Thursday, October 20, 2011

Weekly Challenge: 4 Girls, 1 room - Week 1

Yep, we've got four girls sleeping in one bedroom, ages 11 (almost 12), 10, 5, and 4 months.  It presents some logistical challenges, for sure.  I would love to have a separate bedroom for the baby, but the reality is, we're good where we are.  It works.  I love having the kids share bedrooms.  It really provides an environment of closeness and friendship between them.  And, lot of opportunity to work on character traits like forbearance, forgiveness, practicing Matthew 18, stealing each other's toys and clothes.  That sort of thing.  I wouldn't put the bigger kids in separate rooms if we lived in a mansion.

Anyway, here's the challenge: it's a mess.  Really - after a long siesta from supervising bedroom maintenance due to being pregnant and newly delivered, I turned around to find that the closet, toy containers, shelves, drawers, corners - it's all full of useless, broken junk.  The good stuff, therefore, has no home and wanders freely about the house.  My problem is compounded by the fact that, when my 5 year old outgrew her jury-rigged trundle bed (crib mattress that we slid out from under the big kids' bunks), she just moved into big sister's bed and has been there ever since.  She really needs her own bed.  On top of that, baby Abby is sleeping in a portable bassinet, which works swell, but I have a gorgeous crib (still in the shrink wrap!) that we bought for her, and I'd sorta like to use it.  

SO.  Here it is.  I have my girls' permission to post this.  I think they are betting that if I blog about this, I might actually get around to doing something about it, too!

So here where the dresser and shelves are,
Becca's new bed needs to go.  I think the 
dresser needs to be taken out entirely, and 
probably some of the shelves too.

This side isn't too bad.  There's the portable bassinet; shouldn't be too hard to fit the crib in.  I might put plastic sweater boxes under the beds for clothes, since I don't think we can fit the dresser anymore.  I did already clean out under the bed, and I cleaned out a few drawers too.

The floor in front of the closet.  The closet space is poorly used; that'll take some doing to improve.

So I figure I'll give myself a month to do all this.  Used to be I'd pull something like this off in a week...but that was a few babies ago, and before we started school.  Or on a school break.  I don't want to use a school break on this, so I'll give it a month.  I'll post about it step by step, and hopefully my ideas will help you think of ways to use your space better, too!

I'd love your comments!  Do you have a room that is begging for help?  Or are you way ahead of me, with six or seven tidily coexisting in a single room?  I'd love to hear your ideas!

4 Girls, One Room - Week 1 
4 Girls, One Room - Week 2 
4 Girls, One Room - Week 3
4 Girls. One Room - Week 4

Get tons of great organizing ideas:


shanelle said...

Desiree; Although we never had 4 in a room (we only have 3!) We have gone through challenging space issues when the children were small up to Alexandra being 10 when Dk got out of school. We had all 4 of us in a 9x14 room for 18 months while he was finishing up his assoc. degree and I think the Lord used that to get me ready for my 'palace' of a whopping 650 sq. ft with all 3 for 5 years in married housing. Homeschooling in same provided some unique challenges.
For beds, I'd suggest getting a futon bunk bed if you can find one. We got one used that was not the ugly metal tube kind but wooden with black iron accents. During the day it can easily be put up like a couch and double as quiet reading/bible study time for one of the older girls that wants to 'get away' or during nap time if they have quiet time to read etc. Underbed storage is key, you are on the right track there. I also learned that our wall space was not being utilized well and went vertical with shelving of all kinds. It really helped to keep personal items in their own spots as well as give the older two a little more privacy from Griffin getting into their 'stuff' from time to time and ripping it apart. He simply couldn't reach. Top bunk we put a shelf across up high for books, bible, little animals or toys that were 'special' and that was her special spot. Again no one else could reach.
Having two girls and a boy we had sleeping challenges and since we didn't get the futon bunk till we moved out and onto NM when Dk graduated. The twin bunks slept all three of them. Griffin and Skie were in the lower bunk for those couple of years that he was out of the crib before we left married housing, they simply slept either end. One head on each end. It was cozy and they formed a bond with talking at night etc that has lasted till now. (ages 16 and 14 they are each other's best friends) All three of the kids shared a room long after they didn't need too and not until this house in the past 3 years did any of them want their own. In one house they each had their own but would have 'sleep overs' in the biggest room and end up on the floor etc around the bed and talking etc. It does build relationships and also fosters a more multi generational family. Hope that helps! blessings. shanelle

Desiree Hausam said...

Thanks Shanelle! I will pursue using wall space - that really isn't being used much at all right now. I like the idea of shelves above the bunk beds for books, etc.