Big family in a small house, part 2: storage


start here: Big family in a small house, part 1: bedrooms

part 2: Storage

Closets:linencloset.jpg

I mentioned in part 1 that we have a closet in each of the 3 bedrooms, approximately 2 feet deep and 5-1/2 feet wide. These each have hanging space for the clothes of the occupants of that bedroom. Most of our outer wear is hung rather than kept in drawers.

The bedroom closets also have shelves, which are used mainly for board games and excess blankets. There is also a wooden chest in the living room to store blankets. We have far too many small personally owned blankets and could easily pare down in this area! We only keep one set of sheets for each bed, so there are not a lot of extra bed linens to store.

We are currently adding a small linen closet in the bathroom. This will add some misc. storage to the house, for cleaning supplies, tools, guest towels, etc. Since our house is still under construction, we keep quite a collection of building supplies and tools in the house.

(Incidentally, the girls and I framed in the wall that you see – it was our first framing job, done with hubby’s instructions but while he was gone. I really enjoyed learning a new skill and was inordinately proud of my handiwork when it was done.)

Cabinets:

I feel it is worth mentioning that we have a fair amount of cabinet space in the kitchen. Not a tremendous amount, but enough to comfortably store all of our food and kitchen tools in the kitchen, a luxury that not every family has.

We also have our new computer counter with 2 small base cabinets and a file cabinet. We plan to add a third cabinet under this soon. This provides some extra storage for computer-related items and materials for our family business, Geneva Bible Pages.

Book Cases:

We recently acquired several more largish bookcases, a necessity for our lifestyle. We choose to live without many extensive possessions, but our books are like children: we can never have too many. When we moved from Ohio to Texas 5 years ago, we brought very little besides our dining room table, clothes, and many, many boxes of books. In our small home we have found space for quite a few bookcases. Without them, we might be less crowded but life would also be duller and homeschooling more difficult.

Under house:underhouse.jpg

In Texas, we don’t have basements. That may be because we live in the Texas Hill Rock Country, where everything is made of rock and nobody feels like digging an extra 8 feet. Whatever the reason, a common type of building is pole and beam and that’s what we did with our house. Our house stands on the side of a hill with the back of the house 2-4 feet off of the ground and the front of the deck nearly 12 feet off of the ground. This provides some nice storage space underneath.

Down there, we store tools, gas cans, building supplies, and yes: totes of out-of-season clothes. Actually, I think many of these totes are mostly full of girls’ pants which we rarely use and could ditch without ever missing them.

shedview.jpgShed:

Down the hill from the house, we have a small storage shed. Can you see it, small and far away? This is how it looks from the deck. Note how the well-aged siding blends with the Texas caliche and rocks.

This is where we kept most of our possessions while we were building the main structure of our house, before it was finished enough for us to move in.

Now it’s packed with misc. stuff that we really should have gotten rid of years ago since we rarely use it, but it’s also where the space heaters and A/C window units live during their off seasons.

That sums up our storage space and how we use it. In spite of the square footage of our home I think we have a generous amount of storage and feel rather spoiled in that area, especially after putting it all together in a single post. We certainly could get by on less but I think it’s true: no matter how much or how little space you have, you will fill it up, and ours is rather full, just one more evidence of God’s abundant blessings.

cont’d here: Big family in a small house: the floor plan

Comments

  1. I have a solution for some of your storage dilemmas. Put hooks in ceiling and hang chains from them and then a plywood, or any solid piece of wood attached with the chains in each corner of the board. Up and out of the way.

  2. I would think the heat would ruin the clothes stored outside. Does it not?

    And as I typed that I remembered that mine are stored in the attic. Not a big difference I guess…

  3. We have a small home too. When we moved in 3 1/2 years ago our basement was opened cement blocks. This wasn’t good for the heating bill here in MN were we get cold winters. So the 2nd yr. here dh finished off the basement and add 2 bedrooms, family room & office. So now we have 4 bedrooms. I don’t have a houseful of kids so each kid has there own room. I have 2 of each. My oldest is married and on her own. But we have to watch how much comes in. We do have a 4 car garage for extra storage. We need to reorganize it but it still gets put to good use.
    It took me a while to get use to this small house. But thank God he helped me adjust. It is easier to clean and the utilities are cheap.

  4. homemakerang says:

    i am very concerned that you may find more large spiders somehow in these storage bins…

  5. Storage really does make a difference. We had a lot of closets at our last home. We moved in December and I am still trying to figure out storage with only half the closets we had in the last house. I had a very large closet that housed all our homeschool supplies and here we don’t so a lot of stuff is still in boxes. I also lost several kitchen cabinets so I have a dresser in the garage that I use to store my special baking and serving items that don’t get used everyday. I also got rid of some items I decided weren’t worth keeping.
    I am impressed with the framed wall! So cool to learn how to do that.

  6. Hannah C. says:

    I love the storage ideas. I think my mom would love to have that much storage..BUT if we did we would fill it up! As it is, our small house and little amount of storage means no one can be a pack-rat.

    I live in the DFW area, and my college actually has “basements” — which means that, except for one building, the buildings are built on slants and therefore kind of built around the hill. No houses have basements around here, I think.

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