Wednesday, January 13, 2016

The Big Room Renovation

When we moved to Kentucky almost two years ago we knew a big challenge for us was going to be comfortably fitting into the three bedroom parsonage.  Our house in Kansas had really spoiled us with 5 bedrooms and 3 baths. 

Honestly, we really had too much space.  Because the more space you have, the more you fill it.  Slowly, over the seven years we lived there, we really filled it.  Not only did we have the furniture to fill it, we also maxed out our storage capacity filling an entire storage room and half of our garage.  Easy to say we had too much stuff.  It just seems to happen over time and you don't really even notice it. 

But in order to downsize, we knew we had to get rid of literally half of what we owned.  We started going through our stuff, having garage sales, making tough choices with sentimental items, taking books and toys to our church, and taking so many trips to Goodwill you might have thought we worked there!  But in the end, we fit everything we owned into a rental truck and moved across country.  And we had just the right amount of stuff for our new home.  Less space, less stuff, and less mess! 

In a smaller space, every single thing has to have a place. And I think generally, we've done a good job with that.  But one room in our house just wasn't working - the girls' room.  Three girls sharing a 12x12 room isn't ideal.  So we squeezed 2 bunk beds and three dressers into the space.  It worked.  Just not well.  The room was always a complete disaster because they didn't have anywhere to put anything.  Sure, they had a place to put their clothes in their own dressers, but sharing the closet didn't work great because it was so crowded things were always falling to the floor and getting wadded up.  Clothes were everywhere!  The only place to put any of their possessions was on the top of their dressers. They really just craved their own little personal space.  Sophia was so desperate she carved out a tiny corner of the room for herself. 

We spent months trying to figure out how to make this space work better for the girls, and for Christmas, we finally made it happen!  We put in a triple bunk bed which instantly doubled the floor space in the room.  Now, headroom is minimal, but this is just for sleeping so it works for them. 

Then we built a countertop desk with shelves so each girl would have their own workspace and display area.  They have LOVED it! 

Last, we ditched the dressers.  They just weren't working. At all. So, we went to Ikea and bought some more of our favorite cubbies.  We love them!  We bought the cheapest fabric drawers to make sure our idea would work before investing in cute baskets.  Each girl has 8 drawers and they store their clothes, some shoes, and I know a few of them up high just hold "special" junk.  But it's all beautifully hidden!  In know it's sort-of a big beast, but we have to tap into all of our vertical space in this room and it is totally working for the girls! 

On Christmas Eve we installed everything!  That sounds simple, right.  Some.  Assembly.  Required.  Three little words.  Yikes.  In actuality, we started working at 10pm and didn't go to bed until 4am.  Six hours!!  Folks, we are way too old to pull all-nighters!  But, the kids were so excited!  And, a few weeks later, honestly, it's still working great! 

Their room has generally stayed pretty clean.  Here's a picture I took this morning.  Now that everything finally has a place where it belongs, they can actually put it away!  Such a novel concept!  It is so nice to walk in and not try to clear a path in to say good night to them!  And really, not having to yell at these kiddos to clean their rooms has been a life changer for us!