Appreciation, blogging, Crafting to lose weight, memories, Thankfulness, Writing

The Crowded House

There’s an old Yiddish folktale about a man who goes to his Rabbi for advice about the crowded condition of his small home.  Instead of encouraging him to reorganize, the Rabbi insists that he brings several groups of farm animals inside to live with his already bustling family.  When the man can no longer take the chaos brought on by his home’s new occupants, the Rabbi instructs him to remove the animals. Predictably, the man and his family realize just how much space they have in their home, and begin to better appreciate what they have.

For nearly two years, my home has been joyfully crowded; stuffed to the shutters with the people I love and their plethora of possessions.  This weekend, my wonderful daughter and son-in-law will be moving into their own home.  While I will certainly miss their daily presence, it makes my heart smile that they’ve found a beautiful house, less than two miles away from mine. It’s a win-win situation for all of us. We’ll still be close by to one another, but we’ll all have more space.

This new space will allow my younger daughter  to finally move into her sister’s room.  She and her fiancé are planning to move into their own place in the Spring.  She’s been accumulating quite a bit of household things for her future home and claiming her sister’s room will solve her storage woes.

Happily, this leaves my younger daughter’s room for me to finally create a craft room of my very own.  Currently, my crafting storage takes up a bit of space in several rooms of our house.  It’s going to be fabulous to finally see everything have its own space.  It’s also going to take some work.

Fourteen years ago, after a visit to Monticello, my daughter had the bright idea that a built-in bed, similar to the one in Thomas Jefferson’s home, would be the solution to having the world’s smallest bedroom.

This bedroom at Thomas Jefferson's Charlottesville, VA home was inspiration for my youngest daughter's childhood bedroom.  Picture this with only 8 ft. ceilings and much less floor space!  (Photo courtesy of
This bedroom at Thomas Jefferson’s Charlottesville, VA home was inspiration for my youngest daughter’s childhood bedroom. Picture this with only 8 ft. ceilings and much less floor space! (Photo courtesy of

My husband took on the challenge and after several days of work, and a trip to the emergency room for nearly cutting off a finger with the circular saw, he completed something similar by converting her ample closet into a cove for a platform bed with drawers. (Unfortunately, her room is too messy right now to take a pic of it–I’ll take some good ones before we demo)  To create my craft room, we’re going to have to remove the platform bed, amend the floor underneath it and do some drywall repair, trim replacement, and painting.  Hopefully, no ER visits will be required!

I found an adorably colorful rag rug for the floor for only $12 at Kohl’s (Hooray for Kohl’s cash and a 30% off coupon).  I’ve also found a fantastic 72″x 20″ unfinished workbench at Home Depot for $69.  I plan to sand and paint it a sunny yellow, which should look lovely with the light teal walls.  Fortunately, there’s already tons of shelving in the room that my husband installed when he built the bed.  Hopefully here in the next few weeks, I’ll have pictures to post, providing that I still have fingers to post with!

So this weekend, my small, crowded house will become a bit more spacious, as my eldest departs the nest for a second time.  The closeness of her new home quells my sadness.  I’m excited for her to enjoy the fun of setting up her own household with her own unique style, and I know we’ll still be in daily contact.  With no weepy eyes on board, I’m thrilled to reorganize my newly acquired space.  Unlike the man in the Yiddish fable, I’ve been quite happy having a crowded bustling household; I’ve appreciated the craziness all along.  The extra space that my daughter will leave behind is just a little bonus to an already joyful life.

Do you live in a crowded house?  If you’re an empty-nester, how did you feel when your adult “birdies” flew the coop?  Do you enjoy organizing and remodeling like I do?  What’s the niftiest home improvement project you’ve completed?



19 thoughts on “The Crowded House”

  1. Looks like you have the best of both worlds! You are fortunate that they chose to live nearby. When I moved, I moved about 50 miles from where I grew up. It’s not the easiest situation to deal with!

    1. I really do have the best of both worlds. I, too, moved the same distance of 50 miles from where I grew up. You wouldn’t think 50 miles would be that far, but it is–especially when you have a job and family.

