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#181 of 790 Old 12-23-2007, 05:25 PM
 
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Oh and we LOVE having a tiny mortgage. $325, can't beat that.
::choke:: that is about 10% of our mortgage. Where do you LIVE?
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#182 of 790 Old 12-23-2007, 08:30 PM
 
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Lincoln County, New Mexico

Billy the Kid country (I have always hated it when people said that)

Seriously though, its in the middle of nowhere!

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#183 of 790 Old 12-23-2007, 08:31 PM
 
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My dh and I, five kids and an elderly uncle live in our 1600 sq ft row house - in my neighborhood, its tiny. I think its quite big, but could be laid out better.

We are looking for land so we can build a house it on and live there. So we can have a nice garden, and some animals. We plan to camp on the land as we're building.
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#184 of 790 Old 12-23-2007, 09:57 PM
 
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Here is my intro...

We have a story and half cape cod. The orginal house is about 1500 sq ft and a monster 600 sq ft family room addition. Over the years it has been modified so that it had 4 bedrooms, a kitchen and the family room. One of the bedroom was the living room, is a den, used as a master bedroom w/o a closet.

We have five children (and we homeschool) and everyone is pressuring us to house hunt. We like our house. I have to keep things simple and clutter free but it is affordable and cleanable. I get pressure from everybody on this topic but I feel like it is part of ou 'smaller footprint'.

You don’t owe them an explanation, just a response.
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#185 of 790 Old 12-24-2007, 01:53 AM
 
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HI get pressure from everybody on this topic but I feel like it is part of ou 'smaller footprint'.
Good for you. This is one reason we are considering downsizing - with our basement I find that 3000 sq ft. is way too much for me to take care of, and although we do all the green stuff we can, it would just feel so much more responsible to be stewards of a good piece of land with a very small "green" home.
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#186 of 790 Old 12-25-2007, 02:47 AM
 
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subbing- will measure later. I think our house is roughly 600 sq ft lol. I love it for the most part.

Decluttering 500/2010
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#187 of 790 Old 12-25-2007, 05:37 PM
 
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We have a 1200 sq foot house. Which is more than enough space for the three of us to live in but it gets a little cramped because dh & I both work from the house. And dh is a "collector" (read: complete and utter pack-rat!!!). But, we can't/won't/don't want to move because it's super cheap to live in our little house and even cheaper to heat/cool it. And, I can clean the whole house top to bottom in an hour. And I mean really clean, not just the daily tidy and spot clean... that takes 15 minutes!

The only major drawback is that we love to have people over and it gets pretty crowded with just a couple extra people at our table. I wish we had the space to have large groups of people over on a regular basis. But I don't want to clean for it....

me, wife to dh, the movie geek (7/01), mama to ds1, budding Star Wars geek (10/05), dd, budding princess of the dirt (03/08) and ds2, budding extrovert. watch out! (8/10).
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#188 of 790 Old 12-25-2007, 11:53 PM
 
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The only major drawback is that we love to have people over and it gets pretty crowded with just a couple extra people at our table. I wish we had the space to have large groups of people over on a regular basis. But I don't want to clean for it....
Us too! I want space for PEOPLE. Lots of friends over.

4 kids under 10
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#189 of 790 Old 12-26-2007, 12:41 AM
 
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I can't believe I haven't posted here.

We are five people in a 2-bed, 1,000-sq-foot house.

mom of 3 , homeschooling the oldest with google and the internet
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#190 of 790 Old 12-26-2007, 12:59 AM
 
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We have room for guests, but ours is open plan. I love to entertain so we designed it this way. Where we live our house is considered large.
It is 1,200 or 1,300 square feet. I am not sure of the actual conversion.
LOVE IT, I can clean easily and the space feels calm and fresh. Very little wall space on the first floor, with lots of windows, and open plan.
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#191 of 790 Old 12-26-2007, 02:01 AM
 
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I'd love to have an open floor plan! With lot's of windows and natural light! My dream space (with absolutely NO clutter and neutral walls and just the minimal furniture). Aaaaah. Think I'll got to bed dreaming about that!

me, wife to dh, the movie geek (7/01), mama to ds1, budding Star Wars geek (10/05), dd, budding princess of the dirt (03/08) and ds2, budding extrovert. watch out! (8/10).
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#192 of 790 Old 12-26-2007, 02:36 AM
 
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I have an 1800 sf house, but it FEELS so tiny because of so much wasted space. It's 4 half levels (imagine a Z shape) with the middle being the main floor (living room, kitchen, sunken living room). For the 5, soon to be 6 of us. My front room is like a formal living room, but is completely WASTED SPACE! No one uses it, but because it's the room you walk into it would look silly being a practical room like a much needed dining room, or an office.

