Saturday, January 9, 2010

Those Bins


Those bins were a hot topic when I posted pictures of my apartment. I stand by my belief that the most effective form of childproofing is by teaching boundaries. No one is going to change my mind on this. This is how I was raised, my husband was raised, nearly everyone everywhere has been raised, and most of us have lived to tell the story.

That said, that is not the point of this post. Here were some suggestions to my "problem bins."

#1) Move them to a basement, relative's home or storage unit.

Those bins were accessed frequently. I have a three month old, 16 month old and 3.5 year old. None of them fit exactly into standard sizes. I am swapping clothes in and out of those bins as needed.

#2) Get rid of some clothes.

I have about two weeks of summer outfits and two weeks of winter outfits for each size, with some clothes overlapping, so that suggestion didn't make any sense. However, each bin was only about a third filled, some less.

I used these bins because they were practical. We had them from moving and they fit in the space. However, I have since picked up some old milk crates from a yard sale. I had to do some rearranging elsewhere to free up the crates, but the contents of each container fits perfectly, some with plenty of space to fit the clothes that are currently in my kids' wardrobe. I put a curtain over it, as the milk crates were an assortment of colors. I like the new storage solution.


Lesson Learned: Have containers that fit what you need.

(I feel silly for wasting that much space that whole time.)

132 comments:

Dixie said...

You can preach "blah blah teach boundaries" all you want, but the bottom line is kids don't behave 100% of the time, and you can't watch them all 100% of the time.

I'm glad you got rid of the bins. Where did you put them?

Myranda W. said...

Emily,
You are truly amazing... You work hard and use what you have, and share your life with us. And even when some criticize the way you arrange and organize your apartment, you graciously and sweetly write a post about how you found a solution to the very thing in question. I find it funny that those throwing the stones don't have the guts to post pictures of their own homes... Hooray for you and your ability to overcome their harsh words with gentle ones.

The Missus said...

Okay...I have NO excuses! First time commenting; I am inspired! I have so much 'unwise' space being used and a spare bedroom filled with the junk I haven't organized yet...not to mention (er...but this is about your post, not my unorganized life! LOL). Today...I am 'attacking' something around here...wish me well!

Plumbob said...

When you have more space maybe you could use those bins as planters? You would have to add some drainage, and I don't know if there is any problems with the plastic releasing chemicals but it might work if you end up in another apartment with a terrace.

Emily said...

Dixie, We have a stack of bins in the hallway just outside of our apartment that we added them to.

The Missus, you can do it!

Bubblej said...

WOW your kitchen looks so much bigger now! For what its worth, I think it looks much better now.

The Missus said...

Thanks! Step One: the tops of my kitchen cabinets holding broken/unused/ 'aids'. Also...still have the wedding gift silverware up there (I know. You can shudder with me, Emily! ROFL!!) Waiting for hubs to take son out. My hubs is...um...overly involved with 'stuff', so to speak. Have a daughter returning home to continue her education full-time (nursing). That room alone...oiy! LOL. Yeah, girl. You and Happy Hermit's last post have certainly been helpful! ;o)

Our Family Is His said...

WOW! That made such a huge visual difference. I know you didn't gain any new square footage, but it LOOKS so much bigger. I am impresed and way to go!

Bravo said...

Bravo, Emily, for not being too stubborn to listen to others, consider their concerns, and think through the best solution for your family. While I agree about teaching boundaries to kids, that is not a 100% foulproof plan, especially with kids of that age. My daughter is 19 months and pushes every boundary that we give her over and over, just to see how far it will get her. That's what kids do and just becuase Daniel didn't doesn't mean that Bobby and Thomas won't when they are able. And I agree with the previous posters that your kitchen looks much bigger.

I was *this* close to giving up on your blog after this week. But now I think I'll stick around for a bit longer. Here's my 1/2 penny for today!

Megan said...

We also are not big fans of child proofing I also believe in setting boundries and it has worked well so far. We do childproof the kids rooms because they are in there alone.

I think it is wonderful that you actually took what some people said into consideration and changed something to actually work better for your family. Good for you.

Sabrina said...

Emily,
Our space is much larger than your apartment space, but before I came here, I found myself complaining that it was small. Our house is 1600 square feet. That is small compared to some, but isn't small kind of like being poor...it's a matter of perspective. What I mean is that I don't see you as poor, Emily, and I don't think you do either. You are very wise at using resources that are available to you, and your family (IMO) doesn't suffer.

Anyway, we have been thinking that our problem is not too little space, just unwisely used space. I am one who has been inspired here this morning, and feel as if God has reaffirmed some things for me. Thank you for sharing your ideas!

Oh, and I didn't see the Touring Tuesday post before people went nuts, but without the bins, it does look better. I DO agree with you about teaching boundaries, so that really wasn't much of an issue for me. :) When we brought our son home from the Philippines at 15 months, we re-babyproofed our home. We then had a revalation: What the heck are we teaching him??!! He has to know what he can and cannot touch, so the gates came down and went into storage. He's 26 months now, and for the most part, he knows his boundaries--without any injury I might add! :)

ly said...

Yeah, you took those bins down. I do not childproof the heck out of my house but I also do not set my kids up for failure. Let face it when you added the third child you are no longer doing man on man defense, you have a zone defense. The more kids you add the more difficult it will be to watch everything. Plus look at all that space you opened up. In the future as you add more kids or even if you have a girl (whole new set of clothes) you may want to look into space bags. They shrink pretty well and can fit under a bed. That way you will have more of your kitchen to add a bigger table to eat dinner or for homeschooling.

Melissa said...

Your kitchen looks so much roomier without the bins!

After seeing the pics of the milk crates on top of your refrigerator on Tuesday, I picked some up from the grocery store for free! Thank you for a storage solution that I probably would never of thought of without seeing it here!

God Bless,
Melissa

Amber said...

Kudos to you Emily for taking those bins down! They were a hazard that really concerned me as well as many of your readers. Look at all the space you have now! Your kitchen looks much bigger.

I just have a question... your landlord lets you store things in the hallway? Are you concerned about people stealing your things? I know you don't have any other storage solutions for those bins, but I'm just curious about how it works.

Oh, and I had another question that maybe is good for your FAQ or maybe you could just answer it in the comment sections if it's just a quick answer... what kind of carseats are your children in and what type of car do you drive? I know at one point you said that slamming the door got the seats in properly...

Josie's friend said...

I also wonder how you will watch all those kids that you plan to have Emily. Without older girls, like the Duggars, who act in a Mommy role, you will have to attend to a lot of them all at once. You can't watch who needs to go to the bathroom, who might knock over the drill or bin, who might be pooping on the floor, etc. simultaneously. What will you do when there are more kids than you can safely keep an eye on, particularly in your home with a lot of safety hazards?

JennyWLS said...

Emily, this is totally unrelated to this post, but when I click on your link on the right to make pasta, it brings up your post on riccota cheese.

I really enjoy your blog. I am not nearly as cut throat as you are, and my family and friends think I am strange, I can only imagine what they would think it I cranked it up a notch or two!

Jenny
jennywls.blogspot.com

Renee said...

if you can scrounge a crate or two more...i'd use them for shoes and get your shoes out of the kitchen :) you could put the boys' shoes in one crate and keep it in their room and put the adult shoes in the other and keep that in your room. I'm used to living in a small space too (so much so that when my husband and I bought a 1500 sqft house this year I had NO idea how to fill the empty space!) and I basically have three rules for organizing.

1. Everything must have a home.
2. When you bring something new in, try to take something old out.
3. Things need to be in the right room.

#3 means that there were no dishes in my closet, no toothbrushes in the kitchen, no clothes hanging out in the living room...well, you get the idea.

I also store and purge at least twice a year, so if something hasn't been used for about six months it get's boxed up, thrown away, or given away.

I hope that helps in your quest to organize your space more efficiently :) and yay to you for taking advice from people even after they were rude! I'm not sure I would be so nice...

julie said...

