How Our Family Of Eight Lives With One Bathroom!

For the past 4 years our family has been living in a house with just one bathroom. When we moved here there were seven of us, now we have eight. One of my big hesitations of moving here was thinking about our large family surviving with just one bathroom.

Was it going to drive us crazy?

How was Sunday mornings going to work with the craziness of getting ready for church?

Potty training a toddler with just one bathroom???

These were all questions I had in my mind.

Honestly, after doing this for four years now, I can truly say it’s not been quite as difficult as I thought. Living with a small kitchen has been more of a challenge than the one bathroom.

There are a few different things we have learned along the way that helps us survive with just one bathroom, and I wanted to share them with you!

The biggest thing I’ve had had to learn is to think outside of the box.

Meaning, what can I do out of the bathroom that is normally done in a bathroom?

These are real life pictures. I didn’t make the bathroom look nicer than it normally does, you see what it really looks like!Β 

Getting ready for church on Sunday mornings has been a challenge, so we have had to be creative in who uses the bathroom. We have a mirror hanging over our kitchen sink (there Β is not a window there), and then we have a full length mirror hanging up in our master bedroom. I frequently use those mirrors to fix hair, and sometimes to put makeup on.

I use hot rollers to curl my hair several times a week, and especially on Sunday mornings. Sometimes I bring them to the kitchen counter to heat up, and then put them in my hair using the mirror in the kitchen, just to save space in the bathroom on a busy morning.

I like fixing my girls hair in the bathroom, but there are many times we just don’t have the space if Sean is shaving, boys fixing hair, etc. That can easily be accomplished outside of the bathroom. Use a spray bottle for water, so you don’t have to be near a sink.

The wall was patched before we moved in, but it needs to be painted or something. Since we rent, we just haven’t worried about it. πŸ™‚Β 

Now I know you all are wondering, how does it work with just one toilet?

It’s not perfect. We have all had to learn patience, and the children have had to form lines at times and wait their turn!

With just one shower/bathtub and one toilet, it’s nearly impossible to take a shower without someone needing to come in to go the bathroom. Before we moved here I wouldn’t have dreamed of letting my boys in the bathroom when I was taking a shower, but I’ve learned to just let it go and we still manage to stay very modest. πŸ™‚

I have a floral shower curtain hanging up (Shabby Chic brand from Target years ago) and then a plastic shower liner behind the floral curtain. Since it’s double lined you can’t see through it, which allows children to come in and use the restroom as needed.

The top of the shelf is where I store my flexi clips (normally the container is full but I had taken them all off for the vendor show I recently did), and the makeup I use. For the past few months I’ve been using Younique makeup and really like it.Β 

We have a white shelf that I found at a garage sale years ago that holds our towels. I don’t have an overabundance of towels, but I also don’t have some neat system where everyone has a color coded towel to keep track of them. Sean and I hang towels up to dry and reuse them, the children tend to just throw them in the dirty clothes right away. πŸ˜‰

For three years we had an over the toilet organizer that really helped. We went through two of them and when the last one broke I just have made do without it. The bathroom is not as organized now without it, so even though they take up space it’s really helpful to have in a small bathroom.

Potty Training with one bathroom…is it possible?

We are just starting to think about potty training Sophia, but we had to potty train Deborah at this house and we made it through! It’s definitely not easy and our older children learn that a young child gets top priority in going to the bathroom first!

I found it easier to use an actual little potty chair and bring it out into our dining room for awhile, instead of keeping the bathroom constantly in use with the young child that is learning. Once we had things a little more under control, I transitioned them to the little seat that you put on top of a toilet. It has the little handles and comes on and off easily, we would just store it by the toilet.

What about keeping one bathroom clean?

With just one bathroom it obviously gets used quite often! We can’t really skip days on cleaning the bathroom or it starts looking really dirty! Every morning our 11 year old son cleans the bathroom. He wipes down the sink, scrubs the toilet, sweeps the floor and tries to make it look clean. I normally scrub the shower myself (a quick tip I learned from my mom, if you scrub the shower while you are in there taking a shower it’s SO much easier to clean! The steam of the hot water really makes it easy to scrub the walls).

Since I have children involved in cleaning the bathroom it’s very important to me that I give them natural cleaners to use. Mrs. Meyers is the cleaner we all prefer to use here and it works well. They have a scrub that is excellent for hard to clean sinks and showers!

It might sound silly, but I just love how pretty the containers look! The hand soaps make a bathroom look nice, and all the scents are natural and they trigger a chemical headache for me. I hold my breath when I walk down the cleaning aisles at Walmart, it’s all so strong!

I get all of my Mrs. Meyers cleaning products from Grove online. It’s so nice to have them arrive in the mail and it’s one less thing I have to think about when I’m out grocery shopping. Believe me, we have run out of toilet paper more times than I would like, so if I can just remember to keep the toilet paper in stock when I go to Costco I’m doing good!

Right now Grove is having an awesome deal for new customers, and I wanted to share it with you!

You can receive all these Mrs. Meyer’s cleaning products, Β as well as the bubble up brush set for free when you place a $20 order with them!Β 

Here is all you receive in the summer chef set FREE with your first order of $20 or more!

