Making a Hotel Room a Home

This time around, we are fortunate enough to have a large room. We have done the small room thing, and it almost made me lose my mind. We have settled in to a Residence Inn, which has 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, a living area and full kitchen. We had planned to stay at a different hotel, so I didn't plan on having a kitchen. By the time we checked in here, we decided to go with the plan to eat out for meals. Insurance is paying, we might as well have fun with it, right?

Sanity Keeper #1:
When we are settling in a hotel room for any longer then 2 nights, I unpack everything. The suitcases are empty in the tops of the closets. I unpack all our clothes, toiletries and kitchen items.
Brad and I are sleeping in one of the bedrooms. We are sharing the dresser. My nightstand has clothes, Brad's holds all of our winter scarves, gloves and hats. It is low enough for the kids to be able to get their stuff in the morning and put it back in the evening. Our bathroom is the "hub" in the morning. We have a drawer for all hair supplies, including the kids'. Again, low enough for them to reach to do their own hair in the morning. All toothbrushes are in one place (in a coffee mug from the kitchen) and we are all sharing toothpaste to save precious counter space.
Micah has taken the other bedroom. As much as it pains me, we are not even using that other bed. His sleeping patterns are different from all the other kids, so we let him have his space. He is in a playpen with his noisemaker, diapers, wipes, creams, etc on the desk next to the playpen. There is a 3-drawer dresser in there, so Paige, Brooke and Micah each have a drawer. The closet is holding a few of the kids' hanging items, their church shoes and, in the back, an ever-growing pile of dirty clothes. That bathroom is holding dirty towels (between maid services. woohoo!) and wet swim stuff in the bathtub/shower area. This bedroom also holds the rollaways, blankets and extra pillows during the day.
The living area is where the 4 big kids are sleeping every night. Paige and Brooke are on the pull-out couch (with a pillow between them so no one kicks).

Caleb and Emma each have a rollaway.

Sanity Keeper #2:
I give all the kids an area to "own".
Emma has her corner.

This includes her toys and "valuables".

Caleb has his corner.

I have a laundry basket for the little kids' toys. Anything that ends up in here is fair game.

Sanity Keeper #3:
Have a place for everything.
We have a spot for backpacks.

We have a spot for coats.

We have a spot for shoes.

Sanity Keeper #4:
Clean up everyday (even though we have maid service). Every morning, I put the rollaways away. I pile all the pillows in the other room. I make sure everyone's clothes are put away. This way, when the after-school-craziness begins, we are starting with a clean slate.

In the kitchen, we have a snack bin. Once again, low enough for the kids to reach.

I have our medicine area and lunch box area.

And I have a stash of out-of-reach snacks to replenish the snack bin when we run out.

So there it is...a glimpse into our hotel life. Do you have any great travel tips you've learned? I'd love to hear about them!


  1. Wow. You're amazing. Truly. We're mostly chaos in hotel rooms.

  2. Hi Andrea:) that is awesome you are able to keep your sanity somewhat:) well the only tip I can think of that works well when we are driving cross country for the military moves, I have the kids their own labeled plastic bins and tons of strong zip lock baggies labeled for everything little thing:) for times when we just stay one night at a hotel everyone has their own overnight backpack so we don't have to take in the suitcases. It helps so much when our family is crammed into a small hotel room. That way the kids can have playing space and reduce the clausterphobia,(sp?). LOL. I guess it all comes down to every one own organizing styles. Kudos to you! Love you!!

    Luvluv, Angela:)

  3. Andrea! You are amazing :) This has been a crazy season for me so I haven't been able to read "dash of parsley" as much as I would like so I am catching up tonight - SO FUN! I am learning and giggling and glad to be your friend and sis!


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