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#1 of 20 Old 02-28-2009, 09:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Would someone here mind bumping up some threads for me about large families in smaller homes? I am sure they are here somewhere. We are a family of 6 living in an almost 3,000 sq ft. home. We are needing to sell and we are looking at homes in the 1100 sq ft range. I would love to see pictures and hear tips on how to make this successfully work. Thank you!

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#2 of 20 Old 02-28-2009, 10:22 PM
 
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We live in a small home in the UK which is about half the size you are thinking of downsizing to. We would be happy with 1100sq ft and I don't think we would have to do anything drastic to accomodate all of us in that space!

My criteria for a larger house are: two separate downstairs rooms not including the kitchen, 2 toilets and at least 3 bedrooms.

Bunkbeds, beds with storage under, desks that fold against the wall, folding dining chairs, small furniture, shelving, multipurpose furniture (storage/seating etc) round table for eating at not rectangular, less stuff(!); all will help you maximise the space you have available.

This is our house from the outside. It is just the one on the left! We have a living room and a kitchen downstairs then two bedrooms and a bathroom upstairs. This is a view of our living room from the kitchen when we just had new flooring laid. Not very big is it?! You can absolutely manage in 110sqft

ETA I forgot to say that we are six too. 15yo 12yo, 6yo and 2yo, dh and I.
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#3 of 20 Old 02-28-2009, 10:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by orangefoot View Post
We live in a small home in the UK which is about half the size you are thinking of downsizing to. We would be happy with 1100sq ft and I don't think we would have to do anything drastic to accomodate all of us in that space!

My criteria for a larger house are: two separate downstairs rooms not including the kitchen, 2 toilets and at least 3 bedrooms.

Bunkbeds, beds with storage under, desks that fold against the wall, folding dining chairs, small furniture, shelving, multipurpose furniture (storage/seating etc) round table for eating at not rectangular, less stuff(!); all will help you maximise the space you have available.

This is our house from the outside. It is just the one on the left! We have a living room and a kitchen downstairs then two bedrooms and a bathroom upstairs. This is a view of our living room from the kitchen when we just had new flooring laid. Not very big is it?! You can absolutely manage in 110sqft

ETA I forgot to say that we are six too. 15yo 12yo, 6yo and 2yo, dh and I.
Wow! That totally puts things in perspective.

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#4 of 20 Old 02-28-2009, 10:57 PM
 
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We are a family of 6 in about 1200 sq feet of LIVABLE space.. we have a two car garage and a large deck on the roof, but they don't count that as part of our overall size..

downstairs has a kitchen/living room, a large closet, access to the garage, half bath, and storage under the stairs. Upstairs has the washer/dryer, 5 bedrooms (although we use one as a family room and the smallest as an office), full bath, 3/4 bath and closets.

Our older two boys share a room with a bunkbed, desk, and dresser. The younger two share a room with a bed that rolls underneath the other one.

We have the family room upstairs because 1) I did not want the kids getting into the habit of watching a movie and eating (which would have happened in the kitchen/living room area) and 2) it makes the second floor of our house seem more like family space.. downstairs is really just for eating/cooking/socializing with guests.

Our house is shaped basically like an L. The corner on the first floor is where the living room and stairs are, the kitchen is on the one end of the L, and the garage is on the other. Upstairs my smallest boys' room is over the corner near a linen closet and opposite the washer/dryer space, then the hallway branches out with the bigger boys' room and the family room on the one end. The other section of the L has a hallway going the opposite direction with a full bath opposite the office (smallest bedroom, and then the master suite takes up the whole end with a 3/4 bath and walkin closet. It kind of sucks that when DP comes home in the middle of the night the garage door opening sometimes wakes me up (my bed is RIGHT over it), but it probably wouldn't bother people that don't have our days/nights schedule..
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#5 of 20 Old 02-28-2009, 11:46 PM
 
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There's this thread: http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=556784

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#6 of 20 Old 03-01-2009, 01:33 AM
 
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We are a family of 6 (plus furry critters) in just over 1000sqft. We have 3 bedrooms (boys share one, girls the other, and everyone ends up with us by morning ). The only big issue we have is there is only 1 bathroom. If we can find a way to squeeze in another we will be set! Our basement is unfinished and usable for minimal storage (it floods occasionally) and laundry.

We find we need to have much less stuff, which I view as a plus. Our boys (7 and 5) have tall loft beds with a play area underneath. When they are a little older I will likely put desks and bookshelves under instead. They also have a common area for shared toys.

