Let’s talk about small houses!

March 10, 2009 | Uncategorized | 61 comments

Over the past few months I’ve received quite a few emails from readers asking for tips about fitting a big family into a small space. This is a topic I’m interested in as well, so I’d love to open up a post to get insights and advice from those of you who are experts on making do with a minimum amount of space (regardless of your family size). Based on the questions I’ve received from readers, here are six things we’d love to know from those of you who live in small houses:

Questions for families with small houses
  1. How big is your house/apartment? How many square feet, bedrooms and baths?
  2. How many people are in your family?
  3. What are the rooming arrangements? Who shares bedrooms with whom?
  4. If you could add just 150 sq. ft. of space to your house, what would you use it for?
  5. To what extent (if any) does the size of your home impact your decision about whether or not to have more children?
  6. Tell us your tips! What are some creative things you’ve done to fit everyone in and make it work?

I guess a rough guideline for what constitutes a small living space would be if it’s less than 300 sq. ft. per person, though anyone is free to chime in. Also, you don’t have to be living in that situation now: if you grew up in a small house or used to live in one, we’d love to hear from you too!

61 Comments

  1. Elise

    1.) Our house is a 2 bedroom, 1 bath, 820 sq. ft. with a basement of additional 820 sq. ft. that can be accessed by going outside and around the back… the laundry machines are in the basement, so I get fresh air every day, whether I like it or not.
    2.) We are a family of 5: two parents and 3 children, ages 6, 3.5 and 7 months.
    3.) Baby sleeps with us. There is no baby furniture except for a glider next to our queen bed and a toddler railing on my side. Diapers and baby clothes and blankets are all in the built-in closet in the hall. We use cloth diapers as well. The older two children share the 2nd bedroom and sleep in an IKEA bunkbed. My daughter has a full size desk with cork board and shelf we use for homeschool, as well as shelves mounted to the wall and a large white board, all in the bedroom. The closet contains my son’s dresser and both of their clothes on hangers. My daughter also has a dresser in the room. There are two toy shelves in the closet, containing clear plastic bins of toys. Each child has a couple dolls/animals on his/her bed and all the rest of the toys are in organized storage in the basement to be rotated in as needed. We also have a nice train table with drawers in the corner of the living room where we all make trains together.
    4.) I would add space to the eating area of the kitchen. We are a bit of a tight squeeze. There isn’t room for guests.
    5.) The size of our home doesn’t impact our choice not to have more children. Our lack of quality time for our children is our motivation for child spacing.
    6.) Living in this small house has improved my parenting. I use Flylady’s methods to keep clutter under control and my house stays clean with routines. We live in a great neighborhood and have a large, fenced backyard. We take walks and go the the park whenever we can. Living in a large house prior to this was much messier, more stressful, and I was felt more disconnected from my older kids.

  2. Kingdom Mama

    Well, I’ll just comment with my little photo post:

    http://kingdomtwindom.blogspot.com/2009/03/as-promised-how-to-fit-seven-people-in.html

    We have far, far less than 300 square ft. per person. I can’t even imagine what that would be like. And no, the size our place hasn’t affected our child-bearing decisions. When we NEED more space, God will provide it.

    Although, since you asked, I would add space to our bedroom and bath, and I’d definitely put in another closet!;)

  3. Anonymous

    1. Apartment: 1150 sq ft, 2 bedrooms, 2 baths

    2. 5

    3. Mom & Dad in bedroom #1, oldest and middle children share bedroom #2, baby's crib in master bathroom!

    4. We would love an extra 150 sq ft for a homeschooling area – table, chairs, shelves – to free up the dining room table and to get the visual clutter out of the main living area

    5. If we have more children, we have to move. Landlord told us it would be illegal to have any more people here. We can't afford to move – so no more children for us unless God blesses us with a higher income 🙁

    6. Tips: declutter ruthlessly, use vertical and under bed spaces, less clothing, fewer toys, buy multipurpose items

  4. Serena

    I don’t feel terribly qualified to answer, since there are only four of us, and two of us are quite small. Nevertheless…

    How big is your house? How many square feet, bedrooms and baths? 700 square feet. 2 bedrooms, 3/4 bath (no bathtub).

    How many people are in your family? Four: my husband, myself, and our two daughters, 3 years and 6 months.

    What are the rooming arrangements? Who shares bedrooms with whom? My husband, the baby, and I are all in the ‘master’ bedroom, the 3-year-old is in the second bedroom. The baby sleeps great, and could move into the room with her sister, but she still nurses at night, and it’s so much easier having her sidecar-ed to our bed (in her travel-size crib).

    If you could add just 150 sq. ft. of space to your house, what would you use it for? A play/homeschool/sewing room. The toys would move out of the girls’ bedroom, which is pretty dinky. It would help keep the bedroom cleaner, too. That extra 150 sq. ft. would be absolute chaos, I tell you! Fabric scraps, thread, books, toys…

    To what extent (if any) does the size of your home impact your decision about whether or not to have more children? I don’t think the size of our house really impacts our thoughts on our family size.

    If we had 150 square feet more, I think we’d be set for life. A bathtub, or at the very least a shower stall that’s more conducive to mama leaning in and bathing baby in a dishpan, would be soooo great. It’s been kind of hard with little ones and not being able to put them in a bath. (I hate our shower stall. It’s the hardest thing in the world to clean.)

    It’s so easy and quick to clean our house. I would love to have 150 sq. ft. more, but any more than that would be overkill, especially for the size our family is right now. However, I would love a different layout! I feel like the layout of our house is pretty inefficient. For instance, the bathroom has plenty of room for a bathtub, but the way it’s layed out right now would involve a major remodel to add one. I would prefer to have a much smaller bathroom (and put the extra space to use as, say, a corner for a little kid’s table), with a shower/tub along one wall, and the toilet and sink along the other, and I wouldn’t mind them crammed in there.

    As for tips: Get Rid Of Stuff. I am a packrat by nature, but I’ve finally come around to where I can throw and give stuff away. I’m definitely a work in progress, but I’ve made a start. One of the major things for me has been to reduce my wardrobe. I tend to wear the same three outfits over and over again anyway, and having less clothes means less laundry which means less work… It has been hard to keep the amount of clothing that I have to as little as I would like during this time of my life, with pregnancy and breastfeeding causing my body to change every few months, but I still have about as much wardrobe for all sizes of me now as I did for one size of me before.

    Another tip: Ikea. For inspiration, and for things meant to make small-space living easier. The first time I went to Ikea, I saw the ‘Living in 500 sq. ft.’ showroom, and I thought, “I want to live here.” That brings us back to layout, though, since the layout of that showroom is perfect. Ikea has lots of storage stuff that’s useful for cramming into small spaces, too. I got two underbed storage boxes in the children’s section for my daughter’s toys. I thought I’d have to purge the toys before they fit in the box, but there is SO much room left. I try to keep the toys to a minimum, but I still feel like she has too many.

    Living in a smaller space is great, but I have found that making that space work well involves spending some money. This could be different if you have built-in storage, which we do not. Our laundry room (not really a room) will fit a non-stacked washer and dryer (which can be gotten fairly inexpensively), but with a stacked set, there’s SO MUCH more space for shelving. The cost there: a stackable washer/dryer and the shelves. You can find all sorts of cheap storage solutions at practically any store with home goods, but they’re generally not geared for small houses. The stuff that works well for small houses tends to be more expensive, in my experience (with the exception of Ikea). I don’t know why–I mean, it’s smaller, it should be cheaper, right? 😉

    We have plenty of cupboard space in the kitchen (no dishwasher), but other than that, built in storage is quite scarce. My husband uses the closet in our room. I use the closet in the girls’ bedroom, which is really little more than a glorified locker. I have their hanging-up stuff on two dowels that are tied to ribbon attached to plant hooks in the ceiling. Their clothes are cute and small, so it’s almost like decoration. That’s really the only semi-creative solution I’ve come up with.

    And always keep in mind the old adage: A place for everything, and everything in its place.

    Sorry for such a long comment.

  5. Anonymous

    10 in 2800 square feet. Bunk beds in the bedrooms, and no the size of our house did not dictate the number of children. All I can say is as my children went off to college they were much more prepared to live in a 12×12 dorm room with a stranger than most of their friends; and folks you pay a heck of a lot of money for that privelage. So when people accuse you of squeezing too many in a house let them know that the Universities across America do too and people pay a handsome sum to do it!!!

  6. blissful_e

    My husband and I lived in a ~400 sq ft house in England for 2 years – I’ll try to answer your questions…

    (1) ~400 sq ft, 1 bed, 1 bath (we still had the tiny former-outhouse-now-shed in our back garden!)

    Floorplan: the front door opened directly into the living room, then walked straight back into the kitchen. Up a spiral stairway from the kitchen to a small landing, off of which was a bathroom (toilet, sink, and shower), and a separate door to the bedroom.

    (2) 2 adults, but our daughter was also born there – the three of us lived in our English house five weeks before moving to Egypt

    (3) my husband and I shared the bed in our bedroom, and our daughter did too when she arrived

    (4) 150 sq ft would have been our entire back garden… I think we would have done something to make the attic space more useable as a first option. Then our daughter could have slept in a crib – after she outgrew co-sleeping – on the landing. Instead, our landing was filled with boxes of books and things that could have been in the attic.

    (5) Well, it didn’t stop us, but we knew we’d be moving. So I guess I can’t really answer this one.

    (6) We loved living in our small house!

    * We came up with a rule that when we bought a piece of clothing, we had to donate a piece of clothing since we had little room for our clothes.