My kitchen is large, but without a pantry I am forced to use half my cupboards for food storage. I also have our large table in the kitchen (no dining room, remember?) I love our family room, but the main levels have no bathrooms.

My oldest two children live in the basement bedroom, but there is a "room" down there that is another wasted area because on one wall I have a washer and dryer, and a bathroom door, on the other wall we have the bedroom door and the staircase, and on the other "wall" are bi-fold doors to our furnace & water heater, so really it's an 8x10 room with only one wall... so its kind of a dumping ground for laundry storage, a fish tank, and toys.

My upstairs has a master bedroom and bath that work well, a nice sized guest bathroom, and two TEENY tiny bedrooms. One we use for my youngest son and it's only big enough for his toys, toddler bed, & dresser. Then the other room is the office, since we have no other place to keep the computer, kids' TV, and our files. We are going to keep the crib in there once #4 leaves our room (usually around 6-8 months), but I have NO CLUE where I will keep her clothes.

Our back yard is teeny tiny, and we have a small shed out there for the yard tools. Our garage is a 2 car garage, yet it only holds a honda civic and a VW bug that is wasting space. It also has a small freezer, and a few shelves. Everything else we keep in the crawl space. Storage is not the issue (except in the kitchen) where as "usable space" is a MAJOR problem and I just don't know where I can put things to make my "dead space" more usable.

I should also mention we also have 3 cats and two dogs, one is 85 lbs, the other is over 100 lbs.

Heather: Mama to my amazing boys A-14.5, C-13, & M-5.5, and my sweet girl S-2.5 and introducing our little surprise Liam Michael, born 12/28!
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#193 of 790 Old 12-26-2007, 04:12 PM
 
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Does anyone remember the old HGTV show "This small space" I loved that show. I wish it still came on. It showed real people really living large in smaller spaces. It made a huge impact on my world view. I realized that you really could live well in no matter what space you were in.
I remember one segment had a family of 5 living in 800sq ft and it was so well planned and they utilized every bit of space. The big thing was they really loved to entertain, so they incorporated the yard as part of their extended living area.

Sabrina , mom to 4 fab kids!

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#194 of 790 Old 12-26-2007, 06:09 PM
 
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There's a show on now called "Small Space, Big Style". It sounds like the same basic idea... real people in real spaces living real lvies. Of course, many of them seem to be living a much more "expensive" life than we can afford, and a lot of them don't have children (900 sq feet for an adult couple is one thing, but add two kiddos and it's a whole different small space). But I do enjoy the show!

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#195 of 790 Old 12-26-2007, 06:14 PM
 
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There's a show on now called "Small Space, Big Style". It sounds like the same basic idea... real people in real spaces living real lvies. Of course, many of them seem to be living a much more "expensive" life than we can afford, and a lot of them don't have children (900 sq feet for an adult couple is one thing, but add two kiddos and it's a whole different small space). But I do enjoy the show!
I've seen that a few times. For some reason I don't like it as well. Everything seems to have a more modern big money remodel slant IMHO. This small space seemed more budget friendly.

Sabrina , mom to 4 fab kids!

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#196 of 790 Old 12-29-2007, 09:53 PM
 
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Just found this thread and haven't read through it all yet. We are 3 (almost 4!) and living in an apartment of about 700 sq. ft. Most of the time it feels plenty spacious, and I would never think of moving just for more space. We do have an old cellar for storage on non-valuables, but just one closet. The living room is a little tricky because it has very little wall space, so furniture placement is hard. We have many, many books, but I think we could get them all properly shelved if I could get my husband (a carpenter! ) to build us some taller bookcases. The ones we have are mostly not ceiling height, which isn't taking best advantage of the limited wall space.

