Thank you for all the sweet comments on baby Helen’s room! I love hearing from all of you 🙂
Today I wanted to share with ya’ll how I make a 3 bedroom house, white couches, modern farmhouse, cozy minimalistic style work for our soon to be family of 7!
Now if you stop by my house between the hours of 4pm and 8pm, you will see a true category 5 hurricane on any given evening, but by 8:30pm pillows are fluffed, back on the couch (from whatever fort they were a part of), counters cleared and wiped down, and me in my PJ’s ready to hang out with the hubby.
I truly believe just because you have small children or multiple children or boys ages 2 and 3, doesn’t mean you have to live in a cluttered, undecorated, messy home you hate. At the same time I live in reality, and I do allow my kids to play in every room of the house. They enjoy my throw pillow obsession for their fort making, and if something breaks I never worry about how much it cost (usually it was on sale at Walmart or 50% off at Hobby Lobby). My goal for our home, is for it to be a place where strangers feel welcome, the people who live there see it as a place of sanctuary, and over all it strengthens our family unit.
As a wife and mother I recognize my family’s need for my positive influence in the home. When I have a bad attitude, when I am grumpy, when I secretly walk around my house and wish it were bigger or fancier, or WHATEVER, you fill in the blank……my family feels that negativity, and it spills out into everyone’s over all mood. So, I decided it was important for me to figure out what I needed on a daily basis to keep my attitude positive and thankful.
Here are a few things on my list: sleep (I force myself to make good decisions about what I do with my time at night so I can get a full night sleep, a tidy home to wake up to (notice I didn’t say clean, just picked up will work), and a hot cup of coffee waiting for me in the morning (this means I have to add prepping the coffee the night before to my already loooong nightly routine).
I came up with 6 MUSTS in my daily routine that allow me to stay positive and create the home atmosphere I want:
- The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo – A year ago I read this book, and I am not kidding when I say it changed everything for me! I did EXACTLY as Marie instructed and it worked! I gave away 80 trash bags worth of STUFF in 3 days, and that was just the beginning! I even taught my children the method, and we had so much fun doing it together. I didn’t leave my house for 3 days to make this happen, and in the process potty trained Wit! BONUS! 🙂 In order to create the home you want, whatever your decorating style, you have to start at the beginning, and that means getting rid of stuff you are surrounded with on a daily basis that steals your joy.
- I have a nightly routine, and as I mentioned earlier, my house is a total disaster at 6pm on a nightly basis so this is crucial for me. Toys are EVERYWHERE! The boys are chasing each other at top speed (usually naked by this point) through the kitchen, over the couch, into the hallway and back again. The counters are full, rice is on the floor, dishes in the sink from dinner, and many nights by this point I ask “Alexa” on our Amazon Eco to play Staying Alive by the Bee Gees, and we all break out into a 70’s disco dance party. What else can you do but laugh right? However once the dust has settled and everyone is bathed and ready for bed, my sweet hubby helps get everyone in bed so I can spend 30-60 mins speed cleaning. I pretend it’s a race….how fast can I get it done???? Because I hate doing it, and I am tired, but I know the short sacrifice is worth it when I am peacefully enjoying a glass of wine with the hubby chatting about our day in our tidy living room by 9pm. I start at one end of the house and move through each room like a tornado of tidiness.
- My kids have chores. Now that the girls are older (7 and 10) chores are more consistent. I assign each girl a room or two and they are in charge of picking it up every night after dinner (this is in addition to their room). They are so smart and have engaged the boys as their little helpers which makes it faster for them, and now the boys are totally used to the chore process. We do this right after dinner before everyone gets busy. I put on fun peppy music again (way too loud in order to drown out the whining) and we go to work.
- I do laundry everyday. Every morning I throw a load in. My goal is to fold it and put it away by the time I pick up Mia from school. A load a day vs a full laundry day works for me. It makes the task less daunting. I plan to teach Mia (10) to do her own laundry this summer.
- I engage my kids in the decorating process. While our shared family spaces (kitchen and living room) are decorated pretty much entirely by me, I let each child decorate their room however they want. I start by interviewing them so to speak about their dream room, and then I create a Pinterest board for the space based on what they’ve told me. Next we go through the pictures together and get a game plan. In order to make our 3 bedroom house work for soon to be 5 children, I have Mia, Sadie, and Wit in what once was the office (moved the office to my bedroom), and Knox and Helen will each have their own room since they are on the baby sleep schedule. Wit tried sleeping in the same room with his brother, and after a few nights of no sleep I gave up and moved him in with his sisters. I know it’s only a temporary fix, but hopefully in a year the boys will be in the same room. Right now it’s about QUALITY SLEEP people!
- White is your friend, because you can BLEACH it! I LOVE my white slip covered IKEA couch. I take the covers off once a month and spot treat the stains, and then wash it with bleach and laundry detergent, all on the sanitary setting on my washer. It takes 2 hours on the sanitary cycle, but it’s like a new couch when I am finished! I repeat the same process with all of our white towels and wash cloths.
I think it’s important to teach our children how to take care of their belongings, yet at the same time those belongings don’t define them or bring them happiness. It’s such a balance isn’t it?
So friends don’t be afraid to rip everything out of a room you hate and start from scratch to create a space you truly love! Set a budget, sell what you can, and use your thrifting skills for the rest!
Have a great day!