Saturday, January 26, 2013

5 Boys, 1 Bath! (Nesting, Part 4)

That's right...
Soon and very soon, our house will be filled with 5 boys who will, for most things, be sharing ONE bathroom. 
And, I don't mean some mansion bath with multiple sinks and tons of square footage...I'm talkin' small, 50 sq. ft. of bathroom.
(Anyone else picturing a frat house in their minds?)
Now, besides the obvious overcrowding issues of bringing home two more boys, there are issues of cleanliness to contend with.
So, other than teaching everyone to be considerate of others and not take 15 minute showers...
there needed to be a little bit of organization. 
 I found too, that some of these little changes have helped to teach necessary lessons in personal hygiene to boys who, because of lack of parenting and certain cultural differences, just don't have those skills.
So, what are your bathroom pet peeves?
We all have them.
Wet towels on the floor?
Shampoo bottles all over the bottom of the tub?
Washclothes wadded up in the corner of the tub?
Toothpaste on the sink?
Urine on the walls and floor?
In my case, all of the above are on my list. 
So, step one? 
Getting each child a body scrubber of their own.
(Different colors to keep them clear on whose is whose)
Then, I used some of those 3M hooks
(the ones specifically for the bath)
and hung each one according to the height of the child so there was no excuse for not putting them right back where they belonged after they are done cleaning.
When Colin first came home, I used Google translate and typed up an "instruction manual" of sorts and taped it to the mirror in the bathroom.
"Steps to a clean body".
Let's face it.  When you bring home a toddler, you can take them into the bath and make sure that they are well cleaned. 
Not the case when you bring home a full grown teenage boy. 
Well, after bringing home Cameron several months later and realizing that he was clueless about personal hygiene, I thought, maybe if all his "tools" were in one place, he would remember each "step".
So, I gathered all the necessary things and got each boy their own metal tub.
A few colorful paint pens and "ta-da"!
Now, every time one of the boys is getting cleaned up, they know that they are to use each thing in their tub every day.
Sure, it means buying more items all at once, but it really did seem to help them remember to comb their hair, use deodorant, brush their teeth and floss. 
Now, 5 kids sharing one bathroom isn't always an issue.  Take showers, for example. 
Since the littles all have to be out the door in the morning an hour earlier than the older two will, they will take their showers at night before devotions/bedtime. 
The older two?
In the morning before school or after the younger ones go to bed.
One time that we realized it did get a little dicy was before bed when everyone was brushing their teeth.  So, we decided to put the two, (soon to be three) younger boys in the upstairs bath and Colin (and Connor when he comes home) will have their tubs and toothbrushes in the half bath downstairs.
That eliminates the scenario where we have 5 boys fighting for a spot to SPIT all at the same time into the same sink!
(That never ends well!)

Lastly, we needed to fix the towel hanging situation.  This one was inspired by Pinterest.

When you rent, as many of you may know, you often have the cheapest possible fixtures.  Our towel rack was one such fixture.

I lost count how many times this has fallen down off the wall.

That's when I saw an alternative idea...

I found this pre-made board at Hobby Lobby
and my husband stained it for me.

Then, it was time for new towels.
Thanks to a wonderful sale at Kohls and some timely Kohls cash that was about to expire, we were able to get some nice new towels at
Wal-Mart prices!

A little denim binding..... and...


Yes, this is the full extent of my sewing abilities!


Now, the boys will be able to hang their towels on a hook instead of "trying" to fold them and hang them nicely.  Much easier and saves a lot of space.

Of course, no nest is complete without birds.

The real question was..
do we go with a straight flock of birds?

Or more of a zig zag pattern?


These are serious questions, people!
Since our flock is definitely NOT a uniform bunch, we went with the zig zag!

My dear hubby hung it for us. 
He even made sure we had the strongest mounts possible anticipating some
"stress" in its future.

He drilled the mounting holes and counter sunk the heads of the screws so that the outside bird hooks would cover them and present a bit neater.

Placing the final bird hook...

Here is the finished product:

And a pleased middle child!

Now, none of this is rocket science, but it has already, with only three boys, helped keep things a bit more sane (and cleaner too!)


Andrea said...

Love the towel rack! Would you still have a copy of the "instruction manual" you made?

Paula said...

Most impressive! Good tips for any kids' bathroom, even if it's not shared by quite so many. :)

Elizabeth said...

bathroom peeves: pee, anywhere but exactly where it belongs. toothpaste, anywhere but on the end of a toothbrush. wet wash rags left on the tub floor. bleh. Love all your ideas, especially the buckets!

Joy said...

Very nice! We do something similar with our girls, but nothing as pretty. :-) For a long time they had restaurant throw away cups for their toothbrush/paste/floss. Now those are in long rectangle baskets in a drawer. For towels, we have hooks over the linen closet doors. Each girl has a different color towel because for a while, it was a fight to figure out who left their towel on the floor at any given time. They all denied it. Now that problem is solved. :-)

kimjax said...

LOVE this, Angie! Although I now buy thinner towels as they save on drying time - both after the shower and after washing. :) I also use Corelle plates and bowls - goodbye stoneware - as I can stack so many more in the cabinets with less space. Love seeing these fun nesting updates - you're such a little Martha Stewart crossed with industrial efficiency expert. :) I'm missing the Martha part!

The Kings said...

Looks Great!

I love the idea of having a bucket for each child with all of their own personal items in it. May have to borrow that one.

Rylands family said...

Andrea, no real instruction manual to offer, but I will gladly answer any questions should you want to recreate something similar.

Elizabeth- I'm right with you girl! the cool thing about the buckets were they were very inexpensive (from the Wal-mart floral dept.) and each boy's toiletries were in there, so it was a nice reminder that they were to actually USE each thing. (AKA DEODORANT!)

Joy, I was tempted to ask the friend that embroidered our Christmas stockings to do monograms on the towels to further ID the "culprit", but I don't want to press my luck. :-) She was super generous to do those 5 stockings for us as a gift. DIfferent color towels is a great idea, but my sense of color scheme just wouldn't survive!

Kim- Def much more efficiency expert than Martha Stewart here girl! My only saving grace is pinterest!

Thanks for the comments ladies!

Martha Berry said...

So excited to find you and your son's blog today. We adopted our youngest from Wuhan. Blessings to you and yours.

Wife of the Prez said...

We use robe hooks for our boys' and girls' towels. Actually for ours too. No more towel bars here either! With 8 of us and 5 of us using the master bath, it just makes sense.

Congrats on your two new sons! We have 4 sons. Sons are truly a wonderful blessing from the Lord!