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Old 10-23-2007, 11:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Heyla all!

So, we are downshifting from a ~1600 sq ft home (with full attic and basement not included in that number) to a ~960 sq ft home with no attic or basement. In addition, this new house has NO closets. Not one. Nada.

So how do you do it? We live in a cold climate and winter outerwear is bulky...and the changing seasons mean we have different bedding/clothes for different times of the year...

And where do you put the cleaning supplies? Broom/mop?

We are planning on putting in a small shed for DH's tools (he does wood work and metal work) and might put up a small shed to hold off season items, but I'm curious. We'll be de-cluttering and simplifying a lot but there are some things we have to have (like those bulky winter coats) and right now I can't think of where they'll live.

Thanks!

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Old 10-23-2007, 11:38 PM
 
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we have hooks....a bunch of them...there are 6 of us that are used for storing all our winter gear...when in off season how abou baskets under a bed?
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Old 10-23-2007, 11:45 PM
 
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I lived for about a year in an apartment with no closets.

Double duty items! Not just a bench but a storage chest as well. Not just a coffee table but...As much as possible furniture has to be able to store stuff in it or otherwise "earn it's keep"

Think about odd spaces. Is there a space between the tops of your cabinets and the celing? Baskets or boxes can hold things up there like extra canned goods or cleaning supplies or even Christmass decorations. The same goes for the bathroom. I used to have a great storage area on top of my shower. Held all sorts of stuff.

Wardrobs in the bedroom for clothes that need to hang. A wardrob or pantry cupbord in a hall or kitchen can also hold tall things like brooms, mops, vaccumes. you can also hand hooks for booms/mops on a wall or back of a door.

Off season clothes go in rollaway boxes under beds. Each persons clothes under their own bed. Skis and sleds can sometimes go under beds too.

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Old 10-24-2007, 12:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks!

This house is a bit... odd. It's in an amazingly beautiful natural area, it comes with wooded acerage that boarders a state wilderness area, and it's only 20 minutes into town/half an hour to dh's job and dd's play school. But there's a reason we can afford it...

The ground floor is entirely open with no interior walls dividing the space. It's roughly 500 sq ft with lots of windows. The "kitchen" runs the entire length of one wall and there are no cabinets. We'll put in cabinets/shelves to the ceiling and hopefully shift the kitchen into a corner (I hate the way the entire room is essentially kitchen due to the current layout). We also plan on covering at least one wall with built in shelving (possibly opening up the wall to use the space between the studs) and possibly building a storage/window seat.

The bathroom is the width of a shower stall (open to the ceiling) plus the hot water heater. There is no closet (the water heater is in a cabinet however), no vanity, no shelving. We'll add shelving and do what we can but the space is tight. Probablt we'll use the hanging organizers from ikea and hang what we can from the back of the door. However the space is so small the door actually opens out into the main room so unless we always leave the door shut (which we probably will) that shelving will be visible from anywhere on the first floor.

The upper floor is a one room loft space. The stair is narrow and there is no enclosed under stair closet space (the fridge is actually located under the stair). The roof is peaked so there is about 220 sq ft of "full height" space down the middle and another 200 sq ft of "short" space. The chimney flue unfortunately runs about three feet in from the wall at one end of the "full height" section so we'll need to plan around that. We'll build shelving into the short space but want to keep it open in order to maintain the feeling of space.

We're a family of four plus a cat and I can't even find a place for the litter box! ack! We have a family bed so on the one hand we don't need to find room for more beds but on the other there isn't a lot of "under bed" to go around!

I know we'll be able to keep some stuff in a storage shed (off season items in plastic tubs, books, nontemp sensitive goods, furniture that wont fit but will be saved for a future home) and come the next building season we'll be adding on a bit and maybe even dormering the roof to make the loft into two rooms (we'd really like a small room for the girls and for guests). But for now I'm at a total loss as to where things will live for the winter.


