It’s not a secret that one thing I looked forward to most when moving to Hawaii was the mandatory downsizing. The rent for our cozy 800 sq ft house is 3x the mortgage back at home for our 2700 sq ft home back in Indiana. But we were well aware of this challenge. And whilst I definitely was not looking forward to the increased costs associated with island living, I was looking forward to the necessity of decluttering, purging, and all around downsizing.
If we are being totally truthful, I’d still like to purge a bit more (does J really need all those winter clothes? How about 736362 coffee cups?) And I just might. J eventually has to go on travel, right? Ha.
So what does it look like fitting a family of almost 6 into such a small house? Well, let me show you. (And I apologize in advanced for a bunch of phone pictures taken at night. And that my house is very much lived-in; I don’t have time to “stage” the chaos.)
This is our cozy little living room. It’s big enough for us to live, but not overwhelming.
When you first walk in the door, you have this lovely dresser. In a perfect world it’d be in a bedroom (or not exist at all if I could get a true grasp on wardrobe minimalism, but – baby and kid clothes! It’s never going to happen). This is Sweet M and Jelly Bean’s dresser. The top drawer holds all of their cloth diapers (so pretty!), the middle drawer has Sweet M’s clothes, and the bottom has Jelly Bean’s. The wet bag and basket for the cloth wipes are fairly unsightly, but whatever. It’s functional.
The bookcase holds the surplus of kid books that don’t fit in Miss H and Mr. B’s bedroom. The top shelf is all of our school books. And inside the cabinet doors are board games and puzzles and some miscellaneous school items.
Soon, a large photograph of the Notre Dame that was gifted to us by my aunt will hang above the couch once we get two seconds to breathe.
Nearly all the kids’ toys are stored in the living room. In the baskets under the TV are dinosaurs, magnatiles, and some miscellaneous toys. Directly beside is a big basket of Duplos, and the play kitchen. All three kids utilize these toys on a daily basis.
And in the corner beside the play kitchen is the world’s comfiest green chair that my momma gave us, plus a foot stool I reupholstered to go with it. But it’s hot here so I often move the footstool to hold a fan directed on me when I’m sitting in here reading while the kids play.
And of course, there is Sweet M’s whale chair! We couldn’t leave that behind. And my first ever adult purchase – that awesome green rug I purchased in Turkey a lifetime ago.
You can kind of see beside M’s whale chair there are three riding toys lined up. I know, I know. Three seems excessive, especially when the older two are technically too big for them. But B is still partial to his riding truck and M loves his elephant. And we purchased the other one when we got here while we were waiting on the elephant. But they all three get played with daily, so I’m okay with them, even if they are an eyesore.
Also, they are stored right below a huge window with the best views of Diamond Head and Honolulu – especially at night! That window makes this house.
From the living room you go to the dining/kitchen area. The huge, amazing table J made for me last Mother’s Day obviously can’t fit in this house. But the cute table my mom gave to us a few years ago and we used in our breakfast room back home fit perfectly. And with the little bench J built years ago, we’ve got plenty of room for all of us for now.
Plus we brought our red coffee bar along and that holds some our larger appliances grandly. As well as our potato bin and trash can. You know, necessities.
Oh, and H made a string with paper hearts: that’s what’s hanging across the top.
So I seriously considered omitting photos of the actual kitchen. It’s the greatest eyesore here and I still haven’t gotten a handle on how to best store and organize stuff in here, so there is perpetually stuff on the counters. Plus, no dishwasher. And I freaking hate hand washing dishes. So although I do it, obviously, there are often dishes in the sink from me avoiding them.
And the back door opens to some steps that take you to our back yard, plus the washer and dryer, which are under the house. It’s an interesting set up, but it works. (There is also a bonus room room under the house which is set up for guests. It’s a great space, but since it’s not attached to the house it’s not functional for everyday living with four small kids.)
Oh, and I totally re-painted those cabinets. I don’t love them, because if they were mine I’d have done something more fun, but I was keeping with their beige color scheme around here. They were more of a light-poop color, with mega scratches and chips, so this is at least more palatable (but anyone who knows me knows I’m not a fan of the brown color family in general. I like color!).
They were very excited to get bunk beds (which gives J so much anxiety), and Miss H cleverly duped her brother into giving her the top, telling him how he can hide things under the bed, hang his sheet up the side to hide, and unlike her, won’t fall victim to “certain death” if he falls out of bed. I mean, she has a way of swaying people, ha.
Their little reading bench is against the wall by their bunk beds. The majority of their books are there (minus the 3 huge boxes of books we left behind, hahaha).
They have a little desk and the chair from my sewing desk back home. Plus two storage cubbies. But only the cubby with two bins in it has anything in it. The other is empty, we just kind of stuck it there for the time being. Plus a basket with some stuffies. And Ellie the giant elephant, because it would have clearly been a devastation if we’d left her behind.
We brought some wall art from home, plus a cute pic of the two of them. And H’s hairbow holder that a friend made her a few years ago for her birthday. A girl can’t leave behind her bows!
Oh! And that ridiculously cute lamp! I snagged it at Target for $8 and didn’t really have a plan for it; I just really liked it! So for now, it lives here (and this is how we know that this bargain-hunting, impulse shopper will never be a true minimalist).
This is Miss H’s side. Her dresses are all hung up. Her pj’s, two piece outfits, and small collection of cold weather clothing are in the pink cubbies. And one cubby is just full of her junk, er, treasures (that’s the gnarly looking bin).
The gray dresser is Mr. B’s clothes. Top drawer is socks and chonies. Middle drawer is swimsuits and pajamas. And the last drawer is all of his shirts and shorts folded up in outfits. His long shirts and pants are hanging up.
Da da dum! The bathroom. It’s basically the size of a postage stamp. It’s a really good thing I’m not the kind of girl that has a lot of products or takes long to get ready, or this bathroom could create problems, ha.
On the upside, it has a fantastic built in laundry bin that makes my life way easier. One place to collect all the dirty clothes from!
Gonna be totally truthful here; I’m pretty sure our neighbors can see us perfectly getting in and out of the shower, as well as using the bathroom. I’m just getting used to the fact that most people on the island are going to see me naked at some point or another. If it’s not through one of the windows in my house, it’s by my van changing after the beach. Oh, well. It’s just a body.
The shower bathtub is itsy bitsy. I can’t really figure out why they tried to pretend it could be a bathtub. Like, maybe one of my kids could sit down in there. But they’d probably be more more comfortable in the kitchen sink, haha. Fortunately, all of our kids take showers so it’s not an issue.
We have one dresser for the things that can’t be hung up. J’s TV sits on top of our dresser, much to his delight.
The nightstand doesn’t technically belong in front of the dresser, but right now I’m pregnant with a dragon so although J sleeps wrapped up in a down comforter, just the ceiling fan isn’t cutting it for me right now. Sometimes utilitarian has to come before put together.
Our mirror will eventually get mounted to the wall behind the door. But again. Time.
Sweet M’s toddler bed fits snuggly against the wall with walking space at the foot of our bed. He naps in it awesomely and typically spends the majority of the night in it. If Jelly Bean sleeps well solo in the rock n play or Dock-A-Tot then we will have to consider a crib and how to fit that in here. But since the other kidlets didn’t sleep in their crib, I figure we will wait and see for now.
We throw those extra pillows around his bed at night, just in case. The pink basket is empty other than the boppy pillow you see sitting on top of it. Something else we don’t really need (it was H’s laundry basket previously). And the little basket is full of overflow newborn cloth diapers.
There’s a little bit of storage room above the closet and that has Jelly Bean’s clothes in bigger sizes and some extra blankets up there.