From Trash To Storage

Ed is always on the look out for things that can be repurposed. From turning old wooden gates into pot racks, to finally getting us a kitchen cart, he seems to be able to repurpose just about anything.

When I can locate a before picture, I’ll be sure to add it but for now here’s the finished product of our kitchen cart. cart

He added new hardware and a dark coat of stain. With a large family the kitchen can easily get overstocked with little room left for pans and dishes. In addition to the pot rack this provides us with a lot more storage for the kitchen.

Another issue we have is storing paper work, staying organized and not losing mail. We don’t currently have office space, we don’t even have a filing cabinet. With this many people, being self-employed and keeping up with regular mail can be overwhelming.

We’ve done our best to try and stay organize, though we do regularly lose mail….

The picture below shows our make attempt at organizing.

cart n file

Raising Kids During A Remodel

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Raising kids is always a challenge. A rewarding challenge, but definitely a challenge.

Are they learning everything they need to learn for school?

Have they picked up proper manners?

Are they kind?

There are never ending worries about their wellbeing. When you are busy trying to remodel a house, work and raise children it is easy to feel like you’re spread incredibly thin. In doing this remodel with four littles I’ve learned that kids are incredibly resilient. They need love, they need guidance and they need security. Though it is hard to provide them with this while remodeling, it is possible… hard, but possible.

Here are 5 tips that have helped me raise kids while dealing with this chaos:

#1: Make the family not a place the security. When you can let your little ones know that you, not a place provide the security it can help them feel secure even with sleep changing arrangements. Perhaps this isn’t ideal for all, but I really believe this will help my children become very flexible and secure individuals. Your environment might change often, but your family, your support system, your love is always there.

#2: Let Them Participate In Planning: Even as an adult I struggle with how much I can’t control during a remodel. I imagine for the kids, the lack of control can be confusing. Letting them accompany us to showrooms, share their ideas and keeping them involved in what is happening can help them feel they have a say during a time of some uncertainty.

#3: If It Doesn’t Need To Change, Don’t Change It: Moving can be a time of a lot of adjustment. If you don’t nee to change your daytime routine, then try to keep it similar so there’s still a sense of normalcy for them. If you don’t move far, try to keep playdate, sitters, etc the same.

#4: Extend them grace. When it’s our second month cramped in one bed, and nine months of not having their own play area, tension rises and patience runs out. As an adult all of this can make me short. As kids, they too can lose patience and become frustrated and without the same communication and coping skills it can be very challenging for them. Extending grace when they bicker with their siblings or don’t listen immediately when they have to clean their toys for the fifth time (because you’re all in a small space and toys out means no where to walk…) can go a long way for everyone’s feelings.

#5: Reinforce family values. Every family is unique and their goals for their children will vary. For my family, I hope to instill an eternal focus and not a focus on earthly material things. This seems a bit silly when we’re in the midst of a full remodel, but it really is an important value of mine. I want to reinforce that it’s okay to work hard for a nice home, but having a nice home isn’t going to be what brings us joy. What better time to teach this value than when we’re in the midst of this chaos?

For now, these things are working. Though I guess we’ll have to wait and see how much therapy they need when they are older to really decide if any of this works….

Living In Limbo – Remodeling While Living

One of the hardest things about living in a home while remodeling is just that, living. Having to sleep, letting kids play and going about work is very challenging when half your house is a house and the other half is a construction zone.

It is as if our house is split in two. Half wonderful, half a nightmare. This picture pretty much sums up life right now. house splitHalf of our house is beautiful (and very lived in!) The other half is torn to the studs. The picture on the right is the back bedroom on the second floor and Ed sits on the third floor, all torn down to the studs. All needing new electric, framing, drywall and even stairs.

The kids, fortunately, play well despite being crammed into a small living space. The irony, we left our three bedroom home because we were outgrowing it…we’re currently living in what amounts to a one bedroom home. We survived the first half of this remodel and I trust we’ll survive the second half – I can’t wait to be finished!