Wednesday, January 23, 2013

How to Fit Multiple Children in a Bedroom & Our Bedroom Sharing Philosophy ~ Big Family Idea Bonanza Series

Unless you’re independently wealthy, have a fairy godmother, or are a sought-after football coach a la Tom Baker in Cheaper by the Dozen, you cannot have a big family and give every child his or her own room.

I’m good with that.

I better be, considering we squeeze eight people in a 1700 square foot, three bedroom-two bathroom house. Even if we had a larger house with more bedrooms, our children would still share, and not just because they want to. There are a ton of benefits to room-sharing. Here are four that I managed to make all start with “s.”

Socialization. No better place to learn to get along than in a shared bedroom.
Sharing. It limits the it’s-my-stuff-so-keep-your-hands-off-it attitude.
Symmetry. I don’t get my own room. Why should they?
Stuff. It limits our stuff because closets and drawers can only hold so much.


Currently, we have the three girls in triple bunk beds. We found the pattern and necessary hardware on Amazon for $75. We purchased the lumber for approximately $200. My husband and the three Bigs worked together, off and on for a couple of weeks as they waited for stain and polyurethane to dry. When they were done, the girls felt a sense of accomplishment and pride with helping to build their own beds. With the triple bunks, each girl gets her own bed, and over half the room is still available for bookshelves, chests of drawers, and endless Legos.

The two oldest boys share double bunks, and the littlest boy (almost two) is still in the crib. In the next couple of months, we’ll take off the side rail and make it into a daybed.

Some other options would be to build a second set of triple bunks, and sleep all six in one dormitory, making the other bedroom a playroom or schoolroom. Then we could build a rope bridge in between the two top bunks and.... Okay, maybe not that.

Double bunks can sleep three as a full over twin or twin over full, depending upon your bed-sharing philosophy. Alternatively, a trundle bed can pull out from underneath the bottom bunk, even the bottom bunk of the triple bunk beds.

Finally, you can see in the image the layout we had before the triple bunks, when the baby was still in our room. We had the girls in the double bunks, the oldest boy in a separate twin, and the fourth and fifth children in toddler beds (crib size mattresses). The other bedroom was a playroom.

What about turning over the master bedroom to the children? There are more of them anyway.

Turn a den into a bedroom. Build in a closet or add an armoire.

There are so many different options when you get creative! The possibilities are endless when you think outside the four walls of a traditional bedroom.








How do you fit multiple children into a bedroom?


Other posts in this series ~




~~~~~
Receive new posts from this blog by e-mail.
Let’s connect on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.
Or follow this blog with Google Friend Connect on the sidebar.
~~~~~



This post may be linked up, with much gratitude, to these blog hops.

Photobucket Growing Home parents as teachers Wise-Woman-Builds Our Simple Country Life Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers Womanhoodwithpurpose http://christianmommyblogger.com


Pin It!

71 comments:

  1. When our six children were living at home, two girls slept a room on the attic. There was also another room, where slept the oldest boy. On the other floor two other sons slept in a bunk bed in the other room our other daughter. Thus, all four childrensbedrooms were full. (We have our own bedroom.) Our home has 5 bedrooms. Now, twoo children living on theirselves and the 4 other kids have their own room for playing and sleeping. I love your 3-bed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have seen other blog posts about conversions of attics into terrific bedroom space. Sounds perfect! Thanks for sharing your set-up.

      Delete
  2. When our 10th child was born, we permanently converted our garage into a bedroom, storage, and laundry area. The bedroom part of it is very large, and right now, all three of our boys are out there. But we have also, in the past, had 3 kids in a smaller room using bunk beds and a toddler bed, or a queen size bed for two of them to share. Another thing that helps is using tall dressers and book cases instead of wide ones. Also make the most of closet space and under-the-bed bins.

    Two of our daughters have since married, so one of my adult daughters, who is about to graduate from nursing school, actually gets her own room. She and another sister, who is also in college, will probably move out this summer, so two of the other kids will likely have their own rooms for the first times in their lives soon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, definitely tall chests of drawers! We don't have anything that takes up a lot of floor space but doesn't provide vertical storage. I've read about garage conversions -- they provide a LOT of space. Great suggestions, Virginia. Thanks!

