‘family closet’ concept more manageable since you’re not expecting the kids to trek down there every day.

 

I’m not sure about the dining. I think I’d go with the smallest table that fit us and use the counter as buffet. I’d eliminate the full sized high chair and get one that attached to a regular chair. Is there any way to get rid of the desk in the living room and have dining space in there instead? If it works for you, it doesn’t have to be ‘normal.†Our school space when the kids were little was one of those lifetime tables adjusted to low and in front of the couch like a coffee table. The kids sat opposite the couch on kid-sized chairs. With the addition of another kid chair, that set-up could have been dining for six since the table was taller than a regular coffee table.

 

Have you tried browsing the ikea catalog for small-space ideas?

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We have 7 people and a small dog in 1100 sq ft, 3 bedroom cabin. 

The first and most important thing is to declutter. Go through each room and choose out the things you can't live without. Add in the things you use and want to keep. Donate everything else. The less stuff you have, the less stuff you have to make room for. 
 

The next thing is to create storage for the stuff you do have. We have lots of shelves, storage boxes, baskets, etc. Use the wasted space. Drawers under the beds, baskets under the benches in the dining room, use the space in the closets. We have large industrial type shelving and clear storage boxes all over the house. It's not pretty (D picked the shelves. I would have chosen prettier ones), But it's effective. We can fit a lot of stuff in there. I actually have a lot of unused storage space. 

Think outside the box (or dresser). Our kids have never had a dresser. We use open shelves and/or storage boxes instead. It's tidier, easier for the  kids to maintain, less work for me. less expensive and take up less space. We have no doors on our bedroom closets. The boys have shoe pockets and coat hooks hanging on their bunk beds. I'm building a dining set this weekend to perfectly fit in our dining room and maximize our space. It's an odd shape, so I'm building a bench across a second doorway that will double as an entryway bench. I'm going today to buy a second dining table to match the first. It will double our space. We will live around that table. The bigger, the better. I might even add a cozy chair for homeschooling in that room. My desk will be a small dining table with an upholstered arm chair that doubles as comfy seating.  the toys are stacked in boxes in shelves. use vertical storage anywhere you can. As much as possible give everything a second purpose. Make every piece work extra hard. 

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We have 7 people and a small dog in 1100 sq ft, 3 bedroom cabin. 

 

The first and most important thing is to declutter. Go through each room and choose out the things you can't live without. Add in the things you use and want to keep. Donate everything else. The less stuff you have, the less stuff you have to make room for. 

 

The next thing is to create storage for the stuff you do have. We have lots of shelves, storage boxes, baskets, etc. Use the wasted space. Drawers under the beds, baskets under the benches in the dining room, use the space in the closets. We have large industrial type shelving and clear storage boxes all over the house. It's not pretty (D picked the shelves. I would have chosen prettier ones), But it's effective. We can fit a lot of stuff in there. I actually have a lot of unused storage space. 

 

Think outside the box (or dresser). Our kids have never had a dresser. We use open shelves and/or storage boxes instead. It's tidier, easier for the  kids to maintain, less work for me. less expensive and take up less space. We have no doors on our bedroom closets. The boys have shoe pockets and coat hooks hanging on their bunk beds. I'm building a dining set this weekend to perfectly fit in our dining room and maximize our space. It's an odd shape, so I'm building a bench across a second doorway that will double as an entryway bench. I'm going today to buy a second dining table to match the first. It will double our space. We will live around that table. The bigger, the better. I might even add a cozy chair for homeschooling in that room. My desk will be a small dining table with an upholstered arm chair that doubles as comfy seating.  the toys are stacked in boxes in shelves. use vertical storage anywhere you can. As much as possible give everything a second purpose. Make every piece work extra hard. 

 

I would love to see this. 

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I would love to see this. 

 

https://www.instagram.com/strawberrieskye/

 

Second Third picture. (I'm posting another now of my new, little desk). I need to build a 6 ft bench for the front as you see it here, and a two foot bench for the back. I'll do it tomorrow if D will let me. Then paint the cinderblocks green. 

