family of 6 living in 1000 square feet

Nydiamomto4February 4, 2011

Hi. I have been lurking for about a week. I found this forum while searching for information on living in small spaces. We are a family of 6 living in around 1000 square feet. My 4 children are all small ages 7 and under, but needless to say we are a little crowded. I am trying to learn to love our tiny home, because it is paid for and I like the lifestyle that that provides us. I am looking forward to learning from you all. I love ideas on organizing, reducing clutter, and multifunctional furniture. I am hoping to join right in here.

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join right in! you qualify w/ that sq footage.

the space won't seem so small if you'd rotate those kids out to family and friends for sleep overs on a regular basis...
lol! gee, why didn't I think of that when my 4 were small and at home...

that doesn't seem like much space by today's 'standards', but yrs ago it was pretty normal for a family of 6. or more.

one of my good friends in grade school was 1 of 8 kids in a small 3 bedroom, 1 bath house. 3 boys in one small bdrm, 4 girls in another (2 sets of bunkbeds) and the baby in with mom/dad! small LR, small DR and very, very small kitchen! 2 people were a crowd...

that it's paid for is such a blessing! rejoice! and save, save, save - for a future move to a bigger house? or adding on a room? teenagers do take up more space. they trade the baby gear for other 'things'.

utilize all under bed space - and all open space above the closet shelves.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2011 at 4:48PM
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Welcome, Nydia

We found pix from the 50s of the previous owners. Kids slept in bunk beds in the attic in winter and the basement in summer. Guess that was before they added the AC. They had five kids, but down the street, the family had 12 kids. We have no idea how they did it. Our house is just under 2K square feet.

Back then, people did not have as many clothes and kids did not have as many toys. They played outside all year around (we are in zone 7). My SIL used to get rid of clothes and toys as soon as they were no longer used. Her house was always immaculate. I need to be more like that!

    Bookmark   February 4, 2011 at 11:09PM
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Welcome Nydia, I am sure we all can also learn from you. I second to use all under bed spaces.Maybe dorm type rooms for the kids.

Have a friend that raised three kids in 900-1000 SQ FT and she gave them the master bedroom as it was the largest and partitioned for the two boys and daughter. Later when they grew up she took the master back for herself.


    Bookmark   February 5, 2011 at 11:13AM
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My house is 1000sf, so I understand the space reference you have.

I saw a rerun of Little House on the Prairie shortly after I bought my house. It was when the Ingalls took in those 2 kids whose parents died in that awful buggy accident down that steep hill. You with me?

Their little cabin (get the visual) had 2 extra people all of a sudden & not much space. Caroline had a "talking-to" with Albert and Laura about having a small house, and they had no choice but to keep everything put away correctly, and how important that is in a small house.

That stuck with me ever since. I try to live by that...and that scene re-plays in my head when I try to get control and order in the house. I've taught my daughter (5 yrs old) that concept. Kinda hard with little ones, but it does make a huge difference...and you will lay down good habits to last a lifetime.


    Bookmark   February 10, 2011 at 9:17PM
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I think you have a wonderful situation! Your family can be so close and connected, you have so much financial freedom (especially now) and all the wonderful advantages of a small house (cleaning, utilities, taxes). Do you have any outdoor area?

I have heard of people hinging their stair treads and making storage "pockets" under there, that could be really cute...maybe each kid could have their own stair storage with their name on the riser :)

welcome to the best forum on gardenweb :)

    Bookmark   February 11, 2011 at 12:04AM
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Thank you all for the nice replys. I am trying to make the best use of this little house as I can. I am taking organization ideas and trying to use them to suit us. Mainly right now I am also working on reducing clutter.

We don't have stairs, it is just a one story house. I am including a link to my blog that has a picture of the house in its header so you can see. I hope its ok, my intention is not to spam.

We have a huge yard and we also put in it a big storage building thats 12x24 and finished the inside, and we call it our playhouse, because I needed a place for the overwhelming amount of toys my 4 children have. There is also posts on my blog about the playhouse with pictures.

I can't wait for warmer weather when we can spend more time outside playing!

Here is a link that might be useful: picture of our home in the header

    Bookmark   February 13, 2011 at 8:03PM
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So I am continuing to work hard on organizing and decluttering. My dh built me a shelf and cubby for the kids, and that was helped some. I am trying to figure out how to upload pictures.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2011 at 3:21PM
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Nydia, I like your house. It looks a lot bigger than I expected. Did you enclose your garage? We did that with this house and it is the only room where we aren't cramped.

I enjoyed reading your blog too. How is the crick in your neck? I've got a pinched nerve in my neck and have been going to the chiropractor for a couple of weeks, but so far nothing he's done has helped.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2011 at 12:07AM
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well there was a carport here once, the previous owners turned that into a leaky sunroom, so we enclosed that and made two small rooms. I should have taken a picture of the sides of the house I think. The house is long. But it is narrow just a tiny bit wider than a single wide trailer. So from the front it does seem bigger than it is :)

Yes the crick in my neck is gone now, thanks for asking. Im sorry your neck is hurting, I know it made me miserable.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2011 at 7:15AM
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