    * Everything had to have a place and get put away after it was used – otherwise it would be IN the way.

    * The place was a dream to keep clean.

    * We had little room for stuff, and you know, we didn’t need what couldn’t fit!

    Still own the house – our first renters had a 1-yr-old, but they only stayed 9 months. A professional couple is living there now.

  7. MamaOlive

    I don’t know if our currant house qualifies as “small,” but it sure isn’t big. I’m not aware of the square feet; it is a 4 bed, 2 bath military house. There are 8 in our family.
    We have the 3 girls in the biggest bedroom; hubby and I have the next size room; the 3 boys share the smallest room.
    We turned the “master bedroom” into a den, where we keep all the bookshelves, guitars, exercise equipment, and photography equipment.
    If I could add on an extra room/space, I think I would go for a nice laundry room/pantry.

    Before we moved here we (all 8) lived in a 3 bedroom single wide trailer for over a year. It was challenging, and many of our books and toys lived in a storage building. Our trick then was to limit furniture (no giant entertainment center or china cabinet) and keep things tidy so it didn’t look too crowded.

  8. Multiple Mom T

    # How big is your house/apartment? How many square feet, bedrooms and baths? We have 1300 sq feet in our home. 3-4 BR, 2 1/2 bath (one bedroom is down on the main floor and we use it as an office)

    # How many people are in your family? 6

    # What are the rooming arrangements? Who shares bedrooms with whom? Our 2 girls share a bedroom and the 2 boys share a bedroom

    # If you could add just 150 sq. ft. of space to your house, what would you use it for? Larger living room or playroom, or a 3 season room.

    # To what extent (if any) does the size of your home impact your decision about whether or not to have more children? None at all. Having triplets and then a singleton 19 mos later decided that for us.

    # Tell us your tips! What are some creative things you’ve done to fit everyone in and make it work?

    1. We have a playroom. The previous owners used it as a family room, but it makes so much more sense for us to have all the kids’ stuff corralled as best we can.
    2. I can be fairly ruthless with getting rid of stuff. Too much stuff will make any space too cluttered, but it is awful in a smaller home.
    3. We made our basement (previously just a laundry area) into a sort of play area. Not finished b/c we can’t afford it now, but carpet on the floor and larger toys down there.

  9. Chere

    My husband and I raised 5 children in a 1000 sq. foot house with 4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. Our children are all grown now, but we had several rooming arrangements since our children are spread out over 13 years. That spread allowed the two oldest to each have their own room, with the next oldest “graduating” to their own room as the older ones went to college. I grew up in a family of 7 children and never had my own room until I became a Student Assistant in college, so I placed a lot of value on experiencing that during high school.

    Even now, if I could add 150 square feet to my house, I would add a family room. We don’t have a space large enough for everyone to gather comfortably in the same room (especially now that we also have 6 grandchildren!). This year we laid carpet in our garage and heated it to have Christmas all together.

    The size of our home didn’t impact our decision about children at all. At one time, we had all 3 boys in one room (bunk beds are a blessing!) so the girls could have their own rooms in high school.

    I’m not sure how we made everything fit–I know I didn’t have a sewing room for several years like I do now, and we didn’t have an office like we do now. I guess you keep fewer possessions and share more–each person keeps fewer individual “things” which are only theirs. My children played outside more than inside, and living on a farm gave them lots of area to explore.

    My husband and I are both of the mind that “you can keep anything you have room for”–as a result, we are bigger packrats now than we were when the kids were home, which isn’t a good thing!

  10. Amy

    1. Our house is not the tiniest, but poor layout and number of girls vs boys is making it harder. We have 1200 sq ft with some more unfinished (it’s a raised ranch – upper level fully finished, bottom level less than 1/2 finished) It’s 3BR, 2 bath, although the master bath has been unusable for many years (don’t ask, LOL). It’s almost fixed though (’cause we’re trying to move). The *amount* of space, if better arranged, could work for us I think. No garage.

    2. 7 people in our family: 2 parents, 4 girls and a toddler boy.

    3. Dh and I share master bedroom with the toddler (13×11), the 9,6, and 3yo girls share an oddly shaped room with 9×9 usable space, and the oldest has the 3rd BR to herself right now (8×10). Nobody is bunked for safety reasons (i.e. a wild 3yo, LOL) so the middle bedroom is wall to wall beds and a dresser that you can’t even fully open)

    3. If we could add 150 ft, it would definitly be a 4th bedroom first. We could actually do this downstairs in the unfinished side, but special needs are making us think twice about having a bedroom downstairs away from the rest of us.

    4. The size of our house isn’t stopping us from having more children. Although we ARE hoping to move in the not too distant future (or put in that bedroom downstairs). So I’m not the best one to ask. 🙂 If gender was more evenly distributed in our kids I think it would be easier too – right now with only one boy, he will get the smallest room all to himself instead of being able to share with a sibling.

    5. Tips – get rid of anything you don’t use. I declutter like a madwoman, honestly to the point where I think it isn’t good for my kids anymore (hence the move). We save some clothes as hand me downs, but I give away most of my 9yo’s things because her next youngest sibling is 4 sizes smaller (she’s very petite and 3years younger).

    Underbed boxes store kids treasures, we make do with a minimum of towels and clothes. I do a wash every day so that keeps things back in rotation quickly. I keep only one of kitchen accessories – one ladle, one big spoon, one vegetable peeler, etc.

    Things that do double duty are priceless – a pot vs. a rice cooker, a bench that also stores extra blankets.

    I have a lot of trouble with visual clutter (as do several of my kids) so we haven’t done this – but I’ve heard lots of tall shelves and/or a shelf running around the perimiter of the room up by the ceiling are great ways to store things and use otherwise unusable space. I’d rather not SEE all that stuff though, we try to hide it – under beds, under the couch … at Goodwill, LOL.

    I know there are bigger families staying in smaller places – I can’t wait to see what tips they have!

  11. kimberly

    What an excellent question, Jennifer!

    When my husband and I purchased our first home, we were parents of two children. So, of course, we bought a 3 bdrm, 2 bath house in the suburbs. 1750 sq. feet…living room, dining room, kitchen, etc.

    It was nearly palatial, compared to the 1000 sq. ft home we had owned previously.

    We didn’t plan to have other children…”plan” – isn’t that a funny word? After our conversion, we made a very conscious decision to give over our fertility to God, and boy, did He take us up on the offer!

    Over the several years, seven more children would be born…and we became parents to nine – 5 girls and 4 boys!

    We played “musical bedrooms” for awhile…and it seemed mom and dad always had a least one child sleeping in the co-sleeper beside the bed, for years.

    I had lost my formal dining room shortly after we began homeschooling – it became a classroom. But as our family grew, we eventually had to convert it into a bedroom. We were quite blessed that the bedrooms in the house were generously sized, though my husband and I abandoned the master suite and gave it to the three oldest girls. It made sense…there were two closets in that room and a large bathroom.

    Here’s how it worked: Two sets of bunkbeds for the boys, on opposites sides of the room, with play space in between. It worked.

    One bunkbed and one twin bed in the big girls room (the master suite) The two younger girls shared the walk-in closet and the oldest had her “side” with her own closet, desk, etc…it really helped her to feel she had her own “space.”

    The littlest girls had the former formal dining room. A toddler bed and crib completed their accommodations.

    Though a bit cramped, it really helped to allow the children to express themselves creatively in their rooms. The big girls painted their room bright yellow and stenciled blue and gold stars, the sun and moon, all around the room. The oldest painted the doors of the closet to look like a cityscape. Very, very cool…

    The boys turned their room into a campground…complete with a sign that read “no girls allowed!” A hillscape, dotted with tents, ponds, pine trees…the ceiling painted dark blue and scattered with glow in the dark stars…they were very proud of their cramped room!

    The littlest girls asked to have their room painted pink and yellow, with pale green dragonflies stenciled here and there.

    Paint is cheap…as are plastic bins with each child’s name on it where they keep their “treasures” with the understanding that no one, no one may touch another person’s treasure box!

    If I could have another 150 sq. feet? Definitely a third bathroom. The bathroom issue is always the toughest. Inevitably, one bathroom is out of order, at any given time. From the toilet that stops flushing, or is leaking, or is filled with Matchbox cars…bathroom space is at a premium.

    Things this large family has found to be extremely useful:
    *A shoerack by the front door where everyone must put their shoes. Solved that “where’s my shoes” question quite effectively.

    *The largest chest of drawers you can afford. Clothing storage is difficult…paring down wardrobes is often necessary to cut down on storage dilemmas and help with the laundry.

    *A front-load washer and energy efficient dryer. Our water consumption dropped dramatically when we purchased our front-load washer. One of the wisest investments for a family that is washing 3 to 5 loads of clothes a day…

    *Picnic tables are your friend! During the summer, we eat outside as much as possible. A really large picnic table seats us all, and really helps to make evening meals fun!

    *Toy boxes are your enemy. Little ones will always dump them to find what’s on the bottom. Storage shelves with bins are a far better solution. Mesh bags on hooks work as well.

    *And finally…no matter how large or small your home, at any given time every single child will be in the same room that you are in…and the room never really feels crowded. So many times, we’ve sat down to watch a movie together and I’m breathless by the sight. I see them individually and collectively…there seem to be so few and yet so many! Perhaps that’s how God sees us all…

    My two oldest have fled the nest, and I’m down to seven, at present. Thank you, Jennifer, for this lovely opportunity to reminisce about my full house. It’s not nearly as full as my heart!

