how small (apartment) would you go with 3 kids? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 36 Old 03-12-2008, 03:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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ages 6, 3.5, and 7 months? dh working out of province, visiting once/month.

http://homes.point2.com/CA/Ontario/Ottawa/Sandy-Hill/1591997-Photos.aspx

i think i know this is too small. but it is sooooooo sooooooooooooo cute.

so the main question: how small with 1 parent and 3 kids? right now i'm overcluttered in a 3 bedroom house and dreaming about futons for sleeping, a huge box of leggo for toys, one box for crafts, bookshelf, and paper-cut-outs kids that are building with leggo without arguing EVER

ETA: found dimensions:

imperial:

Second level
Full bathroom : 7 ft x 4 ft ,11 in
Master bedroom : 8 ft ,10 in x 8 ft ,8 in

Main level
Living room : 12 ft ,8 in x 8 ft ,8 in
Kitchen : 8 ft ,11 in x 7 ft ,5 in
Eating area : 6 ft ,8 in x 6 ft ,4 in

Metric:

Second level
Full bathroom : 2.13 m x 1.50 m
Master bedroom : 2.69 m x 2.64 m

Main level
Living room : 3.86 m x 2.64 m
Kitchen : 2.72 m x 2.26 m
Eating area : 2.03 m x 1.93 m
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#2 of 36 Old 03-12-2008, 03:20 PM
 
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those high ceilings make it feel so roomy : ) As long as you and Dh are in accord with each other on it. You just have to get into good routines, or stay in them if you already are- like teach the kids- take out one thing to play with , then put it away and then take out something else... i/m working on this with mine. Start decluttering now, as if you ARE moving to that place...
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#3 of 36 Old 03-12-2008, 03:25 PM
 
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Looks roomy enough. I'm just thinking about safety for the LO, especially w/the stairs and top level.

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#4 of 36 Old 03-12-2008, 03:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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those high ceilings make it feel so roomy : ) As long as you and Dh are in accord with each other on it. You just have to get into good routines, or stay in them if you already are- like teach the kids- take out one thing to play with , then put it away and then take out something else... i/m working on this with mine. Start decluttering now, as if you ARE moving to that place...
it does look roomy iwth the high ceilings!

i just keep staring at it the location would be so good, as it is walking distance to everywhere, it seems.

if we buy, dh will be out of province for that year...and then we are likely to sell and relocate anyway. so it will be me and the kids, most of the time...

i'm so ready for a small place. the site doesn't give dimensions, though. we will need to contact the agent. but according to the furniture that they have, it isn't that bad. though it could be the camera lense...

anyone else thinks it is doable?
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#5 of 36 Old 03-12-2008, 03:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Looks roomy enough. I'm just thinking about safety for the LO, especially w/the stairs and top level.
we do have stairs now, but carpeted...

yeah, that's a concern. i coud have a gate for the top...never had one, but these stairs aren't carpeted.

i'm thinking that if i have air mattresses for sleeping, i could stack them easily during the day, and the upper level will have more room for playing.
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#6 of 36 Old 03-12-2008, 04:01 PM
 
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I think it is too small because it is only one bedroom.

We live in a one bedroom apartment with a 3.5yo and a 16mo (and me and my dh). I would not want to be in this situation with one more child. I would need another bedroom. I say consider carefully, especially if you are buying. One thing to consider is closet space. We all share one teeny tiny closet and one dresser, and as the boys get physically larger, it is getting cramped with all of the clothing. We have two beds in our bedroom, and it takes up almost the whole room.

As for us, we enjoyed one-bedroom living, but we will be moving into a two-bedroom apartment within the year.

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#7 of 36 Old 03-12-2008, 04:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I think it is too small because it is only one bedroom.

We live in a one bedroom apartment with a 3.5yo and a 16mo (and me and my dh). I would not want to be in this situation with one more child. I would need another bedroom. I say consider carefully, especially if you are buying. One thing to consider is closet space. We all share one teeny tiny closet and one dresser, and as the boys get physically larger, it is getting cramped with all of the clothing. We have two beds in our bedroom, and it takes up almost the whole room.