That looks SO much better. Asthetically (I can't spell that well either).

Thought for THE BINS-have you thought of propping your bed on cinderblocks or the like and using the bins to store the books? Just think of what your bedroom would look like!

FYI-I am an EXTREMELY spatial person. I am LOVING these posts because it gets that HUGE part of my brain dusted off.

Emily said...

Melissa, those bins on the fridge were going to be today's post. Now they'll be next Saturday's, but I'm glad you've already found the idea useful.

Amber, the hallway is wide and there are only two apartments in our wing of the building. The other apartment has a table and chairs out there, so our bins are nothing. And the car seat question is already in the FAQ.

Josie's fried, women all over the world have been able to watch many children while doing EC. I think I can, too.

Jenny, thanks, I fixed that.

Renee, I keep the shoes in the kitchen because it is right next to the door. I agree everything should have a home and be in the right room. The right room for shoes is the kitchen. We don't wear shoes indoors, so we come in, take them off and they are in their home. My primary rule is create a home for things to where they are used.

Julie, I love those books, and we use them a lot, but Tuesday I am doing the bedroom post.

Maria said...

You know, as your kids get bigger, their clothes and shoes get bigger. Where are you going to put their stuff when it doesn't fit in the milk crates anymore?

Jessa said...

New reader. Just wanted to make my presence known. I'm sure I'll have more to say once I read a little more.

-K- said...

The kitchen looks so much BIGGER!

Andrea said...

The huge yellow arrow cracks me up for some reason. I personally didn't see the bins as a problem; dressers and kitchen drawers are more dangerous imo. The new look is great! I'm so glad you were able to save space.

I had an idea for crates in my daughters' room that you might be able to implement somewhere. To give them a little more floor space, I was going to figure out how to mount milk crates to the wall and use them as "drawers" for their clothes (light weight stuff). I was thinking of mounting them next to each other all the way across one wall above the heads of their beds, covering them with a curtain that they could flip up to access the clothes, and using them as headboards (if that makes sense). Anyway, my sister gave us a really cool bed with a dresser, so we didn't have to use the milk crates, but I still like the idea.

Sukey Day said...

Emily, Great blog! I am concerned about you using the hall as storage. Where I am from, the halls must be kept clear because of fire codes. Even if the neighbors are doing it, it doesn't make it safe for you to potentially block your fire egress.
I agree, space bags are worth looking for. Really frees up space. As does using wall space instead of floor space. If you can hang cupboards or shelving on walls you can free up space for the boys to play.

behindthesapphireeyes said...

I am curious- are things in the hallway considered a fire hazard? When I lived in an Apt building with an outside hallway (I live in an apt building now, but we all have our own walkways, not hallways) and we were not allowed to leave anything in the halls, as it posed a risk if there was a fire (blocking the halls so easy access out was not deasible)

Just curious. :)

Emily said...

Maria, I'm sure a lot of things will change when we have more kids, so we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

Jessa, nice to meet you. (:

Andrea, we have something similar with milk crates in the kids' room, but we have them like cubbies, not like drawers. But I like the curtain idea to make it look less cluttered. I'm glad the arrow made you laugh. It was meant to be humorous.

Sukey and sapphireeyes, our hallway is more of an enclosed porch. It is big, so I don't think it is a fire hazard. The landlord hasn't said anything about it.

Kim said...

That looks SO much better now! With the space you've freed up, I think you could hang some shelving above the milk crates for more storage, maybe for those shoes or something else that doesn't have a "home".

Jen said...

I am so glad you did that Emily. It looks much better, and while yes, it is important to teach children boundaries, like another poster said, it's not fair to set them up for failure. I am glad you rethought things :)

vm said...

Shoe rack over the door!

Rachel in Florida said...

Emily, my problem with bins and milk crates is that it tends to look like you never moved in, like you are expecting to leave at any minute. But if it is all you have, it works. I much prefer furniture, and I have been blessed enough not to have to buy that much. I have a bedroom suite that was my great-grandmothers,and I love it. My husbands clothes are in a dresser some former neighbors gave us, it's still doing the job, but it is old and not the best quality. Most other furniture we bought used or at a very cheap furniture store. But I also never had to live on the income you have, so who knows what I would have had to do for storage.
I always think it is intersting to see what other people do in their homes. Our neighbors have the same floor plan we do, both homes built by the same contractor. Their living room and dining room furniture is actually patio furniture! It works very well in a Florida home and they really like it. I did not even notice the table and chairs were for the patio until they pointed it out to me. It really looks good.

Elizabeth said...

While I never thought the bins were too much of a hazard, I do agree that it makes the space look much bigger now.

One question on the clothing, maybe you can add it to your list of questions? Do you plan on keeping all of Thomas's outgrown clothing for the next child? I just ask because we have three children thus far (one girl and two boys). I do not save the girl's clothing because she is six so that would be six years worth of clothing sitting around using strorage space, and clothing just does not store that long for very well. I save the four year olds clothing for the 20 month old but I sell the clothes that the 20 month old outgrows because while I hope for more children I also do not have the storage space and have no idea if the next baby will be born in the correct season or the right sex to take advantage of those clothes. Plus, I see more wear in the clothing as each child goes through them...so sell them all at my garage sales or consignment shops and make pretty much all my money back and then plan to start over when I get pregnant next, as I can get baby outfits for 50 cents or under at garage sales. I'm just wondering what your clothing storage ideas are for the long term.

Clisby said...

I'm another reader who wasn't all that bothered by the bins, except that I was thinking "why in the world do three little boys need that many clothes?" It definitely looks better this way. I can't really tell about how high they are, but you might be on the lookout at thrift stores/yard sales for a narrow table that would fit over them. It wouldn't take up more space, but would give you another work area.

I also have no problem with shoes in the kitchen, but if it were my apartment, I'd find a shoe rack/holder that mounts on the door, just to get them out of the way.

Our Family Is His said...

I just noticed the crates on top of your fridge. I didn't see those until someone else mentioned them (and to think, I am really good at those "spot 10 differences between these two pictures" games). I use the top of my refrigerator for storage as well. I use mine for the items I need to use often but don't have counter space for. My food processor, blender, and so on all go up there. We have no choice but to do scratch cooking due to my son's severe allergies, so I have quite a bit of kitchen equipment that I use daily, sometimes many times a day. So to put them in our mudroom in the cabinets would be a huge inconvenience. Tops of fridge, good for storage!!!!

Oh, and someone mentioned the shoes. You could (if you are even looking for another storage idea, of not, just roll your eyes at me and ignore this part) get three more crates and put them on top of the ones you already have there (long wise, not up and down) and put your shoes in those. One for Dan, one for you (since you probably have a purse as well), and one for the boys). Then you would gain a little floor space where the shoe stand used to be. Just a suggestion, not a criticism at all.

Ellen said...

Your kitchen looks so much better with the crates - it's more open now and it might even let in more light. (I know you said before that you had to brighten your pictures since your apartment was dark.) For me it makes a world of difference to open up space like that. As much I loved our Christmas tree this year, I was happy to take it down because it was making our living room too dark!

Devon said...

Well, despite the fact you didn't move them because they *were* a hazard, at least you moved them. I agree with the other posters--wow, how much more room now!!! It looks great!

Anonymous said...

Emily
I have been reading for a long time. I love it though I am not sure I would do things the same as you. I think it is great that you share so openly about who you are. I don't get why people who don't like so much what you have to say still come just to put you down. I am sure you a great mom and you are doing a great job.

Scottish Twins said...

It looks great!

~Melissa said...

I'm glad you found a solution that works for you in your home. Your kitchen looks much larger now and less cluttered!
I can't help but add that boundries or not even something as simple and accidental as a misplaced foot step could have tumbled those bins onto a little one's head.

Jennifer K. said...

Wow, room looks so much better without the bins. When I was in college, I had very limited space and one thing that help was putting my bed on cinder blocks. It lifted the bed higher than a normal bed frame. This gave me lots of under bed storage space.

Carla said...

