Friday, July 22, 2016

Upstairs Overhaul

Another reason I was such a slack blogger last month was due to the total disarray of our house while rearranging of rooms. For the past three years, Jackson has had his own room and the trio have shared a room. We decided it was time to switch things up. Here is what their rooms used to look like:

Jackson had slept in the twin bed pictured below since his second birthday. His clothes were stored in the drawers under the bed, and his toys and books were on wall shelves or in his closet.

James, Amelia, and Maddie had shared the bonus room. We were fortunate not to have any climbers, so all three stayed in cribs until six weeks before their third birthday.

All of their clothes were stored in bins in their closet and their toys were lined around the walls.

Over Memorial Day weekend, we began the process of taking down cribs and shelves. This was the point of no return.

Ready or not, big beds here we come!

We spent the entire weekend assembling beds.

We also had to clear out the office. Emptying the office closet was quite a task!

My name is Bonnie and I am a hoarder.

Since no one was sleeping in the bonus room, it became dumping grounds for hundreds of books, bins, clothes, etc. The upstairs was in a state of chaos for two weeks. I tried to tackle the bonus room during the day, but all progress I made was reversed by four small children.

My sister and teenage nephew spent several hours helping us find the floor of the bonus room. We had intentions of painting and taking up the carpet, but those things have fallen to the back burner. Here are the finished rooms:

Amelia and Maddie are sharing Jackson's old room. (It's so hard to get a decent picture of their room because of the lighting.) We already had one toddler bed in the attic so we just had to buy a matching toddler bed. MiMi took the girls shopping to pick out new bedding. 

It has been a difficult transition getting the girls to sleep in their beds. The first few weeks, they stayed up talking and playing for several hours. Amelia ran out of the room and refused to go bed. We turned the lock around and locked them inside their room as a last resort. Then the girls went through their closet and dumped out every bin of clothes all over the floor. This happened for several days. We tried three different closet locks and they broke them all. They ripped pages out of books. Any shred of hope we had for enforcing nap time disappeared.The house was disorganized and messy. The kids were sleeping less and overtired during the day.  It was a very stressful few weeks! 

Now, six weeks later, our bedtime routine with the the trio is as follows: put on pajamas, watch episode of Daniel Tiger or UmiZoomi, read two books in bedroom, sing two songs, go to sleep. If the girls (i.e. Amelia) refuse to go to bed, we eventually lock the door. Most nights they just go to bed, half of the time sleeping on the floor.

Jackson and James share the room that used to be the office. We happily accepted the bunk beds MiMi no longer wanted. Jackson sleeps on the top; James on the bottom.

The original office furniture remains in their room. We purchased a few bins to store all of their toys. There's plenty of room after purging toys and clothes. The room feels very spacious now!

Clothing storage was an obstacle because Jackson's clothes were previously stored under his bed (i.e. the twin bed we sold). We bought more bins, and tossed clothes in there. It's not my favorite clothing storage solution, but it works.

If the kids' rooms were a headache, the bonus room was a migraine. We turned it into an office/playroom. The biggest challenge was what to do with our books. We set a budget around $100 to find a shelving solution. After a lot of research, Jesse installed this wall unit from Ikea. It randomly collapsed after a few days, causing even more anxiety. After installing a few extra brackets and removing a dozen heavy books, we're smooth sailing.

The "office" part of the bonus room looks very cluttered and junky, but it's practical.

There's a huge amount of floor space and lots of mutual toys that all four kids enjoy playing with. As far as playrooms go, it's nice that they have so many different rooms where they can play together or separately.

For whatever reason, our upstairs rooms never had any light fixtures at all. We were quoted $600 for an electrical contractor to go through the attic, secure wires, drill a whole in the ceiling, and install light/ceiling fans in both rooms. We've put this off for the past six years by simply using lamps. Unfortunately, James destroyed two different lamps, breaking the actual lamp and shattering the bulbs. (The girls weren't the only ones who had a hard time going to bed!) 

Thankfully, the men in my family are electricians. After enough begging, my brothers finally installed the lights this week as the trio's 3rd birthday present. Let there be light!

While cleaning and rearranging, we purged bag after bag of clothes, toys, books, and furniture. My original plan was to participate in a community yard sale. For several weeks, Jesse parked in the driveway and we filled the garage with beds, cribs, books, clothes, etc. We ended up donating most of the items (cribs, clothes, play kitchen, kids' table and chairs, etc). Jesse sold the high chairs, twin bed, and mattress on Craigslist. A used book store purchased many of our books. Our general rule is if we bought it, we'll sell it; if it was given to us, we donate. By selling some of the items, we ended up breaking even from our toddler bed, storage, and shelving purchases.

I'd still like to paint and get rid of the carpet, but that is no longer a priority this summer. I'm just thankful the kids finally go to sleep in their own beds and our upstairs is at least somewhat organized!

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