My girls (3 and 1) share a captains/mates bed. When they are a little older I will switch that out for a low loft that we will use like a bunk bed. They have a smaller room and no closet. That is the hardest. Lots of good organization furniture is essential.

Our living/dining area isn't very big either. I added some built-in shelving for our homeschool stuff and we are about to purchase a billy bookshelf system from Ikea that we hope will help contain our books and art supplies. We also use a long, skinny table which fits our space better than then the many others we have tried.

It really helps to never allow clutter to build, and to only buy things that we already have a space for. Organization is essential, because even a few things out of place leaves me tripping over toys and that makes me VERY grumpy I have definitely learned to be a lot less messy with every child we have squeezed into this place!


 

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#7 of 20 Old 03-01-2009, 01:36 AM
 
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I'm signing on. I don't know how big our house is (must look that up) but we have three bedrooms and three rooms downstairs (kitchen, living room, dining room/school room/playroom). We have one bathroom but the potential for a second one in the basement (there's actually a little room with a toilet down there, but there's a leaky hose or something, so we haven't used it. We're really going to need to get it fixed soon)

We have 3 boys and 1 girl, so that makes the bedroom situation a little tight.

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#8 of 20 Old 03-01-2009, 01:43 AM
 
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We are a family of 5 living in 1200 sq.ft. Our house has 4 bedrooms... 3 of which are small, but it was important to us that each child had their own space. I would never be able to go smaller than this, and I'm worried that this will seem too small once the kids are older.

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#9 of 20 Old 03-01-2009, 02:24 AM
 
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We are a family of 5 living in about 1000 square feet - 3 bedrooms, 1 bathroom.

Right now each boy (13 & 3) has their own room and the baby is in with us. When Lily is ready to leave our bed she will be sharing with her brother who will be 4. We have to figure out how to fit 2 kids into a bedroom that is only 10x10.

We are in the process of decluttering and every van-load of stuff that leaves our home makes a huge difference in how liveable our space is.
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#10 of 20 Old 03-01-2009, 03:14 AM
 
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We are a family of 5 living in a 1200 sq. ft. house.

Clutter is not allowed. Anywhere. If we don't absolutely love it and use it at least once a week, it goes out with the trash. Papers that come in from school, mail, etc. get thrown away or put in their place immediately upon coming in the door. We have as little furniture as possible--only a chest of drawers and bed(s) in each bedroom, and just seating, one tiny table, and a corner entertainment center in the living room. DS1 has a captain's bed with a huge storage area underneath it for most of his toys. DD's bed is very tall, and we have a dust ruffle that reaches the floor so that we can store things under her bed as well. The top shelves of everyone's closets are stacked with things all the way to the ceiling (but in an organized way). Anything we need to store (Christmas ornaments, etc.) go into Rubbermaid containers and out to the storage building behind our house. We make the most of our cabinet and drawer space by (a) only keeping things we need, and (b) stacking everything strategically so that more fits in but it still looks nice and organized.

I have worked really, really hard to make this place comfortable for our big family, and we feel like we have plenty of space now.
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#11 of 20 Old 03-01-2009, 12:16 PM
 
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Originally Posted by becoming View Post
We are a family of 5 living in a 1200 sq. ft. house.

Clutter is not allowed. Anywhere. If we don't absolutely love it and use it at least once a week, it goes out with the trash. Papers that come in from school, mail, etc. get thrown away or put in their place immediately upon coming in the door. We have as little furniture as possible--only a chest of drawers and bed(s) in each bedroom, and just seating, one tiny table, and a corner entertainment center in the living room. DS1 has a captain's bed with a huge storage area underneath it for most of his toys. DD's bed is very tall, and we have a dust ruffle that reaches the floor so that we can store things under her bed as well. The top shelves of everyone's closets are stacked with things all the way to the ceiling (but in an organized way). Anything we need to store (Christmas ornaments, etc.) go into Rubbermaid containers and out to the storage building behind our house. We make the most of our cabinet and drawer space by (a) only keeping things we need, and (b) stacking everything strategically so that more fits in but it still looks nice and organized.

