I've gotten a few questions from friends and family about how we're going to fit our third child into our home. We're currently renting a 1250 square foot three bedroom house. The space is designed extremely well, so it actually feels much bigger than it sounds. Especially after bringing Claire home to a 600 square foot one bedroom apartment and Maggie home to an 800 square foot two bedroom apartment.
One bedroom is the master. It has a queen-size bed, two roomy nightstands where we keep socks/underwear/pajamas, a computer desk, a small closet, and a storage bench for out-of-season clothing.
Another bedroom is the nursery. It has two cribs (Claire's is converted to a toddler bed), a three-drawer dresser (one drawer for each girl and another for cloth diapers/socks/underwear), a closet filled with many bins of clothing in storage, a bookshelf, and some quiet time toys - a doll house and a basket under each crib with puzzles. The girls both sleep in here at night, but only Claire is in here for afternoon nap.
The last bedroom is the guestroom. It has two twin beds, an empty dresser, a closet with a couple more bins of baby clothing and the few things that don't fit in our room - winter coats and Adam's suits. We store fabric, air mattresses, and gift wrap in under-bed bins. We also keep a pack-n-play set up for Maggie to nap in.
For the first five or six months, the baby will be in our room. Since our pack-n-play will still be in use for Maggie's naps and it's too large to keep in our bedroom for such a long chunk of time anyway, we plan to invest in some sort of bassinet. (A co-sleeper won't really work because there's no extra room on the sides of our bed; we'll have to keep it at the foot.)
We'll store the baby clothing in the empty dresser in the guest room and hang the necessary items in that closet. The rocking chair that we used during Claire and Maggie's infancy broke as we were moving, so we are planning to invest in a new glider for this baby. We'll keep that in our playroom.
When we're ready for the baby to move out of our room, he or she will start sleeping in the guest room pack-n-play. Maggie will be 2.5 next April, so by the time this happens next summer, she'll have outgrown her napping spot anyway. We'll move her into her crib in the nursery for naps and Claire will start doing quiet time in our room instead. She can bring her puzzles, books on tape, and coloring books in here. The only bummer is that I won't have access to our desktop computer during that time, but I'm sure I'll get used to blogging on our Surface.
Basically, we don't want to create a nursery for the baby and a big girl room for our two oldest because we're not ready to give up our guest room. We love having a space for guests and use it frequently, so we don't want to do any furniture rearranging yet. When we do have guests staying over, we'll be able to move the baby and the pack-n-play into our room for a few nights.
Our lease will be up in February of 2017, right around the new baby's first birthday. We definitely won't be able to buy a house yet - our goal is five years from now, when we turn thirty and hit our ten-year anniversary. If we magically find a four-bedroom rental home that's just as nice in our same location for just about the same monthly rent, well, we're probably jump on that deal and move.
If not, we'll stay here and finally say goodbye to our guestroom. We'll move Claire and Maggie into that room, since it's a little bigger than the nursery. Claire will turn five right around then, so she will move from her toddler bed into a twin. Maggie will be over three, so we'll probably have already converted her crib to a toddler bed. We could move her into a twin too, but for the sake of maximizing space we'll keep her in a toddler bed for a couple more years. That way they'll also have room for their bookshelf and a few big kid toys, like their doll house.
The baby will finally get a nursery. His or her crib will go along the shorter wall (where Maggie's crib is now) and we'll move the other twin bed to the longer wall (where Claire's crib is now). We might even be able to move the glider from the playroom into the nursery, if it will fit next to the closet.
When we have one guest staying with us, they'll be able to sleep on that twin bed in the nursery. Our Ikea couch is already looking worse for wear after five years, so we've also thought about upgrading to a pull-out sofa in the living room. Another solution would be upgrading to a fancier, more comfortable air mattress. Contrary to every episode of House Hunters, we should have no problem fitting three children and hosting guests in our small three-bedroom home.
P.S. Looking at these pictures reminds me that I should really do an updated house tour for you guys! Officially adding it to the list.