Kim started keeping house early. She was 13 when her mother died. “She was a beautiful train wreck,” says Kim wistfully. “The Christmas decorations were still up in June.” In a home with little money, a couple of dogs, and “about a dozen” cats, getting things in order was a project. “My twin sister, Karlie, and I pretty much took over the house. And we got into it,” she says. “We cleaned and transformed it and started cooking. And we had rummage sales to get the mess under control.”
Nowadays Kim is vigilant about avoiding clutter. Even the boys’ rooms are studies in minimalism. Instead of posters on the walls or shelves full of tchotchkes, the tiny rooms have vintage beds and bureaus, plus a couple of personal touches: in Wesley’s, a basket of lacrosse sticks that looks like a gallery installation; in Declan’s, a piece of graffiti art that he made. Legos have survived purges and are stashed away neatly.