~Free Mrs. Meyer’s Hand Soap

~Free Mrs. Meyer’s Dish Soap

~Free Mrs. Meyer’s Multi-Surface Spray

~Free Grove Collaborate Bubble Up Scrub Brush

~Free Shipping and 60 Day VIP Trial

The Bubble Up container is really neat! It has a spring loaded perforated bottom that you fill up with soap and water. When you are ready to scrub a dish, you just bounce the Bubble Up in the container a few times and you are ready to go!

By ordering your cleaning products online, you probably will save more money than you think! I know when I go to the store for just a few items then I end up buying other items!

This offer is only available until Sunday, May 14th!

Some of my other favorite items from Grove is their lip balm. It’s my all time favorite, because it’s so creamy and moisturizing. I also love their candles, the Seventh Generation diapers, the scrub that Mrs. Meyer’s sells, and lots more!

Grab your free summer cleaning set here.

I’d love to hear how many bathrooms your family has! Do you manage with just one bathroom?Β 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments

  1. Hannah Beth Reid says:

    I grew up in a house with only one bathroom (but granted there were only three of us total). I can attest to the need to get used to people using the bathroom when you’re in the shower…it was just a part of life and people could still have their privacy inside the shower. Embarrassing note: my mother kept our training potty for YEARS because it made a handy extra toilet for me.
    I think sharing one bathroom did made me grow up learning to think of others before just doing whatever I wanted. Taking a shower? Gotta check with everyone first. Even now living with three bathroom using children and two bathrooms, we still have lines forming and times of the day when the bathroom seems to be in constant use (and I’m not a fan of cleaning two separate bathrooms).
    I have a friend who said her father removed the electric outlet from the bathroom so she and her sister wouldn’t take up time curling their hair in there and they just did it in their room.
    This was a great post! Thanks for sharing!

  2. This is beautiful!! We are a family of 9 using 1.5 bathrooms. We’ve all had plenty of practice being patient.

  3. We have one bathroom but just three kids. Potty training is an interesting time for sure! My son often chooses to go find a bush outside instead of waiting in line πŸ™‚ My son is in charge of cleaning the bathroom every morning, too. That helps me keep it clean then I give it a good scrub down once a week or so.

  4. Our family of nine lived in a house with one bathroom for 8.5 years! We definitely got used to people coming in while we were in the shower, and we sometimes had to brush our teeth in the kitchen sink. It is doable … but we’re very thankful to now have a home with two bathrooms!

  5. I’m 47 years old, and I’ve only lived in homes with one bathroom (it’s just how it’s worked out!). I would echo many of the tips Caroline has shared, especially the one about checking with everyone else before taking a shower. All of us are adult age now, so we are able to wait until the bathroom is free (we don’t share it). It really is possible to manage–you just get used to a different set of circumstances.

  6. Kristina says:

    We have had 1 bathroom for 5 years with 9 of us. We ask if anyone needs to use the restroom before we shower. If you don’t speak up, you have to wait until that person’s shower is done. We don’t let people walk in while we are showering. Even when potty training, and we didn’t have accidents either. But if you are comfortable with letting people barge in, to each his own πŸ™‚

  7. We have 5 people in one bathroom — it works! Sometimes the boys go outside if the weather is nice (we live in the country, so this is possible). I do clean it every other day…so cleaning one bathroom more often or two bathrooms less often, ind of a toss up to me!

  8. We are a family of nine. The oldest 33 to the youngest 14. All the kids grew up in the same house of one bathroom. Learned lots of patience! Most of all grateful we even had an indoor bathroom. There are those that aren’t as fortunate. The sacrifice allowed mom to stay home and homeschool all the kids. When cleaning the bathroom, was very grateful there was only the one to clean. Always optimistic!

  9. I always laugh when people talk about “having” to do hair and makeup in the bathroom. In our house growing up, the bathroom was for showering and using the toilet. You dressed, did hair and makeup in your bedroom. The only exceptions were dressing, if you had to share the bedroom with an opposite gender sibling (such as when relatives visited and all the kids squished into one room) and shaving. That made it easy to have things work in one-bath house!

  10. We have done similarly. Our family of ten lived in 1500 sq. ft., which was tight (I have a YouTube video of that house), but then we sold our house and had to live in 900 sq. ft. We’re still here, but moving soon. It’s really not as bad as one would think, but I am so happy to be moving soon. Here’s a YouTube tour of our home, with the second part coming soon. My old house tour shows most of the organizational methods I still use here in the tiny house. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v

  11. I grew up with 4 older siblings and two parents in a small house with one bathroom (tub but no shower for years). Baths were scheduled unless you were extra dirty on a non-bath night. Reading was never allowed in the bathroom. You went in, did your business and got out. And the number of people changed over the years from 7 to 9 or more in that house. We managed. My husband and I now live in our house with 2-1/2 bathrooms. One is exclusively ours but has been used by the kids if in great need. We used to have three kids at home and are now down to two. I just can’t understand how they all can go in to do their toilet business and not come out for 20-30 minutes. That was never allowed when I was younger.

  12. We have a family of 10 and only one bathroom. We have one blessing that is the product of living in an old Australian house: our toilet is separate from our bathroom, which is very handy during shower time! It does take a while to get everyone showered and bathed, though, between having only one bathroom and limited hot water. We just get creative with scheduling and it works out ok. πŸ™‚

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