Edited by desertstrawberry5
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If your Dh doesn't want to change bedrooms, I like the idea of storing more in your bedroom. Do you have room for a bookcase or a desk/table that someone could do school at during the week? The little one's clothes could be in your room for a while.

 

DD's room should also be housing a little extra storage since she doesn't share. You mentioned one loft bed - maybe it could go in her room? You could have a desk/work surface on wheels that could slide out from under the loft. Use the rest of the space for toy bins.

 

We hang up all shirts so the kids don't need a lot of drawer space. When they were younger they just had those plastic drawer units in their closets.

 

If bunk/loft beds don't work there are also captain beds that have built in drawers underneath.

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https://www.instagram.com/strawberrieskye/

 

Second Third picture. (I'm posting another now of my new, little desk). I need to build a 6 ft bench for the front as you see it here, and a two foot bench for the back. I'll do it tomorrow if D will let me. Then paint the cinderblocks green. 

 

So neat.  I would never have thought to do something like that.  I can't wait to see the final product.   

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IKEA and Konmari are the only things that have helped my friends with large families. They (and we although our family is small) really love the IKEA loft/bunk beds and the Hemnes trundled daybed with huge deep drawers. We use the drawers for toy/sheets storage. My two kids each get half of a medium size dresser..one kid doesn't need their own huge dresser IMO.  We can fit all their undergarments (socks, tights, knee highs, leotards, undies, camis), PJs, tops and pants/skirts/shorts/dresses in half a dresser with room to spare. I don't put away their seasonal stuff either so this is a year round situation.  I'd also hang a ton of stuff and use wall space wherever possible. Getting tips and ideas from the tiny/small house movement has helped as well. 

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IKEA and Konmari are the only things that have helped my friends with large families. They (and we although our family is small) really love the IKEA loft/bunk beds and the Hemnes trundled daybed with huge deep drawers. We use the drawers for toy/sheets storage. My two kids each get half of a medium size dresser..one kid doesn't need their own huge dresser IMO.  We can fit all their undergarments (socks, tights, knee highs, leotards, undies, camis), PJs, tops and pants/skirts/shorts/dresses in half a dresser with room to spare. I don't put away their seasonal stuff either so this is a year round situation.  I'd also hang a ton of stuff and use wall space wherever possible. Getting tips and ideas from the tiny/small house movement has helped as well. 

 

What size mattress fits on the Hemmes Trundle bed? 

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What size mattress fits on the Hemmes Trundle bed? 

 

It's a standard twin size mattress, I believe. If you look on the IKEA website, it gives the dimensions in cms (mine keeps pulling up in Japanese..sigh). I believe there are 3(??) different types of mattresses for their bed frames but they just differ in thickness. We've gotten the cheapest ones and my kids are fine with it but they are used to Japanese futon mattresses on the floor so ymmv. 

 

Also, I was looking in my IKEA catalogue and they have a SVARTA series with a bunk bed frame that allows for another pull out bed frame under the lower bed so you get three beds in a bunk footprint. Something to consider. 

Edited by waa510
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It's a standard twin size mattress, I believe. If you look on the IKEA website, it gives the dimensions in cms (mine keeps pulling up in Japanese..sigh). I believe there are 3(??) different types of mattresses for their bed frames but they just differ in thickness. We've gotten the cheapest ones and my kids are fine with it but they are used to Japanese futon mattresses on the floor so ymmv. 

 

Hmm that is what I thought, but then I looked at pictures and it looked like it expanded. 

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So neat. I would never have thought to do something like that. I can't wait to see the final product.

I'm sitting here right now. It's pretty nice, but getting into the bench is a bit cumbersome because of the table legs touching the benches. It does smell like fresh wood. That's nice. There are baskets under the bench. I'll get more baskets for the other benches, too. This giant table feels luxurious. The benches are super solid. Tori has been climbing all over them. It's great.

 

I have everything to finish the benches in the car. I'll be done tonight or tomorrow. Keep an eye on my Instagram for updates.

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