Thursday, June 16, 2016

Question: Children's Bedroom Storage

Ahh...June.

That mix of cool mornings and sultry afternoons. Hours spent around a campfire with nothing more to do than turn your marshmallow and hold the baby. Other hours spent bent over in the pea patch or furiously working on all the projects that get pushed back during school. Evenings at Bible school, mornings picking strawberries, Saturdays cleaning out the basement, Sunday afternoons finding a new bike trail. Mealtimes when the biggest question is how to combine fresh asparagus, broccoli, strawberries, and rhubarb all in one meal.

I love June.

Because of a computer glitch (that will hopefully be fixed soon) I can't share any photos of the past weeks. How can I write about my garden or the newest recipe I tried (this morning it was sourdough crepes with fresh strawberries and yogurt) without photos?

So I'll just ask a question.

One of my recently projects has been painting. Many rooms in our house are begging for a fresh coat of paint. Last summer I was too weary with pregnancy to care but this summer my sister has helped me for a couple days and we have both children's bedrooms repainted. I love the fresh clean appearance, especially since pulling nearly everything out of the room means that it also gets deep-cleaned.

But now I'm looking for advice. Our bedrooms are small and with four girls in one bedroom we are going to need to use our space wisely. Right now the baby is sleeping in the pack-and-play in the toy room waiting for the two-year-old to get out of the crib, who is waiting for a bed to move into. Their room contains a full-sized bed, a crib, a dresser, bookshelf, and small closet.

We considered putting two sets of bunk beds in the room but then hatched the idea of getting full-over-full bunk bed. I've seen sets with drawers underneath with would greatly increase the storage.

What ideas do you have for efficiently using space in a children's room? Are full-over-full bunks a good option?

45 comments :

  1. I would do two sets of single bunks with drawers underneath ( or maybe a trindle under one for the baby to use then she gets bigger). I think it would allow for more floor space for play.

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  2. I can't wait to hear ideas! We have 4 daughters in one not so big room, and I haven't figured it out yet. We did knock out an existing closet to make the room bigger (and built a new closet on another wall, making our son's room on the other side of the wall, smaller.) Right now we have one set of bunk beds, and a full size bed. Our youngest has a plastic 3-drawer cabinet which serves as a nightstand and a place for her clothes. I store things under the bed, so if you are buying beds, storage drawers underneath sound great. Best wishes!

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    1. Glad I'm not the only one who thinks it is possible to put four girls in one room!
      Gina

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    2. When I was growing up in the 50's/60's there were four girls in one bedroom. At one point we had two full size beds, a dresser and chest of drawers. Ha, I don't even remember if we had a closet in that room, but back then we didn't have a lot of clothes either. :)

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    3. When I grew up in the 60's/70's there were 5 of use girls in one room. Three of us slept in a full bead and the other two in a twin bed. My three brothers had the bunk beds and another full bed in their room. As others have said, we did not have many clothes. That is how it was and we thought nothing of it. Most of our frieds had large families too.
      Crystal

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  3. Hmm..you've asked for advice on the Internet. You are brave! ;-)

    I don't know about full bunk beds, but I did have a thought about the rest. If you move any non-essentials out, like the bookshelf or even the dresser (you could maybe put it in the closet, maybe not) that would give you more room. How about those beds that push in, trundle beds? So in the morning they could just push everything in and, voila, lots of space.

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  4. My husband built a 6-yr-crib-sized set of bunkbeds when our we had two little boys. Baby slept on top, about waist level for me, with crib rails that slid down in front of bottom bunk. As the baby became a toddler, he was moved to the bottom and the rail removed. The older son slept in the low top bunk, and toddler in the very low bottom bunk. All our ten boys, and one girl slept in these beds, moving from top to bottom and then top again, until a new baby moved the big "top" child to a twin bunk. We often had six sons in one room. Our second son is rotating his children through the same little bunks.
    I used 6 milk crates for large and small socks, underware and pajamas. They stacked very compactly along the wall and I didn't have to sort all those little things into eight or ten piles.