I have worked really, really hard to make this place comfortable for our big family, and we feel like we have plenty of space now.
i'd love to see pics of this - it sounds like you really have a handle on organization!!
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#12 of 20 Old 03-01-2009, 12:57 PM
 
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I'm a single mama to 5 kiddos with another on the way. We live in an 800 sq ft apt. with 3 bedrooms. I have bunkbeds with storage underneath in both of the kids rooms. Every closet is organized, furniture is minimal and no clutter is allowed. I'm not sure how the configuration of kids in rooms will work as they get older but i try not to stress about it either. I have a 2 boys and almost 4 girls(the babe in my belly is a girl). My oldest dd is special needs and does not deal well with anyone else in her room. As of now my 8/6 year old boy/girl share one room and my 2/4 year old boy/girl share a bed with me. When the baby comes i intend to fit a toddler bed into the 6/8 year olds room for the 4 year old. Before i moved in here i had no belongings so that did give me an (advantage?) of sorts. If you could consider it that. I left behind everything i owned to leave an abusive husband. I was able to start with nothing and was careful with my choices. Even though i was offered many pieces of furniture i only took a few knowing i had little space. With virutally no storage we just keep things well organized in rubbermaid containers and labeled. Decluttering happens frequently because any excess takes over our little space easily. We shall see what the future brings!
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#13 of 20 Old 03-01-2009, 09:51 PM
 
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We have 6 people in a bit over 1100 sq ft (I was thinking 1k but went and actually did the math lol), but only 2 bedrooms. That's what makes our situation a bit more dicey imo lol The actual space isn't bad, but we need another bedroom.

I have to admit, I'm not a neatnik and organization is not a language I speak with any fluency but it's still not been really bad that way. We just have to keep on it a bit more, no keeping things we don't need to keep and such. Plus we got rid of a BUNCH of stuff before we downsized out here. And Rubbermaid containers are your friend we have a good sized outbuilding and we store stuff out there we aren't using. And we rotate toys that way too.

I like a lot of things about it (like no mortgage lol and being out in the country)...it has challenges like anything does though.

Good luck!!

C ~ mama to (16), (13), (9) (5)

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#14 of 20 Old 03-04-2009, 07:55 AM
 
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We are a family of 4 in about 800 sf. If I could change one thing about our home, I would add an area for outside gear. We live in the Northeast and most of the year is either snow or mud. I dream of a mud room!! It wouldn't have to be large, just functional. A place for those boots that get bigger (and muddier) every year, along with plenty of storage for snow pants, skis, ski boots, etc. This is definitely my biggest staying sane in small space challange!!
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#15 of 20 Old 03-04-2009, 06:24 PM
 
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Subbing I've been dreaming of this recently...selling our home and buying a 3 bedroom 1200 ft home...
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#16 of 20 Old 03-07-2009, 12:40 AM
 
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#17 of 20 Old 03-07-2009, 10:59 AM
 
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We are a family of five with two dogs and two cats and live in about 1100 square feet. We don't have a basement or an upstairs. Just one floor. It is an open plan so it seems bigger than it is.

It is doable. We often wish we had just one more room. THings get tight when DH's family comes to visit and stay with us.
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#18 of 20 Old 03-07-2009, 07:12 PM
 
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While not a big family (we are 3), we live in a one bedroom apt.
My only advice is to make the most of every inch. Underbed storage is a GOOD thing!
And it sounds silly, but closet organizers. They really do make use of the entire closet.

Someone mentioned a storage shed. Also good. Christmas/holiday stuff, winter gear, toy rotation, etc.

Actually, I dream of one more closet. We have a large walk-in, but EVERYTHING is in there- clothes, towels, cleaning supplies...

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#19 of 20 Old 03-07-2009, 07:38 PM
 
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My suggestion is get rid of as much as you can so you can have a clean clear space- which will make every room seem bigger and keep you sane. When a house is clean, doesn't matter how big it is, it's beautiful & wonderful to be in. For example, if you only use some once a year, see if someone you know has that, and just borrow it once a year. I think that's plenty of space & will be just fine. But since you're in a 3000 sq ft home now, realize that you cannot possibly take everything with you, because you've probably filled every space like we all have tendencies to do. So again, get rid of lots!

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#20 of 20 Old 03-09-2009, 12:35 PM
 
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We have many friends who have larger families and live in smaller spaces (in a different country, where this is quite normal). Usually they have 2-3 bedrooms with at least 6 kids, sometimes more.

They don't keep tons of stuff. They use 'high risers' (beds that store underneath each other, and roll out to sleep on at night), bunk beds, and sometimes a combo. Their dining room table doubles as desks/family activity space. Since space is at a premium, clutter is at a minimum.

They do fine. They also live in a culture where it is the norm for children to play outside for many hours a day, that they are not in school (and the weather helps).

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