      Delete
  3. Great tips :) Our boys share a room, even though they could have their own. I think there are a lot of benefits to it. (plus, I don't know what we'd do with the school stuff, office stuff, hobby stuff, and extra bed for the grandparents that currently takes up the other bedroom...lol.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Been there, done that!! Great ideas. Coming over from Deeper Roots at Home link-up. I'd love for you to share this on my Tuesday link-up too!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Although I have a big(ish) house with lots (5 and a tiny office that could be a bedroom) of bedrooms, if I had kids I would have them share. I think its good for them to learn all the good things you mentioned. Also I have family that lives out of town so having a spare room is important to me. I do daycare, so a playroom is also pretty essential, and I am setting up a craft room which will keep the clutter from my sewing in its own room instead of all over my dining room. Totally off topic, but how do you make that little link up thing at the end of your posts? I really want to do that, because my posts are looking really messy with all the little link-up buttons I have to have. Also, today I have a link-up on my blog, if you would like to check it out :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Almost all of our family lives within a hour or so, so we've never had the need for a guest bedroom. It sounds like you have a great set-up, Rachel. I'm not sure what you mean by the link-up thing. Do you mean the buttons from other blogs?

      Delete
    2. When we were looking for a house we intentionally bought the biggest house we could afford so that we would never have to move no matter how many kids we had (we are slow at starting but once we finally start who knows when it will end right? LOL)

      Yeah I mean where it says "This post may be linked up, with much gratitude, to these blog hops." and then has all the buttons underneath. My posts are so cluttered with all the buttons because formatting is NOT my strong point. I would love to not have to individually post all the buttons.

      Delete
    3. Rachel, when you are signed in to your blog, open up a page like you're going to do a new post. Set it up with the link-up buttons like you want it to appear all the time. Switch over to the HTML version and copy the whole thing. Then, go to Settings. Then go to Posts and Comments. Toward the top you'll see Post Template. This is where you can customize what appears all the time in your post. Paste all the HTML you just saved into the Post Template. Save your settings. I originally found a blog post with more specific instructions but I can't seem to find it with a quick Google search now. Perhaps you can? Hope this helps!

      Delete
    4. Thank you! That will be my project tomorrow!

      Delete
  6. That is really a nice idea. I love them.

    ReplyDelete
  7. That is great! When we moved into our current home, we had all four of our girls aged 7 down to 1 in the master bedroom together. There were 3 twin beds and 1 toddler bed in there - it looked like camp! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We have talked about giving up our master bedroom to the children, but just haven't quite come to that decision yet. I'm glad you shared your success with that. Thanks, Kayla!

      Delete
  8. Great tips!! When all our children were growing up, we had three in a bedroom. The crib was in our bedroom for the last three babies as there wasn't room in the smaller 10 X 10 bedrooms. My husband has always made our children's beds.
    We had a captain's bunk which is with the third bunk coming out from between the double bunk. In another room, we had the bunk (2 beds) with a loft bed coming off in a "L" shape because it saved space.

    Great post!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so glad you mentioned the captain's bunk (although I wouldn't have known what to call it). In hindsight, I wish we had done that, just to give the children a bit more headroom. But then it takes up more floor space. Well, there's always a trade-off. Thanks for sharing your experience, Judith!

      Delete
  9. Hello! I'm enjoying your great ideas! We have a smallish home with 3 bedrooms. Our 6 children range from 9 months to almost 10 years - 5 girls, and the youngest is a boy. We have our bedroom, which is fairly large, and could fit extras in when there is company, but unless there is a new baby (until 8 months old or so), we get to be by ourselves!! =) There is a spare room, with a queen-sized bed and a crib. Our eldest daughter is currently in the bed, and baby boy in the crib. The other four girls are in two sets of bunk beds in the third room. They double up if there is company.

    I have a question for you, if you don't mind. How does/would it work to have boys and girls in the same room re: privacy and modesty? We don't have to worry about that for a while still, but I was just wondering your thoughts on it.

    I just came across your blog recently, and am impressed with your desire to obey and serve the Lord, and your joyful countenance and attitude. Thank you for being such a great example!

    Love in Christ,
    Steph

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for your kind words and your helpful suggestions, Steph. Actually, I'll be getting to that issue of privacy in a future post. Stay tuned!

      Delete
  10. We had 7 in a 1400 sq ft 3/1.5 for several years. When there is room in your heart there is room in your home. They are all grown now and I miss those days.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Love that saying! Thanks so much for your encouragement to cherish every moment.

      Delete
  11. I loved your post. My husband has made and designed some bunk beds for our boys. At fist we were taking care of three extra children adn needed the extra space so now only four of the beds get used. the top mattress was taken out for head space. Here is the link to see the bed http://i1143.photobucket.com/albums/n631/garlicmom/theboysbed.jpg I really think that it is great for the boys for now at least until we get more room.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, Jenifer! What an incredible space saver! How do they like it?