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Old 10-24-2007, 09:57 PM
 
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Wow fun! We went from a 1600 sf house with basement/attic/garage to a 1000 sf apartment with 2 closets. Not the same neat space, and we're moving.

BUT in your space this is what I'd do - IKEA has kitchen cabinets that hang horizontal and have "garage door" flip up doors instead of sliding ones... I'd run a line of those all the way around at the top of the door height, two tall if you can manage, and use the top of the cabinets for storage (pantry, off season, books, whatever) adn the insides for things you don't want everyone to see. You can even get different colors or finishes or glass doors. http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/S29811848

I'd use those giant cube shelves as room dividers or space makers, if you wanted to create rooms. Tons of storage there. http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/60071358

How about a lighted pot rack for above the kitchen table? If it's close enough to the stove, it will work well.

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Old 10-25-2007, 12:57 AM
 
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I looked for a wardrobe closet and they are practically impossible to find around here. One woman suggested I have one shipped from England where they are common!

I have no closets on my main floor, I am having DH build a closet into an alcove area, put up cabinets & hooks in the laundry room, etc.
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Old 10-25-2007, 12:26 PM
 
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I want to see pictures of this new house! It sounds cool.

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Old 10-25-2007, 04:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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IKEA has kitchen cabinets that hang horizontal and have "garage door" flip up doors instead of sliding ones... I'd run a line of those all the way around at the top of the door height, two tall if you can manage, and use the top of the cabinets for storage (pantry, off season, books, whatever)
OMGs that's brilliant! I know exactly the ones you're talking about (yes, I have an ikea habit ) and we'd already thought about using them in the "kitchen". But extending them makes perfect sense!

I'll see about getting some pictures to share...the ones on the real estate page are not so great (http://www.ithacarealtors.com/ibr_li...pe=residential To orient, the wooden door is the bathroom, the foot of the stairs faces the bathroom door with enough room to swing door fully open.). Oh, but there's a family friendly music festival called MuseFest that actually happens just a few doors away (same road). You can see a bit of the scenery on their website if you go to the photo gallery. http://www.musefest.org/

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Old 10-25-2007, 08:13 PM
 
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Your house sounds alot like mine with its lack of closets. We do double duty like a PP said. We had almost no counter space so we ordered a stainless steel table from a restaurant supply company- it is 6 feet long and I hung a curtain underneath and that stores all our oversized pots, pans, and seldom used appliances. We have a storage bench under one of the living room windows that holds mittens, hats, dog leashes, etc. Our vacuum usually sorta hibernates near the back door, more or less out of sight. Our coffee table is a blanket chest. Our TV cabinet holds games, DVD's and VHS tapes. We did get a shed (10x12') to store things like holiday decorations, the shop vac, shovels, etc.

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Old 10-26-2007, 08:48 AM
 
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Re: cat box - can you install a kitty flap on your door and teach your cat(s) to go outside? This is what I'm hoping/planning to do when we downsize similarly. Mine hardly ever use the litter box anyway, and my friends have barn cats who never come inside. So it stands to reason.

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Old 10-26-2007, 10:08 AM
 
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I understand you can toilet train cats too!

OP, yah, the garage door cabinets on the perimeter, we were going to do this ALL the way around our 8x10 kitchen for storage - the tops of the doors/windows were the same height, and I wanted to just go all the way around the room. Instead we just bashed down the wall to the dining room, took 4' of dining room away (it's still big enough) and then moved to another state. Go figure, never even got to put my dishes away!

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Old 10-26-2007, 10:17 AM
 
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Just looked at the pics, I LOVE it! You have tons of height to put storage up top and out of the way, and I think you can make some really creative choices for the upstairs.

Lisa, mama to Lauren, Elliot, angel Marion, and baby due in the fall.
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Old 10-26-2007, 10:57 AM - Thread Starter
 
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amyamanda- that's a good idea, but not for the cat in question... the house is in a nature reserve area (so coyote, fox, bear, fishers, etc that don't "play well" with house cats) and as my DH generously puts it "Thai is smart as a brick". He's a wonderful, sweet, former stray who came to us with no front claws and a head full of fluff. Honestly we're not certain how he survived on the street because our furry friend has NO survival instinct. He's a total goof!

