Even if you’ve got a pile of kids, you can learn how to organize a large family in a small house. These tips will give you breathing room!
Bang, bang, bang. “Hurry up!! I’ve got to go!”
That’s the sound of life all day long when you’ve got a family of 8 living in a house with one bathroom.
No matter how many times I remind the kids to not wait until the last possible minute to use the bathroom, it falls on deaf ears. There’s usually a line for the bathroom that looks like we’re at a rock concert.
There’s an old song that says “Love grows best in little houses.”
And yeah, it’s sure taught us a lot of good lessons. But I still have days that this small house makes me want to pull all of my hair out.
Still, there are some ways you can make your small house feel more liveable. Here are a few that have worked wonders for us….
How to Organize a Large Family in a Small House
My Top Organizing Tool (It’s Free!)
It’s totally free to use, and easy to share with my husband.
At a glance, we can see what’s on the calendar for the day. I love to keep track of the grocery list on the app (never leave the list on the counter again!).
And my “ADD” self would be completely lost without the daily to do lists I keep on there. (So easy to check off things as I go…then clear all the checks and have it ready again the next day!)
- When you look around a room and wonder how you could fit any more into it, it’s time to look up.
Chances are there’s more room for extra shelves when you go up a wall. Especially when a room is full of furniture (maybe beds for several kids?).
It’s also a nice way to give each kid their own space. Kids in large families often share a room out of necessity, but they’d still like a spot for their special things.
Give taller kids higher shelves. They’ll get the space they can reach and keep important things out of the hands of younger ones.
(Assuming you keep them from climbing the shelves.)
2. Try a Murphy Bed
When I was a kid, I thought Murphy Beds were the coolest thing under the sun. (Still do!)
What’s a Murphy Bed?
3. If you can raise the beds, you’ll add even more living room to your bedrooms. Look into loft beds or bunk beds as space savers.
After searching for a good new or used bunk bed, we decided to just build our own. Since our kids prefer to sleep in a pile, we put a single bed over a double bed.
You can also make a triple bunk bed for even more space.
They’re perfect for squeezing more room out of the area over your bowls or short stacks of kitchenware.
5. You can also build shelving around your door frame. Then display your prettier pieces there when they aren’t in use.
6. Add hooks wherever you can for hanging things like blow dryers, curling irons, and more. If you’ve got a closet in the bathroom, add small shelves or baskets to the door for holding makeup or brushes.
9. Place a bench near the door. Put a labeled basket for each child under the bench.
If all of your baskets won’t fit under the bench, you can add cubbies like these next to the bench. Go as high as you need. (Just be sure to anchor them!)
10. Put hooks on the wall above the bench for backpacks, jackets, or sports equipment.
11. One thing I can’t stand is having cold, wet winter accessories lying everywhere. Then I happened to see this sock hanger on Amazon and I’ve been in love ever since.
“I Hate My House!!!” Learn what to do about it!
Storage in the Furniture
I bet you’re a pro at storing things under the furniture wherever you can manage. But what about hiding things in the furniture?
You’re gonna love these ideas…
12. Here’s the perfect Pinterest project: a pallet sofa. I’d actually consider this more bench than sofa, but the idea is the same. Extra seating, extra storage. What’s not to love?
13. I adore this DIY project! Who would have thought to turn a cheap crate into a pretty ottoman?
More seating for littles or a nice place to prop your feet at the end of the long day. And the storage is a lovely bonus.
Between the Studs
14. I can’t offer you two handsome men (get it? studs? wink, wink), but the ideas out there for using storage right in your walls are just awesome.
Try these instructions from The Craft Patch to learn how to build your own extra wall storage.
15. More and more families are discovering how to organize a large family in a small house by choosing to have one family closet.
I’m not sure how your house works, but clothing is a mess in our home.
The bedrooms are full of clothes, and no one seems to know what’s clean and what’s not.
A family closet is a natural solution, because it contains all of the household clothing into one room. It makes laundry much simpler!
Where to Put It
Incorporating a family closet will probably take some juggling.
16. You may need to have more kids share a bedroom so you can put all of the clothing into its own room.
17. Or maybe there’s a large walk in closet that will accommodate everyone’s clothing.
18. Is your laundry room large enough to store everyone’s clothes? You might even just section off a corner of a room with a curtain.
19. Go all the way up the wall with your clothes to use just one wall of a room in this way.
Here’s some inspiration for creating your own family closet.
20. A video blog of one family’s closet at Keeper of the Home.
21. Raising Arrows shares some thoughts on how to get the family closet started.
22. Get more ideas (with pictures!) for creating your own family closet from Offbeat Home.
23. Here’s another way to get set up from Organic Large Families.
Can’t Fit a Family Closet?
24. When I found this video about how one amazing Mom maximized her small laundry room, I had to include it. Enjoy!
With these ideas, knowing how to organize a large family into a small home is just a matter of getting creative.
Change even just a wall or a corner of a room to add a lot of extra organization to your small home.
What’s that? You want more tips for running your large family so smoothly, it’s like that one time you remembered snacks for the ballgame before you even got there?? (Tell me more!)
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How do you organize your large family into a small house?