As for us, we enjoyed one-bedroom living, but we will be moving into a two-bedroom apartment within the year.

well, dh won't be there for huge chunks of time. so the biggest kid is removed from the equation

closet space is important, thanks for reminding.

i like one bedroom living, but this one is also open, so this is another consideration.

our current family bedroom is wall to wall matresses, and we love it, but our living room is really big, and there is a big play room (the master bedroom). BUT the kids play there only if i'm there, so they mostly play in the living room or "office," and i feel we have so much extra space which we are not using efficiently, as it stays empty most of the time. (emptuy of people, no the STUFF )

this will also be for a year, maximum 1.5. but right now we are thinking it is better to buy and then sell than to pay two rents in two provinces.
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#8 of 36 Old 03-12-2008, 04:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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imperial:

Second level
Full bathroom : 7 ft x 4 ft ,11 in
Master bedroom : 8 ft ,10 in x 8 ft ,8 in

Main level
Living room : 12 ft ,8 in x 8 ft ,8 in
Kitchen : 8 ft ,11 in x 7 ft ,5 in
Eating area : 6 ft ,8 in x 6 ft ,4 in

Metric:

Second level
Full bathroom : 2.13 m x 1.50 m
Master bedroom : 2.69 m x 2.64 m

Main level
Living room : 3.86 m x 2.64 m
Kitchen : 2.72 m x 2.26 m
Eating area : 2.03 m x 1.93 m
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#9 of 36 Old 03-12-2008, 04:47 PM
 
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I think you could do a 2 bedroom but a 1 bdr might be pushing it a bit.

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#10 of 36 Old 03-12-2008, 05:00 PM
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That is too small! I have three kids and there is no way I would want to be stuck in there. It is very cute, but the dimensions on that bedroom is WAY too small. Sure you could sleep there but all of your clothes would be elsewhere. Unless you want bunkbeds for you and the kiddos--but most people who do family bed don't want bunks!

The lower level is very doable. But I would want another bedroom--maybe it would be the dressing room and the first one the sleeping room.

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#11 of 36 Old 03-12-2008, 05:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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our current bedroom is: 2.94m x 3.36m. (out of this, the mattrasses are 2.24m x 2.28m.)

so this is versus theirs: Master bedroom : 2.69 m x 2.64 m

with the identical sleeping areas, the available space around is 45 (18") cm and 36 cm (14"). well, narrow.

enough space for a queen and a twin mattrasses flalshed together, this is how we currently sleep.

what about storing some of the clothes in canvas bags hanging off the railing, towards the living room? if the railing is sturdy enough.

we could also probably have a shelf above the mattresses for light stuff...though it would have to be really secure as not to fall on us.
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#12 of 36 Old 03-12-2008, 05:30 PM
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The smallest I would go with 3 kids is what DH and I are in right now, which is a 2 bedroom. But I would put the three kids in the "big" bedroom and DH & I in what is currently the guest room. Even with co-sleeping, the toys would need a place to live. And we'd have to get rid of a lot of our "stuff".

Closets can be made. At least for hanging clothes. There are also canvas wardrobes that you can buy.
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It is so beautiful! Is it to buy or rent? If you are buying you could do a lot with building in storage, but renting would make that more difficult.

I think the wood floors and high ceilings + three children would make that a very loud space!

Is there a playground or outdoor area for the children?

I'm thinking go for it!

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#14 of 36 Old 03-12-2008, 05:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It is so beautiful! Is it to buy or rent? If you are buying you could do a lot with building in storage, but renting would make that more difficult.

I think the wood floors and high ceilings + three children would make that a very loud space!

Is there a playground or outdoor area for the children?

I'm thinking go for it!
to buy.

i'm okay with loud. maybe because my current two kids are not very loud.

i'm checking the vicinity for playgrounds and such, though long distance, as we are not in ontario even.
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#15 of 36 Old 03-12-2008, 06:16 PM
 
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If you know what you would do for sleeping arrangements it looks very doable. I'd be interested in knowing what the total square footage is. Small spaces are great, but you've got to be willing to make sure the space is going to meet your needs. Everything in walking distance would be awesome. The one thing I'd want to make sure is that you had easy access to a park/playground with the kids.
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#16 of 36 Old 03-13-2008, 09:37 AM
 
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It looks cute in the pics, but I wouldn't do it. My main reason would be that everything's open. Here in the NL we don't use the ft measurements so I'm not sure how big/small it is, but we live in an 850 sq ft (I had to convert that ) with the 4 of us and that's do-able right now because the kids are still small. But if we didn't have two separate bedrooms with doors that can be closed, I would go nuts! But I don't like a lot of noise and need peace and quiet to get baby or toddler down for a nap. If you don't have that, it might work. As I said, it's a cute place, that's for sure.