If you do go with the inside/outside cat door you may want to invest in the fancy kind that is linked to your cat's collar. That way you wont have to worry about other animals using the door to explore your kitchen. It's a pretty neat little bit of technology...

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Old 10-26-2007, 02:29 PM
 
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Your home sounds and looks splendid. Yes, it needs some work, but in my neck of the woods, it's impossible to find a home in a natural setting at that price!

Perhaps this is not of any help to you, but thought I'd share it just incase:
We have a very large living room, with one end as our work area (which we need for our computer and DP's music equipment). The area looks like a disaster on most days. I'm seriously considering hiring a carpenter to make a unit to contain it all, something like the unit in this picture: http://photos.celerity.ca/photosrv/LDON/l/611919b.jpg. I figure it'll cost be a couple thousand dollars though, but if it increases the value of the house by at least that much, then it'll be worth it IMO (we're planning on selling in about 8 months or so).
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Old 10-26-2007, 04:43 PM
 
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Originally Posted by wombatclay View Post
amyamanda- that's a good idea, but not for the cat in question... the house is in a nature reserve area (so coyote, fox, bear, fishers, etc that don't "play well" with house cats) and as my DH generously puts it "Thai is smart as a brick". He's a wonderful, sweet, former stray who came to us with no front claws and a head full of fluff. Honestly we're not certain how he survived on the street because our furry friend has NO survival instinct. He's a total goof!
Ah, I was thinking of *my* cats. We have fishers, coyotes, bears, big cats, etc in our woods/neighborhood, but we've had our cats since they were tiny and they are survivors. The one in the litter (of four) who wasn't smart got swallowed up by the woods at a young age. So I know they're well able to handle the woods.

I hadn't heard about that collar door setup. Sounds interesting. My only hesitation is that my cats would still try to bring their dinner in to eat. At least now, when I'm opening and shutting the door, I can keep them out when they have a furry mouthful!

Good luck figuring out your litterbox situation then. And your house pics are lovely! I'm jealous!

Amanda, mom to Everest (12), Alden (10-1/2), Ellery (7-1/2), & Avery (6)
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Old 10-26-2007, 05:21 PM
 
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wardrobes


http://www.ikea.com/webapp/wcs/store...query=wardrobe

http://www.armoirescentral.com/Wardr...FVB1OAodAQ7HNA

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Old 10-28-2007, 02:19 AM
 
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Clay what a cute little place! I'm going thru something like what you are too... we're unpacking in our downsized home (rental so we can't do a lot to it) and having to get very creative! Suggestions:

-spacebags for your winter clothing (we packed ALL 3 boys stuff into one bag and shrunk it down to about 6inches thick =D it would fit just about anywhere :

-loving the ikea high cupboard idea!

-kitty box.. can you possibly fit her litter box in the bathroom next to the human toilet? That's where our kitty's is at currently and it's working out great (can't forget to scoop it out thats for sure )

- OR could you possibly put a cat door thru a wall/window and make her an enclosed 'cattery' and make her an au naturale litter area outdoors (very common down here with the concern for not only pets, but native wildlife If you can't quite imagine it I'll take a pic of the one that the owners of our house built!

-stuff like broom/mop/cleaners.. I'm sure our fave place (ikea of course hehe) has some sort of cabinet that would work great for storing that kinda stuff as well as the ironing board and vacuum etc .. and could serve as a semi divider if you wanted.

-Can I just say I am in love with your loft to be??? : Man that space will be SO great when you get ahold of it! Can you maybe build a dividing wall that encloses the flue and use the area AWAY from the flue as a closet? I could so see your bed parked against that with built in bookshelves and/or dresser under the low otherwise unusable bits. Super cosy!