Wow, looks much, much better! Kudos for such a great improvement :). I felt positively claustrophobic looking at the before pic. I find I constantly have to reevaluate things to see if there are better solutions. Often there are and even just moving something or putting things in a new home makes all the difference in the world!

I wish they would give away those milk crates here but they won't. A couple of things I did get for free that are great for storage is a big coke rack and a snack display rack (I had a friend who was a coke rep). I keep canned items on it but I am finding it good storage for other things since we are moving away from canned goods.

Diana @ frontyardfoodie said...

awesome! That looks great! I guess on my last comment I assumed that they were filled to the brim and that's why I suggested getting rid of stuff. My mom uses similar crates for laundry and they're great because they fit together and are space efficient.

SoMo said...

Sorry, but could you point us in the direction of the answer to the carseat question? I looked through your FAQs and used the search available. I didn't see it. Thank you

Sasha said...

I think it appears as if you've removed some stuff from the kitchen to make it appear bigger. The slide, some other various items that appear on the left hand side of the first picture.

Is that so?

Andria said...

I let my kids test their boundaries to a degree-- I don't have gates surrounding everything, each room has a small area designated for toys, and there aren't latches on the cabinets. But, I make sure we are still safe-- Doors always locked, especially the one leading to the pool, pot handles turned inwards on the stove, etc.

It definitely looks more open in your kitchen! I have a huge stack of those plastic Rubbermaid bins, too. Mine are in my attic. I got them on clearance at Target years ago, and when I was starting out in my medical profession, used them as I was moving every 6 months or so.

Where do you store your holiday stuff? And, do you bulk buy? Say, you see something on clearance or a great sale, like toilet paper, do you buy it in bulk, or prefer not to since you may not have the space?

Tree Huggin Momma said...

Emily - I didn't read all the responses, because there are so many. I am amazed that in your tiny space you had so many half full bins (but I do get using what you had on hand).
I agree with you on teaching boundaries. My girls are 8 and 11 and they were raised without any babyproofing, we didn't even bother with outlet covers (because my sister stuck her tongue in an exposed relay as a child and lived to tell and even tested on the genious level of the IQ afterard).
When we were kids we were taught to respect other peoples property, and kids are not today. I never feared taking my kids to other peoples houses because I knew they would behave. I have seen many a friend and frustrated mother out at a friends or relatives house unable to sit down or relax because she has to chase her child around because this friend or relative doesn't have kids and therefore didn't babyproof.
Glad you found the extra space.

Emily said...

SoMo, I haven't answered it yet, but I'm pretty sure it's in there.

Sasha, the toys weren't in there this time, but the second picture is a different angle than the first picture to show the new storage solution. Everything else is the same.

Tree Huggin Momma said...

Emily - milk crates on the wall. This is a great idea. If I had more access to milk crates I would use it for my girls (who share a room). Just to let you and your readers know milk crates can be fixed to the wall with special wall brackets. Ask your local home improvement store and they should be able to tell you. You want a metal loop (its actually a flat peice of metal you loop through the egg crate and then use a screw (and drywall anchor if necessary) to secure to the wall. They should be weight rated, and some peg board clips are designed to hold buckets and crates.

Kori said...

It took me a long time before I could even figure out what the problem with the bins were. In fact, i still don't know. Was it because they were stacked and might fall? if all that was in them were clothes, it isn't as if it was going to hurt someone. If it was because they are plastic with lids, I can't imagine any of the kids other than the baby being able to get in and close the lid and then not be able to get it open, all without you noticing; so yeah, I don't get it. I have never had outlset covers, I have never done anything other than move cleaning items and medicines up high; it has just never been an issue, and I have four kids-and funny, the only yime any of them have gotten into something potentially dangerous was at their grandma's house. no, I don't follow them aorund to constantly keep them from getting into things, never have. but i DO believe that if you have enough things they CAN get into on their own, safely, they aren't so interested in getting into the stuff they aren't supposed to.

Jan said...

Yay! I'm so glad that you've removed the bins, and that you took advice to change things up. The new system looks so much nicer and your house already looks roomier. And hey, you can see your artwork now!
You took all of that negative, and turned in into something positive. :) Fantastic.

heather said...

hey emily,

honestly i think that all of the rumblings about the bins was out of concern, that's all. i think i shared our incident with a "pull over" accident-it was a dresser and tv and totally, our fault as parents for how we arranged it. thankfully kelley was ok other than teeth that were broken below her gum line (amazingly they stayed until the normal time for them to fall out), but she does have ongoing dental problems and i feel the guilt. so again, i think the ruckus was all in concern only. as for bins, i have the same ones stacked two high in the girls closet. they do get climbed on.

i have a wild child who's almost 9. and as much as it drives my southern raised, army veteran husband who believes children should follow all discipline techniques and rules all the time, crazy...bethany simply doesn't follow the rules and punishments don't work too well. it's frustrating. she dances to her own beat and i do love that about her. just adding this to prepare you incase you end up with a wild one LOL!

lastly, i do read your blog daily and comments most of the time. i enjoy taking a peek into your life. i don't have the same lifestyle or views, but that's ok. i do want to say though that you have got me thinking about changes i do want to make to my lifestyle.

we live in a small house, my former batchelorette pad...which doesn't make for a great family home. while deciding if we will move or renovate to add more space, you have definitely sparked an interest in how i can better utilize our space. at this point it's only thoughts, i'm quite overwhelmed by the actions. eek!

also i admit that i am not frugal at all. don't follow a budget. and i shop a lot. you have inspired me to look at this and why it is. after being the breadwinner for the family, i am now disabled after dealing with a blood cancer. online shopping is kind of like "medicine" for me and something to do.

now i think about the many frivolous purchases i make and money i waste by not being frugal. and i definitely intend on cutting back. so that's a good way that you have encouraged me. though i can't say i'll be giving up my diet coke addiction. i will probably still avoid walmart as much as possible. but yes, i do believe that your blog will encourage positive lifestyle changes for this family. =)

Amber said...

Tree Huggin Momma, my dad rode around his entire infanthood/childhood without a carseat. Does that mean that other children survived riding around without a carseat? No. Does that mean that I shouldn't put my kids in a carseat because my dad didn't ride in one and lived to tell the tale? No.

Do you see where I'm going with this? I didn't baby proof with my first son. He was very active but didn't get into things that he shouldn't. With my second son, I had to baby proof everything. He was into cabinets, drawers, opening/shutting doors, and yes, even sticking his fingers in outlets.

Your sister could have been killed. If a child sticks something metal in the outlet, they could be killed. Outlet covers cost just a few dollars for a hundred and it is much better to be safe than sorry in this instance.

Serena said...

Good job Emily, I think the new storage solution is great, AND it makes you look so much less cluttered. Bravo!

Sarah said...

Looks a lot nicer!

Ypsi said...

Wow, maybe there IS hope for you. Glad you made this change. It does look a lot better -- certainly brighter!

Anonymous said...

Hi Emily!

I've been reading your blog for a few weeks and this is the first time I've posted a comment. I agree with many of your ideas, and just wanted to tell you that I'm sorry so many people feel it necessary to try to bring you down for stating your opinions. I'm a 40 year old, homeschooling mom of 5 children. I was homeschooled as a child, back in the day where NOBODY was homeschooled, and my parents were threatened all the time. But, they chose to continue despite the persecution. I've homeschooled all of my children, and graduated my oldest last year. It can be done, and it doesn't take up your whole day. People have the misconception that you are chasing your kids around all day and that they don't have socialization skills, which is not true! I also cook from scratch, used cloth diapers, and do many of the same things you do. And I agree with you, that you don't have to "childproof" your home. Yes, it's more work in the beginning to teach your children what they can and cannot do, but it's so much easier when they have boundaries and are taught right from wrong. I think parents need to step up and be a parent and not take the "easy" way out, because in the end, it's not the easy way, it's much harder! Anyway, enough of my soapbox. Keep doing what you are doing and know that you are doing what is best for your family. Don't listen to the negative people out there who try to tell you how to manage your family, when they aren't the ones living your life. - Stacey

Lilly said...