  12. Hannah

    After my parents divorced my 3 siblings, my mother and myself lived in a 3 bedroom apt. My brother had his own room, my older sister had her own room, my younger sister and I shared the master bedroom, and mom slept on the futon in the living room. If we could have added on 150 sq. feet it would probably have been for a sleeping area for mom or for storage.

    We live in a pretty big house for our needs right now, but I am still trying to figure out living arrangements now that our foster son will be moving in, and possibly another one soon.

  13. Elizabeth

    We used to have 7 people living in 1700 sq. ft. That’s 242 sq. ft. per person. It was a tight fit.

    My biggest and most important tip:

    Get rid of stuff.

    We had a strict rule about getting rid of stuff that hadn’t been used in 6 months. Even if it was good stuff.

    We rarely kept stuff around for “sentimental value.”

  14. Maria

    1. I grew up in a home with about 1600 sq. feet orginally. 4 bedrooms/1.5 baths. My dad built the home himself so it was designed for efficiency for a large family though it was small to keep costs down.

    2. We were a family of 9.

    3. We had a girls’ room (4 girls), a boys’ room (3 boys), my parent’ss room, and the other bedroom was used as a toy room, a sewing room, an office, etc. during different times.

    4. When I was in high school my parents converted the garage into a family room. It was a great addition of space. It was nice to have more than one living room as we all got older.

    5. I know space wasn’t a big determinant in my parent’s decision about children at all.

    6. My dad created a really crazy, but totally smart way to deal with the bathroom situation for a large family. We only had ONE shower, which seems amazing to me looking back. We had one room with a toilet and a regular tub/shower. No sink. Immediately next to this bathroom was another tiny bathroom with just a toilet. Next to these two bathrooms was a huge laundry/coat/vanity area. There was a double sink vanity with a huge mirror for everyone to do hair/makeup/teethbrushing/shaving. So you could have someone showering, someone going to the bathroom, and about four people getting ready all at the same time. It was genius.

  15. Maria

    Okay, so I posted about my experiences growing up, but here is my current experience.

    1. We live in 1250 sq. foot townhouse. 3 bedrooms, 3.5 baths.

    2. We have 7 folks living in the house: my husband and I, our 3 kids, and 2 of my siblings.

    3. My oldest 2(age 4 and 2) share a room. The smallest bedroom is a nursery for the baby. My husband and I have the third bedroom upstairs. In the basement, my sister used the rec room for her bedroom. My brother uses the laundry/storage room as his bedroom (his choice!). He is very low maintence.

    4. The main need for space is a yard. I think outside space really makes your home feel so much larger. If I had to put the space in the house, I would love more counter space in the kitchen or even the tiniest room for a toy room. It would be nice to have somewhere to store the toys besides the living room!

    5. It is not a huge issue for us regarding family size. I can’t say it isn’t an issue at all since we live in such a high cost of living area. Single family homes with 3 bedrooms in our area are generally at least $500,000. Hence why we are renters. But I’ve let go of needing a house. I can’t take it with me when I die. If we can afford one, great. If not, we can always afford to rent something for our family or if necessary, we’ll move to where we can afford something with the space we need.

    6. Organization and detachment are important to making small space work. You just can’t keep everything and what you do keep must have a place in the home. Everything must “earn” its spot in my house or it’s gone. However, I don’t sacrifice beauty for organization. I work hard at finding pleasing peices that are enjoyable, but functional.

  16. Veronica Mitchell

    1) Our house is 1400 sq ft, 3 BR and there is one full bathroom, with another toilet in the basement.

    2)Six.

    3) My three oldest girls (5,3 and 2) currently share a room, while the baby sleeps in my room. Husband has his own room in the basement. We use one room for a study. By the end of the year, the study will become the bedroom for two of the girls, while the other two share their current room.

    4)Another bathroom and a kitchen pantry.

    5) None, really. We are done having kids, but we could have squeezed another one or two in here, at least for the first eight or ten years.

    6)Closet doors take too much space to open and close; remove them. Our three girls can share one room because it has two big doorless closets. Also – a finished basement is a wonderful, wonderful thing.

    Truthfully, it is harder to find space for our books than our children. Children don’t have to be lined up against the wall. Not on a good day, anyway.

  17. Student

    This isn’t really a ‘large family in a small house’ situation, but are you sure you want to use 300 square feet per person for your cut-off for ‘small’?

    I’m a university student, and I own the house I live in and rent out rooms to classmates. There are 4 people living here now and the house is 1100 square feet (275 square feet per person) – yet the only comment I’ve ever gotten on the size of the house (and this many times) is how big the bedrooms are!

    I think the fact that people don’t feel crowded is due to the design of the house. It is a back-split, with minimal space for hallways and staircases. The main floor has only the kitchen and living room. Up one flight of stairs is a bathroom and three bedrooms, down another flight of stairs is a bedroom, a bathroom and the laundry room, and that’s it. Nothing else.

    Given a choice, I wouldn’t make the house any bigger. The kitchen and living room are about the limit for my classmates and I to keep clean, and because the bedrooms are really big, we each have space to ourselves to study etc. I would, however, accept any attempts to magically replace all the carpets with hardwood or laminate 🙂

    Anyhow, I definitely don’t think of the house as small in any way, so maybe you want to drop your ‘small’ cut-off down by about 100 square feet per person?

  18. JT

    I live alone in a studio apartment (not the same as having a family, but I think the same tips apply). My tips are:

    – Don’t buy stuff you don’t need, and don’t keep stuff you don’t use.

    – Don’t put off cleaning up a mess or putting things away. Even a little bit of clutter makes the place seem tiny.

    – Storage, storage, storage! Instead of a regular room divider I got one that doubles as a bookshelf and chest of drawers (with added-on drawers). I also am a big fan of underbed boxes and using storage bins on shelves instead of leaving things loose. I keep a shoe rack by the door so I don’t just kick my shoes off and leave them in the entryway.

    – Finally, if you’re just moving or can afford new furniture, buy smaller furniture! A loveseat plus an armchair can fit in more spaces than a three-seater sofa but still provide seating for three; an ottoman can double as an extra seat; pretty folding chairs can be brought out for company and stashed in a closet when not in use; pretty TV trays can take the place of a dining table; a daybed can double as a sofa; shelves that fit insie a closet can take the place of a dresser; a futon works as both a couch and a bed for guests (or for kids, if you don’t have enough bedrooms); etc. IKEA furniture is great for adjusting to a small space and they have a lot of great designs to help you plan, too.

  19. Soul Pockets

    How big is your house/apartment? How many square feet, bedrooms and baths?

    I have a 3 bedroom 1.5 bath house about 1,200 square feet with a basement.

    How many people are in your family?

    Soon to be 7. Two adults and 5 children.

    What are the rooming arrangements? Who shares bedrooms with whom?

    My husband and I moved our room downstairs in the basement. Our two oldest have their own rooms. The three little ones will share a room.

    If you could add just 150 sq. ft. of space to your house, what would you use it for?

    Some type of real bedroom for my husband and I.

    To what extent (if any) does the size of your home impact your decision about whether or not to have more children?

    It did not affect the decision to have the soon to be 5th child. The kids have the basement as their play room so they have a place to run free. The little ones don’t care who they sleep with or share a room with. I have no idea what will happen when they are teens. I think if I had a 6th baby I would want a house with a bed room for the hubby and I. Other than that space is not a huge factor. We make it work.

    TIPS: Find creative storage ideas. Bins work great for toys. I have those plastic rolling drawers in the kids closets for clothes. I also agree with do not accumulate to much stuff. Get rid of clutter.

  20. Anonymous

    1) We live in a single wide trailer, apprximately 800 square feet. Small closets, two small bedrooms, but a decent sized living room and kitchen.

    2) There are five of us, Mom, Dad, 6 yo boy, 4 yo girl, 10 month old baby

    3) We all sleep in the master bedroom, by choice. The children have futon beds, Mom and Dad in a queen bed, and baby has a pack n play sidecar – still nursing, cosleeps the second half of the night. All by our choice. We like it this way. We may move the older two into the second bedroom with a bunk bed this summer. They are mixed gender, and change clothes in the bathroom never in front of one another.

    4) At this point, I am not sure that I would add extra space, except perhaps to make the master bedroom a little bigger. If we had antoher room, grandma would fill it up with more toys – the small space is a constraint on how much we can own, which is a good thing.

    5)We are not planning to stay here, so it's not the primary factor in being open to life. I would be comfortable having more children in a bedroom than is considered the norm, with bunk beds and such.

    6) Decluttering. Flylady. Keep what you love & nothing else. Remember that when you hoard your manna it goes bad, but God will send more tomorrow.

  21. The Bookworm

    1. I’m not sure on the exact size but I think around 1200-1300 sq.ft, with 4 bedrooms and 2 baths. By British standards this is on the large side – the average house size here is about 1000 sq.ft. 300 sq.ft per person seems pretty generous to me too.

    2. 5 – 2 adults and 3 girls, aged 14, 10 and 2

    3. Each of the girls has their own room.

    4. If I could add space it would be to the kitchen, which is too small – no possibility of having a table, or even a breakfast bar, in there, and storage is tight.

    5. Not at all. The owners before us had 4 children, and the previous owners had 6 (though they did move because they wanted somewhere larger).

    6. None really, because I think of our house as plenty large enough!

  22. Sarah

    What a great idea. I live in a small place so am enjoying reading all of the tips.

    We live in an 800 sq ft, 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom condo. It’s all on one level, apartment style.