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Old 10-28-2007, 11:37 PM
 
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We are a family of 4 with 6 cats living in an 800 sq ft house. No basement. Attic access is outside up an extension ladder. There is an unattached 2 car garage. Some of my favorite tips are:

~ Get the type of shelving that has the metal brackets that lock into the strips on the wall. You can easily change/remove the shelves if you need to & if you make sure to screw them into studs they will hold a ton too.
~ Hooks, hooks and more hooks. Do rows of them. High ones for adults, low ones for kids. Ikea sells some really great hooks that are 5 hooks which all pivot around one central rod that screws into the wall. We have one next to our shower for the towels.
~ Use the backs of doors. You can get wire racks in the household section of any department store that are made to go over doors to hold kitchen stuff like jars & cans. Also a good place for more hooks!
~ About the litter box...could it go under the stairs behind the fridge? Maybe put it on a mat that can easily be pulled out when you need to change it?
~ Instead of a border do a shelf around the top of your family room area.
~ Get the stands to put your furniture on to bump it up a couple extra inches so you can store stuff under.
~ Make every inch count. If you have regular coffee tables or benches try changing to trunk styles to get extra storage.

Good luck!
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Old 10-29-2007, 10:35 AM
 
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I'm seriously considering hiring a carpenter to make a unit to contain it all, something like the unit in this picture: http://photos.celerity.ca/photosrv/LDON/l/611919b.jpg. I figure it'll cost be a couple thousand dollars though, but if it increases the value of the house by at least that much, then it'll be worth it IMO (we're planning on selling in about 8 months or so).

I *love* that unit! Have you ever been to "In Home Furnishings" (if they are still around)? They have huge wall unit things there- I swear I love every piece of furniture in that place! You may be able to find something cheaper, although who knows if it would fit the area exactly the way a custom one would. I am jealous. I want one!

I would be THRILLED with any kind of built-in at my house- the closest thing we have is a big bookcase that DH screwed into the wall so it wouldn't tip forward. *sigh* With a house built in 1795, you would think it would have SOMETHING cool....

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Old 10-29-2007, 02:12 PM
 
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Looked at the pics. Love it! It's a lot like a cabin we visit in the summer. Our cabin has a closet, though.

I have a lot of fun staying places and rearranging/redecorating in my head, but it's a little harder when I'm not there in person. Good luck and have fun.

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Old 10-29-2007, 03:16 PM
 
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Subscribing to this thread. We are a family of 6 and are moving from an 1800sq.ft. home to a 3bedroom apt that will probably be somewhere in the 900sq.ft. ball park. Plus, we have been spoiled with a garage and will no longer have that luxury.
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Old 10-30-2007, 04:42 PM
 
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We have about 1300 sq ft with only one closet in our house for our family of three that is about 24 inches wide I think. But I am feeling spoiled compared to your storage. However, I don't live in those beautiful woods. Your place is going to be amazing!

While others have added suggestions regarding the storage, I will add some about the stuff to store. We flip our wardrobes twice a year. Since we have limited closet space (we have a wardrobe in our mudroom for outdoor coats), we avoid as much as possible clothes that need to be hung. I choose polyester skirts over wool say, so that I can just fold them into a drawer - cuts down on time and money at the dry cleaners too! DH still needs some convincing that his flannel shirts can go in a drawer.

Also, as they say in real estate - "build up". I remember IKEA did a whole catalogue with this idea a few years ago. Lie down in the room and look up and see where you can add.
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Old 10-30-2007, 04:48 PM
 
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We had no closets when we lived in London. We had lots of cabinets and wardrobes. I do wonder though - I don't know the layout of your house but I did see the photos from the real estate page; is it possible to wall off the area under the stairs and turn that into a closet? Or would you lose too much floor space that you need for the appliance that is currently there?

Ikea is great for wardrobes, they have lots of inexpensive, sturdy and good looking options.

MTA: Oh yeah and under-bed storage!!! We had a bed that sat on a base with drawers in it. I think Ikea have some. These are way better than under-bed drawers.