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  5. If it is possible to give each boy his own bed, it is preferable, I believe.

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  6. I have seen pictures of triple bunk beds, then you could loft the 4th bed (put on stilts) with a dresser/shelves etc underneath. Our daughter lofted her bed in college and put a desk and shelves under it.

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  7. I've seen pictures online of two sets of twin built in bunk beds either arranged in an L shape in the bedroom if room allows and using the corner for a built in shelf for a reading lamp etc. or two sets of bunks on one long wall as an alternative arrangement a parallel arrangement. You could use the one room as a sleeping room and then use the play room store clothing if space allows in the play room if space is really tight with two bunks. In the bedroom small dressers could be used as night stands to hold folded clothing for the two children sleeping on the bottom bunks. Drawers or underbed plastic rolling totes could be used for those sleeping on the top bunks.

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  8. We really liked our double bed bunk beds when all 4 of our girls were in the same room. There was drawer storage beneath the bed as well as a drawer in each step of the stairs. That was a section that was detached and could be moved to whichever end of the bed it worked. The downside to "full over full" is the difficulty in putting the sheets on, but with some patience, it works! Best wishes!

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  9. When we needed to put the 4th girl into the girls room, my husband built 2 sturdy, simple bunk beds with shelves at the headboard. We also think it best to have each child in their own bed. However, the one bottom bunk is a double bed, even tho only one child sleeps there. That extra space has been so nice...a great place for me to sit and read stories(without bumping my head)and countless other uses. As the girls have gotten older, they value their own space more highly, making their own bed more important. I also think it would be hard to access a child on the top double bunk in the back corner if they should be sick or upset or something. There are so many pros and cons...but this is what is working for us.

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  10. When my daughter was little we lived in a 10x40 mobile home. One bedroom for us and a "cubby hole" as we called it for her, just off the hallway. My husband built a lofted bunk. Doubled the space. She had a cool "tall" bed to sleep in, somewhere to put her toys and play. Win, win.

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  11. You might consider bunk beds with a trundle underneath and steps to the top bunk with built in storage in the steps. If there is space on each or one side of the bunk, built-in beds with built-in ceiling to floor cabinets are great for storage, and cabinet doors conceal all the stuff, helping the room feel less congested.

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  12. I don't really have much advice but we have four in a very small bedroom right now, too. We have bunk beds with double on the bottom and single on the top. Right now the three youngest are sleeping sideways in the bottom bunk! With a bed like that, you could leave the crib in the room for the baby for quite a while... When you have a small space it is just hard to keep it super tidy but, like my mom always said, you don't need big bedrooms - all you do is sleep in there anyway! :)

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  13. Why do you need a toy room? You could use that as a third bedroom for children. Especially with the gap in girls in would give your oldest her own room, and more privacy from little kids. That is what we did...oldest girl, boys together, little girls together.

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    1. I wish this was possible but in our situation our toyroom/school room is in the middle of the house. It is not possible to use it as a bedroom unless we added some walls.
      Gina

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  14. I love hearing all of your suggestions. It is just nice to know that I'm not alone in looking for creative solutions for children's rooms! Thanks for all your input.
    Gina

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  15. I can't answer about the bunk question, but if you go with storage underneath/built in, make SURE it's quality.

    We have a twin bed with storage, and the drawers stick (not on rails) and one door has come off. I hate this bed, and do not want another.

    Just my experience.

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  16. We have 3 boys sharing a room right now. They are using a single and single bunk beds. When looking for furniture, we were very impressed and intrigued with the loft style bed, where you can have a dresser/desk/bookcase, etc underneath. So much wasted space is in the top half of the room! ;-)
    With you having 4, I personally think I'd try the loft and a single bed over a double bed OR a single bunk bed with a trundle for the youngest. I have a love/hate relationship with bunk beds...!