    There are 4 of us right now and we are planning to add a 3rd baby soon. My daughter is 2 and a half, my son is 5 months. However, my husband is a big guy (6’5″, 270lbs) so that also has to be taken into consideration in terms of furniture scale.

    My husband and I share the master with our son. His crib is in there but to be truthful, he spend more than half the night in our bed anyway. My daughter has the second bedroom. Our intent is to have them share the room as soon as he is sleeping through the night.

    If I could have another 150 sq ft, I’d add it to our living area. We don’t have a dining room or eat in kitchen (just a galley kitchen and then a living room) so our dining table is in the living room and we have zero space in there for anything. People hardly like to come over because after 4 adults are in the space, it feels like you’re squished together. If I could have that extra 150 sq ft it would have the living area so much more do-able (I could have a little play table for the tinies etc.). I feel totally fine with small kitchen, small bedrooms and small bathroom and a laundry closet. It’s the living area that gets me occasionally.

    It certainly has to be taken into consideration – after all, where do they go?? We feel okay adding a third here but anything after that would likely necessitate another move. If for no other reason than because our children are differenet genders as well so after they start school, it’s wise to have them in separate rooms. I figure we can handle another 3 years or so here before needing to find something a tad larger or at least another bedroom.

    My number one tip is to live simply. You don’t need all of the stuff you think you do. We don’t have the printer out. We don’t have any of the faddish appliances like juicers. We don’t even own a TV because we don’t have room for it! It’s an extra guard on your finances as well because then, in addition to asking “can we afford it?”, you have to ask yourself, “Where the heck would I PUT IT?” And there usually isn’t an answer for that, so you don’t. LOL We like the small space for a young family because we’re so close together – no baby monitors needed here! 🙂 The other good thing is that what we do have is what we really love.

    Another tip is that you need to become the Meanest Mum in the World. As in, I have one tub of toys. That’s it. We do not buy toys. We don’t have room for them. So no toy extravaganzas or big Barbie dreamhouses. We use smallish toys without batteries and keep it simple. Everyone wonders how you can do it but oyu just stop buying toys. It’s quite easy. If we get a toy and it doesn’t fit in the tub we designated, something has to get donated to the Sally Ann. That’s a big help. Toys can make even a large house look like a day care. W

    We put in an Ikea closet in the kids room. We don’t have space for a dresser or a chest of drawers so we just put in a drawer in the closet and a “closet system” to get the most bang for that tiny closet’s buck. And it works. The kids both have all of their clothes in there.

    As a few others have said, there are drawbacks to a small space but there are benefits. The biggest being – it takes an hour to clean the whole thing!

  23. Christy P.

    Also posted on bearingblog.com

    People who live in boats have small spaces mastered.

    Never have I lived in a small space with kids, but my husband and I lived for a short while (approximately 120 days) in a Chevy Astrovan. We took out the bench seats and installed a bed which could be lifted up to access gear storage underneath. The bed wasn’t actually low enough for us to sit on without ducking our heads (and we aren’t exceptionally tall people).

    The key to our success was this: minimal stuff and staying organized. You’d think that with such a small space you could be casual about item placement, after all how long would it take to search every nook and cranny of an Astrovan? BUT, every item search displaces something else that if it doesn’t go back to its place necessitates another search and so on.

    Small variety of meals since we had a small set of cookware and a camping stove. Although we also had a small hibachi which allowed for grilling, we only had one propane tank, so it was either grill or stove, not both. Since we were camping, I became very adept at meal planning for a few days in advance, better than when I am at home with the luxury of a freezer and store just down the hill. For example, buy a package of chicken. Grill it all that night even though you won’t eat it all (lower risk of leakage into the cooler and contaminating everything with campylobacter). Next day you can have chicken wraps for lunch and then another day pad thai (use a mix, I promise it is totally adequate) with chicken for dinner. Then forget having meat until at least next week when you are in town and can go to a store again. Minimize fresh food b/c more fresh food requires more ice, and there is only one cooler.

  24. Anonymous

    Leo Tolstoy wrote a story: “How much land does a man need?”

    Not much, not really, not in order to be happy, I don’t think!

    We are currently four, in a two-bedroom apartment (living room, dining room, kitchen, one washroom).

    A garage would be nice for bikes and strollers.

    I get really angry on seeing new houses built here in Ottawa, Canada: they are so big, and I know no more than four people are moving into it. Five bedrooms, at least, and everything mega-sized.

    There’s something grotesque and wasteful about it.

    I grew up with 7 siblings, in a four bedroom house.

    Jesus didn’t have a house to call his own. And he fed thousands with the fish and loaves of a small boy.

    It’s so tempting for us, my husband and me, to think we need more space. But for what? More stuff?

  25. SAHMinIL

    1. How big is your house/apartment? How many square feet, bedrooms and baths? 950 sq ft; 3 bed; 1 Bath

    2. How many people are in your family? 4: DH, DS, DD, and myself. Oh plus our 90 lb lab mix.

    3. What are the rooming arrangements? Who shares bedrooms with whom? DH and I one bedroom, DS has one, and DD has her own.

    4. If you could add just 150 sq. ft. of space to your house, what would you use it for? A family/school room and a 1/2 bath (toilet/sink)

    5. To what extent (if any) does the size of your home impact your decision about whether or not to have more children? It doesn’t

    6. Tell us your tips! What are some creative things you’ve done to fit everyone in and make it work? LESS is MORE!!! Only have stuff we NEED!!

  26. Cecelia

    I’m single and live in a fairly large house with two roommates now, so I don’t really qualify. But when I was little my family did.

    How big is your house/apartment? How many square feet, bedrooms and baths?
    I don’t know the sq. footage, but it had 3 bedrooms and 1 1/2 baths.

    How many people are in your family?
    8 total: 2 parents, 2 boys, 4 girls.

    What are the rooming arrangements? Who shares bedrooms with whom?
    My brothers shared their room. Two of my sisters and I shared and my infant sister was in the living room in her crib.

    If you could add just 150 sq. ft. of space to your house, what would you use it for?
    I would have added another bedroom so that Grandma wouldn’t have had to sleep in my bed when she visited. 🙂

    To what extent (if any) does the size of your home impact your decision about whether or not to have more children?
    Mom and Dad decided to stop with my sister. So the house wasn’t an influence.

    Tell us your tips! What are some creative things you’ve done to fit everyone in and make it work?
    Our toys stayed in our rooms. We spent a lot of time in the fenced in backyard and out front playing with the neighbor kids.

  27. mom huebert

    We– my husband and I and our four children– have lived for 20 years in a 900 sq. ft. house with three “real” bedrooms, two make-do bedrooms, one bathroom, one storage room, two closets, no basement, no attic.

    However, we live on an acre in a rural area, so we also have two small storage buildings and a shop building. Much of the boys’ hobby activities (playing drums and guitar; woodworking, knife-making; and in other days, roller skating and skateborading, etc.) happen out there.

    Early on, we took out a couple of walls in the main part of the house to throw the kitchen, living, and dining areas into one large “great room, ” which makes the living space more versatile. That’s been very, very nice. Our thinking has always been that sleeping quarters don’t need to be very fancy, but you do need a decent common area, which is what we have.

    The two youngest boys shared a room for many years (two twin beds, two dressers, tiny walkway). Our daughter had a room to herself (but no door– old house with odd rooms.) The oldest son has a room about the size of a walk-in closet.

    Eventually, three of the kids ended up with loft beds (basically a bed on stilts) to free up floor space in their tiny, tiny bedrooms. Actually, the youngest has his loft bed in what we used to call the “playroom,” so he sleeps pretty much in a hallway. (He outgrew the space allotted to him in the room he shared with his brother.) It’s definitely not ideal, but that’s all we have to work with. We joke that really he has the master bedroom, because the bathroom opens directly off of his room!

    (Before the loft bed era, we built “underbed drawers” for the kids– large, shallow wooden boxes that slide under the bed for storing clothes and other things.)

    Also, we got an outhouse. We don’t use it often, but it can be a lifesaver when someone is in the shower!

    Speaking of the bathroom, when the kids were young we used to set the timer when we all needed a shower, say, before bed on a summer night, or before church. It was a contest: Six minutes, and OUT. We could usually get all six of us through the shower and dressed in about an hour. (Now that they’re older, they’re on their own to find time!)

    At this point, we have a leetle more room, because our daughter recently got married and moved out, so the youngest boy is going to move out of his “hallway” into a room. Time to celebrate!

    The size of our house did not affect our choice of family size, partly because we didn’t choose our family size, God did, and partly because we figured God would provide space and provision for whatever children he gave us. He did it once when we had three children in a teeny-tiny two bedroom house by giving us the house we have now. If He’d sent more children, I’m sure He’d have given us another house, or the wherewithal to remodel or SOMETHING. He’s good that way.

    I think I’ve covered all the questions except this one: If I could add 150 square feet to our house what would I use it for? Oh gee. I’m not sure. I wish I could just make the house take a deep breath and expand a little, giving the kids bigger rooms, and CLOSETS. And making my pantry/laundry room/mudroom bigger, MUCH bigger. Or maybe split it into THREE rooms! And I’ve love to have my own room for sewing and scrapbooking and BOOKS. I’d call it my library.

    But really, my kids are pretty much grown– one has moved out already– so it probably won’t be long before my husband and I have that problem we heard of that’s so prevalent among empty-nesters: the house is too big and the medicine cabinet is too small!

