Tuesday, May 27, 2008

We found a solution!

We love our house. My parents started renting this house in 95. My husband and I moved in with my mom in 05 after dad died. I spent most of high school here, a few years after college, and now over two years with my lovely husband.

It's a 3 bed/2 bath house. It's like this: the three bedrooms are pretty much in a row on one side of the house. The one on the end has the bathroom attached and big closet. This is mom's room. Then the larger bedroom which is now an office and the nursery. Then the small bedroom which is where we sleep. On the other side is the livingroom. Then the kitchen. The garage is on the "back" of the third bedroom.

It has worked fine so far. Having stuff from four people (now five) has been a bit of a challenge, but we're managing. Now that we have a kid, however...

We'll be okay until she needs her own space. When does a kid "need" her own space? When she's old enough that she needs one room we can put her in and know that no matter what she gets into, she is going to be relatively unhurt. So basically by the time she starts walking, which will be within the next six months.

We originally decided that we'll "make due" and renew our lease in August. This means we'll have at least six months of a rough time while we figure out how to manage all the things we have in the house and create a space where we can put her, even if that means using fifteen baby gates. There's no other choice... we can't go through the rest of the attic and pare down our belongings enough in the next three months. We've worked at least eight hours on the weekends and an hour or two almost every night and it's just too large of a project. Also, finances to move right now aren't where we want them to be. And, on top of that, our rent is hundreds below what we'd pay for a similar house, let alone a larger one.

It would be impossible, as things are, to give her her own room in this house. Equally impossible to get a four-bedroom house within six-hundred of what we're paying for rent now.

However, I found a solution.

The biggest issue is what to do with the computers that are currently in the office. The paper and labels and CDs can be put somewhere to keep them out of the way. It won't be great, but they aren't the problem. These giant honkin' computer desks with the laser printer, printer/scanner/copier, and everything else are the big issues.

If we get rid of one of the computers (we'll give the slower one to my mom who will be getting a massive upgrade by switching over) and get rid of one desk entirely. Hopefully we can sell it. Then we'll have enough room in the larger bedroom (currently bedroom/office) for our bed as well as the other officey-type stuff. We'll move the nursery into the smaller bedroom.

Alternatively, if it's only one desk, we might be able to find room somewhere in the living room. We'd likely have to get rid of something, but it's do-able. This would mean a computer-free bedroom.

One of the reasons we wanted to keep an office was so that the computers are completely out of the way and we don't have to worry about baby getting into things. We simply close the door and viola! So chances are this option will not come about; we'll have to deal with a bedroom/office which is much safer than a nursery/office.

Now, that means that we've gone from three computers in the house to two. This may or may not work. The plan is to keep "stuff" money and put it towards a replacement for the one computer in the form of a laptop. Yes, yes, electronics are expensive wasteful junk. However, in order to get a promotion at my evening teaching job I will need a laptop anyway. Plus I will be much more productive with my writing. (More writing=more "extra" income for debt.) My mom has agreed to pay for 1/2 laptop in exchange for the upgraded computer. Another space-saver is to take the money from selling one of the desks plus the money that I will hopefully get from selling all our old computer games (great games, just beat them or played them to death) and get a flat-panel monitor.

That's a lot of IFs... but it will keep us in this house for years to come.


  1. I commend your effort to find more room by decluttering the space you have, rather than choosing to live beyond your means. It's a tough choice, but I don't think you'll regret it.

  2. My hubby and I used to live in a really nice house. (Rented, of course.) It had a lot of space, a great view... fabulous. Except it was just the two of us, we had no need of all that space, and while we enjoyed living there, looking back I cringe at the $1200/month that we were paying. We should have gotten a regular 2 bedroom house (one bedroom/one office) and saved $200/month. I figure that we haven't killed each other over the lack of space yet, so we probably can deal!