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  17. I love all the good ideas! We have twin bunk beds and I couldn't find any with storage drawers that I felt would last, so we just slide our own storage tubs underneath (you can fit a lot!). We looked at the single over double bunk bed and I liked it, but it would have taken up almost the whole room and made it hard to access storage underneath. My general thoughts on storage are: go high up the wall and think outside the box for what you use. For example, our one spot for storage meant a dresser could go all the way up the wall but couldn't be too deep, so we used an old classroom science storage unit with drawers and shelves. We also found it helpful to try to make use of even oddly shaped spaces: we had a very small, angled space behind the door that didn't get used until we found a handy sort of storage column- the four sides have a mirror, bulletin board, hooks, and best of all deep shelves, and it rotates around so you can access each one (or hide stuffed full shelves : ) Can't wait to hear how it goes for you! - Suz

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  18. Interesting replies! So true that bedrooms don't need to be big. I know I'd sure rather have two beds to make than four, however hard it is to tuck in the sheets :)

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  19. http://www.largefamiliesonpurpose.com/2012/10/siblings-sharing-bedrooms-you-have-how.html

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  20. I have small rooms at my house as well. However at this point I only have 3 children. We have 3 small bedrooms. Even my bedroom is small. So, I have two children in one room and one in another. However that could get complicated if we have another baby, especially if its a boy (we have girls so far). We have a bunk bed in the room with the 2 girls. It is single (twin) over double (full). It has drawers underneath. It takes up most of the bedroom. There is just enough room to pull out the drawers and crouch with our backs to the wall to get into those drawers. The bunk bed was made for us and so the drawers are very sturdy. I don't know that cheaper ones would have lasted the abuse they seem to get even though we try to teach the children to be careful etc. In that room there is also a small space on the back wall to put a bookshelf. Then there is a small closet. We took the doors off the closet to fit another dresser in there. That works well but it doesn't look as tidy as I would like. I've thought about putting curtains on it but I think it would be harder on the kids.

    In the other bedroom we don't have a dresser in there since there isn't much room for one. My daughter hangs some clothes. She also uses one of those fabric "shelf" things...its kind of like an accordian and it has a part that fits over the closet rod and then it hangs down. She used to also use boxes for her clothes under her bed. That was a cheaper solution than having drawers under her bed. She just pulls them out and pushes them back in. But she is naturally a neat and tidy person so that works well for her. I have heard of other people doing that and having a bed skirt to hide the messy look. Some people cover the boxes with fabric.

    Whatever you end up doing, you should blog about it so we can all see what has worked for you. If we are able to have another baby, in a few years I am going to be wondering what to do.

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  21. Oh and I know a family with 11 children, but 6 of them are at home still. They have 4 girls and 2 boys at home. Their 2 boys share a room (single over single bunks) and the 4 girls share a room. These girls are ages 8-11. They have a single over double bunk bed and then a single bed. There is a small amount of floor space left. It isn't a big room either. Their children mainly play elsewhere.

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  22. Also, keep in mind this is something that people have done for a long time (lots of children in a room). It might not be ideal, but my Mom grew up sleeping 4 girls in a room, and they slept sideways on the bed to make it work for a while.

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  23. I dont know any way around bunkbeds. In the long run anyway!
    Looking forward to what y'all come up with. I am the middle child of 7 & when "the 4 little kids" (me being the oldest of the 4 littles...) We all shared a bedroom. 2 sets of bunkbeds. I think we did that until I was 10. Putting the storage under the bed will be the best use of space. Think about those cube systems, or crate storage with pull out bins...Color coded by child! Just think how many shades of PINK you could incorporate!

    Sam

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  24. I'd tend to opt for two sets of bunks. I think it's easier to make the bed. Plus, you could put them on opposite sides of the room and use totes that slide under the bed for some clothing storage. Two of my boys put their clothes there. There's only space to pull them out and push them back in so they may not be neat, but they are pushed back underneath. :P Besides with two sets of bunks, you'd have two possibilities for forts, houses, castles or whatever your girls are into. And if someone gets sick, they are not breathing on their sibling quite as easily. :)

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  25. We currently have five boys sharing a relatively small room. We considered full over full bunks also, but opted for two sets of single over single bunks. They are arranged like an "L" to optimize space. My only advice about the full over full bunks is that they are NOT easy to change the sheets, so if you have children that wet the bed/wear pullups or diapers to bed and require frequent sheet changes they might become tiresome.

