We like to change our rooms around. Through various ages and stages, wants and needs of our four children, through fads and phases and theories, we have made some choices that have ranged from perfect to absurd to weird to impractical to genius.
Well, this is what we did yesterday: We took all four of the kids' beds, and put them into our smallest bedroom. All lined up like a little storybook cottage. Nothing else in there, no dressers, no toys, no flim flam. Just 4 beds, a nightlight and a fan for white noise.
In the other bedroom, our biggest one, we made it into a sort of super fun kids' lounge. 2 TVs, a couch, a little table, video games, lamps, a few toys, open ended stuff like little cars and blocks, and some throw pillows. They got to hang every crazy poster they collectively owned, The Beatles, Lord Of The Rings, Harry Potter. Spongebob, and all the drawings they ever wanted to tape up.
Then the third bedroom is for me and my husband.
There are boxes and boxes of flibbety flub for us to go through and to get rid of/sort/and distribute. We told the kids that this is going to be a fun hang out for EVERYONE, and so it cant be all delicately decorated with Charlie on the prowl. I told them they will each get a shelf about 4 feet up to lay out their display items such as jewelry box, little trophies, special trinkets.
The Mom-secret to all of this is that all the stuff that is crazy and hodge podge can be in the their kids lounge, and I can have my nursery-decor urges fulfilled by the sweet and peaceful little sleeping room they share.
I think back to how we used to fret about what "people" thought back when Greta and Mickey--gasp--shared a room when they were little tots. I laugh and shake my head at how much I cared what relatives who came by twice a year (if we were lucky!) thought about our life. Silly old 20-something Joy. I remember how excited Greta was when baby Mickey started sleeping in her room and not with mama anymore, and how much fun they all have had in various room-sharing combos over the years.
Now we have 4 kids sharing a room to sleep happily and we got this amazingly cute and fun kids lounge room out of it. They have proclaimed me to be a genius and were jumping up and down and screaming how much they loved it. Cool!
Maybe it will last and maybe not. But it was fun to do and I think it will solve alot of small issues we were having. For example, Greta likes to stay up later, but me and Steve are kind of "done" by about 8 or 8:30. So, we told her she can stay up in the kids loungey room and read for a while, watch an approved show that her brothers are too young for (she likes Animal Cops, a scary true show about animal rescue squads in different cities: pretty graphic images about abused dogs and such--she also likes Goosebumps, a mildly "scary" show written for her age that is too scary for Mickey that comes on at 8:30-9pm)
So we put Charlie to bed first, around 7:30 and let him fall asleep. Then Casey around 7:45 . then Mickey around 8, then Greta later. It worked last night, hope it continues.
I keep learning so much from these small house people, and this is good practice for us. As Greta put it yesterday when we were setting up all the beds, "Mama, there is room for 4 bunk beds in here! That's 8 people!"
That's my girl! She and I have been pouring over this site for days now, looking for inspiration. We have a tentative plan to declutter, compact, and scale down over the next few months so that we can begin to look for a new more simple and small and cozy and affordable home in the area in January. I must admit I have already been peeking and poking about online on craigslist and realtor.com and there is lots of stuff out there at a fraction of what we pay now. We are looking for something with a small cottage like inside and a fenced yard. Other fantasies include a kitchen with some kind of half-wall so I don't feel so isolated in there (found 3 online already but I'm not supposed to be looking yet!! arg) and just a simple, cheery vibe. I want NO ceiling panels and NO upstairs with dangerous stairs. I also really do not want carpet--too many bad memories of stained crusty grossness at the old house.
Today: going through the schoolroom and leaving ONLY what we use and love.
(This is so fun!!!!!!)