Welcome to our home tour! This is where I live along with my husband, 2-year-old triplets, 2 dogs, and 3 cats. That is 10 mess-makers under one roof. Yeesh!
An overview of the house:
-1 ½ stories
-2 ½ bathroom
-1800 finished square feet
-Unfinished walkout basement
-Open concept living/dining area
-First floor master with en suite bathroom
-Upstairs: 2 bedrooms/1 bathroom/loft
It’s not huge, it’s not fancy, but we like it here. (If you want more information about how we organized our home, you can check out this post about cultivating a peaceful environment by combining The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up with Simplicity Parenting.) I’m no expert photographer, so you’ll have to forgive the lighting in some of these pics.
We’ll start by taking a look at the front of the house. My husband recently built this two-tiered retaining wall and I think it’s adorable. I love the covered porch and can’t wait to put a pretty outdoor rug and classic white rocking chairs on it in the near future. That’s my puppy Luna in the front yard. You’ll see her in a few of the photos. She’s like my little shadow.
We also recently painted the front door (Wythe Blue by Benjamin Moore) and added new hardware including the owl doorknocker that makes me smile every time I come home. (I purchased the door knocker from Pottery Barn years ago and it’s been sitting in the front closet waiting to make it’s debut.) I love how the purple mums and pumpkins look with the bright, cheery front door color. One of my favorite moments of the day is going outside to water the flowers with the kids. I’ll talk more about this in the “Montessori-Inspired Living” post.
Our first floor is mostly open concept. The entry, living room, and dining room all make up one large room while a small wall separates the kitchen.
For now, we have a small table in the main living area where the kids eat, color, and do crafts during the day. This is also where we do most of our reading, so you’ll notice a big pile of library books on the ledge beside the table. We’ll keep them at this table until they are big enough to eat comfortably at the big table. (Our theme for the week when this photo was taken was Llama, Llama because we were preparing to meet Llama at the public library that Saturday.)
The kitchen table stays clear and clutter free the majority of the time. The kitchen counter, however, has a tendency to become a dumping ground.
To help corral some of the mess and keep the countertops clear, I put up an organizer to at least keep our paper clutter under control. (The organizer was a gift from my mother-in-law from Pottery Barn. It is called a letter bin. I aspire to someday label the bins.)
I like to keep my planner accessible at all times. (It’s from Erin Condren, and I absolutely adore it!) Placing it on the counter helps me to organize the day and keep track of all of the moving parts in our family’s busy life.
The living room has a console table with drawers that hide extra toys that the kids play with when they’re downstairs. We also keep library books in the small table between our chairs. I’m still looking for a great solution for the tangled mess of wires coming out of our wall-mounted television. I’d love to hide them in the wall, but that project just hasn’t hit the top of the priority list yet.
The kids usually sit on the couch or (gasp!) the coffee table when they watch television. I try to limit their screen time to two half-hour shows a day while I’m preparing meals. They usually watch Signing Time videos or Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. We’ve also recently started watching Mr. Rogers on YouTube. That was my favorite when I was a kid.
In the hallway off the main living area is a laundry room, half bathroom, master bedroom, and stairs to the unfinished basement. Our laundry room still needs some organizing help to make it feel good. I’d like to get some cabinetry to hide all of the ugly laundry stuff eventually. For now, the laundry room is where we keep most of our pet-related goodies as well as where we hang our cloth diapers to dry.
The master bedroom is a kid-free zone. I make the bed almost every day. I’ve always liked having the bed made, but I decided to make it a priority after reading The Happiness Project and Happier at Homeby Gretchen Rubin. She talks in depth about the correlation between making the bed and happiness. (Also, if you haven’t had a chance to listen to her podcast “Happier” with her sister Elizabeth Craft, it’s well worth your time.)
I keep this invisible bookshelf beside my bed to help keep my nightstand uncluttered. I am usually reading a few books at a time. I also keep books that I frequently reference like Jessica Alba’s The Honest Life and The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo on this shelf. Also, if you’re looking for a great parenting book and you’ve already read Simplicity Parenting, check out NurtureShock. It’s my second favorite parenting book and it appeals to my more sciencey side.
It has a good-size walk-in closet and en suite bathroom. After KonMari (the method outlined in The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, my clothing takes up about 1/3 of the closet, while my husband uses the rest. He has a lot of clothing, but he is really good about keeping it neat and organized, so it doesn’t bother me. Also, if I looked as good in clothes as he does, I would probably have that many too! (I’ve intentionally left his stuff out of the photos to give him a little privacy.)
On the wall leading to the upstairs, we started a gallery. It’s growing with our family, so it’s still a work in progress. I’d also like to add some more non-photo things like a big clock and some funny faux taxidermy. Maybe something white and gold like this elephant from an Etsy Shop called WallCharmers. We’ll see.
Upstairs, there are two bedrooms, a tiny full bathroom, and a loft space that I use as my office.
First-time visitors are usually surprised at how stark the kids’ rooms are. We still have a few pictures to put up on the walls, but we don’t plan on adding much more to their spaces. That’s our other dog, Ajax, lounging up against the wall.
We use the Toy Library method recommended in Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne. Most of their toys are tucked away with only a few out at a time.
The few toys we keep out are usually kept on the shelf in Lincoln’s room and I rotate in new ones if the kids start to seem bored. I try to change a few of them out everyday.
In addition to adding a few pictures to the walls, I want to put up some photo ledges for some of their nicer books. I’d like to have easy access to them, but don’t really want the kids to be able to get to them just yet. I don’t know if you’ve shopped for books lately, but new children’s books can be really expensive. I don’t really want the kids to destroy the books with delicate pages. For now, they sit haphazardly on Lincoln’s dresser. (After I took this next photo, I rearranged the books so they wouldn’t be quite so likely to land on a little toddler head.)
I always have a selection of board books available for the kids to “read.” They are kept in a basket in the reading nook in Lincoln’s room. Often when a child disappears, I find them curled up in the chair “reading.” It’s one of my favorite things. Like the toys, I regularly rotate the books in the bin.
The loft is still a work in progress, but it’s starting to feel more like home. As I went through the KonMari process, The office became a dumping ground for all things sentimental. I recently went through the sentimental category (it was emotional and took a long time). Just to give you an idea of what the process can do, I’m including a picture of the office before and after.
I still need to put things up on the walls and fine-tune the organization, but it’s getting there. I want this to be a lovely space where I am surrounded by my favorite things and feel inspired to create. At this point, however, it’s about progress, not perfection.
I hope you’ve enjoyed the tour of our home. It’s not perfect, and we still have a lot of projects to tackle, but it’s feeling more and more like home all the time. I always think it’s fascinating to see how other people live because there are so many different ways. This is what works for us. I’d love to hear about what’s working for you all and even to see pictures if you’d like to share!
If you enjoyed this post, you might like these as well:
The KonMari Method: One Year Later: An updated house tour one year after we decluttered.
Living Peacefully with Toddlers: Introduction: The first installment in the Living Peacefully Blog Series.
Living Peacefully with Toddlers: Cultivating a Peaceful Environment: Using techniques learned in the Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo and Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne to create a calm home environment.
Sign Away Your Frustrations: Thoughts on Sign Language from a Mom of Triplets: The ways that Sign Language has helped to facilitate communication in our family and why we chose to try it out.
Hello there! I’m Krysta. If you’re new to The Thoughtful Mom, welcome! And thank you for stopping by.
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