Emily,

I have read all of your blog and I am inspired by your committment to doing the Lord's work here on earth. The highest calling for women is to be the guides and protectors of their home, to serve their family. Anyone who posts negative comments about you and your lovely family obviously don't understand that our Father God works in our lives and gives us the wonderous gifts and blessings in our children. I have seven children and my dear husband and I live in an apartment that's not much bigger than yours - 900 sq feet - and we are perfectly happy. We have three bedrooms, one for boys, one for girls and one for the parents. We also live without debt, working with our hands and our space to create the food we need. My DH has a small pastorate and when he's not tending to the congregation he works on a small cabin we are fixing on a small piece of land. We have saved the ten years we've been married to buy this land and work it ourselves. It can be done and don't let anyone tell you that miracles can't happen. I have seen the Lord work in my life time and time again. You can do this and don't let anyone try and stop you. They are not walking with the blood of Jesus. Stay true to your relationship with God. Your Sister in Christ, Lilly

Marcie said...

Can I suggest that perhaps you get rid of some of the clothing? A child really doesn't need two weeks worth of clothes in each size, 100 years ago most people only had two, maybe three outfits. We live in a two bedroom one bathroom home with two children (we do plan on having at least one more), so I know a lot about how to live in small places. I do keep clothing and buy for future seasons, but nothing like two weeks worth! In each size/season my girls get two pairs of pajamas, three play outfits, and two church dresses. I got the reusable spacesaver bags and I have all seasons and sizes, from newborn to 7, stored in one medium size rubbermaid container. That container is stored in our closet and I pull it out when needed. I have found that the key to living in small spaces is accepting that you really don't need most of the stuff that you think you need. :-)

Andria said...

I have a friend who lives in South Africa, and I was amazed to see her baby in a car, without a carseat. So, get this, they have the "option" over there of putting their children in carseats. BUT, an adult has to be buckled in. Crazy, huh?!

Kimber said...

It looks much better Emily! I raised my boys with bounderies! I never owned a gate, playpen ( pack-n-plays now a days), locks for my cubards, car seat or even a baby monitor. Odd thing is all of my kids grew up safe , healthy and very happy. I tought my children from day one what they can & cannot do. I did not have calm children. I had 3 very active boys just like you. Now, I have 3 granddoughter one of which lives with me along with her parents. I do have 2 gate up now as I have stairs. We do not put the girls in the pack-n-plays to keep them safe so we can do other stuff. We watch them while we do as we need to do. But some people on here seem to not be able to do more then one thing at once like you & me. That is ther problem if they are not as good of a parent as you & me. I think they feel if they cannot do something then you must not be able to do it. You keep up the good work Emily! Your a very-very good, caring & loving mother & wife! God is smiling on you & your family all the time!!!

rachel said...

Love the new look in the kitchen!

I agree with the idea of not over childproofing in general. With toddlers it just takes one impulsive act and one second of not watching. I know someone who lost their toddler this way unfortunately.

oceans5 said...

It really makes the kitchen look bigger. Much better solution. I LOVE going through my home and finding ways to re-arrange things better. It is always inspiring to me. I bet now you will be looking at lots of different storage options in your home. :)

Penniless Parenting said...

Emily, I'm glad I didn't post pics of my house. My husband is a pack rat and we have way too much stuff... and things are piled high to accommodate it all. I don't think any of it is dangerous per se, but I can imagine people giving me grief if I would post pics of my home.

I don't beleive in babyproofing my house. Ok, I take that back. I have a gate that blocks off my toy shelf, only because I have a playgroup in my house and have a lot of toys, and dont want to have to sort out thousands of types of toys (slight exaggeration) after all the toys are pulled off the shelf by kids who want to play. So I put up a baby gate during playgroup hours, but not for danger reasons, but for convenience reasons.
I have locks on my drawers and cabinets... but the afternoon that I got them and installed them on the door, the next morning a kid in my playgroup taught all the other kids how to open up the child saftety locks... So they're pointless.
And I had outlet covers... but the kids kept on wanting to take them out and put them back in and the outlet covers just inspired then to play with outlets even more than when there was no childproofing with the outlets. I think its safer in my case to not have outlet covers, because now the outlets get ignored.

The reason I don't believe in really childproofing is because if you always put things out of reach of a child, the second you go somewhere where things are in reach, they don't know proper rules and how to act. Like if you never take your child out of doors for fear that he'll run into the street- the second he goes outside, he'll run into the street. When I see parents who babyproof their houses and they bring their kids to my house- these kids don't understand the word NO and break my house apart. Literally. Taking glass objects and throwing them onto the floor, playing with my animals food and throwing it into the neighbor's yard, pulling pipes out of our fish tank filter and flooding out floor- these kids don't understand boundaries.
Whereas my kids and the kids I watch- they know they're not allowed to take anything off the table without my permission and will ask to take things. They know they're not allowed to play in certain areas of my house. They know they're not allowed to bang the fish tank, climb my shelves, empty out my refrigerator, etc... (As my kids know how to open all my child safety locks, my cabinet with cleaning chemicals is armed with a burglar alarm that my husband rigged up. They may be able to open the cabinet, but the whole house knows instantly.)


www.PennilessParenting.com

Penniless Parenting said...

The problem with gates and child locks and putting things out of kids reach is that the second these kids are able to figure out these things, you need to get taller gates, stronger locks, put things higher up, etc... and eventually there comes a point where you did all you could but your kids still beat your child protection methods, and then your stuck because your kid thinks that as long as he physically CAN do something, he's allowed to do it...
You just need to teach your kids the word NO. I do babyproof- I remove marbles and tiny things that my baby can choke on. Little babies don't understand the word NO, so can't really be taught rules. But once kids understand the word NO and start understanding discipline (and by the time a kid can climb, he's old enough to understand NO if you're consistent about it) true babyproofing is unnecessary. Yea, I don't leave razors or sharp knives lying around. But I don't keep them on top of my refrigerator either...

Btw, my son even knows a song about what he's allowed to play with and what he isn't. He sings "Don't touch the gate, keep your hands to yourself, don't touch the oven or the fishtank or the glass." And he's 2. Kids remember house rules.
Also- the reason I have a gate by the toys is for convirience reasons. I don't beleive in gates for safety- because the second the kid is able to climb over it, you're in trouble.
www.PennilessParenting.com

Anonymous said...

People are ridiculous, those bins were no big deal. It does look better though. I am sure if I walked into the home of any commenter on here I could find fifty things to critique them on if I was looking to do that.

Jen

frugalredneck said...