MTA again: we put the mop and broom in between the fridge and the wall there cause it was the only place tall enough and out of the way. It stuck up above the fridge cause it was just an under-cabinet size fridge but at least it was "out of the way".

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Old 10-30-2007, 08:19 PM
 
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I haven't read all the replies but I'm thinking that the IKEA Stolmen closet system would be great for your situation - here's it as bookshelves and clothing storage. It's not super cheap, but it would really add to the home's infrastructure without requiring any structural changes.

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Old 11-01-2007, 02:34 AM
 
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I just have to tell you that I looked at the realty pics and I love love love your soon-to-be abode! Oh, how I wish there was something like that for that price in my neck of the woods! (Then we wouldn't be living in a 700 sq ft basement Actually, we're quite happy where we are, but you are about to own something pretty close to my dream home.:

It's lovely. Enjoy!
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Old 11-01-2007, 12:18 PM
 
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That is my dream home! Oh my!!!

I would totally build a porch on the front. Closed in/not heated. That solves your mudroom problem. Also cabinets -- I'd re-do the bathroom with one of those bathroom cabinet dealies they show at home depot and the like. (Or ikea).

Every piece of furniture needs to do two purposes: an end table = a dresser. A coffee table = a storage trunk, etc.

Also take a little gander at Delight's apartment -- she posted pics WAY back december? january? she had some good clothing storage ideas with limited closet space.

Kristin -- mom of Erin (11/5/02) and Leah (9/29/05)
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Old 11-01-2007, 12:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks!

The sale process is moving slowly but surely...we should be in by Christmas. We have a lot of plans for the next building season (dormers, wrap around porch, bay windows to replace existing windows, etc), but we wont be able to do much this year since were already getting frost and some people claim scattered snow showers at elevation!

I'm trying to stay laid back and avoid "home" stress, but I'm really starting to get excited!

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Old 11-01-2007, 12:42 PM
 
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subbing...nice thread idea
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Old 11-03-2007, 02:36 AM
 
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Originally Posted by maisiedotes View Post
I *love* that unit! Have you ever been to "In Home Furnishings" (if they are still around)? They have huge wall unit things there- I swear I love every piece of furniture in that place! You may be able to find something cheaper, although who knows if it would fit the area exactly the way a custom one would. I am jealous. I want one!

I would be THRILLED with any kind of built-in at my house- the closest thing we have is a big bookcase that DH screwed into the wall so it wouldn't tip forward. *sigh* With a house built in 1795, you would think it would have SOMETHING cool....
DP's not thrilled about the built-in unit idea being made by someone else. He's always wanted to do lots of woodworking, but how can it be practical in this space we live in? (We live in an apartment-style condo. with two bedrooms, one of which is actually a store room that's pretty cramped, that I want to convert into a sewing room for my business). Won't we need at least some enclosed room for woodworking? I'm not seeing the practical side, though DP does have a point on focusing more on cleaning up the clutter we have first.

On that note, I often organize our to-get-rid-off stuff, but lots of it never actually makes it out the door! (DP and I are both responsible for this). I want to sell some stuff, but it's more often too much of a hassle to me than anything to have people emailing me to haggle on prices, and strangers walking through my home! So I guess rule one should be get rid of stuff you don't need before aiming to create storage space for other stuff. Heck it'll make this place a lot more livable anyways, I have to agree. However, I still want to fulfill my curiosity and get a quote for a custom built unit
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Old 11-03-2007, 02:39 AM
 
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The kids' room has no closet and is very small. We found a nice wardrobe from IKEA that suits them, their clothes, and their toys very well. Dh and I have a nice big closet but 1/2 of it has been converted to my "office". For the livingroom we have a larger IKEA entertainment shelf-cabinet system that was around $400 for the whole thing. It stores a lot of books, puzzles, my knitting and knicknacks. We have learned to pare down our clothing collection, store out of season stuff under the bed, and just learn to live with less.

7yo: "Mom,I know which man is on a quarter and which on is on a nickel. They both have ponytails, but one man has a collar and the other man is naked. The naked man was our first president."
 
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