  2. We are perpetually remodeling at our house. Over 2 1/2 years ago, we ripped apart our bedroom and bath – stripped off drywall, replaced insulation, scraped off the popcorn texture on the ceilings, gutted the shower, sink, counter, toilet – everything! We got the walls, ceiling, shower, and toilet done pretty quickly. It took my husband over 18 months to make the sink (he’s a potter – it’s a gorgeous vessel sink) and us nearly another year to finally sand/paint the new vanity, lay the tile on it, redo the plumbing, buy the new faucet, and install the sink. There’s still some touch-up caulking and painting to do, but I absolutely love our bathroom now – particularly the counter and sink/faucet. It’s without a doubt the niftiest project we’ve ever done.

    1. Hi there! Your bathroom remodel sounds absolutely amazing–especially the sink. I love handmade pottery. What other things does your husband create?
      My hubby isn’t the handiest with remodeling. He’s a civil engineer and is great on paper, but has a tough time executing the actual project. Thankfully we live close to the hospital for all of his home repair injuries!
      Have you posted about your redo? I’d love to see pictures.

      1. My husband is a functional potter, primarily. That means he makes cups, mugs, bowls, plates, vases, salt shakers, honey pots – stuff like that. He’s starting to play around with sculpture some, but mostly it’s all functional.

        I haven’t posted about the redo. I guess I probably should, because it’s pretty cool. On the other hand, it potentially puts me in a bit of a dilemma since my blog is intended to be anonymous and my husband, of course, in the interest of selling more pottery, is not anonymous. So I might get put in the position of someone liking the sink and wanting him to make something for them. Then I’d have to identify him, which would then identify me and our kids and our address… hmmmm….

  3. I’m so excited that I finally get to build a huge train set layout in that vacant r–hello,what’s this…crafting supplies, a rug….what’s going on here?!?

    1. Thank you, Elaine! I know my daughter and son-in-law are beside themselves with excitement. I’m enjoying every minute of knowing they’re just down the road and not too far away from us. My new craft room should be ready to begin working on as soon as my youngest’s bed is delivered this week! :)xx

  4. The girls room changed into a spare bedroom and a home gym. Nothing much else was changed. I smiled though, as is is why I wrote my book, talking about me, going through the experience of the Empty Nest Syndrome. For some mums, it’s a relief to wave them goodbye, to others, like myself it was a grieving process I had to go through. 😦

    1. I so want to read your book. I don’t have a Kindle and read either on my iPad or hardcopy books. Is there another way of getting it? From your writing, I can tell that you’re extremely close with your children like me.
      I understand the grieving process. I think I’ve already gone through it when my eldest left for medical school almost four years ago. She was 5 hours away. I cried everyday, as did she!
      This move is going to be so much easier with her being so close by. Plus, the hospital and clinic that she is rotating and doing her residency at is within site of my neighborhood–meaning that she passes by my house everyday! I’m sure we’ll see one another almost as often as we do now.
      My youngest daughter has never left home–that one’s going to be really tough for me. Really tough! 😦

      1. Hi hun, I think you can download it from Amazon or Lulu, you may have to ask. I think someone has done that before,memory inhave no clue 😒 thank you for wanting to read it, yes as you have noticed I am very close to my girls. Yes your youngest one will be a toughie, it is a grieving process and I certainly did. I give you hugs and wish you luck for that time comes. xx

      2. Thank you–I’m sure I’ll need those hugs when the time comes–and it’s coming this spring or summer!
        I’ve actually never heard of Lulu. Since I don’t have a Kindle, just an IPad, I’m not sure that I can download it, unless it can be downloaded to my computer. I’ll have to do further research. 🙂 Enjoy your weekend!

      3. Yes you can download to computer, I have sold more through Lulu than Amazon..not JKR stats, but I’m happy that people have bought just to read my words. If you do get it, be warned, it was written quite some years back, before my blogging days! Thank you and you to. x

  5. We are in a two-bedder apartment and it is CROWDED with things we don’t need. So we are going through the process of declutter and cleansing at the moment. It feels pretty invigorating 🙂 How do two people accumulate so much stuff. We then think of our parents’ homes and just think of all the stuff we have also left behind there.. yikes!
    So what type of crafting do you do? It may be somewhere in your blog but we may have missed it ….

    1. I’m sorry you had to hunt for it–I was away from my computer most of the day. I do mostly glass window hangings and needle felting.
      We’re doing a major purging at our home, too. It feels good to lighten the house of excess things. When my daughter moved out she thankfully took all of her excess stuff, so that’s helping with the clutter! 🙂

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