The one thing I do fantasize about is having a separate room that could be a dining room/library combo, with bookcases built in on all the walls, and a big table in the center that could seat dinner guests and also be a big workspace for us and the children (school, art projects, games, etc.). I love to have people over for dinner, but it would just be amazing if we didn't have to eat in the kitchen... just because it's almost impossible to get dinner tabled *and* the kitchen tidied enough to eat in, at the same time.

Does anyone live in a yurt? We are thinking about (well, I am campaigning for!) buying a nice piece of land and living in a yurt for a while until we could afford to build a more permanent house. I like the idea of living in an open, round space.

Subbing!

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#197 of 790 Old 12-30-2007, 01:49 AM
 
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Wow, some of you have small homes. I have lived in 600 sq ft with two children and it is close - but makes them easy to keep track of. Ours was built in the early 1950's and lacks things like basement, closets, mudroom, laundry room, etc. Imagine having a room for laundry or coats and wet boots.

Entertaining for a few hours or a meal isn't bad if you don't mind hearing the kids and/or sitting in the kitchen. Overnight guests fill me with dread. I don't feel like we can graciously accomodate most adults and more kids in my house at bedtime just isn't a good idea. We have the bedrooms, then the kitchen and one other room. We use this room for everything and while we have a futon in here it is not private and we have to all go to bed with the lights out in order for our guests to go to bed.

My kids have large enough rooms for their stuff if you don't mind being under the eaves. This means that our one room is pretty clutter free at the end of the day.

You don’t owe them an explanation, just a response.
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#198 of 790 Old 12-30-2007, 10:06 PM
 
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I have clutter-phobia so for us its a few lights outside and a little bit of garland. Last year we had a live tree, but I definately don't want to do that again so this year we will have a Jesse tree.
I have no space for seasonal stuff, so I basically decorate outside and try to find something utilitarian for the interior. I have one re-usable wreath, that is more wintry than Christmas, so it just ends up staying up until the spring.

I have windowboxes outside, so I planted a couple of small trees in them that will go into planters in the backyard after the season. I tossed in a few pinecones and decorated with a bit of ribbon and they look lovely.

We had a rosemary tabletop tree (they were selling them everywhere this year!) and I used the herbs for cooking and will continue to do so for the life of the tree.

We're probably moving to a similarly sized house next year, with a better layout, so we will probably be able to do a tree, but we'll get the kind you plant.

I actually wish I lived in the Portland, OR area--for many reasons--but also because they have this great tree "rental" service:
http://www.livingchristmastrees.org/
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#199 of 790 Old 12-31-2007, 06:07 AM
 
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I love my small (860 sq. ft.) house. It has character, it has charm. It has its negatives, to be sure, but it is so cozy, and it was a lot cheaper to reno than a big house would've been!

My proudest achievement in design is our kitchen (well, DH did most of the design, but I supervised!)

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pi...5&id=669710168
http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pi...4&id=669710168

As you can see, it is an eat-in kitchen. Our dining solution is that we have a leaf for our table. When there are many guests (in this house, that would be six at the table!), we put the table diagonal across the room.

For non-formal entertaining (our usual since having a baby), we just have food and drinks out and people can eat wherever they want. Our living room has fir flooring so I'm not afraid of carpet spills.

2008 is going to be de-clutter time! We have an unfinished basement which is FULL of JUNK. It is really sad. I want to clean it all out.
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#200 of 790 Old 12-31-2007, 11:48 AM
 
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MilkTrance- love the kitchen! We'll be "building from scratch" since the house we're moving into next week has no kitchen (former resident had a microwave, a sink, and a fridge) and we've been working on a small house friendly design. How did you design yours? Any books/websites you'd suggest? We're doing the work ourselves...

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#201 of 790 Old 12-31-2007, 11:52 AM
 
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Milkface! Great use of space and design. I love coming to this thread. Such inspiration .

Sabrina , mom to 4 fab kids!

