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Hubby and I are looking to expand our family through adoption. We are hoping to adopt a sibling group of 3.
I have a stepson who is here every other weekend, and occasionally during the week.

We have a 3 bedroom home with a tad over 1100 square feet.

My question to ya'll is how do you organize your home to house a large family? We will have two girls in one room and two boys in another.

Thanks in advance for any and all advice!
 

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Bunk beds are a big space saver. At one time we had 5 children and were living in a 2 bedroom, 1 bath house that was about 900 square feet. It was doable. We kept most of their clothing in the closet or under the bed, thus eliminating the need for a dresser in their bedroom. A really organized closet with shelves and even drawers is so helpful. The only furniture in their bedroom was the bunkbeds, so they had room to play there.

We limited the amount of toys kept in the house. They tended to play with each other rather than with toys anyway.
 

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First let me say how wonderful I think you and your hubby is. There's not many who are willing to provide for 3 all at once. Someday those children are going to understand more about what you did, and they're gonna be so grateful! they'll become better human beings for it too. I'm so happy for the 3 of them! :)

But yes, it's very do-able living in a smaller home with 4 kids. I had about that size house when we lived on Long Island, NY with 4 kids (2&2). As suggested already, bunk beds are a great space-saver. And was gonna suggest too, that if you're DH is handy, he can maybe build wall-cubbies for each of them. If you lack floor space for furniture, then build up-wards. Ya know what else I always thought was a great idea, was building a shelf that goes around the circumference of the room. Great for those "precious belongings", kwim?

Also, I had come across what I thought was a great re-purposing, frugal idea, and had posted it a few weeks ago. I copied and pasted. Hope it might help you some how too>>>

I was browsing thru one of my Yahoo groups, and the topic was re-purposing things for organizational uses. Well this one member posted that she had an old dresser that was headed for the garbage, however a couple of the drawers were still ok. So she took 2 of them, put casters on them, and now uses them under her daughter's bed for storing barbie dolls and craft items. She painted and stenciled them too.

I'm sure you could use them for sox and underwear, or anything really.

:fyi: My girlfriend had 11 kids in her family and lived on the 1st floor of out apt. building. There were 2 bedrooms, kitchen and living room. Same set up as my family's, but we lived on the 3rd floor. Now the mother and father always kept their own bedroom. With 11 kids who could blame them for not wanting some private space?...lol! But anyway, the dad built 3 sets of triple bunks, and the 2 oldest boys slept on a pull-out in the LR. And to think I thought I had it rough having to sleep in the same room with 3 brothers :shrug2: And I tell you honestly that those apts. were no more than 600 sq feet. Truly, I kid you not!! So if they could, and actually did do it.....

Again I gabbed on too much! LOL Thanks for listening though!

Theresa :wave:
let us know how you do! i'm sure you'll get lots of ideas here on FV
 

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We have a bunkbed that has a pull out drawer under the lower bed. You can choose whether to use it as a drawer or trundle. We use it as a trundle so all 3 boys sleep in the bunk.
 
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Congrats to you and your dh!! Ok, my advice
1) pare down as much as possible, they really don't need as many toys and clothes as people think
2) bunks as said above
3) I have a 'family closet' for the little kids in the laundry area. No need to keep their stuff in their rooms. I use plastic wash pans on a stackable shelf to hold t-shirts/socks&undies/shorts. Bulky jeans or sweatshirts get hung up. Again, they really don't need so much.
4) I have a shoe cubby and hooks on the wall by the back door for shoes and backpacks. I also accept no excuses for not knowing where they are if you don't use the above. Again, pare down. My kids each have 1 pair sneakers, 1 pair sandals in summer, the girls have 1 pair shoes for dress. My boys just wear their sneaks.

I think some basic organization will help your sanity. Designated places to keep things. Remember that 30 years ago your situation would be the norm, not considered tight or small. And again, :congrats: congrats on the additions to the family.
 

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I like the building up and bunk bed idea. My neice had a bunk bed where the lower bed could be removed and a desk and dresser were put in their place. So she slept 6 feet off the ground but her items were then stored "under" the bed so the floor space was still available to play.