I am an older mother with oldest kid being 19 and youngest being 2. I have a question about this "Setting up for failure" thing, What is that??? Is that one of those new age never let them fail things?? I guess I don't love my kids enough, or as good as some of you do. Let them fail, They need to fail, or as I like to say make mistakes. How can you learn if you don't make mistakes, If your kid listens to everything you say and believes you, How in the world is he/she ever going to figure something out on their own. Some of your commenters would die and turn me in I guess. Let's take for instance the word HOT, Not one of my 6 kids would have ever learned the word hot without knowing hot, Take my word for it, WHAT?? Turn me in now, Cause I let them fail, I sat right there while each darn one of em touch something hot, find out it really was hot, cry, and some of them touch it one more time just to test the boundaries of hot. They all lived so far, And funny thing, My older kids don't touch hot things. hmmmm. They failed, Learned from their failures and moved on. Failure is good, losing is good! Emily, I really don't know how you do it, This blog I mean, You have a few really good followers, I mean great ones, That have some great great input, Lots of great links, But alot of them just get their daily kicks outta picking you apart to make themselves look and feel better. I actually think the bins were a much better idea, Trust me I have 6, Those milk crates will overflow quickly as you have more. A bin filled with some clothes is not gonna kill a kid. I'm betting if one topples he may not do it again. As far as your books go, why in the world would you have books stored somewhere, If your not reading them or using them, Then yea ok. But your using them, Books go on shelves. Kids stay off the dang shelves ande leave it alone. Here are my books on the shelves and here are your books on the floor. Plain simple understandable. Here is a concept, You touch my stuff your in trouble, or the books will fall on you etc etc. I really don't see anything in your apartment that is hazzardous, If you teach them NO. Yes it does get harder the more kids you have. But if I can keep em living and breathing, ( that includes 5 year old twins with severe adhd) and a toddler, Who lovvveeess testing boundaries, anyone can. I have a two story house, The stairs were an issue with the litte one, Gates did not work, He would try to climb them, So we started at the top of the stairs, Held his hand enough to catch him, and let him fall without getting hurt. It scared the heck out of him, and now he goes down each stair on his bottom, He learned, when he gets going to fast on his bottom and get's shaky, His eyes get big and he does this OH MY GOSH thing, and slows down, He just turned 2 in october. Do I worry about the stairs, Well yes, But he can't learn if he does not fail. Ackk my rant is done.
You've failed many times, although you don't remember.
You fell down the first time you tried to walk.
You almost drowned the first time you tried to swim.
Did you hit the ball the first time you swung a bat?
Heavy hitters, the ones who hit the most home runs, also strike out a lot.
R.H. Macy failed seven times before his store in New York caught on.
English novelist John Creasey got 753 rejection slips before he published 564 books.
Babe Ruth struck out 1330 times but he also hit 714 home runs.
Don't worry about failure.
Worry about the chances you miss when you don't even try.

-- Author Unknown

julie shipe said...

About the carseat thing...I really don't see how that is anyone's business. Just sounds like people want something else to call you on.

Atheist Mama said...

Looks great! Soooo much more roomy :)

Clisby said...

Amber: "Outlet covers cost just a few dollars for a hundred and it is much better to be safe than sorry in this instance."

That's what I thought with my first child, so I put in all the outlet covers. Next thing I know, my 15-month-old is toddling down the hall toward me and obviously has something in her mouth. I fished around, and yes - it was an outlet cover; she had managed to pry it out. Good thing she didn't choke on it. When my 2nd came along, I didn't bother with the outlet covers.

~Melissa said...

"But some people on here seem to not be able to do more then one thing at once like you & me. That is ther problem if they are not as good of a parent as you & me. I think they feel if they cannot do something then you must not be able to do it."

Good grief Kimber, really?

Anonymous said...

Yeah for taking peoples suggestions. You could also get a board and get more shelf space.

Anonymous said...

Posting anon because of the trolls.

Your bins made perfect since to me. The idea is from your TWG I bet :D
It was a very organized idea actually. All 2T boys goes in one box. Plus you buy ahead and save the old. Its a building of a wardrobe really.

I have been reading Amy since 1993. I am a huge huge fan and don't know a single other soul that seems to enjoy her like you do. Even though I have been tightwadding since way back then, I would love to participate in a TWG book discussion group if your ever interested?
I have given 50 + away over the years to people who just had no interest.

Did you see the recent interview with Amy?
She took the words right out of my mouth.....
WHY do people only decide frugal is chic during bad times?
Had they been frugal all along the times would not be so bad.

And a note to all you Emily naysayers.
What people dont know about us TWG'ers is that we eventually laugh all the way to the bank. We eventually end up with nicer stuff than the rest while being debt free.
The Emily saving away today wont look like the same Emily 10 years from now.
Just watch Amys most recent interview. Look at that house for peets sake. That house is very high end in my state. She does not look frugal.

For the record, most extremely frugal people live in mansion and make a high income. Just read The Millionaire Next door.

The wealthiest are shockingly frugal. I have spent time with extremely wealthy people and tried to tell them about the TWG and they have NO need because they are even more frugal than Amy is hahahahaha.
They could have written the book themselves. They feel the TWG info is a no brainer and everyone should already be doing that stuff LOL.

Personal responsibility should be praised. Hard work too. Its HARD working being a frugal gal. Its not like she has a paypal button up asking any of you to fund her lifestyle? Do you know how many WEALTHY people have pay pal buttons up to get help for adoption, infertility, weddings and other non sense?

Emily I think you are greatly under appreciated.
I would do anything to have a TWG buddy in my daily life. I had 2 but they moved many states away. Now they too are frugally alone in their states as well.

Keep on Keeping On Emily!
Live Like NO ONE ELSE so you can live like no one else :)

Meesh said...

Kimber, you never had a car seat for your children? Um, that's nothing to brag about, honey. A car seat is much different than an outlet cover. Your children having "boundaries" isn't going to protect their poor little bodies in a car accident. Not to mention it's illegal to not have one. Jeesh, I hope your sons have more sense than you.

Emily said...

I would imagine Kimber is older, as she has grandchildren, and it was the norm for a long time to not have carseats. It is illegal now not to have them, but I don't think that was always the case. I don't think there is any need to criticize someone for doing something that was the norm in her day. Anyway, her point was about babyproofing in general, not car seats in particular. She is not encouraging me or anyone else to go carseat free.

Alyssa said...

That transforms the room. It not only looks more spacious and roomy, but also, it is safer for your children. The thing about kids (and I know as a high school teacher), is that you can think they've been taught, and they can SHOW you they've been taught. Then, they can surprise you at the worst of times by doing something completley out-of-character. Just in case that happens, I think it's much better to have that hazard out of the room.

Clisby said...

"Just watch Amys most recent interview. Look at that house for peets sake. That house is very high end in my state. She does not look frugal."

Her house looks nice and comfortable, but "high end"? No way, unless your state is LOT poorer than South Carolina.

Catherine at Frugal Homemaker Plus said...

Does anyone have a link for Amy's most recent interview? I've never seen pictures of her home and would love to see them! :)

Meesh said...

Emily, I get that there is probably a generational difference here. However, her lumping car seats into the same category as pack and plays (which are totally unnecessary) is completely ridiculous, not to mention mind-boggling.

Kimber said...

Thank you Emily. I could not have said it any better. My baby is in his mid 20's. I am much older then some of you & lived in a differnt time. When I was growing up we did not even have seat belts. I am not telling Emily or anyone they should not use a car seat. I was making a point on how I & my children lived through life before car seats and all these other gadgets. Yes, life happens and kids slip out of sight but just because someone does not do things your way does not mean it is the wrong way. It is just different.
Meesh: I am proud my kids lived through life without all that stuff. I kept my children safe without it. So yes, I will shout it out to everyone! I will brag all I want. I did not need all that stuff. I was a stay at home mom & I spent my time with my kids teaching them right from wrong.
~Melissa: Good Grief, really?

Margaret said...

I didn't have any doubt that you could train your children not to mess with those totes, but the new pic is a huge *visual* relief. :) The kitchen looks a lot nicer and I bet it feels roomier.

Jen said...

I would prefer that my children keep their failures to things that won't potentially kill them. I was under the assumption that the bins were full as Emily did not say otherwise until this post. If you don't think a bin filled with clothing is not heavy, you must be tougher than me because I deal with a full bin every time I do a seasonal clothing change out and a full bin is heavy and could cause a pretty good head injury.

Of course I also made my kids hold my hand when they were younger because while I taught them the road is not a place to play, I wasn't about to test their impulse control and let them fail with that either. Maybe it's just me.

Furthermore, bringing up carseats is ridiculous because it doesn't pertain to the argument. You can also say it was a different time, but I am less than a year from 30 and my mom did use carseats. Maybe she was just before her time ;) Just because you did things one way and your kids survived, doesn't mean there isn't a better way to do things and I for one am all about being open minded in case people have a better/safer/more efficient way of doing things.

-Jen
whose 9 and 11 year old could be taken anywhere as toddlers without having to worry about them being these so called wild childs despite the fact that I did things like secure items they could potentially climb.

Mary Jane said...