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#202 of 790 Old 12-31-2007, 12:43 PM
 
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I want some opinions about kid's rooms and personal space. Do you think there is an age where they "need" their own room. Is that just part of our culture?? Do we really "need" personal space?? Can our personal space be outside?? My friends think we "need" to be able to walk around naked in our room if we want to and my poor children will never be able to do that.

I just have one at the moment and another on the way and I know this won't be a huge deal while they are little but we want a large family and I'm curious about the issue. I imagine having certian times of the day where one kid gets the room, maybe like an hour or so. And having a special place to store personal things, like a journal, that would lock or something. I don't know. Can you teach kids the value of other's personal space without having tons of it??

I would love to live on a larger piece of land in a small house and have the outside become part of our living area. I don't want a large house but I do want a large family, is it possible??

Lori, mom to Elise 6/06, Ivy 4/08 and pos.gif 12/11
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#203 of 790 Old 12-31-2007, 01:42 PM
 
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I just saw this thread and haven't read through it all though I look forward to it

We rent a duplex and have about 800sq ft - 2bd/1ba - me, dh, 2ds, and a cat.

We are currently trying to figure out how to make this space work for us instead of upsizing - so we're decluttering and organizing while dh has this week off. We definitely need more storage space and we're trying to figure out some solutions there.

I'd love to see pics and more ideas for storage solutions Off to read more!

~S~ Mom to W ('04) & D ('05) & in April
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#204 of 790 Old 12-31-2007, 03:43 PM
 
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I want some opinions about kid's rooms and personal space. Do you think there is an age where they "need" their own room. Is that just part of our culture?? Do we really "need" personal space?? Can our personal space be outside?? My friends think we "need" to be able to walk around naked in our room if we want to and my poor children will never be able to do that.
I really think it depends on the child. My eldest just moved into his own room, though it is more like a giant closet than an actual bedroom. He really needed his own space because he just can't handle his younger siblings getting into his stuff. He doesn't need a big room, just a space to call his own. We have 4 kids and a 3 bedroom house, so some kids have just got to share. When my youngest gets to be older it may be a problem, we may need to reshuffle (if we are still here) but I don't believe MOST kids really need there own room as long as they have their own space and special places to keep their stuff.


 

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#205 of 790 Old 12-31-2007, 03:46 PM
 
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MilkTrance- love the kitchen! We'll be "building from scratch" since the house we're moving into next week has no kitchen (former resident had a microwave, a sink, and a fridge) and we've been working on a small house friendly design. How did you design yours? Any books/websites you'd suggest? We're doing the work ourselves...
We are in the process of redoing our kitchen as well. We planned it using this website as we are doing the assembly ourselves

http://www.millspride.com/

Even if you don't use their products you could get ideas for what the basic layout will look like.


 

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#206 of 790 Old 12-31-2007, 03:49 PM
 
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I really think it depends on the child. My eldest just moved into his own room, though it is more like a giant closet than an actual bedroom. He really needed his own space because he just can't handle his younger siblings getting into his stuff. He doesn't need a big room, just a space to call his own. We have 4 kids and a 3 bedroom house, so some kids have just got to share. When my youngest gets to be older it may be a problem, we may need to reshuffle (if we are still here) but I don't believe MOST kids really need there own room as long as they have their own space and special places to keep their stuff.
I have a similar opinion, which makes me think of two more questions.

How do you create a personal space if you can't do a room or even a small closet??

How do you teach children about other's personal space?? At what age should they be expected to respect their sibling's private things??

Lori, mom to Elise 6/06, Ivy 4/08 and pos.gif 12/11
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#207 of 790 Old 12-31-2007, 03:55 PM
 
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Tents and forts work well. Also, just setting up things for other kids to do away from the bedroom where one child wants to be. Creativity is key. We got a low loft bed so that one child could have a tent over the top and another could have curtains around the bottom. Using any indent or cubby hole for a child-friendly space can go a long way to easing the congestion we feel sometimes.

I think respecting other people's stuff comes down to personality as much as age. My eldest would have gotten that idea at 2 while my current 4 year old doesn't care who's it is if he *really* wants it though he is pretty good about it most of the time. I would give him a few more years as he has difficulty controlling his impulses

I don't force my kids to share (though I do encourage it if the situation call for it). I think respecting THEIR stuff helps them to learn to respect other people's stuff. Lots of talking and redirection helps as well.