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#17 of 36 Old 03-13-2008, 11:06 AM
 
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I would find the biggest issues with noise and light. with the open floor plan, if there's a light on anywhere, or any noise, everyone has to deal with it.


I was in a 1br with dd and Dh. dd has never been able to sleep with a light on, often Dh would be up at the computer in the bedroom (not a laptop) and the light would keep dd up, so dd and I often slept on the livingroom floor.

Also think of playdates for your older 2 while the youngest is napping.

For my family we need to have both a quiet space and a noisy space.

another thing with no walls upstairs, is it limits the use of bunkbed/lofts. I've been reading the other thread with using a loft bed to give a child a playarea under it, and while I love that concept I would don't know if you could do that with so few walls.

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that is lovely but way to small. and no privacy. I would want at least two bedrooms with one closed off. cause sometimes you just need your space. the down stairs looks wonderful. the perfect size but the bedroom situation just doesn't cut it. that is a single bed and a small dresser. and that is it. My smallest bedroom is 9x9. there is room for a double bed and small dresser. that leaves about 24 inches of walking/playing/sitting space. from head to foot there is just enough room to get the closet door half open.

also i would be far more scared of the railing than the stairs. that railing would scare the crap out of me.

it is beautiful though.

here are some pictures to give you an idea how furniture fits. this room is slightly larger than the one in the condo.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v4...m/DSC05819.jpg
the head of the bed is in one corner. the window is in the other corner. in the small amount of space that is left the closet door has to open and close. (those are fairly standard sized windows). that is a double sized bed on bottom.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v4...m/DSC05817.jpg
this is one whole wall.that little bok shelf is actually one that is supposed to go over the toilet but our bathroom is too small. so it is about 5cm wider than a toilet.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v4...m/DSC05825.jpg

this one shows another wall. the bed you are seeing there is twin/single sized.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v4...m/DSC05818.jpg
this one give a feel for the amount of walkway she has. the dresser is on the left and the bed on the right.

We could fit 4 people in that room to sleep. but the rest of our house would be a disaster. clothes and toys everywhere. we could probably fit one king sized mattress in there. but nothing else. and we probably wouldn't be able to access the closet.

in the pictures of the condo I couldn't tell where the doors for the closet and bathroom were. that is something you need to consider when looking at usable space. Ava has to rearrange her room to open her closet door. (its a bean bag so it isn't a big deal but still.)

but since the place you are looking at is so small (no play room, small living room and kitchen) you have to keep in mind if it won't fit in the bedroom where is it going to fit.

I am a huge fan of small and would like to get to a smaller home but I tink that is really pushing it.

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#19 of 36 Old 03-13-2008, 03:58 PM
 
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I agree that it is too small, loud, open, and unsafe for small kids. I would never be able to sleep because of worrying about my kids trying to climb over the rails at night!

If the upstairs was a traditional bedroom, I would be fine with it. We live for weeks at a time at my mom's house in one room (me and 3 kids). We have just a few changes of clothes in a basket and a few toys. But it is a quiet space for naps etc. With that layout, you could never watch tv while the kids were in bed, etc. But it would be great for a couple.

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#20 of 36 Old 03-13-2008, 04:15 PM
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Oh I wouldn't do it... too small for the reasons the other posters already said.

But dang, it's cute!! Back in my pre-kiddo days.....
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#21 of 36 Old 03-13-2008, 08:48 PM
 
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Just wanted to weigh in and say we were a one-bedroom family with four kids until they were 3, 4, 7, and 8. At that point the 7 and 8 year olds moved into their own room. We used the bedroom only for sleeping and clothes/linen storage, not playing. It's a pretty small room and we fit a king, a queen, and twin bunks plus dressers (also there is a good-sized closet). I think the one-family-bedroom concept is very workable IF you are open to it.

I had to be very strict at the kids' bedtime, that everyone must be quiet so the others can go to sleep. I often sang or told stories to all of them at once to help distract them so they wouldn't make noise or goof around. I had to lie with them until at least the littles were asleep (still do). But it worked well for us.