  28. Anonymous

    Grew up in a small house – We didn’t keep stuff.
    We each had a secret drawer.
    We shared.
    We were close when we lived in a small house.
    We all grew up and now have a lot of square space per person.
    We are not as close.
    My children, who had to share bedrooms (and one bathroom for four children) and many other things, are closer as siblings than their cousins are (each of whom had his or her own room).
    My children are good friends to one another.

  29. Anne

    For awhile it seemed that as my husband’s rank (Navy) got higher, our houses got smaller. 🙂

    We’re a family of four. Our largest home was 1700 sq. ft. Then we moved to Japan, and lived in less than 1,000. That wasn’t so bad, and I enjoyed the simplification. The worst part was 1 bathroom.

    Then we moved to an apartment in Alabama — not much bigger. I did not enjoy apartment life with children!

    Then, on to Hawaii, where we lived in base housing, about 1100 sq. ft.

    Then, we bought a house that is around 1400 sq. ft. (2 bathrooms, 3 bedrooms) It doesn’t feel small at all to me, though, because it has high ceilings and lots of light.

    Honestly, if I could add anything, it would be a covered lanai. 🙂

  30. Hummie

    I do not have time to answer all your questions, but we live in a small home…our starter home of 23 years. It’s not been easy, but we’ve adapted.

    Having teens share a very small space is not as easy as when they are younger.

    One thing we did was to take the doors off the closet and build a desk area in the closet with shelves to either side. Then we bought a wardrobe that barely fit between their beds ….skinny, but has a pull our hanging rail. All of their clothes go in that tiny wardrobe….except we do have three of the four men in my house fighting for space in the other bedroom’s closet.

    I always said I would have more children when we got a bigger vehicle and a bigger house. We got the bigger vehicle, but never the house, so we never had any more.

  31. Elissa

    1. Our condo is 900 sq. ft., with one bedroom and one bath. We also have a 100 sq ft. storage area attached.
    2. We are a family of four: two parents, and a 20-month-old girl and a newborn girl.
    3. We all sleep in the bedroom. Oldest daughter sleeps in a crib, we are in the bed, and the newborn sleeps either in the bed with me or next to it in a bassinet. Since my children are still so young it seems quite natural to me to have them so close by.
    4. Although I think the square footage of our home is really fine for a family of our size, it would be nice to have an extra bedroom, either for moving our children into as they get older, or for guests. Although the lack of a extra bedroom has not stopped my brother and sister from spending the night regularly, sleeping in the living room on air mattresses or the couch.
    5. The size of our house so far hasn’t limited the size of our family. I do worry about adding a third child to a one-bedroom house, but I worried about adding a 2nd child, too, and so far everything is fine.
    6. We get rid of stuff regularly. We so far have avoided getting lots of big toys, etc. We find it works best when we keep on top of the mess and pick up daily. A small space (especially with a toddler) gets untidy fast but it also picks up fast too! I also try to remember that most families in the world all sleep in the same room too.

  32. Abigail

    1) Our city apartment is less than 800 square feet. 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, one living room/dining room & 1 kitchen.

    2) Family of 5, two parents, 5 year girl, 4 year old boy & 19 month old baby.

    3) My kids have a cute set up. Brother and Sister have single IKEA beds which can either be "toddler" size beds or extended to full size twins. So we have the small setting so they have lots of room to play. (I had to avoid bunk beds because my middle son would jump off them & get hurt.)

    Life's curve ball for me is that my youngest is post-colic and a terrible sleeper. Right now she has to be in a room all by herself. (When we co-slept with her a few months ago our small house felt fine.) Now she's in the master bedroom all by herself in a crib. My husband and I have moved our bed into our living room.

    So I hate that when people drop by our place right now they see our giant bed in the living room. When I'm all by myself, however, I love it. I feel like I'm in a Middle Ages "weaver cottage' The bed in the living room makes a great place to read, fold laundry and watch TV.

    4) If I had more room, I'd add a closet. I feel the pinch of not having one single place to stash all of our home school supplies.

    5)The lack of space has ZERO impact. I'm on month 11 of no forth baby happening. 🙁 Seriously, God provides. Either we'll get into a 3 bedroom place eventually or the baby will start to sleep better in the night & will be able to share a room with her siblings.

    6) When I'm not blushing with embarrassment over our small, mostly messy house– I do like having a humble place. We live in a parish with many immigrants, some fleeing countries with only the clothes on their backs. I like inviting new friends to the house and not having anyone feel "intimidated". I like living in the city and not having any security fears. There's nothing in the house that's valuable to steal, or terrible for a 2 year old to break. Having a small living space means everyone is pretty connected. Nothing is lost for long, no one is ever more than a few steps out of reach.

  33. BettySue

    1400 sq ft

    10 people

    3 bedrooms, 2 baths (one not working right now)

    Mom and dad in one room, three boys in another, four girls in the third, 1yo sleeps in a play pen in the living room but will soon transition to girls room.

    I would use an axtra 150 feet for bedroom space if possible. those girls are awfully crowded.

    “To what extent (if any) does the size of your home impact your decision about whether or not to have more children?” all the size of the house does is make me crazy during pregnancy wondering how i will fit another one in here. It always works out.

    I try to use every inch for as many purposes as possible. For example, the living room is also the schoolroom (I took an old queen size captains bed with drawers underneath that was in two pieces and use that for my couches. Six of the children have their own drawer for school things. added a box for the baby and a set of plastic drawers for the oldest and we’re good),the computer room, and Baby’s room. The dinning room is also the library. Other than that, DECLUTTER!

  34. Crystal

    Living in a small house definitely has its advantages – less house to clean, forces us to get rid of unnecessary stuff, exercises my creative juices when it comes to organization, but living in a small, old house can be difficult as well.

    1.) Our house is a three bedroom, 1 bath, 1000+ sq. ft. house built in 1890.

    2.) We have six people in our family – my husband and I, one teenage girl and three young boys. Oh, and our Bernese Mountain Dog.

    3.)My husband and I are in one room (10×10) and when we have a newborn in the house, the baby shares it with us (with their pack n’ play halfway in our closet). Our daughter has her own room, and our three boys share the upstairs bedroom with the peaked roof (no room for bunk beds there!).

    4.)We would love to add on a mudroom to the back of the house as well as laundry facilities and a half bath and definitely a storage closet. Our washer and dryer are in our kitchen, and the only bathroom is a small one at the top of our steep stairs (not ideal for potty-training!). Plus we only have one tiny closet in each of our two bedrooms (none upstairs in the boys’ room.

    5.) The size of our home does not impact our decision to have or not have any more children. That’s in God’s hands! Though I will admit to wondering where another body will go if we add more to our family and this house! But we certainly don’t stay up nights worrying about it.

    6.)Because we have no closets for extra things, we’ve hung hooks by the doors to hold coats and jackets and have a bench with bins holding hats and mittens, etc. We don’t have much room for toys, but most of the toys are upstairs where we have crawlspace storage. We converted one side into what they like to call their “train attic” where they’ve set up their train tracks and play with their toys (An adult can hardly fit in it, but the boys love their own special play place!). We have lots of shelving throughout the house holding mostly books but some toys, puzzles, bins, etc. Our baby sleeps in his crib, and the other two boys share a trundle bed. They have no closets, but have one shared wardrobe for their hanging clothes along with their dresser. Our basement has been organized as well as it can be and put to good use despite the small river we have running through it (it’s one of those dark, dingy basements with a dirt floor and stone foundation that leaks). We keep only non-perishable foods in storage down there. We have to confess to borrowing storage space by using our best friend’s big barn to house those things that were starting to rot down in our basement. And our “office” is tucked away on the small landing (3’x6′) behind our stairway/hallway.

    I would agree that a small house with big rooms is better than a small house with small rooms. Our downstairs is one big room (kitchen and LR), but all the other rooms in our house are tiny – tiny in the way that we need to move aside to let each other walk by. We love our house and have certainly made the best of it, but we do look forward to eventually upgrading someday – just not in this economy!

  35. AmyRobynne

    1. Until my boys were 3.5 and 1.5, we had a 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom house with about 800 sq ft plus a 150 sq ft sun porch that was usable in MN about half the year.

    2. Two small boys, two parents.

    3. The baby slept in our bed but all his stuff was in the second bedroom, where the older boy slept. I’m not sure if we could have fit bunkbeds because of low, slanted ceilings in the bedrooms.

    4. I really wanted an office space — an 8×8 room would have sufficed to keep the computer and my sewing things. The remaining space would have been useful as dedicated play/toy space.

    5. I felt really cramped with 2 active boys in the house in the winter. We probably would have gotten a trundle bed for my second son if we’d stayed there. I can’t imagine living there with more then two kids and a baby (whose stuff would have been in our bedroom).

    6. We had the house on the market for the last year we were there. We took the office corner out of the living room and used only the laptop and put 2/3 of our books and toys into storage. We didn’t miss them. It was annoying to get the printer out of the closet when we needed it, but having pared-down stuff was rarely a problem. I was frustrated more with the house’s poor layout than the square footage. Our kitchen was probably 10×12, a decent size for a 1905 house, but had extra doors and little cupboard or countertop space even after we remodeled it. No space for a dishwasher and our dishes were constantly piled up. We had a dining room table in the living/dining room but it wasn’t big enough to comfortably host extended family dinners — that’s been a huge advantage of our current house. While the small space was easy to clean, it also got dirty really quickly.

    We now have a 3 bedroom, 2 bath with 1000 sq ft on the main floor and 800 finished space in the basement. The boys share a bedroom (and will indefinitely) and the 3rd bedroom is my office. The basment is mostly a giant playroom. I feel like we could have 2 more children here without remodeling — the office would be moved to the basement and 4 kids could share the small 2 bedrooms. I would love to design my own home with lots of nooks for personal space without tons of rooms. I can’t imagine feeling the need for more than 2,000 sq ft without a LOT of kids, but poorly designed space is really annoying.