If each child had a "raised" bed and their dressers put underneath they would have their "own" space as well as play room in the middle on the floor.

Wonderful way to grow your family, congratulations!
 

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Everyone has given great advice to you. And I just wanted to add my 2 cents worth. Once upon a time and not so long ago almost everyone that I knew anyway lived that way. We had 4 of us girls growing up. We shared a full size bed in one room. We didn't have a closet in our room. Under the eaves of the roof in our room, Dad had put up a pole to hang all our clothes. We shared the dresser for our unmentionables (hehe). There weren't many toys in my family. We were made to go out and play any day that we could get outside. We did it and all our friends did too. Think of the Walton's. When the kids have to share their things they get along better. I hope. Congrats.
 

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We live in a 1024 sq ft house with three boys and five cats (and one bathroom).

The boys have a bunk bed in their room.

They have a cabinet in their room instead of a dresser. They each get a shelf for their good clothes. Their closet has those wire shelf units and their play clothes go in there. If we needed to, all their clothes could go on shelves in the closet.

Their undies and socks were supposed to go in built in drawers that were supposed to go under the bed, but DH never built them. We had those drawer things in their room for their toys and they had a "thing" for climbing on them and the plastic part that held the drawers would break (guess they weren't made to hold one or two kids on top of them). We saved the unbroken drawers and put them under the bed instead. They each have one and they slide it in and out.

I have known people that use the under the bed area to hold their kids' clothes that don't fit yet or their winter clothes. They put them in suitcases or Rubbermaid-type tubs.

You know, it is tight and it is crowded, but, you know, it works. We pay less for electricity and heating because it is a smaller space. We also have to be more organized because of the lack of space.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for all the tips.

Hubby is suppose to get to work on putting a 'floor' in our attic so we can use it for storage of out of season clothes. Right now it is just rafters and you kind of have to balance the tubs so that the weight doesn't come down on the garage ceiling and make it sag. This should be a big help.

We are going to our first meeting tonight about the adoption and have just about gotten all our paperwork in order. It will probably be at least 6 months before we have chlidren selected for us, so we have time to get everything in order.
 

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I would bunk ned both rooms, that way brian has a little space for himself too. I've also found that if you hang basically anything that can go on a hanger you have more space around the room.
 

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Congrats on the adoption. I think it is great of you to adopt a set of siblings. I don't have much advice but I do have a story to tell.

One of my closest friends growing up had 17 brothers and sisters....yes 17!!! The 18 kids and both parents lived in a 3 bedroom home. All the boys in one bedroom and all the girls in the other. The parents had their own room....obviously we all know what went on in there! :D There was 10 girls and 8 boys. The boys bedroom had 2 sets of bunks but the bunks were stacked 4 high. The girls had 3 sets of bunks stacked 4 high, 3 high and 3 high. It was unbelievable. And something else that was unbelievable was that the girls names all began with "J" and the boys names all began with "V"!!! The father died of a heartattack when the mother just miscarried her 19th child.
 

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We have 4 girls. At one point, we had 3 girls in one room. We gave them the biggest of the bedrooms. My dh and I took the smallest room. They needed more space for toys and playing. We then put the twins together and the two youngest together. It was o.k. for a while but then the age difference was just too much for the younger two. We finally just put a temporary wall up in the big room and dh made a room in the basement for us. So after 19 years, everyone finally has their own room. I also gave up dressers. I have a laundry room, everyone has their own basket and I hang everything up and a basket for socks. They never put the clothes away anyway. It saves my sanity and time. Goes from the dryer to the baskets and hung right up.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I have been working hard on getting rid of clutter and moving toward making our home office into a bedroom.
DH and I looked at a gun safe last night. This is on our list of must haves. We current store the long guns in a beautiful display cabinet that FIL built, but it has a glass front and is not secure enough. So new gun safe into our master bedroom (ugh, but it is the best place) and cabinet comes out this weekend. One more item our of the way! Yippie!
 