I didn't mind hearing them all breathe through the night, and if they were sick it was nice to be able to hear what was going on. I guess I'm probably in the minority, but I was kind of sad when the older two moved out. In your situation I would definitely consider using only one bedroom.

Another thing, my kids haven't always been thrilled by this but in our house (until the boys got their own room) all space was shared space. The kids never had their "own" space and coped fine without privacy; they could find their own corner or I could help create a hidey-hole if they needed space "alone." I think most people aren't used to living this way, but it's worked fine in our family. It helps to think outside the box. Good luck!

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#22 of 36 Old 03-14-2008, 02:30 AM
 
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Oh I would KILL for that apartment! Wow. I think it's doable, too!
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#23 of 36 Old 03-15-2008, 08:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Just wanted to weigh in and say we were a one-bedroom family with four kids until they were 3, 4, 7, and 8. At that point the 7 and 8 year olds moved into their own room. We used the bedroom only for sleeping and clothes/linen storage, not playing. It's a pretty small room and we fit a king, a queen, and twin bunks plus dressers (also there is a good-sized closet). I think the one-family-bedroom concept is very workable IF you are open to it.

I had to be very strict at the kids' bedtime, that everyone must be quiet so the others can go to sleep. I often sang or told stories to all of them at once to help distract them so they wouldn't make noise or goof around. I had to lie with them until at least the littles were asleep (still do). But it worked well for us.

I didn't mind hearing them all breathe through the night, and if they were sick it was nice to be able to hear what was going on. I guess I'm probably in the minority, but I was kind of sad when the older two moved out. In your situation I would definitely consider using only one bedroom.

Another thing, my kids haven't always been thrilled by this but in our house (until the boys got their own room) all space was shared space. The kids never had their "own" space and coped fine without privacy; they could find their own corner or I could help create a hidey-hole if they needed space "alone." I think most people aren't used to living this way, but it's worked fine in our family. It helps to think outside the box. Good luck!
thanks for sharing! i'm very open to this, because now, in a 3 bedroom house, we are a 1-bedroom family, if this makes sense. we all sleep together, and no-one has their own room, and all the space is shared. we are in a very cold climate, so it helps to have a large area downstairs where the kids run around and ride their bikes, and have a small slide , but on many days we can't go out at all. and the house is "attached" to dh's job, so a smaller place would cost us the same amount of money, besides the benefit of privacy and the running space. but when he changes jobs, there's no way i can see justifying a 3 bedroom house. and besides, we can't even afford one where we want!

i'm so attracted to that space, because it gives an illusion of a large space...while most of the "typical" one-bedrooms have tiny living rooms as well, and low ceilings, and "feel" smaller...

we still have time to find a perfect place for us, even if that one doesn't work out, but i'm so glad i stumbled on that apartment, because i'm somehow more confident and more inspired by a small place now!
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#24 of 36 Old 03-15-2008, 08:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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that is lovely but way to small. and no privacy. I would want at least two bedrooms with one closed off. cause sometimes you just need your space. the down stairs looks wonderful. the perfect size but the bedroom situation just doesn't cut it. that is a single bed and a small dresser. and that is it. My smallest bedroom is 9x9. there is room for a double bed and small dresser. that leaves about 24 inches of walking/playing/sitting space. from head to foot there is just enough room to get the closet door half open.

also i would be far more scared of the railing than the stairs. that railing would scare the crap out of me.

it is beautiful though.

here are some pictures to give you an idea how furniture fits. this room is slightly larger than the one in the condo.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v4...m/DSC05819.jpg
the head of the bed is in one corner. the window is in the other corner. in the small amount of space that is left the closet door has to open and close. (those are fairly standard sized windows). that is a double sized bed on bottom.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v4...m/DSC05817.jpg
this is one whole wall.that little bok shelf is actually one that is supposed to go over the toilet but our bathroom is too small. so it is about 5cm wider than a toilet.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v4...m/DSC05825.jpg

this one shows another wall. the bed you are seeing there is twin/single sized.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v4...m/DSC05818.jpg
this one give a feel for the amount of walkway she has. the dresser is on the left and the bed on the right.

