Some of us are blessed to have large homes and some of us blessed with smaller homes. The latter is us! Two adults, three kids and recently an extended family member boarding with us in our 3 bedroom, 1 bathroom home. I am learning that living with less space has its own rules to go by! Smart storage, declutter, declutter, declutter and careful thought about what items get brought into the house.
The Challenge of Brother and Sister Shared Bedroom
One area of our home that had been getting on top of me was the kids’ room. Our 2 yr old son and 5 yr old daughter had a shared bedroom. Our 1 yr old son was in our room as our boarder had the third bedroom. And the kids’ bedroom never seemed to stay tidy! In fact it would get so messy that the kids would both be overwhelmed with the mess and refuse to pack anything away. We are talking tears, tantrums and big battles! No fun for any of us.
The main problem areas in their bedroom were piles of clothes all over the floor, mainly my daughter’s. All their books being taken off the bookcase and strewn on the floor. Miss 5 yr old’s dolls brought out and left where ever she was last playing with them. Growing collections of toys brought into the bedroom from our family room where they were usually kept. All the dress up clothes pulled out of their box just to get to one or two items. It had become overwhelming for the kids to keep it tidy and stressful for me.
What About 3 Kids In One Shared Room?
Another reason to change things around in their room was that I wanted to move our 1 yr old son out of our bedroom and give him a more permanent sleeping arrangement. Yes, I was thinking of sleeping three kids in one bedroom! I know, a crazy idea!
Also I had the idea of somehow arranging their room so it reflected their different personalities, ages and gender. Yes, tall orders!
So here are some of the changes I made to achieve an organized and fun shared bedroom for 3 kids.
Shared Bedroom Ideas
1. Less Stuff & The Right Furniture
First, we took the following items out of the room:
- A tall bookcase which stored hubby’s IT reference books, my favourite books from my childhood and of course, the kids’ books.
- Two single beds.
- Two spare mattresses which were stored under the beds and would occasionally get dragged out by them to play with.
- A box of dress-up clothes. Most of which are now stored under our bed.
- The kids’ shoes which were kept in a box in the wardrobe and are now on a shoe rack near the front door.
Secondly, we kept the following in the room:
- A small pink wardrobe.
- And a small set of drawers.
Lastly, we added the following items to the room:
- The single beds were replaced by a bright red and blue bunk bed that we had been previously given and was sitting in our shed.
- Mr 1 yr old’s cot.
2. Organizing The “Mess”
Next was solving the “mess” problems…
Clothes Storage and Organization In A Shared Bedroom
My daughter’s clothes were moved from two drawers in a small dresser to the stand alone wardrobe which wasn’t really being used. No built-in closets in our house! The baby’s clothes then went into those drawers.
I bought a cheap storage shelving unit to organize some of Miss 5 yr old’s clothes. Hubby cut up a $5 piece of MDF as a base for each shelf. The shelves tend to sink otherwise. Then some of the clothes were hung. Underwear and socks are in two small boxes next to it.
It is a little bit annoying that the storage shelf is a bit too long for the wardrobe. But otherwise it has been working great. Miss 5 yr old seems to like seeing where all her clothes need to be put. The wardrobe doesn’t get as messy as drawers especially when she’s shoving clothes back in unfolded. There has also been a lot less clothing left lying on the floor.
Children’s Book Storage
Now onto the books! First I bought two baskets for Mr 2 yr old and Miss 5 yr old and these go on top of the small dresser. They are only allowed to store their library books in them and Miss 5 yr old’s reading books for school. Another rule I’ve made is that no toys are to be left out on top of the drawers. Miss 5 yr old use to use the top of the drawers for all her bits and pieces which over time would spread to other surfaces in the room. Now all her “treasures” are put back in the drawer she has set aside for that purpose.
The kids know exactly where to go to find the library books and they seem to be taking better care of them. Now that toys are not allowed to stay on the top of the drawers, clutter no longer accumulates there.
More children’s books…
Initially, I decluttered the books. I didn’t know what to do at first with storing their story books so I have been trialling keeping them in a plastic box on the floor as a book bin. Actually this box of books is one of the few things kept on the floor.
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Nothing On The Floor
I have a thing about not wanting anything under the bed even though the extra storage space would have been handy. I wanted it to be obvious to the kids and me to see whether the floor was clean or not. So no hidden toys under the bed, now anything that can be seen needs to be put away. Also it means no storage boxes for the kids to drag out and empty out everywhere.
Surprisingly most of the time they only take out one or two books to look at. Even Mr 1 yr old hasn’t gotten around to pulling them all out yet.
3. Decorating A Shared Bedroom
My super cheap and very easy decorating ideas (I am not very crafty so I need projects that are quick and easy to complete).
Cheap Wall Decor Ideas
A $3 photo frame and five photos of all three kids. Make it look cohesive by printing different photos in black and white or sepia.
Next to that I hung four material covered canvases. Miss 5 yr old had some canvas frames left over from a birthday present she was given a while ago. She had painted on them but they weren’t interesting enough to hang up and I thought it was a waste to put them in the bin. So I decided to choose four different colored fabrics that suited both a boys and girls room. Then I cut them to size, folded the material over the frame and used my staple gun to staple the material to the back of the frame. Really easy!
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The final thing I needed to do was fix the roller blind and put up curtains. The blind cord had snapped and we hadn’t been able to open the blind for a couple of months. It took me a while to get round to doing something about it. I also wanted to put up sheer curtains for privacy when the blind was pulled up. That meant filling and painting over holes in the wall where the previous curtain rod had been pulled out. Something to do with one kid, who won’t be named, swinging from the curtains, not once but TWICE!
I love the feel that the sheer curtains give to the room! They definitely finish it off.
It is also satisfying to complete jobs that I’ve had on my to-do list for a while.
I am really pleased with how this shared bedroom for a brother (now brothers) and sister turned out. In fact, I now reckon it is my favourite room in the house. And so far it is staying a whole lot tidier than it use to!
More importantly, how are the kids going actually sleeping together in one room? Mostly well, thank goodness! 🙂
Update: Now we have my daughter in her own tween bedroom and the two boys share a room. I decided not to continue with a bunk bed for the boys’ bedroom as I hate changing the sheets and climbing up to say goodnight etc. So far it’s working well using these same shared bedroom ideas… Having less stuff, the right furniture, as well as organizing the mess by having a place for everything!
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