 

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#208 of 790 Old 12-31-2007, 04:01 PM
 
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I don't force my kids to share (though I do encourage it if the situation call for it). I think respecting THEIR stuff helps them to learn to respect other people's stuff. Lots of talking and redirection helps as well.
Do you have things that are more family items and things that belong to a certain child?? I'm thinking of items like books and toys??

Lori, mom to Elise 6/06, Ivy 4/08 and pos.gif 12/11
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#209 of 790 Old 12-31-2007, 04:07 PM
 
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I want some opinions about kid's rooms and personal space. Do you think there is an age where they "need" their own room. Is that just part of our culture?? Do we really "need" personal space?? Can our personal space be outside?? My friends think we "need" to be able to walk around naked in our room if we want to and my poor children will never be able to do that.
That's a really good question and one I wonder about myself. I think a lot depends on the individual personalities of the people in the family and in the basic philosophical approach that grounds the family.

For example, what is your family's stand on relationships for young adults? In my parent's philosophy, intimate (emotionally or physically) relationships are not appropriate for young adults so my brother and I were not allowed to spend time with friends of the opposite gender "in private" (ie, we couldn't be alone with that friend and yes, my parents ignored the possibility of certain types of relationships). As a result, the fact that my brother and I didn't have individual rooms wasn't an issue in that regard. However, in dh's family an intimate relationship wasn't inappropriate for a young adult and as a result each child moved into "their own room" when the parents felt they were mature enough for the responsibility of maintaining their own space and entertaining their own guests. Two perfectly fine family philosophies, but they require different divisions of space. (I do keep in mind that as a result my brother and I experimented with various things in other people's homes while dh did his experimentation in his own home.)

Nudity is another example... your friend wonders about the need to be naked if desired. But that assumes a family philosophy that forbids group nudity. If your family is comfortable with group nudity then that element of privacy is a moot point, but if your family requires a certain level of "dress" for interaction within the family itself then it may be necessary to find a way to provide individual privacy.

Outside personal space- the solution that worked for our neighbors growing up (their home was a 500 sq foot former barn with no interior walls) was to build "sheds" for each child as they got older. Essentially each shed was a private room, built and designed by the child. I loved this concept and plan to adopt something similar when the time comes... our new home is small and there isn't space to create private rooms, but we plan on building a shed for my ritual and crafting needs (my loom is too big for the hosue! ), a shed for dh's wood working needs and his musical instruments, and eventually a shed for each girl where they can go when they need some private time.

But privacy/personal space is such a complicated question...I hope this solution will work for us but I guess I just sort of have to see how it plays out!

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#210 of 790 Old 12-31-2007, 04:41 PM
 
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Our house was 3 bedrooms and when our 5th child was born this fall we added a partition w/double pocket doors between the living room and foyer. The newly created "den" serves as a master bedroom/baby room but will make a fine den/guest room or living room or dining room later. We did this to solve the problems we were having with bedrooms.

My 11 yo ds and 9 yo dd were sharing and it was only okay (but could've lasted indefinitely, the main problem was that she had moved into his space). My 4 and 2 yo dd had the other upstairs room. They had moved out of our room into their sister's room and she couldn't cope having them in her stuff. I decided they weren't ready to be so unsupervised and moved them into the downstairs bedroom and created another for dh, baby, and myself. The oldest two currently have their own rooms but that won't last forever. My little girls are not yet good at respecting others personal items and space, and my oldest daughter was having trouble entertaining girlfriends in what was felt to be my son's room. Eventually the 4 yo will move upstairs and the two youngest will share downstairs. Who knows after that.

I suppose this is a long winded way of saying we repurpose rooms as needed, I don't worry about children of opposite genders sharing a room, and I do think it is important to respect the need for keeping a destructo-baby (as we call the 2 yo) out of other people's belongings. (We keep toys and other children's belongings in their rooms as they have more space than is available in the kitchen and the other room that doesn't have a name yet.)

You don’t owe them an explanation, just a response.
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