We could fit 4 people in that room to sleep. but the rest of our house would be a disaster. clothes and toys everywhere. we could probably fit one king sized mattress in there. but nothing else. and we probably wouldn't be able to access the closet.

in the pictures of the condo I couldn't tell where the doors for the closet and bathroom were. that is something you need to consider when looking at usable space. Ava has to rearrange her room to open her closet door. (its a bean bag so it isn't a big deal but still.)

but since the place you are looking at is so small (no play room, small living room and kitchen) you have to keep in mind if it won't fit in the bedroom where is it going to fit.

I am a huge fan of small and would like to get to a smaller home but I tink that is really pushing it.

thank you for the detailed thoughts!

i guess we will be looking for another small one...my problem is that i'm imagining my kids and myself on our best day--harmonious and happy then we could fit. if we are not doing so well, we'd be jumping off that railing
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#25 of 36 Old 03-15-2008, 11:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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i keep finding these really tiny, cute places!

nice windows, though!
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#26 of 36 Old 03-16-2008, 02:54 AM
 
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Moodymaximus, there are some *great* neighbourhoods in Ottawa for families. I grew up hanging around in Ottawa South, the Glebe, and the Market. I suggest learning about the neighbourhoods first, if you haven't already. Both of the condos that you link to had photos taken with fish-eye lenses, so keep that in mind - they will look smaller in real life, guaranteed. I would *never* consider living in a home with children without a bedroom that can be totally closed off - walls and door. In addition to sound issues, light issues would be a problem. It just doesn't seem practical IMO.

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#27 of 36 Old 03-16-2008, 04:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Ksenia View Post
Moodymaximus, there are some *great* neighbourhoods in Ottawa for families. I grew up hanging around in Ottawa South, the Glebe, and the Market. I suggest learning about the neighbourhoods first, if you haven't already. Both of the condos that you link to had photos taken with fish-eye lenses, so keep that in mind - they will look smaller in real life, guaranteed. I would *never* consider living in a home with children without a bedroom that can be totally closed off - walls and door. In addition to sound issues, light issues would be a problem. It just doesn't seem practical IMO.
yeah, i'm aware of the lens issue...slowly learning about the neighbourhoods...also realising they are out of our budget...
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#28 of 36 Old 03-16-2008, 05:00 PM
 
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That seems small for 4 people. But it would depend on how long you are planning to live there.

I live in an old farmhouse with 3 small/one is tiny-- with no closet, just peg hooks-- Tiny! bedrooms. It's really not 'big enough', and I am hoping to add about 800 sq feet down the road. Oh, we make it work, and we love where we are, but it's not the easiest thing in the world. You have to constantly be on guard about what comes in and keep trying to get things out.

When the children were tiny, it would have been near- perfect. But since their clothing, shoes and boots are nearly as big as adults, I find just hanging winter coats by the door takes up a ton of room. Add in mud boots, mutliple winter gloves, hats and scarves, and such and you're looking at some major space issues..and that's just by the door. I do not want them tracking muddy, or snowy boots through the house, and if they are left outside we have frost issues.

And you really don't want muddy wellies tracking bird poop in the house is summer.

I like the thought of reasonable space--- i think we've gone crazy with McMansions in this country, but I am still a realist. Its not so easy to have a lot of bodies in a small space. You can get rid of the toys and counter appliances, but some people still like coats and boats and places to curl up and read in peace.

I would also reconsider air mattresses as permanent beds...they aren't that comfy, and they don't really lend themselves to children snuggling up and reading in your arms...they are hard to sit on, ime. And kids really do like jumping on them,. and unlike beds, don't stand up as well to jumping...
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#29 of 36 Old 03-16-2008, 10:59 PM
 
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It definately is a cute place but there is no way I could do it with 3 kids. It would be very loud as PP mentioned, your neighbors could bug you to no end, no room for storage and everything would look really cluttered even if you really didn't have that much stuff for an adult plus 3 kids. You throw in the lack of space and winter indoors -- enough said from my perspective.
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#30 of 36 Old 03-16-2008, 11:15 PM
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We live in a open concept loft with two bedrooms plus we've partioned off a study as well. Our footprint is 900sf, our bedrooms are on a mezzanine level. Its a tight squeeze with a 6, 3 and soon to be new babe. We've spent a lot on built-in bookcases, banquet seating around the table with storage, and done some serious decluttering. Still very tight. Noise issues aren't a problem here, nap time for the younger one means quieter activities for the older one and they've only ever known falling asleep with other peoples noise. We have great sound walls and don't hear our neighbours, that would be my bigger concern.
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