I wonder if you could find a work table via Craigslist, Freecycle or purchase one online with some of your blog money. Your crates could be stored stacked on the bottom shelves and you'd quadruple your kitchen counter space/work surface area. It seems very practical for a situation such as yours and would be more visually appealing as well.

I was thinking something like this:

http://www.samsclub.com/shopping/navigate.do?dest=5&item=350568&pCatg=6624

Mary Jane said...

Oh, and one more thing that I forgot to ask. I'm not sure if this is something you want to add to your FAQ or if you can just answer it briefly, but here's what I'm wondering: when making decisions about your home how much does the way things look matter? Are you someone who really wants a home that is decorated a certain way or has a certain style/look about it? Or, does style not matter too much to you as long as it is functional?

KerryAnn said...

Looks good! I'd look for three more milk crates to put the shoes in and get rid of that piece of furniture, then put shelving or peg board above them in order to hold more kitchen items.

Clisby said...

Here's one reasonably recent interview with Amy D. - it includes a picture of the house. You can see that it's a nice, homey-looking house - but "high end" is a gross exaggeration.

http://www.mpbn.net/News/MaineNews/tabid/181/ctl/ViewItem/mid/3475/ItemId/6771/Default.aspx

Mary Alice said...

I'm sorry, Kimber, but you're really not making sense. I am 36 years old and my mother's car had car seats and seat belts. You said your child was in his mid-20's. Do you expect us to believe that (if he's 25) in 1985 cars didn't have seatbelts? My first car was a 1985 Cavalier and yes, there were seatbelts. My dad had his prized 1975 Chevy Nova - with seatbelts. My mother has a funny story about almost dropping me IN MY CAR SEAT when I was 3 months old - in 1973. It is tacky to brag about putting your children in unnecessary danger. Just because you were lucky doesn't mean everyone else will be that lucky.

Helen said...

Brava, Emily!

The new arrangement in the kitchen not only looks better, it is infinitely safer for the kids.

As to the car seat requirement -- Here is the law in ME. http://janus.state.me.us/legis/ros/lom/LOM120th/3Pub551-600/Pub551-600-89.htm#P6303_644676

Some states have even more restrictive requirements. And I support them. They save lives. Even a low speed collision can kill.

I'm not sure what Emily's position is, nor how often she drives the children, but:

My brother went head first through a wind shield before seat belts or child seats were required. He survived, amazingly, but carries the scars to this day. I was in the back seat and was also badly injured.

It is just something you do not fool with. Your child can become airborn however good a driver you think you are. It is the person in another car that will cause an accident. Please protect your children in cars with the best possible car seats.

Emily said...

Mary Jane, I like a balance between functionality and decor. I like the black and white in my home, but hate the brown floor and brown oven.

KerryAnn, I made the shoerack myself, and it works great, so we won't be getting rid of it, but thanks for the tip.

Clisby, thanks for the link. I like their house.

Helen, I am all for carseats and have my own children in car seats.

yeahwhat said...

Kimber, I'm 37 and remember my sister, 3 years younger than me, in a carseat. All of our cars had seat belts, front and back too.

I love the work table idea.

Kimber said...

Mary Alice please re-read what I wrote. I did not say my car that I had my kids in. I said "WHEN I WAS GROWING UP OUR CAR DID NOT HAVE THEM".
Now that I have that straightened out I am done. I do not need to defend myself to anyone! Just because you read it or lead into something does not mean it is that way. Some of you ladies really need to spend more time in your own lives & less time on the computer picking on people that don't think like you think they should.
Emily, you understood what I was saying and to me that is all that matters. Have a great night with you family as I will mine. Keep up the great work on here...

liveoncejuicy said...

I think there were carseats in the 70s, but they weren't required. I know for sure my mother brought me home from the hospital in a car bed in 1971. That was like a bassinet that just sat on the backseat. My mother was in a car accident in the 1950s when her family was moving from Canada to California, and would have been crushed by a trunk if she had had a seat belt on and had not been thrown to the footwell. As a result, she had an odd negative attitude about carseats and seatbelts that persisted until her death 40 years later. I can almost guarantee that I did not regularly sit in a regulation carseat like my daughter does now. If there were carseats, they were to lift us up to see out the windows, or to support babies too small to sit up in a seat alone. I vividly remember when seatbelts became mandatory in California--late 70s--and she hated it, but made us wear them, so I'm sure she would not have broken carseat laws.

I can remember in the mid-90s being shocked when I took my daughter to kindergarten and saw ONE parent taking their five-year-old out of a car seat. It seemed ridiculous to me and to a couple of other moms who were watching with me. It was a spectacle.

I have a 5 year old now, 15 years later, and she uses a booster seat. Every 5 year old I know uses a booster seat because in Nevada it's required to age 8 or 80 pounds. My daughter is really big for her age at 48" and 60 pounds, so I can't image that there are many 80 pound 5 year olds out there. I don't feel silly putting her in a booster, like I would have her big sister.

My point is--times change. Expectations and perceptions change. It isn't fair to judge someone on what they did in the 70s based on a 2010 perspective. Looking at it that way, it's amazing to me that Generation X survived to adulthood.

plum17 said...

Emily, your kitchen looks very nice - you've given yourself and your family much more space. Moths can sometimes be a problem with open shelving (though maybe your sheet will prevent this, somewhat) so you might want to store any knitwear or 100% cotton items in a drawer or sealed container.

Although the babyproofing conversation isn't totally relevant to a post about storage solutions, I do want to add one thing - the accidental death rate among children has fallen significantly in the past two decades. (http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN2850026020080428) While some parents can be overly neurotic about baby proofing, anecdotes about kids who grew up without car seats or sticking their tongues in electric sockets are less compelling than statistical evidence that increased safety measures save the lives of many kids.

Mary Alice said...

Kimber, you said you AND YOUR CHILDREN lived before car seats. That's what I was responding to.

Mama said...

Emily, I am so glad to see you've removed those bins! Looks much better and safer!
I won't address how I feel about the 'training' of your children because I fear you misinterpret the "spare the rod, spoil the child".

Maureen said...

liveonjuicy, my mother had the opposite experience. When she was young, her younger sister's friend was killed in a car accident. The car stopped suddenly and the little girl (who had been sitting in the back) got her head stuck under the front seat. As a result, my mother was very neurotic about us wearing seatbelts.

And in comparison to the other point that you made, my MIL has told me that my husband's kindergarten teacher SCOLDED her for having him in a carseat in 1985. The teacher claimed that MIL was BABYING him by doing this.

My, how times have changed!

~Melissa said...

Not having the research to know to use car seats ect back 30 years ago shouldn't be used as an accolade for safety to not using them now. Congrats your child lived; many did not even under the "careful watch of the martyr stay at home moms".

Renee said...

didn't men to imply that shoes don't belong in the kitchen...i was just offering my perspective on organizing :) If that's where you use them, then it sounds like a good place for them to me...i was trying to help you clear some space in your kitchen :D i think vm had a good idea too to put them in one of those over the door pouches...

i was just thinking that it looked like the thing you had your shoes on was bigger than it really needed to be and therefore taking up precious extra space, that's all. kinda like the bins i guess...

Guinevere said...

Nice change! I didn't have much of an opinion on the tubs and any safety issues, since I don't have children yet (and while I have plenty of theories on raising kids, like every childless woman, so far none on babyproofing). The space looks much nicer, though.

And kudos to you for re-thinking the bin situation, and posting about it. I think that's admirable.

Stephanie said...

It makes you kitchen looks so much more open and light filled! I didn't really have an opinion one way or the other---you house; your choice. But it does look nicer without!
Love the blog!

Michele from Washington said...

Hey Emily

Your kitchen looks so much bigger without the bins. And I agree with others that it is safer. In response to your comment about the best approach to child safety is teaching children boundries. I totally agree with that. I also believe that since your planning on having more children there is a very good chance that you will have a child that will blow all of your child rearing theories out of the water. One that no matter how many times you try and teach them boundries they will continue to test those boundries. As my children are grown or almost grown I have learned that if I look at others and say "If those parents did this or that their children wouldn't behave that way" Those are the times my children through me a curve ball. I believe its God's way of keeping me humble.