  36. Anonymous

    This is a completely different situation, but as a college student who’s had to deal with small dorm rooms, my biggest tip would be to get a tv tray. I’ve had the same tv tray for the past four years, and that thing has been my dinner table on the weekends, my nightstand, even my computer desk during one notable semester when my roommate and I had to share a 100 sq foot room because of construction on the normal dorms.

  37. Owlhaven

    We don’t truly have a small house–12 people in 2900 sq feet with 6 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms. (except our daughter got married in Feb, so now we have 11).

    We added the last two bedrooms by taking chunks out of a family room, and those bedrooms are TINY– about 7×11 feet each, which means there is a bed at each end of the room, with a little square of floor space in the middle. The beds are raised high, with lots of underbed storage.

    Neither bedroom has a closet, but since the kids in those two rooms are all boys, they don’t care. We have a movable coat rack in a corner of the family room for their Sunday clothes and that works well.

    If we had 150 more sq feet, we’d add on to the dining room, since one end of the long table is about 18 inches from the wall (just enough room for 2 little kids on a bench) and the other end of the dining room table is 3 feet from the kitchen counter. Works but it is FULL!
    Mary, mom to 10
    PS– You can read about one of our bedroom additions here.

  38. Marian

    –Family of 6.
    –Officially 1700 sq. ft, though the 3rd floor(about 1/4 of our space) is unheated/ uncooled except by small, inadequate appliances.
    — 3 bedrooms (2 medium, 1 very small), 1 bathroom
    — husband & I in one room, daughter in very small room, 3 boys in other room
    –If I could tack on another 150 sq ft? Two things: Absolutely a very small bedroom for my oldest boy (his disabilities make the triple room-sharing extra stressful) and a powder room downstairs. (I've potty trained 4 kids with only an upstairs bathroom and sometimes two people have to go at once!)If there were even a few extra square feet to eek out of the 150 I would put in a closet downstairs (we have none!).
    — Fitting in homeschool for four different age groups takes space as well…

    –Our family, if expanded, would expand by adoption, so we are limited by what a caseworker declares about our house size (too small for more). Without that factor, I could always rearrange and get even more creative to fit more.

    — The key to making one bathroom work: Only activities that must be done in the bathroom are done there. Set up mirrors in bedrooms for blow drying, hair styling, makeup, etc. Streamline toiletry products.

    — For kids sharing a crowded room with a couple of others: giving each kid a drawer or under-bed box that is for THEIR little treasures alone, using canvas tool-belts tied to bedposts to give even top-bunk kids some bedside stash space to themselves. Most toys need to be stored out of the bedroom.

  39. qualcosa di bello

    How big is your house/apartment? How many square feet, bedrooms and baths?

    when my husband was in grad school we lived in a 400 sq ft home, 1 bedroom, 1 bath

    How many people are in your family?

    there are 6 of us & at that time the children were ages 2 – 8 when we moved in. we lived there for 22 months, 3 weeks & 2 days.

    What are the rooming arrangements? Who shares bedrooms with whom?

    hubby & i in the bedroom with our youngest & we used creative furniture to divide the living room into a children's bedroom with bunks

    If you could add just 150 sq. ft. of space to your house, what would you use it for?

    definitely the kitchen…i could cook an entire meal without taking a step.

    To what extent (if any) does the size of your home impact your decision about whether or not to have more children?

    we did not feel called to have more children during those 22+ months…i would say that it was mostly because of hubby's intense grad school program.

    Tell us your tips! What are some creative things you've done to fit everyone in and make it work?

    staying positve, remembering that much larger families had similar or smaller homes for centuries…i made a concerted effort not to complain (we had just sold a 4 bedroom home, so it took some effort not to dwell on the negatives). i find that if i, as the wife/mom do not moan & groan, the rest of the crew seems to follow the mood. we spent a lot of time at the neighbor's farm, hiking, canoeing too. another HUGE plus…this was a terrific exercise in de-cluttering for me!

  40. Anonymous

    *And finally…no matter how large or small your home, at any given time every single child will be in the same room that you are in…and the room never really feels crowded”
    How true, Kimberly!

  41. Cathie

    I must admit I have a big, but very poorly laid out house. We are expecting our 6th child, so 8 people in two months or so. Unfortunately, my husband is NOT handy AT ALL. The best he can do is paint, and he doesn’t care to do that.

    We have 3 bdrms, 2 1/2 baths. We’re okay on the baths. Bedrooms it’s me, hubby and 2 yr old in the master bedroom, 2 boys in one room and 2 girls in the other. One trick we learned from the Duggars is that we have all our dressers in the laundry room. Again, my home is poorly laid out, so our laundry room is large (10×12). My kids take turns getting dressed in there or the 1/2 bath for modesty sake.

    We do have enough beds to sleep 10 kids (if you count the crib), which happens frequently when my sister’s kids come to stay. 4 boys in the boys room (full under single bunk, toddler bed), 4 in the girls (full over full bunk), single bed in our room plus crib in our room. The reason we have so much room in the bedrooms is because the dressers live in the laundry room along with hanging storage.

    If I could get an extra 150 sq feet, it would be to make my kitchen larger. We turned the eat-in part into our homeschool room as our schooling always ended up in the kitchen. I would love a little more prep area and a pantry. We turned a mudroom closet into a pantry and hang coats on hooks and put shoes on racks by the door.

    I desperately need to declutter. Being large (pregnant and tired), with 5 kids 10 and under, home schooling and trying to manage our house and life in general, the clutter overruns the house much of the time. The number of bedrooms has not deterred us from adding more to the family. It’s character building to share a room.

  42. LeeAnn

    1) We own our house, it's 1600 sq. ft. Seems palatial in comparison to many of the above! However, it's quite small in comparison to most of the homes in this area and closed in rather than the typical high-ceilinged subdivision houses. It has four small bedrooms, 2.5 baths. Only one shower currently working though! The other is leaking….

    2) We are a family of six, our children are 2-11 years old.

    3) Mom & Dad in the Master, Oldest and Second Daughters in their own rooms, Younger Daughter and Only Son share the smallest bedroom. They are 5 and 2 and have small, homemade toddler beds. We've had all the girls in one room, with the spare bedroom used for a playroom, but it was very neglected and super messy!

    4) A family room addition off the kitchen. It would be nice if the tv could be out of the living room and the kids could store their toys somewhere besides the bedrooms.

    5) No significant effect on our family size decision-making. If we were blessed with another baby or two, we could double up twice more before thinking about having to move or add on. The rooms are really too small for three persons.

    6) We have two loveseats instead of a full-sized couch. We have lots of Ikea storage furniture. My husband has built-in closet organizers and bookcases. Under-the-bed storage. We're keeping the 5yo in a toddler bed as long as she fits to save space! But the best tip is always, Have Less Stuff! Sort often and donate frequently.

  43. Lana

    We had five people in an 800 sq ft. 2 bedroom apartment up until recently. We now live in 1300sq ft. and the change is SO nice!
    I had not realized how tense I was because of the lack of space at times. Having to constantly reshuffle the closets and try to pare down to “just what we need” is exhausting when the kids (3 under 3 at the time) are changing sizes all the time and it’s hard to get out shopping for new clothes. When someone donates clothes, it would be nice to have somewhere to keep them! And who has time to work on closets and keep up with the little ones!
    Having a yard, a dining room that can fit all five of us—and even a few more, PLUS a third bedroom that doubles as a guest room when needed has made a world of difference.
    Thankfully, our rent has not changed at all because we moved to a cheaper area!
    I didn’t even know this was an issue and how much it would help to be in a larger place. It’s really been wonderful for mama’s mental health.

  44. Courageous Grace

    Hmm. My current living situation is rather the opposite, 3 people living in a 2600 sq ft home. However, when I was a little girl, my mother, sister, and I lived with my grandparents in their 2bed/1bath single-wide mobile home. When we first moved in, I believe my immediate family lived in a camper in the backyard. Then my grandfather built an addition to the mobile home making it into almost the size of a double wide. This added a laundry room, 1 more bedroom, and doubled the size of the tiny living room.

    My grandparents had the large bedroom in the original part of the house, my older sister got the 2nd bedroom to herself. I shared the extra bedroom with my mother. This room was large enough to fit only 2 twin size beds, a bookshelf to separate them, and a tiny desk on my side (closet and the room’s only window was on mom’s side) that was used for clothing and toy storage. My older sister and I did not share a room because there is a 7 year difference between us and when we were younger we did NOT get along.

    As a single parent, more children was not an option for my mom, but I think if they could have added 150 sq ft before my grandfather died, it would have been divided among a sewing room, 2nd bathroom, and a slightly larger kitchen (the mobile home had a galley kitchen with only 1 entrance. Barely big enough for 1 person).

    The house worked for us pretty well. I’ve always gotten along fairly well with my mother and I didn’t have many toys so rooming with her wasn’t bad. We also had a very large yard so much of my time as a child was spent outdoors. The expanded living room was great for rainy days and allowed us room to set up a cot or two when family came to visit.

  45. Lynn

    We’ve got two kids and a mom in 800sqft. It’s really an excellent layout with great closets. The kids each have a bedroom and mom sleeps on a pullout in the living room. One bathroom.

    We have very little stuff, and we have to keep on top of housework, because there isn’t room for a mess and there isn’t any place to shove it temporarily to hide it.