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  26. Another consideration is that sheets are much harder to change on the top of bunk beds for sure, but its very difficult on the bottom bunk IF there isn't much room between the bottom and top bunk. I've seen some that have more room than others. However if there is more room then the top bunk is also higher off the floor.

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  27. You all are bringing up a lot of good considerations. I really appreciate all your input.
    Gina

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  28. One of the best investments we ever made for our 3 girls in one room was a simple cube storage shelf. A fabric box for each girl to keep treasures/trinkets with extra cubes for books and purses. When your box is full, it's time to sort out the things you don't want or need anymore. They love having a small space that is their own private property.

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  29. Just wanted to add this. I saw some pictures on a blog in one of the comments of the 3 tier bunkbeds and I was not impressed. They look like those bunks on submarines. I think the children should be able to sit up fully in bed, not just have to sidle into some little slit of a bed. I would go with the double full size bunks over that, though I can't imagine trying to make one.

    My twin sister and I shared a room and a full size double bed up until the night before she got married. That worked for us. I only have 1 child left at home and she has a twin over double bunk bed. She usually uses the bottom as the dogs sleep with her sometimes, but it is nice for company. We can add an extra cot and a fold away crib and fit a whole family in there. One of my husband's brothers lives with us 3 months a year and we have a two twin bed set-up in the guest room. One bed stays out, the other slides into a corner shelving unit and the exposed bed is used like a small sofa when not needed as a bed.

    I hope you will come up with a good solution for your family.

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  30. You have a beautiful family! Is adding another bedroom to your home possible? The two oldest girls in one room and the two youngest in the other bedroom. We did this and it worked well, especially as the girls grew older and wanted a little more space.

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  31. If you scroll through pinterest you can find some pretty neat ideas. One I am dreaming up has a loft up high then a few beds underneath going the opposite way,along with a small desk built in and cute stairway. Hope that helps. At this point yet we love being crowded in one boys and one girls room.

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  32. Here's an idea of how a family of 11 managed with three bedrooms (the parents' room, a girls' bedroom shared by their five daughters and a boy's bedroom shared by their four boys): http://www.largefamiliesonpurpose.com/2012/10/siblings-sharing-bedrooms-you-have-how.html

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  33. Gina,
    You're not alone in a small space. We have 6 children. Our 4 girls share a small bedroom. We got a used single over full bunk, and have not been sorry. The oldest and youngest sleep together on top, and it works quite well. The oldest, 11, takes such good care of her baby sis, now 5. We have a big bookshelf that stores games, books, crafts, toys; the closet and dresser for clothes(and some of Mom's stuff), and a plastic rolling tier of bins for their "special things," which doubles as a sort of nightstand. We have plastic under the bed storage totes for puzzles, paper crafts, and one for Mom's stuff. When we compare to our friends in Central America where we used to live, we are so very rich. I consider this "squished" season in our lives a good time of training for later, when life may also be less than "perfect" for my grown children. Blessings!

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    1. What a good thought. We don't know where God will send our children.

      And I often think of the homes I've seen in Grenada or Guatemala and realize that I am blessed with a very large home.
      Gina

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    2. I agree, too. I think it is much better for children to grow up with some situations like this. My personal experience is that even though I have a lot more than many in the world as an adult, I had much more than I do now as a child. I had a much bigger home, I wasn't asked to help with chores, I don't remember ever having to wait for a purchase, etc. I think it has been a hindrance to my contentment as an adult. On the contrast, my husband grew up with much less than we have now. He has not struggled to be content.

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  34. I have been reading these comments with interest! My own children are now grown and we never really struggled with a storage issue. However, while I was growing up, there were 8 kids and our parents,as well as my widowed grandma. My brothers and I shared a room when we were very young. As we grew too old for that, I moved in with my 2 older sisters and my 4 brothers paired up in two other rooms. Grandma most always used the couch! We had no closets..so we used boxes to store our treasures. We all had dressers and sturdy wires held our hang up clothes. Maybe it wasn't perfect,but it was all we had and it worked. Sometimes I think we as a society expect too much. Good luck with your endeavors!!