      Delete
  12. Nice to meet you & visit your blog!
    I enjoyed your sharing on many in a lil-home :)
    I live that and always 'looking' for the 'answer'?
    What do you do with 'all' the rest of your home....
    schooling, sewing etc? Or are the other rooms large?
    We are blessed with 6 girls and 2 sons!
    So ten in wee-lil home...any thoughts welcome!
    I leave blessed and will come back to visit!
    Blessings~
    Lori
    I found you off A wise women link-up~

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So glad to have you here, Lori! Our schooling is done primarily at the dining room table with a bit in the living room, depending on where we're comfortable at the time. We have a den/office with bookshelves, our computers, and my little sewing area. It's full, but it works. Many blessings to you and your really big family!

      Delete
  13. We had the triple bunks at one time too. :-) Nice solutions. Every kid doesn't need his or her own room. That is a modern invention.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. With the word "modern" you make me think of the Little House on the Prairie books and how the girls were always sharing a room or an attic space. I think, in their house in DeSmet, they all shared the attic space, even the parents. That was normal then. Thanks, Judy, for the reminder.

      Delete
  14. We've got six kids split in three bedrooms. We originally thought we'd do two sets of three (especially since our kids came in gender pairs, two girls, two boys, then two girls again), but we've discovered that personalities are key in setting up room-sharing, rather than age. So, our 13yo has her own room, our two boys share a room with a traditional twin/twin bunk bed (but they often share a bed and it would be quite easy to fit three in there), and our 11yo, 3yo, and 2yo share a room. The three person room is our largest bedroom and so it can fit a full size bunk bed. We originally had a crib set up in there as well (and two dressers and a changing table). Now we have the two little girls sharing the bottom bunk and the older one in the top bunk (although it isn't rare that we'll find all three girls sleeping together, which is so sweet). We could easily get another full-full bunk bed in that room, and could get as many as six kids sleeping there comfortably, if necessary. Alas, if only cars were as flexible in terms of sizing (still waiting on that 15 passenger van in the right price range).

    In Christ,
    Melissa

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sounds like a great plan. And I agree on the cars! Wish we could rearrange and resize a vehicle the same way. Thanks for sharing your set-up!

      Delete
  15. I think I would get claustrophobia in the triple bunk! LOL! When our kids were little we had a bunk bed that was a double bed on the bottom. Sadly, now it's empty most of the time. It's only used when my son comes home from college!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I thought that too about being claustrophobic, but the girls love it. Thanks for commenting, Sylvia!

      Delete
  16. Those bunks are impressive. Good for you to make it all work!

    Thanks for sharing on photo Friday and I hope you have a super weekend.

    ReplyDelete
  17. We have 6 children, 2 girls and 4 boys, and another blessing on the way. My 4 boys have always had the master bedroom. We use 2 bunk beds, but will have to come up with another idea soon as 3 are getting close to the weight limit for top bunk.
    We currently live in a 1275 sq.ft house and this is the biggest we've ever had. The one prior was under 1000. It was 2 bed, plus den and 1 bath.

    My oldest daughter was just married 3 months ago, so my other daughter has a room to herself. When this baby moves out of our room, it will go in her room no matter if boy or girl.

    All those "S's" are so true.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, Lori! You must be super-organized-mom! Good for you for making it work. So glad you shared your arrangements. What an encouragement to those of us who think our houses are too small.

      Delete
  18. Thank you for linking up to Mom's Library! I love how resourceful you have been! I would be interested to know how you deal with different sleeping patterns. My girls currently share a room, but the oldest doesn't require nearly as much sleep as the younger, and as a result constantly wakes her up. It is a pretty big frustration around here!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't know the ages or the sleeping differences, but is it possible that the older girl could either go to bed later or get up earlier and leave the room without waking up the younger girl? Have her put on her pajamas at the same time if she goes to bed in the evening later. Or, if she gets up earlier in the morning, can she hang out in her pajamas until her sister gets up? Perhaps a bed tent with a little flashlight, if she likes to read while the sister is sleeping? Hope that helps, and thanks for commenting, Ashley!

      Delete
    2. Thanks for the reply. They are 4 and 5. The older is much more energetic and extremely strong willed. The first thing she does in the morning is wake up her sister! Actually it doesn't matter what time it is; if she happens to wake up at 2 am she is up and so is her sister!

