Monday, April 27, 2015

Entry- tiny home for a large family series

I've done a couple of things with our entry to make it work for us.  It is tiny.  Imagine 10 people trying to get in and out in this small space....

Or trying to get coats, hats and mittens on right here.

Yea, that's just not gonna happen.  ;)

Here's what I've done....
We try to keep the area by the door clear.  There are a few things to note here though.  There is a small mirror, and under it we hang the keys.  On the other side of/behind the door is the "take me" bag.  This is where we are supposed to toss anything that needs to leave our home (within reasonable size), this would include returns to stores, items left here by friends, things we are loaning or returning to a friend...you get the idea.  We also hung some hooks that we use for "grown up" coats etc.  In the corner of the picture (going down the stairs) you can see our large wall map.... It is supposed to be used to mark the countries we're praying for from the Voice of the Martyrs calendar (we're having a hard time getting back into that habit).

Up the stairs from the entry (we have a split level) is the main coat closet.  This one is for the girls as well as Mommy and Daddy.  I'll start at the bottom and work my way up in explaining the set up.  First we have a "bench" with three cubes labeled with their content.  We left enough space on the sides for a couple of bags we knew would need to go there.  Behind the bench is where we place our Large Utility Totes and Deluxe Utility Totes when not in use.  On the bench you will usually find our church bags; these are kept packed and ready to go which can be helpful in the cases of a busy week or even an emergency.  Moving up...We have hooks for little kid hoodies/coats.  They can't reach the hangers, this makes it easier for them to find what they need.  The higher hooks on the side hold miscellaneous items.  The rod is for hanging coats; generally there are none here; this space is just for guests.  On the shelf we have some "on-the-go" supplies (to go tissues, wipes, bibs, lotion, hand sanitizer....) and the other bin for miscellaneous/out of season storage, the thermal is used for our water bottles when out and about.  You'll notice that we removed the folding/sliding doors that had been here.  We replaced them with a pretty shower curtain and rod.  It slides easily and hides the mess nicely.

Down the stairs from the entry is where you will find the boy's coat closet. It's not as pretty. The hooks are for coats/hoodies.  The shelf holds hats and gloves.  As you can see; I'm not using this space to its full potential, I need to do some more cleaning out and organizing.  I also need to use this space better.   Since this is our "under stair" storage space, it goes way back.  I store most of our holiday decor back here as well as some seasonal school stuff.

What makes this set up work for us?  Only half of us are getting ready to go in each area so we're not as crowded as if I had everyone keep their coats etc in one spot.  Everything we generally need for "on the go" is kept in these areas making it easy to find what we need quickly as we're headed out.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Tiny home for a large family!

We moved last summer.  Back into the house we bought 8 years ago when we had 4 kids. I knew going into this home that it was a bit smaller than our last home, but it is working well for us.  Then I started doing some research.  Have you heard of Tiny Homes?  While our home is not what you would think of as a "tiny home" when you look at our square footage per person....it fits into that category. :)

I'm preparing a series of posts about how I've organized our home.  I thought I'd share some information I found when looking up the average square footage of a home these days.

The average new home is about 2,600 square feet.  The average household consists of 2.54 people.  The average square footage per person is 980.7

Our home is 1,800 square feet.  We have 10 people in our family. We have about 180 square feet per person.  Hmm...

While it does take some thought and planning, and we do have to be careful about how much we bring into our home; it works for us.  We are happy in this home.  It keeps us together as a family, and makes us think about how we want to use our space.  We spend less time cleaning, because there is less to clean.  In the coming weeks I hope to show you, room by room, how I make this house work for us.  Hopefully it will be an encouragement to you and help spark some ideas of your own for your home.

*While we ARE happy in this house and are making it work; we do intend to purchase a larger house some time in the next few years; God willing.  We are saving, living out our last years as an active duty military family, finding joy and contentment in the home we've been blessed with, and waiting on God's direction before that happens.

Monday, April 13, 2015

I'm back! Spring cleaning and gardening!

Spring cleaning and gardening is what we are up to these days, and we're loving it.  It's been quite a while since I've blogged here.  Moving a large family takes a lot out of a mama and some things have to go.  Taking a break from this blog was one of those things.  Hopefully I'm back for a while.  If you want to see what the family has been up to you can check out my family blog Gabe's Babes.

Now that we're well settled and have been in the house for about a year the house is needing a good cleaning and some re-organizing.  As we go I'm planning to take some pictures and give you a tour of our little house.  My goal in that is to encourage you to use the space you have to it's full potential and to get your creative (and maybe cleaning out?) juices flowing.  Large families do not need HUGE houses; just some creativity and contentment.

We're all enjoying working in the yard/garden.  While we'd love to have more land some day we're very thankful that God has blessed us with a good sized yard in town.  We're learning and trying to make best use of the space we've been given.  Maybe we'll even get to eat some fruits of our labors?
The first signs on new spring growth in my containers!  Spring (or the last danger of frost) happens late in Colorado.