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Thank you so much for adopting. We have a blended family of four in a very small raised ranch house that is so not functional(who was the not smart one on designing these homes in the 70's. heh) I forget our square footage but I am sure it's a little over 1500 sq feet. We do have a basement that is turned into my daughters room and when she was younger she would share a room with my step daughter.

When my son comes up, he is in the other part of the basement and my step daughter has her own room(we have 50/50 custody so she is not here all the time) My toddler has his own room as well.

It gets really crowded but I am always cleaning and organizing. Put shelves up and bunk beds are so great.
 

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Amanda What a wonderful thing you and your dh are doing for those siblings. I raised a family of 7 fulltime and 2 more every other weekend in a house of similar size. Like those who replied before me bunk beds were the answer to our bedroom issues as well as using the space underneath for storage. You don't say if your home has a basement but in my case we had an unfinished one that I used as a play area. We built some shelves, put down an inexpensive area rug, an old couch and chair, put an entertainment center down there with a tv and vcr, had two large toyboxes and an old dresser that we used for toy storage. Toys were not allowed in the house outside of this area. Arts and crafts items were kept in an upper kitchen cupboard and these activities were limited to the kitchen table. My kids also spent a lot of time in our fenced in backyard playing when the weather permitted.
You didn't mention if you have more than one bathroom, but for a long time we only had one useable bathroom. I set up schedules for showers and staggered the times the kids got up in the morning so that there were seldom any bathroom conflicts.
I am wishing you the best of luck with your adoption journey.
 

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I'm the youngest of ten and my parents raised us in a 900 sq ft house with one bathroom, no automatic dishwasher, no microwave (until I was in junior high), a wringer washer with no dryer, and three bedrooms (really two and my dad enclosed the front porch). We had two sets of trundle beds and two sets of bunk beds.

Definitely agree with the comments to pare down 'stuff'. You never would have known from our house (which my mother kept fairly immaculate) that ten children had been raised there.

Of course, once you got to be a teenager, your gifts started becoming towels, dishes, silverware, etc. so you'd be ready to move out as soon as possible. LOL ROFL. (Love you, but don't let the door hit you on the way out). ;)

I know we didn't have much money growing up, though honestly I never really thought about it. We attended a catholic grade school (you'd never have guessed my parents were catholic, would you??? LOL). There was so much love in my house (my parents were married 48 years when my father passed away in the early 90s and as much in love as the day they married), who needed money?
 

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Congratulations on the adoption! I agree with the bunk beds and if the bedrooms are small either put one dresser for each room in the closet or use no dresser at all. you could put over the door shoe bags on the back of the doors to hold small toys, shoes, gloves, belts, etc to get it off the floor and save on shelf space in the closet. hanging sweater bags would work for smaller kids clothing instead of a dresser.

my dd has lots of those annoying little toys that are hard to find if you throw them in a toy box, think Polly Pocket, Littlest Pet Shop, Barbie shoes/clothes/brushes. so I got one of the shoe holders that you hand inside the closet, it has 10 compartments I think. and purchased several of the plastic shoe boxes from the dollar store and let her put her things in each box, and the box fits perfectly in the shoe bag. the toys don't get jumbled together and she can clean it all up and put the box back in the closet. I also threw her Barbie dolls in a pocket shoe hanger on the back of her bedroom door.
 

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You know, if the ceiling is high enough, that attic could be made into a great bedroom or a usable room for an office or playroom.
 

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We have 6 kids, 5 at home! The oldest has his own room, 2 youngest boy's share a room and the 2 girls share a room. we have 1 large bunk bed in the oldest's room, and bunk beds in both the other kid's rooms. We are about to upgrade to 2 bunkbed sets in the girls room for sleepovers and guests
our oldest boy will most likely be headed to OR soon for college and we'll rearrange some but for our large family it works out well.
I keep on them to keep organized and they either do, or have less to organize LOL
Good luck and God Bless you and your family
Candy
 
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This is a old thread.. did she adopt her children? hope so This is a very useful thred for organizing when u are a mom forever organizing clutter.. ahh heck my kids are grown I still am..
 
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