the kids' bedroom/playroom.

We switched bedrooms with the kids a while back.  Our room had been the inexplicably large (at least, 'large' for our tiny house) "master" bedroom upstairs, and the three biggest kids had the tiny bedroom on the main floor.  It was a decent set up at the time, but the kids were getting larger (both in body and number), and the downstairs room just wasn't going to cut it much longer, so we moved our room downstairs and moved Atticus, Penelope and Finneas to the master bedroom upstairs, with Laurelai across the hall in the smaller nursery room.

While I don't have pictures ready of either our new room or Laurelai's room, I thought I'd show you the big kids' room today.  Please note: I have done NOTHING in here other than lay a rug down.  It's all mismatched furniture and mismatched bedding and ugly green paint and broken ceiling fan.  BUT, it's big.  And the rickety bunk beds are no longer stacked.  And the toys can now stay out of sight most of the day, since the kids just have free rein of the upstairs.  And all those are major pluses.

From the door, this is what we're working with:

You can seen Finneas' mattress under Penelope's bed.  They make their beds every morning, at which point Finn's bed gets pushed underneath Penelope's, to give the kids as much play space as possible.  It's podunk, but it works really well for us.

This is what you see from the other side of the room:

Finn naps in the Pack 'n Play so he doesn't get out of bed and play with toys all through naptime.  We will probably move Laurelai's crib to that corner soon, and give Rocco her room.  (Nursing babies are always on different sleep schedules than bigger kids, so I like to keep them in quarters all to themselves.)

As for giving them free rein of the upstairs, I still like to keep things under control by limiting the toys they have access to at any given time, and rotating them out occasionally.  Right now, they have a basket of dress up (seen at the foot of Penelope's bed in one of the above photos), a basket of books,  and the following three bins:

Barbies and Superheros; Knights and Army Men; Duplos

That's seriously all they have unsupervised access to.  And it works well for them - enough to keep them occupied, but not so much that they can't clean it up and keep it well organized independently.  They're responsible for cleaning up their room before breakfast, before lunch, and before bed.  Every Monday they do a "deep clean," where they sort through the bins and make sure everything is where it goes, and find any rogue toys hiding under beds or dressers.

And that's the kids' space.  I'll probably post more about it in the future, when I've had the chance and motivation to make it cuter (or until I've been sufficiently pressured by Atticus, who seems to be quite visual and responds really positively to 'pretty' surroundings, and who asks each time he sees our partially-finished master bedroom when I'll be decorating theirs).  I'll keep you posted.

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