The Room Shuffle

When we moved into our house 5 years ago, we were a unity of 4 plus 3 furballs. We had more room than we knew what to do with, and our kids lived comfortably in their new, large rooms with a spare room, a fully unfinished basement, a toy room and more!

Fast forward a year and a half and another human, and we were full on the sleeping spaces and about ready to finish the basement and get the toy clutter under control. We contracted the basement to be finished and prepped ourselves to have the house be a bit of a mess for a couple months…. during a global pandemic.

Our little magic bonus baby came last year, and our house that had so much room to grow into has really filled in nicely. So much so, that we had to finally do the room shuffle to make room for our little bookend girl, which meant that we needed to get and assemble bunk beds, get the nursery furniture out, move the boys around, and reorganize the basement. (Plus, get out all of the baby toys from our mess of storage.) Here are a few tips that we learned through this process of growing exponentially over a short amount of time:

  1. Have a clear plan. Make yourself a chart with where everything goes. I like to color coat post its on the items that need to be moved and repurposed. Even the giveaway bags and items have their own color. This truly helps with organization while moving– even if it is just within your own 4 walls. Before you move anything, make sure to let your moving help know what colors go where. This will aid in getting things moved efficiently and quickly without confusion.
  2. Get the kids out of the house for an extended period if possible. We had the kiddos go to their grandparents for a day while we sorted through all of the things. We kept any new things in the basement to alleviate any anxious kiddos from stressing about upcoming change.
  3. Go on a short trip. This sounds so crazy, but I meant to write it! We went on a quick trip to the lake and let my mom help at home by turning the rooms into a surprise to come home to! New sheets were purchased and little details were placed to make it exciting when the kiddos returned from the weekend away. It made sleeping in the new situation a breeze! #3 is a creature of habit, so we were worried about change, and he was a champ when he came to his new room– he even picked to be on the top bunk!
  4. Call in the experts. For those larger items and even the smaller ones that require stairs to move, get the experts in! They will move your items in a fraction of the time WITHOUT damaging your walls while shoe horning things into the basement. JC Movers and Lumper Service Inc are all about the local moves and furniture help. They even offer labor only services like we needed at Chicago Labor Movers. They will even help you pack and assemble your items! This is honestly the best investment in keeping your house sane and protected while you make big changes. They are local and professional and will take care of your items as if they are their own!

Moving is not for the faint of heart– even if it is within your own 4 walls! We are now settled in our rooms for now with the furniture where it should be- our next project is basement organization, and we will be utilizing the labor services at JC Movers to help with that process. Growing from 4-6 humans in just a few years brings lots of logistical changes and we are so happy we chose a house to grow into in a town that we adore!

Your hands must be full

I’ve heard this phrase nearly daily since the day B was born. Leading up to that, it was “your hands are going to be full”. Got it, Karen. Kids are work. And they really are. My hands were full with 2 under 2. And my lack of enough hands became really obvious when CJ was born. That phrase needed to be “you don’t have enough hands”. And truthfully I don’t. S is 4.5 and needs to hold my hand crossing streets, and wild and three Mr. B certainly needs a hand (and probably a kid leash!) too. And then CJ. No matter how hard I try, 1+1+1 never equals 2 hands.

CJ is what we affectionately refer to as our “stage five clinger” and needs to be touching me pretty much all day. When CJ was about 4-5 months old, I was introduced to the single most useful baby product I’ve had in my 5 years of parenting. I had carriers with the big kids and used one with B quite a bit. And then I found the Ecleve by Innobaby ( And life got a whole lot easier. If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, it is in nearly every picture I have of me and the kids. The Ecleve is my daily accessory and CJs ride of choice. I counted, and last week he was in it 17 times. I can easily put him on my back, and the seat design supports my little #foodiebaby. He (me!) loves it! I don’t go anywhere without it- literally.

There is for sure a lot of products that you need throughout all the different phases of babyhood. The magic bottle that the baby will take then you are gone, the snot sucker, the jogging stroller- you get what i mean. But the Ecleve has been my third hand for a long time. And I will keep using it for the foreseeable future. It has a detachable hip seat that even B goes on from time to time- it has a 46lb capacity! I was in crate and barrel the other day with CJ in just the hip carrier while I was picking up 26 lbs of birch wood that I swear we needed for my mantle. 🤣 We were like celebrities and were asked by 6 people about my hip carrier as I carted 26 lbs of baby on one hip and 26 lbs of wood on the other. But most importantly for me, it means I can use my 2 hands for my big kiddos and still have my little guy in tow and happy, which makes for a better school drop off.

The best part is that I Houdini him in and out of it and it’s easy. Not to brag, but I’m like really good at it and get lots of shocked comments when people see me do it. The company who makes it is truly a genius baby company. Their products are mindful and well made. I wish I found them in 2015 when I joined the motherhood.

And here’s the thing, anything that I can do to make my kids feel like they have the connection they need with mom is what I need. All my kids need a hand to hold, a back to snuggle, and a mom who can unzip the coats, wash the hands, wipe the nose, and give a big hug and kiss while still snuggling the stage 5 clinger. My third hand.