Big family in a small house: What do you want to know?

Remember my series about having a Big Family in a Small House?  Here are the posts I did so far:

  • Big family in a small house, part 1: Bedrooms
  • Big family in a small house, part 2: Storage
  • Big family in a small house, part 3: the floor plan
  • Big family in a small house, part 4: Entertaining guests
  • Big family in a small house, part 5: Finding personal space
  • So here’s the question of the day: if I add to the series, what else would you want to know?  Hit me with your questions!


    1. Sleep, sweet sleep!! How does everyone get a good nights sleep with babies crying during the night? I have 5 children and 3 bedrooms and I’m moving my bigger kids to the garage so each baby can have their own room. My babies are 1 year apart and my 5 month old is in the room with us and she sleeps horribly! I want to give her her own space, but really, I know it’s unrealistic at some point for babies to have a room all their own, so how do you do it?

    2. Sarah Leonard says:

      I hope you still get this comment…I’m a bit late. I thought we were doing well in our own small home until we brought our fourth baby home from the hospital over the weekend. Now, I NEED to know…How do you manage nap time? We have a boys room and a girls room. Our children alternate boy/girl/boy/girl. So at least once a day we have a child asleep in each bedroom and no other great place for the older two to play. Help!

      • Sarah, our children have learned by necessity to nap in the same room. It takes a little training and supervision at first, but pays off in the end when you have children who can nap anywhere there’s a flat surface!

    3. Hi
      Our family of 8 are strongly considering downsizing our large home, for something much smaller. So we can get out of debt. So any posts on how you manage would be great. Managing laundry and storage is always a challenge for me. So looking forward to you continuing this series. You are such an inspiration thankyou.

    4. Laundry and stain removal are always at the top of my list of questions.

      And now that I have 2 little girls I would love some little girl hair tips. I seem to have a daily default to a barrette or hair bow on the side.

      Organizing homeschool supplies would also be at the top of my list since we are starting this fall–weeee!

    5. I would love to see more pictures. Our house is around 970 square feet, so I am always looking for ideas for making better use of my space. I already got an idea from a picture in your post and that was having folding chairs so that they can be put away when not needed. Our dining area is (unfortunately) tiny. A small round table and four chairs barely fits. Any suggestions on how to entertain in that situation? We didn’t pick the layout of our house. It’s terrible.

    6. I too would love to see a post about a large family sharing one bathroom.

      Also, ideas for what to do when you have slanted ceilings that don’t allow for bunkbeds. Thanks!

    7. What do you do with socks and shoes?! I only have 3 kids (one who can’t walk yet) and there are always shoes and socks everywhere… except when we need them. I especially get frustrated with the “walk in the door, throw shoes and socks in every direction” deal. We live in about 800 sq ft, the 5 of us plus a dog and cat.

    8. I’m with the ones who want to know how you divy up bathroom time! We only have 5 in our family and 2 bathrooms still don’t seem like enough sometimes.

    9. Didn’t really have a question but wanted to say how much I love your blog. I’ll enjoy seeing your answers to others’ questions. 🙂

    10. I’d love to hear about how you babyproof a house where, I assume, the babies have an all-access pass. Is it just the watchful eye of so many big sisters, or have you had childproof locks on cabinets and doors all these years? If so, can you recommend a brand or product that really holds up over the years?

    11. Cherish says:

      Bathroom! How do you cope when multiple people have the stomach flu? Do you resort to buckets? Do the boys automatically always pee outside?

      With all of those girls, isn’t there a fight for shower and mirror time? Where do they do their primping? Blow-drying, makeup, braiding, whatever?

    12. I’m with the others who suggested more pictures! 🙂

    13. It looks like it’s a wide open floor plan and then you put up walls for privacy and ‘rooms’. Are there any future plans to continue the walls up to the ceilings and adding carpet or tile so it isn’t a bare wood floor? Do the kids get splinters? Thanks! 🙂

    14. I would like to see/know…
      how you organize your homeschool stuff.
      How you organize your kitchen
      How you meal plan & grocery shop (for instance a week at a time, 1 month at a time and what you do to simplify the process especially during the school year. Unless you school all year long?!?)

    15. Whitney says:

      I need to read the series again, but what about the topic of prioritizing “things” and deciding what to keep and what/when to simplify. We actually have a large home by most standards but with 7 children and a husband who doesn’t like clutter, I feel like I’m on the quarterly yardsale schedule….constantly weeding things out. Then I look around at all the stuff we still have and can’t believe it. As our older children transition into teens, they take up more space and so does their personal stuff.. Thanks for this blog Kim! It’s a constant blessing in my life and we’ve never even met! Oh, and I love all the other suggestions from the commentors. Love this series, Whitney

    16. What about guests spending the night? We are running into this problem at my house. We used to have a guest room…

      I’m also curious as to what the future holds for large families….i.e. grandkids and such. How do large family grandparents entertain/have grandkids sleep over?

    17. I am curious how you managed to build a house, home school your children, and not go crazy! We would love to build our own house but don’t see how we would have the time, especially since we’d have to commute to the site.

    18. Big Family in a Small Space: Gracious Living.
      I don’t even know what that means. Is ‘gracious living’ not about how we live but about the grace we impart to those with whom we live? How do we ‘graciously live’ without herding everyone around and the ‘niceties of life’ (whatever those are) not getting lost in the shuffle?

    19. More photos would be fun, and hearing about how you entertain large groups of people! I love reading your house posts! We have a relatively smaller home and I’m always open to hearing new organizing and improved functionality tips! Thanks for sharing the wisdom that you have learned!

    20. More photos!!! I’m especially curious about the outside of your home…deck, yard, etc.

    21. I wonder about how you cook for a large family. Especially with limited fridge/freezer space. I used to make large meals and have leftovers, but as my family grows, I’m finding that I don’t have room to store leftovers in the fridge. (and it’s also difficult to make enough at one time to have leftovers for the next day!) How do you handle this? Do you make a new meal every day?

    22. Hi Kim – I too would like to see an updated floor plan – with the library and children’s bedroom… also future plans – do you intend to add on?, what you would do differently if you re-planned and built your house?
      Finally how do you arrange your books? By subject matter, alphabetical author, library style – do you separate reference and fiction, have some of your books got ‘owners’? – our family books currently reside in individual bedrooms highlighting ownership -and it is shortly going to get difficult as the younger reader catches up quickly.
      I loved reading these ‘house’ posts the first time around – in fact they were some of the first posts I searched for when I originally was introduced to your blog and enjoyed the photo’s in the 4 Mom’s series last summer too – I am loving the idea of updating them but first I’m off to reread them 🙂

    23. Hi Kim! I’d like to know how you’ve accommodated Bethany and Parker, who have (I think!) been born since your last bedroom-space post. Are they in bunkbeds too? I also seem to remember you changing one bedroom into a library at some point. Is this still the case?

    24. Bathrooms and time in there?

    Don't just think it: say it!

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