My Almost Empty Nest

So, this past summer there were 6 of us living here, and a 7th-9th here as well a lot of the time. If you';re new here, or maybe missed it before, we live in a 3 bedroom, 2 bath, 16x80 single wide manufactured home. In some areas of the country, y'all know it as a trailer.  Now, even though it's sold as a 16x80, 4 feet of that length is actually the trailer hitch (which we no longer have attached anyway), so it's actually 76 feet long.  That basically gives us 1216 sq ft, give or take whatever is taken up by outside walls or whatever. I used to think 1200 sq feet was a lot of house.  See, before we lived here, we lived in an old 1978 14x56 trailer with only 2 bedrooms and 1 bathroom. That's 784 sq ft. So we gained a LOT of space by moving here almost 8 years ago. But, let me tell you 1200 sq feet can REALLY shrink when you have 3 college kids, a teenager, their friends and 2 adults and all their stuff crammed in it!

I wish I'd reorganized things earlier, but it was seriously a very chaotic summer, and I didn't get a whole lot of anything accomplished. Zoe had her own room which was a serious mess, and if she was camping or at a sleepover, no one wanted to borrow her room for the night.  That bad.  Then the back bedroom was Faelyn's room with her full bed and a loft bed that ended up being too tall.  The ceilings in the bedrooms in this house are ridiculously short.  If they'd been vaulted like the living room and kitchen ceilings, it would have been fine, but as it was, no one could sleep on the loft, it was just too close to the ceiling.  So it was used as storage and the mattresses were put on the floor under it on a rug on the floor which was actually quite comfy for Rhiannon since the under-loft desk ended up being just the right height to use while sitting on her bed so she used it for her laptop and as a nightstand. Unfortunately that left Ducky with just the couch.  He constantly said it was fine, but well, it kept me from being able to go sit in my living room and watch TV after work, or do any deep cleaning at night  (I work nights in case you didn't know), and basically kept me in my bedroom/office all night. It all worked okay, but it was far from ideal.

Now, however sleeping arrangements are a little better. The college kids are all gone along with most of their stuff. We finally did buckle down and organize what was going to college, and what was getting packed up into boxes.  While I understand it's important for a college kid to be able to come back to their old space, it's just not possible in this house.  If I had 5 or 6 bedrooms in a much bigger house, sure!  So, what I did was take apart Faelyn's antique bed that had been my mother's and Granny's and put it in the shed, in pieces.  The thing was falling apart as we touched it.  I have no idea how it was still bed-shaped at all.  Now it's not.  I'm considering making a bench out of it.  Not sure yet.  Then I moved Zoe's full bed into the spot Faelyn's old bed had been.  It's in much better shape. We probably could have used a dumpster to clean out Zoe's old room, but we finally got it cleaned out completely. We took apart the loft bed and moved it to Zoe's old room. Of course this also meant taking ALL of Rhiannon's stuff off the top of it and moving it as well. That was a pain. Then I used a couple of those Big Lots coupons for $10, $20 or $40 off depending on the purchase amount, and bought a twin over futon bunk bed and a really nice futon mattress with coils so it would feel like a bed and not a rock like most futons I've known. After a lot of sweat and cussing, we finally got it put together in the space where the loft had been.  So now, the back bedroom has a full size bed, a twin bed and a full size futon. It *could* sleep 5 people if it had to, and even more if they had sleeping bags on the floor - not that it would be necessary, but you know, just in case.

We also moved around some dressers and desks and all that to make the best use of space, especially for Zoe who will be the only one in the back bedroom for most of each year. The futon is her couch, the twin bunk is mainly storage for extra blankets and her giant stuffed animals, and she still has her full size bed.  She's got a dresser and a very nice desk that Faelyn got for graduation which will remain in the room until Faelyn moves into her own place permanently, and her guinea pig.  She's got room for a small coffee table in front of the futon as well as a TV which I plan on getting her for Christmas.  So she'll have a pretty nice room for a 14 yr old, and there's plenty of space for the 3 girls at holidays and summer, if they all come back at the same time.

So, that leaves Zoe's old room and Ducky...  well it's not "his room" per se, but he might be able to sleep there when things are all sorted, I hope.  First of all, the top of the loft is still too tall to use for sleeping, and it's still about half full of Rhiannon's stuff.  The other half has been claimed by my cats, which is kind of cool.  But the bed we'd had underneath it was actually two stacked mattresses to get it higher off the floor and give it a little more bounce.  One of the mattresses is really old with a hold on one side, not really usable by itself, but fine as a makeshift box springs type thing on the floor. It's currently in the shed.  But the other mattress, the good one, is on a twin bed in my mother-in-law's guestroom. Did I tell you my mother-in-law moved 3 doors down? Well she did... so yeah.  At least if she falls, we'll be closer to help, and she doesn't come here very often, so it's fine.  I think we actually see her less than when she lived an hour away, weirdly.  ANYWAY, she was waiting on her beds to get moved, so we set up a twin bed in there for her, and it's still there.  She wants to use it for guests when the kids all come home... so I guess then Ducky will be staying in her guest room instead of my office - did I mention Zoe's old bedroom is now my office too?

Since we won't be needing the space under the loft for the mattresses (at least anytime soon),  I've put my craft table there with all my stickers, and washi tape, and other journaling and scrapbooking stuff. Then on the other side of the room is my work desk with my computer and 3 monitors and that sort of thing.  I want to get a nice cushy arm chair in here to be able to curl up in and read or watch videos or whatever, just a place of my own to go that's not a desk chair.

I do have an office roommate though....  his name is Carmel. He's a bunny. A Harlequin Mini Rex rabbit to be specific. He's Faelyn's rabbit, and she can't take him to college with her, so rather than make Zoe take care of him and maybe just neglect him, I moved his cage in here, and I let him out to hop around while I'm at work. He hates carrots and is very needy.  If I don't pet him often, he paws at me incessantly.

Okay, I thought I posted this yesterday, but I guess not, sorry!  In my next post I'll talk about the changes I made to the office ALREADY like since I wrote that!  I got inspired by a Facebook post in one of my bullet journal groups. I want a fort! Or something similar anyway. Stay tuned!

Patty

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