The Great, Small House Challenge

I don’t generally consider myself a whiner, but if there is one thing that makes me sigh and wish for better things, it is the size of my house.  At 1000 square feet, two bedrooms and one bath for six people, it is just too small.  I know I am not alone in feeling this.  Pinterest knows I am not alone in this.  Ikea knows I am not alone in this.  I hardly know anyone who sighs and wishes their house was a little smaller.

On good days, I know there are advantages to the smallness.  Less to clean, less to maintain, less to keep warm in the winter and cool in the summer.  “Remember the pioneers!” I say.  “Remember the sod houses and the one-room log cabins and the shanties on the prairie.  Remember it could be worse.”

Still, I can’t help those days when I want to scream if I bump into one more crowded corner or have one more box from an over-full closet fall on my head.  I get very tired of waking up from those dreams where I open a door I never noticed before and find a whole new wing to my house- empty, clean, uncluttered.   I try not to think about the other big, empty house we still own, waiting to be finished…. some day.

And now I have another baby on the way.  And she’s a girl.  And it may be frivolous, but I have this longing to create a sweet and pretty little space for her- a place I can call “the girl’s room”.  There would be flowers and ruffles involved.

I go through this cycle fairly frequently- wish, sigh, pity myself, then get sick of all that and do something about it.  I think I am done moaning now, so on to the challenge! I thought I would blog about it, just to help with motivation and keep myself on track and out of the slough of despond.  I have some time to complete this project since the baby will be in my room for a little while, but I am going to take advantage of that wonderful nesting instinct that tends to kick in about now and get started.

Here is what I am dealing with.  I am showing you the four corners of boys room in all it’s daily glory- unmade beds, unfolded laundry, a floor that needs vacuuming and general clutteriness.

Corner #1

The closet.  I can’t tell you how many times I have tried to reorganize this space.  I have been thinking of trying to fit a crib etc. in this space, but I have no idea where I would put everything else.


Corner #2- The homeschool corner

Yes, my boys have a piano in their room.  We used to have it in the living room, but it made everything so awkward and crowded that I moved it here, where it fits much better.  I think it is going to have to stay.  The top could use some rearranging, to say the least, and I am debating over the little white table and chairs.  The boys do most of their school in the kitchen anyways.


Corner #3

The bunk bed.  Thankfully all the boys still fit on this bed, and love sleeping together.  There is literally no other space I can fit it, so it will be staying where it is, but hopefully straightened up a bit.   Hah.


And last but not least, corner #4.

Currently we have a camping cot in this corner for extra sleeping space.  My sister left it here when she moved and the boys love sleeping on it, but it isn’t absolutely necessary (besides which, it is just plain ugly.)  We also have, as you can see, a deep freezer.  Again, there really isn’t anywhere else this could go, and I really need the extra freezer space.  The boys room does tend to become my all purpose room as well- the basket on the floor is some of my extra sewing stuff.


So there you have it.  Is it possible to find a space for my little girl, and a girly space at that?  Am I asking the impossible?  Perhaps.  But a girl’s gotta try.  Suggestions would be welcome!


9 thoughts on “The Great, Small House Challenge

  1. I don’t know what kind of infant parent you prefer to be. I was a cosleeper for 2 years kind of infant parent. But even if you are a crib user, would you consider carving out a corner of your room? Even putting up a screen or something to give her a little space? you might be able to get 2 years out of that arrangement.

    You’re doing awesome, Nicky! I totally hear you on the battle for contentment yet feeling thwarted by one’s environment….see my past three homes…;-)

    • Hey Jeanette.
      Definitely not a co-sleeper kind of parent. Ha. But I have thought of fitting her in my room. Problem is, my room is even smaller but either way, it would definitely be a ‘carving out space’ kind of job. Steve also has his office in our room so….

  2. Can you consolidate the piano and freezer corners into one? The freezer can go where the little table and chairs are and the coat rack where the map is? The cot could be stored under the bed? Then that corner could be for the crib. Seems like the map, table and chairs might have an easier time finding a home somewhere else, and you could store sewing stuff under the crib.
    When Gabriella was born it killed me not to have a special girly nursery- instead she had a lovely corner in our room. We have also lived in small places, the smallest one was 660sq ft for four of us. It was tight but we made it work. This isn’t your forever, and frankly, I have found decorating for a little girl is far more fun than for a baby girl, babies just don’t appreciate it the way girls do. I totally understand the urge to go all out for your girl, but one day when she has her perfect room to herself, you won’t even be able to remember how small her “nursery” was!

  3. I love stuff like this! I think the last corner is perfect. Move the cot to storage and put her crib there. Your house is gonna be so full of sweet memories for your kids. Think about what you remember from your parents house.

  4. When our daughter was born I couldn’t sleep in the same room with her, we only had a 1 beddroom apt. New mom stage was very stressful for me and I heard every noise she made. After 6 weeks we moved our bed into the dining room. Not sure if anything like that is possible for you guys?

  5. We moved ourselves onto a hide-a-bed in the living room for awhile at different times in our family’s life. In kids’ rooms, sometimes two twins are easier to work in the puzzle than a double (the base-size of the bunk). My kids slept “top and tail”, two to a twin for awhile when they were young. If kids were bunked in twins that way, you’d need really good guard rails to feel safe, since photos show that your boys sleep like puppies on and around each other 😉

    I remember living in a tiny 1 1/2 bedroom house with almost no closet space. I went to a Christian women’s meeting about Organizing Your Home (a woman’s obligation if she hopes to do her Christian duty to her family! 😦

    Can you draw a nearly-to-scale diagram of all the rooms of your house? (I’m betting you have done this for yourself already!) Photograph and post it, if you want, and maybe lots of heads can mentally move things around and provide some more ideas.

    I wish you the best, dear Nesting Nicky ❤ !

  6. I always think that re-organizing is like working a puzzle – this is the space God has given me so how do I make it work. I like Jeanette’s ideas. Move the little table out – could it become your coffee table in the living room? Move the freezer and shelf. Voila! a whole corner for baby girl and I can envision you making a lovely mobile for over the crib. Also think more vertically – shelves over piano for less used storage and over the home school shelf. While the quilt is pretty and probably has special meaning it it taking up valuable real estate. Fun to hear your are having a girl. Happy nesting, Pam L.

  7. Love the challenge! I just sent you a couple of pins. My vote is on the closet idea! I love the idea of raising the crib a bit and putting storage underneath (one of the pins was for a built-in crib). Would that dresser fit under the shelves and beside the freezer? I really love the idea of living in a small space (think tiny house while we built our dream house) but Nate thinks I’m looney! I think you’re doing great! Congratulations on the new one, by the way! Yay for girls!

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