      Delete
  19. Thank you for this! We have a 1200 square foot town home (3 beds, 2.5 baths) and have been trying to think of creative ways to organize everything and everyone. The triple bunk beds are amazing!! We will have to use these ideas in the future! (It will be a few years before we have three kids old enough to sleep in 'real' beds!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad it was helpful, Kourtney. And I agree -- keep the children in the smallest beds possible for as long as possible! :)

      Delete
  20. I found you through The Modest Mom linkup today :)

    Thanks for this post. We are currently in a small 2 bedroom house so my three boys share. We plan on moving but it might not happen for awhile. Right now we have bunk beds and a crib for the baby in there but we might move to loft beds for our older two. That way the dressers and toy boxes can be under their beds and they have their own space to play and have their stuff. We've been trying to throw out ideas in case moving doesn't work out and this seemed to be the best one. I would put them in our 'master' bedroom but it's just the same tiny size as theirs lol :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's another great suggestion - loft beds. I love the way all the rest of the furniture fits underneath. They would make great hide-outs as well! Thanks for sharing. So glad you're here!

      Delete
  21. Do the girls get a little claustrophobic in the triple bunks? I've seen lofts and I absolutely love the look of them when my 2 girls get a little older I think that's going to be our plan, either that or a day bed with a trundle.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was concerned that they would be claustrophobic, but they love them. I don't anticipate full-grown girls (like 18yo) still sleeping in them, but for now, they work. In hindsight, I wish we had made them so that the middle bed was perpendicular to the top and bottom, just to give them a little more head room. But then they would have taken up more floor space. There's always a trade-off!

      Delete
  22. We definitely aren't independently wealthy, my husband is just blessed with a good job. We have 7 children and all of them have their own room, except the twins (but their room is large). Touching on your post about private space - as a large homeschooling family it was very important to me when we built our house that the kids have their own room. I felt that since we are together pretty much all the time, it was necessary for them to have their very own room for them to have a private, quiet place to go.
    And I'm not very creative, but I'm loving all the ideas and suggestions!

    I'm enjoying your series!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a lot of bedrooms! Thanks for sharing your set-up, Sarah.

      Delete
  23. Great ideas! My parents adopted six children (to add to the already three) so this topic is one I know well! I love if you would link your post up with us at the Eco-Kids Link-up! http://likemamalikedaughter.blogspot.com/2013/01/an-enchanted-childhood-playschool_26.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nine? Wow! So glad to have you here, Hannah.

      Delete
  24. I wish someone would design a bunk bed with a *crib* underneath. It's the little ones that seem to be hardest to fit in around everyone else, because there's less flexibility available in their beds. I guess loft beds with cribs underneath might work? Or a toddler-bed-SIZED bunk bed would be good. Our kids are pretty big before they need the full length of a twin!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Brilliant, Rachel! Do you have a handy husband that can make that happen? I have wished for toddler-size bunk beds, as long as the child on top is responsible enough not to lean over, etc. And I love the crib underneath idea! Thanks for the suggestions.

      Delete
    2. We built a set of toddler bunk beds. We love them! They take up so much less space. So worth making.

      Delete
    3. We built a set of toddler bunk beds. We love them! They take up so much less space. So worth making.

      Delete
  25. I had a homeschooling friend who had seven children (and she was pregnant). They had a very small home and so doubled or tripled up in the bedrooms.

    In the girl's room one of the girls didn't have a traditional bed. She slept on a foam mattress roll that they folded up during the day and placed in a closet so that they'd have space to play. She seemed to love it and I thought it was pretty clever as it gave them more room to play.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Another good idea -- like a sleepover every night. You're reminding me of the beds I've seen that are built into the wall and then come down at night. Murphy beds, I think. They are enormously expensive, though. Thanks for the great idea!

      Delete
  26. I have one child in a three bedroom home, so this doesn't apply to me... YET. We are waiting on the Lord to increase our family and if/when He does, I have all kinds of place to fit them into this house, or whatever house we find ourselves in. I've said from the beginning that I wanted my kids to share a room. ;)

    http://www.domesticblissdiaries.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know waiting can be hard, but you sound so prepared. Good for you! What an exciting time in your life, Alana!

      Delete
  27. Wow -- pretty impressive! I love when kids can share a room... I feel like it sets them up so much better for life... dealing with community and all. I'm glad the girls could help! Visiting from Fellowship Fridays!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good point, Lindsey. Thanks for sharing!

      Delete
  28. My mother's family lived in a 800 square feet 2 bedroom house. All 8 children shared a room : 3 girls in a double bed, 2 boys on each bunk of a single bunkbed and the baby in the crib.

    Anyway, I did have one question. I live in France and we (with 5 children) have a house about the size of yours which is huge by French standards (most house are about 800-1000 square feet). However, we have 6 good-sized bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. And so I'm surprised that you only have three bedrooms in a house that size. Where does all the rest of the place go ? Do you have multiple living areas ?

    ReplyDelete
  29. My mother's family lived in a 800 square feet 2 bedroom house. All 8 children shared a room : 3 girls in a double bed, 2 boys on each bunk of a single bunkbed and the baby in the crib.

