Friday, January 24, 2020

Small Space Living: How We're Making our 2 Bedroom Work for Our Family of 6 + All of Your Questions Answered

I remember the first time I walked into our current home. I fell in love with the natural light, large living area, and the general layout. With the help of Josh, we bothered the landlords until they gave us a guarantee that we had first dibs. We put down a deposit before they were done with all the updates and I have been grateful for that choice for the 4 1/2 years we've lived there. Then we found out some exciting news...

Why we were looking for a new place
Over the summer we found out that baby #3 was on the way, due in February, which is quickly approaching! Then, in October we were blessed to begin fostering a teenager who is absolutely wonderful. At that point, we felt like we had to find a bigger place. Or did we?

Our current home
We have a 2-bedroom, 1.5 bathroom duplex with a one-car garage that is approximately 1,080 square feet. Our living room, dining room, & kitchen areas are larger than a lot of houses we've seen and it is definitely larger than most of the condos we've toured.

The search for the bigger and better home
It became clear very quickly that our appreciation for our current home is absolutely appropriate. It's the perfect home minus a bedroom. We not only have space for our home office needs (Josh periodically works from home) but we also have space to entertain, play with our kiddos, and dabble in our hobbies. We weren't excited about any of the homes in our price range because we'd have to sacrifice one or multiple things we love about where we live now. We had to make some choices...

Choosing what to sacrifice
If we weren't willing to sacrifice all that our home provided for us, what were we willing to sacrifice? We decided that the only way to make this all work was to sacrifice having our own bedroom. But it goes deeper than that. When we sat down with our budget, we realized that paying more for a third bedroom also meant sacrificing in other areas of our life. Date nights, family outings, therapy, eating out, and childcare were all areas that would become non-existent or we'd have to seriously cut back. We decided that those things are way more important to us than having our own bedroom. With that said, this decision came with some immediate obstacles and some long-term predicaments we have to continually work through. Many of which you all brought attention to in your questions on Instagram.

The new bedroom situation
All 3 little kiddos are in bedroom #1, which has the largest closet, our teen is in bedroom #2, and we're in the living room. We purchased a couch with a pull-out bed that I absolutely love!

Your Questions Answered Below ↓

Where do you keep your clothes? 
The 3 littles moved into our old room and took over my half of the closet. This works for now since their clothes are still tiny. Josh kept his half of the closet and I moved most of my stuff to the hall closet. My hanging clothes are still in their room. I leave for work before 7am and am usually getting ready before the kiddos are awake so it just made sense for my belongings to be in the space that doesn't disturb them. Surprisingly, this is my favorite setup for my clothes since we got married.

Where do you keep your cosmetics and personal items? 
All of our cosmetics/beauty products have always lived in the bathroom so there hasn't been a change there. We just had to make some space for our teen. As for personal items, I'm not certain what all this entails, but I do have 2 drawers in my hallway dresser that houses my jewelry and things like that.

I happened to snap a photo of the de-cluttering

Did you have to do a lot of de-cluttering to make the transition? 

Yes! The timing was perfect. I'm basically in full-on nesting mode so I was ready to get rid of things. We coordinated a day for me to be home by myself to tackle a lot of it. I got rid of 15 kitchen trash bags worth of stuff plus some furniture items and other random items. I either found a place for it, donated it, or threw it away. It was kind of brutal at first but it felt SO good by the end. We're still gradually de-cluttering here and there.

Do you have a specific play area for the kids? 
We have always had an open play policy. The kids can play anywhere in the house & they tend to do most of their playing in our common living area, which is now our room. Lol. Most of their toys are in their room but they bring them out during the day. We also have dress-up stuff, puzzles, play-doh, and other art supplies in the living room and dining room. Actually, our coffee table is a train table that is mostly used as a puzzle table. Cleaning up toys is part of our bedtime routine, so Josh & I go to sleep in a tidy room.

Do you tuck the bed away every day? 
We've only left it out one time since we started sleeping in the living room a month ago. We were leaving early in the day and coming home at bedtime. We just figured it was pointless to tuck it away since we were all going to be gone all day. Otherwise, it takes the same amount of time to put it away as it does to make a bed. We have an entire shelf in the hall closet for our comforter & pillows. We just leave the sheets on it when we tuck it away. The little kiddos have fun helping us put it away, too. This has not been the pain in the booty I thought it would be.

Where will the new baby sleep?
Do babies sleep? Jk. With Payton & Maverick, I spent most nights in the living room right after they were born because I felt very claustrophobic in our bedroom for some reason. So, it's pretty safe to assume I'd be in the living room regardless of our new setup. We have a bassinet for the living room & a crib in bedroom #1. The honest answer is that I will probably hold this baby at night for months. I know this isn't for everyone, but this has worked for us. The changing table is also in the bedroom.

What about privacy? Do you worry about getting caught in the act without a door? 
This question made me lol but it's an important one. We actually do have a door. Josh & my father-in-law fixed the pocket door that separates the living areas (living room, dining room, and kitchen) from the bedrooms and full bathroom. We have made it a habit to close it each night so that we do have privacy, even just to talk. Josh & I are usually up until at least 10 so access to the kitchen isn't an issue by that point. All the kids know that they can get us if they need anything, which would be the same case if we had a traditional bedroom.

Overall, we're happy with our decision & are more than willing to share our experience. Some people think we're crazy & have concerns but in the end, we all need to do what we believe is best for our family. We didn't find peace around this situation until we were willing to make our current home work for us. This might change in 6 months or it might last for a few years. What we do know is that letting God's peace direct our decisions hasn't failed us.

How have you made your living situation work for you? Do you have other questions? Leave them in the comments or Instagram or Facebook.

I appreciate your support on this journey! Life is easier with a community of people. Thanks for joining us.

If you enjoyed this post, I'd be grateful if you'd take a moment to share it. Thank you!



    1. Thanks! I definitely agree that using our space for good is excellent ;)

  2. You are the Queen of maximizing your space! Such a great use of every square inch!!

    1. Kileen, I don't know about queen, but I do try. Haha.

  3. You really are brave for making that small space work! I hope the transition to a new place goes smoothly (:

    1. Our future is full of lots of transitions, so I greatly appreciate the kind words.

  4. It's impressive that you're in that space with so many people. I'm blessed to have 3 bedrooms for my husband and myself. We use the 2 additional bedrooms for our offices. But I can't imagine having 4 other people in my space haha. Major props to you!

    1. Awe, thanks! We all have different circumstances that are right for us. I'm sure one day we'll have open rooms to work with. Until then, we're enjoying where we are.

  5. Good for you for assessing what is most important in your lives, and making it work!

    1. Thanks! Life is way more fulfilling when we're open to what is right & not what we think we should be doing.