    IKEA is our best friend, not always to buy, but certainly for ideas. Everything I have must be useful *and* beautiful. I don’t “decorate” per se.

    150sqft more? Definitely a garage/workshop. The other day I used hallway shelves and a stepstool as sawhorses and cut a board right there. Potting up seedlings really makes a mess in the kitchen, too, and the plant lights keep it from getting completely dark until a bit later than I like.

  46. Anonymous

    Questions for families with small houses
    How big is your house/apartment? How many square feet, bedrooms and baths?
    We have 1800 square feet, 3 bedrooms (4 if we used the t.v. room) and 1 tiny bathroom.

    How many people are in your family?
    We moved in with one child, and I’m expecting our 6th in a month.

    What are the rooming arrangements? Downstairs we have our room and the normals. We recently made our son’s room into a t.v. room for the kids, which has been an amazing change.
    Who shares bedrooms with whom? Our bedroom is downstairs, upstairs the 3 boys share a room, which is also their playroom, and my daughter shares a room with our youngest son. Soon he will move into the boys room, and the baby will move in with my daughter.

    If you could add just 150 sq. ft. of space to your house, what would you use it for? Another bathroom (we only have one now, and it’s tiny).

    To what extent (if any) does the size of your home impact your decision about whether or not to have more children? It doesn’t impact our descision at all (as God is making the descisions about this, and not us).

    Tell us your tips! What are some creative things you’ve done to fit everyone in and make it work?
    A couple of children ago I was really intent on buying a bigger house, now I feel like I could live here forever. We, like most of the people who have posted here, just have less stuff- and I really try to keep what we do have clean (it feels bigger and more peaceful clean). I try to remember that comapred with most of the world, we live in a palace. And I will get to spend eternity (God willing) with all these people; the size of our home won’t matter one bit.

    As an aside, have you ever noticed that people will happily brag about what they didn’t have growing up, while what they did have isn’t nealy as talked about or interesting?

  47. runningatlarge

    Firstly–I grew up in a very small house that was home to 5 people. We didn’t know anything else, so it was home. It’s only on looking back that I realize just how tiny it really was.

    Secondly–I also live in a small house, though not as small as the one I grew up in. Our home is 1300 square feet, and my husband and I have 3 kids with one on the way!
    There are 3 bedrooms. My oldest has his own room, and the larger bedroom is shared between the middle and younges, although the two-year old still sleeps with us most nights.
    When the new baby comes, Sean will by then be adjusted to his own bed, and the new baby will sleep with us for a couple of years. By then we’ll have to be thinking seriously of a bigger house, even if that bigger house needs work.
    It used to be a factor in having more babies, until we came back to our Catholic Faith. My faith is stronger now, and I know we aren’t alone in our struggles. So we’re very excited to be having our fourth baby in our house that’s too small!

  48. Ambrose

    1.How big is your house/apartment? How many square feet, bedrooms and baths?
    Chinese apartment, about 1000 Sq feet. Two bedrroms and one bathroom

    How many people are in your family?
    4-Mom, dad, 5 year old son, baby

    What are the rooming arrangements? Who shares bedrooms with whom?
    Right now 4 month old baby sleeps with us. Our son has his own room, but he also ends up sleeping with us

    If you could add just 150 sq. ft. of space to your house, what would you use it for?
    Family room and kitchen. I wish those were bigger

    To what extent (if any) does the size of your home impact your decision about whether or not to have more children?
    It doesn’t, but we would probably move into a larger apartment if we have another.

    Tell us your tips! What are some creative things you’ve done to fit everyone in and make it work?
    I’m looking here for everyone else’s tips. We really feel packed in here.

  49. Anonymous

    I’m writing from a different perspective: from someone who grew up in a small house, with 4 sibling and 2 parents and decided early on that I hated it so much (I mean, absolutely hated it!) that I’d do whatever it takes to buy me some space. With land. And privacy. Turns out, my husband grew up with 8 sibs in a smaller house than mine, and he also was determined not to live in such cramped quarters someday.

    It took years, lots of saving and choosing wisely about well-paying careers but slowly we upgraded to where we live now, and my house is quite large (5,000+ s.f.) and it’s only six of us. No one shares. And to be honest, it’s exactly what I want so I would actually turn down the offer of extra space.

    No, size of the house had no effect either way on family size. We had our family in a much smaller home; this house is after they were born. They are all teens.

    But what will be interesting is to see what choices my children will make in their homes. Because they didn’t grow up in the cramped space I did, will they not be bothered as much as I was living in a small space? Or will they think that a large bedroom all to themselves is the norm? Won’t bother me either way since it’s their choice and they’ll be paying for it!

  50. Melissa

    1. When I as a teenager my family lived in a 900 sq ft apartment, with 2 bedrooms and one bathroom.

    2. There were 5 of us – mom, dad, and three girls. We lived there 6 years, during most of the teenage years of the 3 girls.

    3. Mom and dad were in the smaller bedroom and the three girls in the bigger bedroom.

    4. If you asked us girls, we would have said to use the extra 150 sq st for an extra bedroom and bathroom! I would have been happy with an extra bathroom. Mornings could get pretty busy!

    5. My parents were done having children at that point in their lives. However I don’t think home size would have been a decision-making factor in family size.

    6. Tips – my parents were very organized and neat, so it was expected to keep all areas clean, neat and organized. Declutter as much as possible and get rid of everything you don’t need. Make use of vertical space – my parents put up a lot of shelves on the walls and we slept on a bunk bed with a trundle bed at the bottom for my younger sister. Bunk beds rock! In a small space with older children, it becomes very important to schedule and limit bathroom times and also set some privacy boundaries. Living in small spaces teaches you wonderful skills in sharing, negotiating and compromising. My husband and I live in a bigger house now, but we are going to have our children (1 so far with 1 on the way) share rooms (with bunk beds!). Even though we lived snuggly, our home was warm, cozy and inviting. I treasure those years.

  51. Katie

    Interesting post! This is something I’ve been worrying about lately.

    1) Our house is just under 1100sq ft. 3 bedrooms, 1 bath.

    2) Family of 5- 2 adults, 3 children (aged 7, 3, and 1) (that gives us about 220sq ft per person)

    3) The 7 and 3 year old share a room. The 1 year old is currently in our room, though we’re going to be moving the computer stuff out of the 3rd bedroom soon and turning that into her bedroom.

    4) Probably a pantry! I like to stockpile food and we have a big chest freezer, and I’d like to get a second fridge.

    5) It definitely impacts my decision to have more children. Dh works third shift and it gets loud during the day and disturbs his sleep. There’s just nowhere in the house to take them to where he can’t hear them. I think we could fit one more child in this house, but after that, we really REALLY need a bigger home (2000sq ft+)

    6) Bunk beds are a Godsend!!

  52. Garden Gal

    I grew up in a 1000 sq ft home, 2 bdrm, 1 bath with 4 people. Brother & I shared a room until we were 10, then dad built another bathroom off the back patio. But still just one bathroom….

    1) Our house is 1200 sq ft, 3 SMALL bdrms (10×10 or so) & 2 EVEN SMALLER (like, 1 person can sort of fit comfortably) bathrooms

    2) 3 (soon to be 4) – mom, dad, 2.5 yr old, baby on the way

    3) DS & baby will be sharing one bedroom, with a twin bed & a crib in it. Hope to get a "real" dresser soon, which means removing the closet doors to fit the dresser in hopes of keeping a little floor space for books & some small toys. The 3rd bdrm currently has a guest bed, but by end of summer we're getting rid of it & just using that space as "over flow" for baby things as well as storage for my scrapbooking things.

    4) Definitely a bigger dining area – we just have a kitchen "nook" that 4 can sit at comfortably, but we pretty much don't have people over unless it's summertime & we can all sit on the HUGE back patio we have – I would also take away some sq ftg from the family room & add it to the bedrooms or the bathrooms.

    4) In some ways, yes, in other ways, no. I think I'll have a better perspective once I see how a 2nd child fits fine here – it's also been inspiring to read all of the other situations in this post!!

    5) As it's already been shared, the toys are at a minimum. I bought a medium sized rolling bin for the living room & an even smaller on for the family room. If the smaller, "loose" toys don't fit in those at the end of the day, they get donated. The larger items like trucks & balls get put on a converted TV cart with shelves that I have in the family room. Currently the only other toys in the house are a bin of stuffed animals underneath the baby's crib. But it will be a different story once baby is here & HIS toys come back out from storage…

    We also have a rather sizeable covered patio that I'm envisioning using as "useable" sq ftg someday. I'd like to put an enclosed cabinet with shelves out there so I can someday store art supplies & outdoor toys.

    Also, I completely agree with another commenter about how books take up more space than children!! I would LOVE some built-in bookshelves for that very reason…

  53. Amy

    1.Right now we are living in a 1200 square foot house with three bedrooms and 2 baths.

    2.There are nine of us!

    3.We have mom, dad, and baby in one room. Grandma has her own room, and the five kids are sharing for now.

    4.We are actually adding on right now, so defiantly bedrooms! We are adding on 500 sq feet which will include two bedrooms a bath and a small office area for books and homeschooling supplies.

    5.You know when we first moved into this situation I did worry about it a lot. But once we get the addition done that will be two kids per room. So the idea doesn’t really bother me as much. Plus kids grow up and move out, so I don’t think it would be too bad a situation if God blessed us with more kids.

