Saturday, April 18, 2015

Brothers Share 100 Square Feet

Once again, we did another reorganization to accommodate some sort of new sleeping arrangement.  For a good year now, I have been wracking my brain trying to figure out how to fit all three kids into one room - a room that is just under 100 square feet (about 9'x11').  For a long time, I just sort of threw up my hands, called it impossible, and declared that we must move by the time the toddler turned two.  Well, moving isn't an option at the moment thanks to many things out of my control, so I was forced to put my spatial-reasoning hat on (one that fits me really well actually, thanks to freakish innate ability and an architecture degree), and figure this out.  The toddler was getting lonely in his closet, and we were a little tired of sharing a room with him.  Last weekend, for the first time, he tried to insist on sleeping in one of his big brothers' beds, and so we knew that the time for transition was upon us. 
For awhile, I thought we'd have to do some major rearranging, including moving the bookcase into the hallway, installing a floating shelf up by the top bunk, buying an extra tall-skinny dresser, etc.  After much consideration, and many other ideas, I realized that all I had to do was move the boys' dressers about 5" and then a toddler bed would fit in the corner under the windows.  That was it.  I was able to clear out the top dresser drawer in each boy's dresser to accommodate toddler clothing, so no new dresser was needed, and the bookshelf didn't need to move, because the bed didn't need to be oriented that direction.  Seriously, I was a Tetris-master as a teenager, and it still serves me well.
The best part about this was that, like the closet-nursery, it cost us very little money.  In order to make some room, I had to sell our play kitchen, and I got rid of our pack-and-play, because that era of our lives is over.  Between the two of these things, the proceeds pretty much covered the cost of the toddler bed (by KidKraft, on Amazon, very easily assembled, and sturdy).  I asked around and found a spare crib mattress in good condition that someone wanted to get rid of (so we can keep the crib assembled for a quiet nap-space).  I cleaned out both the closet and the space under the bunkbed and did a bunch of reorganization/decluttering so that I could clear off the dresser for the changing area.  I love how clean it all looks, and I feel like this is a functional solution that will get us through another year in our small space.  It actually makes me feel like it really isn't necessary to have tons of space - organization, and living simply are way more important.  When we eventually move, regardless of how many bedrooms we have, we will probably keep all three together until the older ones don't like the arrangement.  Right now, none of them can imagine the idea of not sharing a room.  They love the company, we love having our bedroom to ourselves again.  It feels like such a luxury to be able to turn on lights and talk to each other when we are getting ready for bed.  It's amazing, actually. 

We moved him in a few days ago, on just the mattress, before the toddler bed arrived.  He is doing flawlessly.  He very obediently stays in his bed and goes to sleep, and he wakes up aright around 7, and has two brothers to chat with before he comes and finds us.  He had a little bit of a hard time staying on his mattress, so I tucked a pool noodle under the sheet and that helped a lot.

Now that he is in a bed, I pulled out the amazing quilt my mom made for him.  I love it so much - a quilt with buildings on it!  The little taxi she added, matches the edge-fabric.  If we had more wall space, I would hang it up, because I think it's pretty much a work of art.