Keep up the good work

Anonymous said...

Live recent video of Amy D's house and property. It's a much better shot and nothing like the pics you all have posted.
This was from Nov 2009.
http://www.savvyhousekeeping.com/interview-with-amy-dacyczyn/

Suzie said...

Emily, I was frankly worried about your old setup and glad you decided, for whatever reason, to make changes. As others have noted, the kitchen looks so much more open now. I would argue how much babyproofing one needs is proportional to one's ability to observe the children, ie. a smaller space is easier to patrol than the four story house my SIL raises her daughter in. Sometimes, proofing is necessary. Another example is a law in my city that requires outdoor apartment railings to not have widths big enough for a baby to get his head (or body!) through. I also remember the day when 15 adults, myself included, were hanging out at the pool on a very hot day and not one of us noticed the two year old who slipped in the pool and was floating face down, unconscious, before someone noticed. Thankfully, she was fine, but that's not a test (or a FAIL) that any parent should have to put themselves through. I retain a huge scar on my right shin due to my parents' lack of boundaries; my first memory is being on the side of the house, unsupervised, breaking a windowpane against that leg. I also remember howling as I got the stitches in my leg. I think my mother was drunk at the time and my dad at work, so she took yet another risk driving me to the hospital. Talk about irresponsible! Stuff like this is part of the reason why I chose NOT to breed.

To the posters talking about lack of (or insufficient) carseats, I'm sorry, but if I'm not mistaken, carseats for kids under 4 (or a certain weight) ARE THE LAW in just about every state now.

Just because you or I didn't ride around in them, or the ones we rode in were substandard, or we had a drunk parent at the wheel (my mother in many cases), doesn't make it RIGHT. I don't care who you are, you are subject to the laws of your state, even the ones you don't like. I would think that Christians would be the most law-abiding citizens, but from the responses on this blog, many are proud to flaunt their disrespect for authority and are condescending to those with whom they disagree to boot.

Daphne said...

1. Kitchen looks great! Maybe you did or did not "take people's advice" (as if you were asking for advice!) -- however, glad you found something which works for you; now you have more storage for other stuff! Cool beans!

2. My goodness, people can be patronizing and condescending. It's kind of amazing.

3. (off topic but I just have to add) I'm 35 and didn't have a car seat, and neither did my brother, who is three years younger. Car seats are great, but not everyone had them before it became law. Just sayin'.

Jennifer said...

Just thought I would share something that has worked for us when we were living in a small space. We had milk crates and laid them out with a piece of plywood on the top, then our mattress on that. It left the bed at a reasonable height, had a lot of storage, and made use of things we had on hand (the plywood came from one of our old waterbeds from before our our relationship). You could probably do the same thing with rubbermaid tubs. It keeps the kids out of stuff, but provides a lot of storage space, and an old sheet over the plywood to cover the crates/tubs looks, basically, like a bed skirt and makes the space look more "normal"/nice.

Marcie said...

If you really want to clear out space, Emily, please at least try the spacesaver bags, even if you are not going to downsize the amount of clothing you keep. Though, if you got rid of some of the clothes and used the spacesaver bags too, I bet you could get them all in one or two milk crates.

Emily said...

To all who said the space looks better, I agree. I love it. Thanks.

Daphne, 1 thanks, 2 yeah, it amazes me too, 3 good point.

Jennifer, that's a great tip for stuff that we don't need to be accessible. If I pick up enough milk crates, I'll keep that in mind. I think the rubbermaid bins would be to high for the kidds, but milk crates would work great.

Marcie, space saver bags would make them less accessible. These are items I use frequently. But that's something I'll keep in mind for stuff in storage.

Our Family Is His said...

I am 38 years old. Car seats had been around about 50 years before I was born. They were not anywhere near what they are today, but there was something called a baby car seat that some people used. However, no one my family knew had them, no one.I know we didn't have one. My Mom did put me in this little thing that was hard plastic and had legs (little metal folding legs that's meant to sit a baby up while on the floor, like our current bounce seats but hard plastic and non-bouncing). She put that in her lap, in the front seat, and I rode on her lap everywhere we went.

I am not saying this to say we shouldn't use car seats. Babies died back then because of not having proper protection. If anyone is truly saying they aren't necessary, they are misinformed and misguided, and hopefully don't drive small children anywhere.

As for seatbelts, cars didn't get those until 1965 - 1970. Even my Mom's car, when I was very young, didn't have them. I was born in 1971, her car wasn't brand new. But, cars started getting lap belts (the first seat belts) between 1965 - 1970, depending on the manufacturer. So, if you have a 29 year old, I guess you could have brought them home in a 10 year old car and had it for a few years, thus they started life without seat belts. Much younger than that and they had seat belts.

Marcie said...

Emily, the bags I use you just roll up and compress the air out that way and it really isn't any less accessable then unstacking all those rubbermaid containers and then stacking them all back. I have some vaccum sealed ones too, and really, it probably takes less time then you did stacking and unstacking those containers. It would just give you so much more room in your kitchen if you could just downsize your clothes storage system and most likely isn't as hard as you think.

mrs. c said...

i think when we were young(i'm 44), they used to call them "car beds", and they looked kind of like a bassinette, net sides, and maybe a waist strap. the baby was meant to be laying down in it, but i don't really think from the way they looked, they could be safe, unless you count the baby being contained if the car got hit.

Anonymous said...

In the video of Amy D's house, the news anchor calls the house a dream house or something to that effect.

ClaireJ said...

I was born in 1982 (I'm 27 now) and my parents were not allowed to take me home from the hospital (in rural Maryland) without a car seat. My father didn't know how to install it and my 9 year old brother ended up doing it for him. I was brought home in a car built in 1967, and yes, it had seat belts.

Anyway, 2 weeks worth of clothes is A LOT. I don't have serious space restrictions, I love to buy clothes, and I still don't have that much for either myself or my daughter. Speaking of the way things used to be, my mother said he grandparents summer home didn't have a single closet or dresser. Every bedroom had a set of hooks on the wall. Hooks for 2 sets of play clothes, one hook for Sunday clothes. Pajamas (one set) went under your pillow when you weren't wearing them. And she came from a very affluent family with a live-in maid!

hippie mommie said...

I wasn't too concerned about the safety of the bins- I could see some peoples' point of views, but I also thought they were going a little far with it. Regardless of the safety factor- your kitchen looks soooo much better!

Clisby said...

Amy D's house might be a lot of people's dream house. For others, it might not be. My comment was simply that I can't see how anyone could call it a "very high-end house". It looks like a nice, large, comfortable, well-maintained farmhouse. "High-end" is in another stratosphere.

Cave Girl said...

"But some people on here seem to not be able to do more then one thing at once like you & me. That is ther problem if they are not as good of a parent as you & me. I think they feel if they cannot do something then you must not be able to do it."

You have to be joking. You think you're an awesome parent just because you can multi-task? I have yet to meet a parents who CAN'T multi-task. Kinda goes along with the job. Give me a break.

Andria said...

I know you eat a lot of canned tomatoes-- did you see this article?

http://shine.yahoo.com/channel/health/the-seven-foods-experts-wont-eat-547963/

heather said...

the comments remind me of an email that has been floating around for years, i'm sure most have received it...talking about how different it was when we were kids, or our parents were kids vs. how we raise our children now. back when babies weren't in car seats or sunblock wasn't even thought of, etc. and all of currently *here* survived.

i admit that i am a worry wart when it comes to the girls. but even with that, we've never overly child-proofed. we did use outlet covers (though the comment about the child who could have choked on one is scary-it's a darned if you do, darned if you don't thing), but we never had cabinet locks for example. i guess all things were/are in moderation. the one thing i have been consistent about it sunblock-we live in florida, i remember many bad sunburns i had as a kid and i am freckled...so far so good on that we've never had a burn and freckles are few.

i'm currently wondering what our laws are for here for booster seats...my girls are so small i wonder if by weight they need them. but at almost 9 1/2 and 10, it seems crazy. still need to check i guess. (sorry that was just a bit of a ramble that popped into my mind while typing).

the craziest (scariest) thing i wanted to mention was what my husband told me as i was discussing the bin controversy with him. growing up in the south he reminded me of how many homes he remembers that had a loaded shotgun behind every door!

well, i guess i have no real purpose with this comment other than how the times and people can be so different.

