the big boys’ room (with a new place to keep books and treasures)

new shelves in Seth and Gabe's room

You might recall that I trespassed into Seth and Gabe’s room not too long ago.  I threw away some things I shouldn’t have and got myself into trouble.  That episode motivated me to beg Jonny to tackle a little project that we have talked about for well over five years.  He built simple oil rubbed pine shelves to line the ceiling around half of the room.

new shelves in Seth and Gabe's room

Seth and Gabe share a very small (9 x 9) closet-less room.  They have a bunkbed, an armoire for their clothing, and until Jonny built this new set of shelves, there was a bookcase against one wall.  That bookcase was overfilled with books, and the edges of the shelves were cluttered with “treasures” of all sorts that have been found by Seth mostly via metal detecting.  I wanted to free up those square feet occupied by the bookcase, and provide Seth with a way to store all his finds.  In the process the room got a very good cleaning;  I swept up enough dirt to make a generous mudpie.  Gabe, Seth, and I worked together to sort through their belongings, only keeping the things that were important to them.

new shelves in Seth and Gabe's room

new shelves in Seth and Gabe's room

Seth’s favorite bottles occupy the shelf over his head.

new shelves in Seth and Gabe's room

His special books, along with many of our chapter books fill one wall.

new shelves in Seth and Gabe's room

Gabe already had a (made by Jonny) shelf next to his bottom bunk to keep bedtime reading and a book light.

new shelves in Seth and Gabe's room

new shelves in Seth and Gabe's room

new shelves in Seth and Gabe's room

Seth used his collection of old canning jars and lids he has found, along with some jars from our pantry, to sort and store his treasures.  This system allows him to separate things into categories, which he enjoys, and also to easily look through his finds.  When a jar becomes too full, he will know that it is time to part with some of his objects.  He’s allowed to keep all he wants in his room as long as it fits inside the jars.  He can only have as many jars as will neatly fit in their section on the shelf.

new shelves in Seth and Gabe's room

There’s a jar for marbles, not just any marbles, only those that he has dug up.

new shelves in Seth and Gabe's room

And a jar for old silverware, also dug up.

new shelves in Seth and Gabe's room

new shelves in Seth and Gabe's room

I placed our field guides on the shelves as well, moving them from the basket they have been in on the floor for ages.  They haven’t fared well at the hands of my younger children.

new shelves in Seth and Gabe's room

The metal detectors are now stored in a basket.  This helps prevent dirt all over the floor, as they get very dirty.

new shelves in Seth and Gabe's room

Jonny put a hook in the ceiling so that the boys’ hornet nest could be hung rather than left sitting on top of the armoire.  (Every little boy needs a hornets’ nest right?  What? You couldn’t sleep at night with one of those near your bed?)

new shelves in Seth and Gabe's room

I am so very, very happy about this room now.  It is set up in a way that Gabe and Seth can manage it on their own with little need for me to interfere.  Thank you, Jonny.

p.s.  Silas is much better.  He’s still coughing at night, but it’s regular cough now rather than a croupy one.

p.p.s.  Seth was going to include some photos of recent finds from his recent treasure hunts in this post, but decided last minute to wait.  He says that he wants to find a few more wheat pennies so he can “bust the thirty mark” before sharing them with you. (translation:  he wants to wait until he has found thirty wheat pennies before he shows you any more.)


  1. Love their bedding. Where’s it from?

  2. Christina says:

    Are the shelves all one board or is there a split somewhere? I worry about how to get a long piece home….

  3. What an awesome space!

  4. I need shelves like that for my oldest above his bed for his sport trophies…

  5. Sorry, I know it’s Lent and you closed your recent comment box, but I just wanted to say that those shelves are *amazing* and I am absolutely going to tell my husband to make some for our boys’ room.

    After the two year old gets over her reckless climbing phase that is, otherwise I *KNOW* I’d find her up there.

  6. i have been wanting shelves like those forever. all over my house. my bookshelves are getting full after all and my kiddos rooms…yeah…they need these!


  7. Thank you for sharing this wonderful peek into your organization. I love it!

  8. Ginny, I love what you did to the boys’ room. I’ve wanted my hubby to make a shelf like that in our bedroom for ages! I have a ton of books that are otherwise stacked up all over any and all horizontal surfaces. Seems like such a simple request. But Jonny did a terrific job. It looks great. Love you all…

  9. This is divine! We will be borrowing this idea for our kiddos! You guys are brilliant parents!

  10. Anne Marie says:

    Well, this post succeeded in making me terribly jealous. And as luck would have it, I was listening to Catholic radio today and was reassured that jealousy is not necessarily a sin as is envy. Whew! Those shelves are gorgeous. Perhaps your handy hubby could put up a DIY post!

  11. Did Jonny make the bunk beds? I love them and we are ready for some new ones here!

  12. Great job…this is exactly what Bret said he needs to put in the kids’ rooms in the new house, as the rooms are quite small and storage space will be at a premium. I love the collection of old mason jars–I have a couple myself and cherish them!

  13. Love this post. Thanks for sharing! Are there plans anywhere online for the bookshelf next to Gabe’s bed? I’ve seen a similar one in another of your posts and I would love to build one, but I would need isntructions for sure!

  14. What a great shelf, we can’t put heavy stuff up above heads due to the earthquakes we get here. But it looks like such a tidy option.

  15. The shelves look great! I always think unused wall space is the way to go for extra storage – endless potential.

  16. Love …absolutely love…. those shelves. Would love to see the diagrams of how they were built, as they are really beautiful. The just make the room, and I bet the boys love them. What a great project!

I love to hear from you!