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Showing posts from June, 2018

Spray Painting the IKEA KROKIG Shelf

Back in May when my cousin was moving, she asked if I wanted the IKEA KROKIG shelves she had on the wall in her girls' bedroom. They didn't match her planned decor in the new house, and she wasn't planning to use them.

They didn't really match my planned decor, either.

I took them, though, so I could think about it, but I was pretty sure that I wasn't going to use them, and I just left them in the car while I thought about what to do with them.

In an attempt to be helpful, Chris brought them inside for me, and Sunshine and Sweetheart became...very attached to them. (Thanks, honey.)

At that point, I decided that I needed to try to make them work because my kids were very insistent that we use them in their new bedroom.

The obvious choice was to paint them, but I didn't know how well paint would adhere to the plastic. I tried to find a tutorial or something on Pinterest where someone else had done what I wanted to do, but I couldn't find anything. This is ac…

Find Your Joy

The last couple of weeks have been very busy at our house. I have mountains of laundry sitting, waiting to be washed and so many things to clean and papers to go through. Between working on the bed and helping to care for my grandfather, who is making a fabulous recovery, I've been away from home a lot more than usual, and we've all been feeling the change in routine. My toddler especially is cranky when mom is away too much, and Chris has been taking on most of the childcare while I'm busy doing other things in this season.

In other words, we have all been feeling the need for an escape from the burdens of life.

On a whim, and to give Chris a much needed day to himself, I packed up my girls (and piles of stuff), and we headed to the coast where my parents were installing a washer and dryer in my aunt and uncle's beach house.

The sun was shining, and the breeze was blowing, and my heart felt so full watching my sweet little girls run, giggling, toward the water. We are…


We spent the afternoon at the other "family compound" the other day, my brother, Sunshine, and I. My brother has been helping me assemble the bed frame for the trundle platform, and the shop space at the new property is amazing. Every tool I've needed (other than a pocket hole drill/jig/whatever-it's-called) is basically at my disposal. There are seven work benches (I think...I counted them one day), table saws and miter saws and clamps and drill presses and squares and tape measures and belt sanders. It's like a craftsman's paradise. (I've asked which work bench is mine. I'm only half kidding. I've been using my grandpa's and my dad's until someone assigns me my own.)

Sunshine got to play in the sprinkler with her cousins while my brother and I worked in the shop. My dad stopped by to help me figure out the cross braces that I decided to add to the bed at the last minute. (I've been taking pictures of this whole process so that I can…

Normalizing Multigenerational Living

We like to joke in our family about our two family compounds, and one is where we live on land owned by my parents. There is the "big house" and the "little house" (guess which one we live in?). There are seven people and two cats currently living on this property, and while it's not always easy, it's a lifestyle that I love.
The other family compound is about fifteen minutes away at the property that my cousin and grandfather just moved to last month. They have seven people living there with two more to join them in the next couple of years as soon as they can get the second apartment finished.
I know this lifestyle isn't for everyone. Not every person grows up in a tight-knit family like mine. But I'm going to be honest here and say that our society's obsession with personal independence has stolen something from us.
I know I tend to think more romantically about the past than is warranted (especially for someone who loves indoor plumbing as …

KonMari-ing as a Parent

It's time for a KonMari update here at the Small Home Family blog, and today I want to talk about what it's like to go through the KonMari process as a parent.

Give Yourself Grace In her first book, Marie Kondo describes a journey that frankly seems almost impossible with young kids. In her second book, writing as a mother herself, Kondo gives more grace, and I think that grace is going to be necessary for most parents who choose to follow this method. It's okay if it takes longer than six months or if you need to skip around to make it happen. We've been going slightly out of order in our decluttering journey, choosing to tackle komono before we deal with paper. I just find the paper category so overwhelming and difficult to deal with when there are kids underfoot. Rather than getting off-track completely, I've decided to keep moving in the other categories and come back to paper later. Make the method work for you.
Use Smaller Categories Here's the truth: it&…

The Bed

After we finished painting the first two walls, we went ahead and set up the loft bed to surprise Sunshine.

 The IKEA KURA bed is not the easiest bed to assemble in a room that's only 8x8 feet. There was a lot of "watch out!" and "be careful!" and "don't scratch the paint!" going on. Ha! We had to improvise a bit since we weren't sure we'd be able to flip the bed over like the instructions said to do. I almost got trapped in the bed when we were screwing on the slats. (True story.)

But we got it done with a lot of laughter and a fair bit of ingenuity.

That night when Grandma brought Sunshine home after watching her for hours while we got everything ready, our little girl was absolutely ecstatic. Her smile was huge, and she was practically shaking from the excitement about her new bed. She has struggled a little with the adjustment to sleeping where she can't reach for me at night, but I am hoping that with time, she will get used to t…

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On Facebook, we've been posting photos of the progress we're making adding a trundle to our girls' new bed, so check it out and like our page for continued updates!
If Twitter is more your thing, check out our feed, where we occasionally share content from around the web showing other families who have decided to downsize. Today, we tweeted an article about a family of five living in a small travel trailer in California while they save up to build their dream home on their own plot of land out in the country. If you live tiny (or small!) with kids and would like to be featured on our Twitter page, hit me up at We'd love to hear your story!