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  35. We have 3 boys sharing a room, but the baby will move up to the boys' room as soon as the new baby is born, so there will be 4 boys sharing a room. Our daughter is in a day bed in her own room (she's the only girl). Right now, we have one set of bunk beds and a trundle for the boys. The trundle can fit under the bottom bunk, but we always have it out. We use under the boys' bottom bunk for off season and hand me down clothing storage in plastic totes. Once the youngest boy gets booted out of the nursery, we will get another set of bunk beds for the boys' room. The trundle will then get stored under our daughters daybed for now. Depending on what baby #6 is, he or she will move to either the boys' or girls' room when he or she is old enough.
    We have only one chest of drawers in each bedroom. For the boys, they keep their under clothes and jammies in them. Each boy has his own drawer. Our daughter keeps her under clothes, jammies, and leggings in hers. This limit in drawer space is actually a blessing because it helps cut down on laundry and disorganization. The boys shoes are kept on a canvas shelf that hangs in the closet.
    Each child has a canvas cubby that hangs from their bed to keep a flashlight, a book, etc for night time.
    We personally don't want our children sharing beds, unless it's necessary. As long as we have the space, each child will have their own bed. Our children tend to sleep better in their own spaces, they have since they were babies.
    Could you fit the book shelf or the chest of drawers in the closet? Maybe the book shelf can be moved to the school room or living room? Or even a hallway outside of their room.
    I'm sure you will find a solution, you have been given a lot of great ideas already. God bless you!

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  36. I grew up in a 2 bedroom house. Parents, uncle and 5 children. I recall sleeping on a couch that let down to make a bed, that I shared with my big sister. We slept in the living room until my parents got a 3 tiered bunk bed and a 2 bed bunk. The 3 boys in the 3 their, my sister and I on the 2. We 5 shared that room for years. We were actually proud of the 3 tiers, since it was so unusual. We children had no complaints but I do recall my mother hollering from the living room "I said go to sleep!!"



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  37. We love our double bunk beds! We had them custom made at a local Amish run furniture shop. We found a picture of an idea we liked online and then showed it to him and he built it. No, it wasn't an exact copy, but it was just to give him an idea. I don't think, he'd ever built something like that before. Personally, I would not do drawers under the bed unless they are well-made. We did not get ours made that way because of being afraid the drawers would get stepped into by kids trying to climb into bed. The man who made our set, designed them so that the beds can be taken apart and be two separate beds. To make so the lower bunk is taller so an adult can sit on the side of the bed, he made the two footboards be the pieces for the top bunk and the two headboards be the pieces for the bottom bunk. This was his idea and we thought it a very good one. Yes, the top bunk is higher, but it makes nice to be able to sit in or on the bed. James and I have slept in a double bottom bunk/single top bunk bed and it was very cramped on the bottom. James couldn't possible sit up (he's 6 feet) and I could't either. Maybe they aren't all like this, but if you think this will be a long term arrangement or that you will possible have adults sleeping in the room (overnight guests), it would be nice to have more space.

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  38. Something else I forgot to mention. Yes, bunkbeds are difficult to change sheets. Check out Beddy's bedding online. They have the coolest idea EVER for bunkbed bedding solution. No, I haven't gotten any yet because of the price, but I love the concept. I think there are some cheaper options in other brands, but somehow I wasn't as impressed with those although all I had to go by was pictures and online reviews.

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  39. We made a bedroom in the basement for the boys. We had an extra queen mattress so he built a queen bed with a single bunk over the top. Our three boys shared that room and now one has a queen bed to himself and the other one has the top bunk since our oldest has been in asia. Our girls each have their own room upstairs but it is more of a necessity than a luxury since our oldest has special needs and has a lot of sleep issues.

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I'm still learning how to be a joyful homemaker and I'd love to hear from you!

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