Our Family Is His said...

Heather, yes, we survived. BUT, think of everyone that didn't survive. Some things just make good sense and should be followed. Some should be followed if it's what's best for a specific person. And some things are just down right silly. But lots of children died before we had things such as car seats and seat belts. Lots of people are dying now, or are very sick, because they tanned all the time or sunburned often. Be careful, fear not, and live safe.

Here's a good site for car seat and booster seat laws. It also has a link for seat belt laws just above the map. Remember, most laws read AND, not OR. (i.e. car seat rear facing - 20lbs AND 1 year, not 20lb OR 1 year)

And I agree about guns. I live in the south and it is very common in many places. I don't agree with it (we are a multi-gun owning family that uses their guns for work and pleasure), but that's the reality of life in the country many times.

liveoncejuicy said...

Heather, in Nevada it's 80 pounds OR 8 years old. My son didn't weigh 80 pounds until he was 11. There is no way I would have taken him to 6th grade in a car seat!

upset said...

I don't know why you are not publishing my comments. Which are both respectful and relevant.

Why don't you get a dresser instead of milk crates? Don't you think it would look much better?
As for the diaper post. Why don't you wash your clothes in your tub instead of your kitchen sink (where you also prepare food and wash dishes)?

Kendra said...

Just wanted to say.....I never had a problem with the bins. BUT, it looks great now. Really opened up the room. The crates make your space appear larger and more roomy. Enjoy.

Barb said...

Hi Emily! you have so much more wall space now! it must be refreshing to walk in there, I know the feeling of finding space you didn't know you had. What are the new posters(?) you have there??

Emily said...

upset, I don't answer questions that you have because you read someone else's interpretation of my blog. I never said I washed the diapers in the kitchen sink. You must have read that somewhere else. Also, if you have a question about the diaper post, ask it in the diaper post.

Barb, those were there before, just hidden. You'll be able to see them more clearly when I post more kitchen pics. (:

PK said...

OK, I am going to share my (painful) reason the bins scared me. I used to have the same bins, stacked 3 high, in my laundry room, between 2 walls. No way they could topple over sideways. I was going to get something from the bins (all had clothing in them), tripped, and somehow grabbed at them in my fall, causing two to fall forward. They hit my cat, and killed him instantly.They weren't heavy enough to squash him, but must have hit just right to break his neck. If that can happen to a cat, it can certainly happen to a crawling baby. Accidents do happen.I learned the hard way not to stack things that high.My bins are now in the attic.Nothing stacked higher than one bin here anymore.

Tracy Timberlake said...

Hey Emily

I admire your courage to keep going in spite of the onslaught. I struggle to understand how it is that so many complete strangers think they have any right to say half of the things they do!

To be brutally honest, I am so glad to come across another mom who won't allow herself to become nuerotic and paranoid. My husband and I have always believed in prevention of accidents through discipline. I never used a single electric socket gadeget to stop my babies sticking fingers in the holes (and they never did), I never bought security gates for stairs and never had a single baby-lock on my cupboards or fridges (and they never got unpacked). Basically, we didn't "baby-proof" our home.

When we visited other peoples homes (which were not baby-proofed for lack of their own babies) we never had to worry about our children electrocuting themselves or getting into cupboards - they knew it wasn't allowed. We've found that parents struggle when they visit us because our home isn't baby-proofed and their babies, toddlers and small children get into EVERYTHING (which also makes it unpleasant to have them visit).

I can see you've moved the containers and understand your decisions and comments but I would like to encourage you and tell you that I don't think you're a bad mom, wife or person. And if I did, it wouldn't be my place to tell you anyway - no one is forcing me to read your blog and it is a free world afterall.

Tracy
(I don't have a url so I used yours - I hope this is okay)

Clisby said...

Andria: I hope the information on canned tomatoes is more reliable than the information on nonorganic potatoes.

From the site: ""Try this experiment: Buy a conventional potato in a store, and try to get it to sprout. It won't," says Moyer, who is also farm director of the Rodale Institute (also owned by Rodale Inc., the publisher of Prevention).

That is complete nonsense. Not only will conventional potatoes sprout, you can cut them up and use them to grow more potatoes.

Mary Jane said...

I have read your entire blog from the beginning and not someone else's interpretation of it. And, I've wondered the same thing as "upset."

An actual piece of furniture- a work table, a dresser, real shelving, etc.- would aesthetically look much better IMO. Is there a reason that you don't use a piece of furniture? Is it simply a matter of availability (ie- you don't have an appropriate piece of furniture to use and have decided that finding one is not a particular priority) or is it that you just prefer using some sort of stackable storage containers (Rubbermaid bins, milk crates)?

Overall, I happen to think that your home would look much more lovely and be more functional with a few well-selected pieces of furniture. Of course, if it's the way that YOU like it then there's nothing wrong with keeping it as is, but for me personally I just find that I really want my home to be pleasant looking. I've found that when it gets cluttered or shabby that it reflects it in my mood- I become crabby, disorganized, etc. I've spent the past couple of years shopping thrift stores, garage sales and Craigslist for the perfect pieces that are sturdy and attractive at a bargain price. As long as something is solid, real wood it's amazing what a little bit of sandpaper and a coat of paint can do!

Emily said...

Mary Jane, yes, I don't have a spare dresser, and quite frankly, I do like the look of my home, and even if I didn't it would not be my top priority for my money anyway.

I was referring to her diaper question when I said "someone else's interpretation of my blog". She must have read somewhere else that I washed my diapers in my kitchen sink, because I never said it here.

stacy said...

I respectfully have to disagree with "teaching boundries" as the sole method of childproofing. I am an old ER nurse, who worked at Parkland hospital in Dallas, one of the busiest ERs in the country. Small kids will swallow Drano, firniture oil, bleach, etc... I have seen bad burns form electical sockets, kids chewing on electrical cords, pulling pots off the stove, etc... On my last day at Parkland, I took care of a child who died after pulling a Fry Daddy off the counter by the cord and scalding his body with boiling oil- right in front of his grandmother. I could go on and on with stories about children who were gravely injured, or killed, just seconds outside of adult supervision, and in many times in the company of adults. Don't get me started on the importance of regulation car seats.

Kids are fast, and their curosity can get the best of them- not to mention, they don't understand danger. Emily, God has entrusted you with these precious little boys. Please do everything in your power to protect them.

dust in the wind said...

It looks wonderful, Emily! Smart improvement.

Tina said...

It looks so much better I hope it is easier for you as well.

Jen said...

Thanks for the blog idea. Since my kids are older I probably would not have thought to do a post on childproofing. Keep them coming Emily ;)

Bec said...

I'm glad that you removed the bins. Frankly, I'm shocked that you didn't view those as a hazard. Head injuries in small children can be devastating and are so easy to prevent. It's not baby-proofing, it's keeping your home free of dangers. I'm glad that you fixed this.

I'm all about small living- we have a 700-square foot home and I love our small space. I know how hard it is to come up with viable storage options. Nobody is perfect and I'm not judging you personally, but I see many child hazards based upon the photos you've posted of your home. Though you aren't into babyproofing, I'd still strongly encourage you to take some time to crawl around on your hands and knees and see what you can get into. I do it about once a month because even with the best of boundaries, kids are still kids and you can't be right there every minute of every day.

Anonymous said...

sybermoms.com are a bunch no good for nothing, nosy old bitches with nothing better to do than get into someone else's lives to fuck up like their own. Ignore them. Half of them are skanky divorcees who cock hop anyhow. LMAO

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