    6.Having five kids in one room now for over six months has been a nightmare! The laundry is so bad it is crazy. So I am not sure I can give any advice. We have tried everything to get them to keep it under control but it seems impossible. They only have two dressers and once closet, so it is chaos. One thing that we have learned is that the kids all need some quiet time. It is really necessary, especially for the older kids.

  54. Chris

    There are now seven of us in a 4-bedroom, 2-1/2 bath, ~1700 square foot house in Houston, TX. Houston was founded by a bunch of hard-working individuals who began digging bayous some 200 years ago. The dugout bayous provided lower ground for all the swamp water, and the dirt piled up next to the bayous provided higher ground above the swamp. The short of it is that there are almost no basements in Houston because basements have a tendency to become swimming pools. We could conceivable finish the garage out for more living space, but my wife won’t let me.

    At one point, my wife and I yielded the master bedroom to our three older sons, all three of whom could comfortably sleep there without bunk beds. We then moved into one of the smaller bedrooms. We wound up moving back because third-eldest-son still wanted to sleep in our room and youngest-daughter never left our room (and still hasn’t at age two). So my wife and I are back in the master bedroom. The two eldest each has his own room, and third-eldest, fourth-eldest and new-baby (born Feb. 13, 2009) all share the master bedroom with us. We have a queen bed with a full-size bed pushed up against it. My wife, baby and fourth-eldest occupy the full-size. Third-eldest and I are in the queen, but he has his own bed in eldest’s room and has begun sleeping there of late.

    I want to add space by building a two-story addition in the backyard. My wife wants to move to a bigger house. However, the challenge is this: most houses in our price range still have just three or four bedrooms, possibly with a game room that might be do-able as a bedroom. Our current house actually provides most of what these larger houses would provide except that the bedrooms are much smaller and therefore have less room for clutter. If we built the addition in the backyard, we would probably still have less than 2500 square feet, but we could easily add two to four additional (but smaller) rooms.

    My wife’s severe pregnancy migraines are what keeps us back from having more children, though we have five, one newborn, so “keeping us back” is, perhaps a misnomer. Though I expect it won’t be in the future. These are nasty, debilitating, lose-half-your-day-in-bed migraines. That she has born five children in six pregnancies (including a miscarriage which I attribute to the stresses of evacuating from Hurricane Rita) demonstrates both the validity of Genesis 3 and the fact that my wife is a saint.

    Every once in a while we go on a severe de-cluttering of the entire house. After our newborn came, I painted the two bedrooms of my eldest children, ruthlessly clearing out stuff that had cluttered up their closets. Some (like a filing cabinet) went into the garage. Lots of other stuff went in the trash or (like an old laser printer) are marked for recycling. Those rooms look huge now compared to their previous arrangements.

  55. simply nikki

    1. We are in a 3bdrm, 1 bath 1040 sq. ft. house. (No basement, no attic).

    2. 5 of us, plus 1 dog & 1 cat (cat lives outside though). My husband, myself, 2.5 yr old boys, and 1 yr old daughter.

    3. My husband and I have a room/office/craft room, twins share a room, and daughter has a room which we also use as a guest room when guests are here (then she sleeps in the twins room).

    4. If we had 150sq ft of extra space, I think it would be a home office or craft room.

    5. If we were able to have more, living here would impact that greatly. Seeing as how it's about 208sq ft per person right now, adding a 6th would bring it to about 173.33. And we already don't even have room for a crib in our daughters room let alone a second.

    6. KEEP ORGANIZED. Ha. Floor to ceiling shelves helped, under the bed storage, over the door hooks, outside storage shed, but mainly everyone helping keep things in order has been how we have gotten use to it, and even comfortable with it.

  56. Anna

    After reading the post, I went to calculate our square footage. My tape measure reaches all the way from one side of the apartment to the other: 642 sq ft, for the 6 of us (2 adults, 4 kids age 6 months to 6 years). As I was reading all the other comments so far, I kept thinking “Hah, we got you beat!” 🙂 But then qualcosa di bello came along, and she definitely had me beat. (Well, and the couple in the Chevy, probably).

    Our rooming arrangements: Baby with me in the bedroom, three older kids in the other bedroom. They have a bunkbed; officially the oldest is to sleep on top and the younger two to share the bottom, but I let them rearrange themselves, as long as #3 girl doesn’t end up on top (since she still has night accidents sometimes). #1 girl hates to sleep alone, so if she can’t talk #2 boy into coming up with her, they’ll probably end up all three on the bottom like they did last night. They probably wouldn’t survive if I tried to put them in separate rooms at this age. 😀

    With an extra 150 sq ft, I would so make a dining room. We can’t even pretend to fit around a table in our little kitchen, so we put down a vinyl flooring over a section of the carpet in the living room and have a 6-person dining table on that. It makes our main room cramped. (Although a second bathroom is also high on my wish-list.)

    I assume I will end up with many kids, but I’m also trusting that God will provide us with a bigger place in a few years. The smallness of our apartment was much less of a consideration for me in deciding when to have #4 than the fact that I wanted to bf #3 until she was at least 2 years old, and didn’t want to be pregnant and bfing at the same time. As for whether #5 will come while we are still in this apartment or not… that is probably going to be up to God, too. 🙂

    Tips: Large drawers that roll out from underneath the kids’ bunkbed (in lieu of dressers) are wonderful. As much vertical storage as possible is wonderful. Decluttering would help, if I actually got around to doing it sometime. Not buying stuff helps. If I buy a large package of paper towels or toilet paper, I often leave them in the van until the day I have to actually open it up.

  57. Amy Jane (Untangling Tales)

    Questions for families with small houses

    1. How big?
    ~1100 sq. ft., 3 bedroom 2 bath

    2. 5 in our family: Kids are 6,4 and 2

    3. What are the rooming arrangements?
    Mom and Dad are in a loft bed (my writing space is underneath), the three kids share the smallest room with their dressers and the master bedroom is the playroom (don’t you wish every playroom had a toilet right there?).

    4. If you could add just 150 sq. ft. of space to your house, what would you use it for?

    An arctic entryway (we live in Alaska)and window seats. {grin} These are the someday-changes that are on our list already; I sort of haven’t indulged in dreaming beyond the feasible.

    Maybe an extra room for bookcases and/or a schoolroom.

    5. To what extent (if any) does the size of your home impact your decision about whether or not to have more children?

    It was after DH (dear husband) was sure he was *done* at three that I began to shift my thinking and felt our lifestyle could cleanly support 3 kids indefinitely (DH wants to stay in the house “forever” and we drive 5-passenger cars).

    Really, having a small house helped me identify my (co?)calling as a writer, since I had reached a sort of living balance with my own three and had wondered if I should have another baby, or take on fosters. Without the (obvious) room I was able to shift my thinking from anxious “should I” to “here I am.”

    6. What are some creative things you’ve done to fit everyone in and make it work?

    My biggest tip may not be that creative or useful, but it’s made all the difference for us: start with the right house layout.

    With the livingroom/Dining area/kitchen all one big room with only the island counter for division, I have a place in the house that actually feels “big” to me. I can push stuff to the walls and play race-and-slide or “run around the island” with the kids.

    Also, beginning with 3 bedrooms was perfect, because we’ve done the math and know how we’ll juggle everybody till they’re gone, and we can do it without “moving up” which is important to my husband.

    ~I love the loft bed in my room, and
    ~we use the computer in the livingroom for all t.v. and movie watching, along with playing music/radio/all audio, so we don’t have to support an extra screen/speakers or electronics (DH got nice speakers for the computer, so those didn’t have to be doubled either). We also
    ~have lots of shelves, especially in the otherwise unusable nooks and by inner walls.
    ~We have a crawl space under our house and hardly have had to throw away anything yet. When the kids can’t keep their playroom clean I bag/box the least-used (or least cleaned-up) stuff and put it there to cut the clutter without losing a (felt) investment.
    ~The children have two low long dressers; one is under the window and the other supports two short bookcases (that support my habit).

    Under the house is where I keep books that the kids are too young to properly appreciate yet.

    Sometimes after a few months I trade out the toys (or a couple books) and it’s like Christmas and I’m the best mom in the world.

    Practically, the thing I like best about my “little house” is that (if I play worst-mom-in-the-world) I can actually get the whole house cleaned in one day.

    And it scares me, at the end of those occasional days, to imagine what it would be like to maintain that huge house I admired last year when I wasn’t thinking of it full of children and my own stuff.

  58. Anonymous

    1300 sq. ft., which is including part of the garage because of some mis-zoning. It freezes 9 months out of the year and is over 90 degrees the other three months, so there is not much time being spent outside, although we have an acre. There are four adults living in one house — mom and dad, a 20-year-old student who lived away from home for three years and moved back due to ill health, and a boy that is about to graduate and turn 18. The house has three bedrooms, although one was being used as a closet when we moved in because it is so small. The house was built in the '60s and is very closed off and has small closets. Mom and dad share one bedroom with the dog. Their queen-size bed and dressers barely leaves room to walk (they both sleep with multiple pillows because of back problems so the queen is a tight fit). The 20-year-old has a full bed (so when couples come they can sleep together and she crashes on the couch and a desk. The last one sleeps in the "closet" which has a dresser and a twin bed which he has outgrown. The kitchen has to hold a dining table and the computer and laundry area. The living room only has seating for four, so when guests come people have to sit on the floor. We never eat at the table because it serves as a desk for the mom (who teaches school) and the youngest. I would want to add a few square ft to the master bedroom and add another small bedroom so the tiny bedroom could be used as an office. The biggest problem is that 4 adults have to share 1 shower every morning. Plus, at the end of the week it is very dirty.

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