Pumpkin’s Laboratory

This winter ended up being much busier than I had anticipated. I had hoped to work on just one project over the winter, and instead, I never worked on that particular one, and ended up doing many others. Miss Lady was getting antsy to have her room to herself as Cheeks was beginning to disrupt her sleep and was just about ready to move out of the crib. That brought about the question of where we’d move him (or her), and if we needed to move more than just one child. In the end, only he moved, but it led to a lot of cleaning and other projects, including working on Pumpkin’s bedroom. Or maybe I should say “Pumpkin’s Laboratory.”

We’ve shuffled children around many times since we’ve moved here, and rearranged bedrooms many more times. We’ve had to move one child because they needed to have a room of their own, or because they needed to share with another. We’ve moved them so that others would have less access to a particular bedroom, and we’ve moved them as we come to find a really functional plan for our house. It’s been a lot of shuffling.

When I fixed up the room for the little boys, I ended up having an extra bedframe, and Pumpkin had just been using a box spring and mattress on the floor, so we decided to use the extra frame for him. However, I didn’t want to set up the bed until we dealt with some issues in his room. So their project led to the project in his bedroom. His walls needed some patching, which meant they’d need to be painted. His floors were in rough shape, so it would need a fresh coat of paint. His room has yet to really be organized since we moved him in there a year ago, and I never liked the set up that we had…

You can see the old floor paint is pretty dirty and scuffed up, and the wall has clearly been abused. That’s a lot of plaster patching from the dings of a toy hammer.

Clearly, it was a bit of an undertaking, and having literally just come from three days of redoing the little boys’ room, I had mixed feelings about even starting on it. What really pushed me to work on it immediately was that I had enough paint leftover from the little boys’ room to work on his, and I still had all of the supplies out. Either I put the supplies away and save it for another day, or I do it now. I chose now.

The corner that the bed is in is finished…fully painted, and the other corner has just one coat of paint. The piles show how we managed to do a portion of the room at a time.

We decided to work on the room one section at a time. We started with the corner his bed is in so that we could get the bedframe set up ASAP and not have that taking up a bunch of space in his room. We washed the walls and plastered any holes, swept and scrubbed the floor, and then painted the walls and the floor in that corner. We plugged in the space heater to help things dry faster, and the next morning, we were able to set up the bed again. Later that day, we cleared two more corners and did the same. The following morning, we shuffled the furniture to their new locations, and removed everything from the final corner. Again, more plastering, scrubbing, sweeping, and painting. The next day, we set up his desk space.

The room was grey before and is grey now, but the grey is lighter, which really helped brighten this north-facing room that has a line of pine trees blocking a lot of the light. Again, you can see how we managed to do part of the room without taking everything out of it.

Once the desk was done, we picked up a bit of lumber to create some shelving so he’d have vertical space to store all of his supplies instead of trying to cram it on his desk or stuff it under the table. I picked up some fabric bins and several plastic bins with snap on lids for things with lots of pieces, like his Legos and Erector Set. We got an LED light strip to mount under the shelving so he’d have better lighting at his desk, and we grabbed a clamp on light for his bed for nighttime reading (which he is ALWAYS doing).

The new shelving is made from 1x3s and 1x12s. It’s still a slightly more cluttered look than I’d like, but it is about a thousand times better than it was before. We may repaint the chair yet, and someday we may build a whole cabinet/counter there in place of the desk and table.

I think I spent about 5 days on this project in total with all of the painting and whatnot, since I did it in sections. My intention was to make sure we were keeping the house clean and getting school work done while working on the project, and also not pulling everything out of his room at once and making a huge mess.

His bookshelf had been closer to his bed, but we moved it opposite the desk, which makes the room flow better. The whiteboard is for his creative ideas.

We still have a few small finishing details to do in the room, but so far, it’s been so much better to have it set up like this, and he’s been more creative than ever now that he’s got room to work. I was even able to get the closet cleaned and organized, which is just about a miracle, because it is filled with all of the hand-me down clothes for the boys.

He’s decided to call it his “laboratory” instead of “bedroom,” because he’s got random science experiments goin on half of the time. He’s also a bit of an artist, practicing his drawing skills, and writing comics, and he has notebooks full of his future business ideas and future invention ideas. Hopefully, this new set-up will help foster that creativity and allow him to do some really cool things! He was especially excited that I chose to fix up his room after seeing how much more useful my sewing room is after I renovated it in December.

All in all, the room is much improved. We put a laundry basket between the dresser and coat rack for dirty clothes. The puzzle hanging on the wall is one that he got for Christmas and put together. Oh, and we still need to clean up that nightstand. It was badly abused by the younger boys.

Now I just need to go do some touch-ups in Miss Lady’s room, and take care of a few things in Peanut’s, and all of the kids’ bedrooms will feel clean and functional and organized! Which is perfect, because I’m about ready to throw everything into the outdoors now that it’s getting warm out!

Love and Blessings~ Danielle


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