    Anyway, I did have one question. I live in France and we (with 5 children) have a house about the size of yours which is huge by French standards (most house are about 800-1000 square feet). However, we have 6 good-sized bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. And so I'm surprised that you only have three bedrooms in a house that size. Where does all the rest of the place go ? Do you have multiple living areas ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe we need to specify our dimensions, Rebecca? How big are your "good-sized bedrooms"? Our children's bedrooms are about 11ft x11ft. We also have a den/office about that size which could be a fourth bedroom except that it doesn't have a closet. Our bedroom is slightly bigger than that. We also have walk-in closets in each bedroom, so they take up a little bit of the square footage. Our home has the open living space, so the kitchen, dining area, and living room are pretty much just one big space.

      Great question, and thanks for sharing about the French standards!

      Delete
  30. Love those ideas!

    We have 3 kids, but only have one bedroom available to them. So, we gave them the master bedroom and took the smaller bedroom. We have a bunk bed for the 5 & 4 year old boys and a crib for the baby girl. It still has tons of room to play so we use it as the playroom and bedroom.

    We do have to be careful to keep it organized so there is room for everything. We have the boys' clothes & the girl's skirts/dresses hanging up in the closet, then we have 4 three drawer containers in the bottom half of the closet to sort toys, extra hangers, & the boys underwear/socks.

    Toys and books are stored in 4 (almost ceiling hight) bookshelves in their room. We use laundry baskets, milk crates, canvas bins, and sterilite containers (what ever will fit that particular shelf) to organize in the bookshelves. We have more toys then we'd like but can't purge much else right now because of the age gap. We have instated a version of the "one in, one out" rule for the time being until we can get rid of more of the larger baby toys.

    We also bought a used dresser with a hutch for the changing table so we would have the extra space above and below the changing surface. I just made a quick changing pad using some foam from the craft store and some hot glue. The extra storage space has been wonderful. All of the girl's clothes, bedding, diapers, & accessories are stored there along with some of her toys. Multi-purpose items are the way to go! We have an extra chest of drawers in the room that holds jam-mies, puzzles and some more toys. We store bedding in under bed containers.

    Bonus of giving them the master? They have quick access to a potty when they are potty training!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love hutches and tall shelves! It seems that so much space up high is wasted. Of course, you have to be careful what you put there.... You sound so organized, Christina, and quick access to the bathroom is a WONDERFUL reason to give the children the master bedroom. :)

      Delete
  31. We also have 6 children, 3 girls and 3 boys. The girls have a triple bunk, just like the one pictured above. My husband built it using plans purchased online. The oldest boy has his own room and the 2 little boys share a room. Our house is just under 1200 sq ft.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, Leslie! You squeeze into a smaller space than we do. Cozy! Thanks for commenting.

      Delete
  32. I just had to reply because I definitely know about small spaces. We have four children and live in a 900 sq. ft home. Our home is not arranged like a normal home because it was built to be converted into a garage but that never happened. It is basically divided in half with a lg bathroom/utility room combo in the middle. One half is the bedroom area, my husband and I share one part, then we have bookshelves and dressers to divide the room and our three boys are in the other part of the room. Until last year all of our children shared the other part of the bedroom side but we decided to move our daughter out and let the boys have their own space. Our daughter is the youngest, 10, and we moved her dresser into the living room and gave her a daybed which doubles as a couch during the day. I know this isn't practical for everyone but it works for us for now. We do plan to add on but we have lived in this home since the week before my daughter was born. It is very tight but also keeps us together as a family. We have no choice but to spend time together and I always know what my children are doing, no hiding in their room.
    The other thing is that in the boys area, we have one loft bunk bed with shelves underneath and the other two boys sleep on cots because they take up less space than beds and we are able to store stuff under them as well.
    Just wanted to share another idea,
    Rashel

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If it works, Rashel, then it's a great plan in my book. I share your sentiment about smaller houses keeping families together. It forces us to get along! :) Thanks for commenting!

      Delete
  33. We have a 4 bed, 2 bath home with 10 people: 3 girls and 5 boys. Our girls (13, 11, & 4) sleep in a full bed bunk bed, and our boys ( 9, 7, 6, 2, & 8 mths) are in a twin bunk bed, twin bed, toddler bed, and crib. We will be making another bunk bed ( we made the first one) if another baby comes our way, for we'll need the crib. I think there will come a time when the bed will change for the girls, but it works for now. I realy like your triple bunk bed! Maybe that should go into the girls room (the smaller of the bedrooms)! The 4th bedroom, on the ground floor off of the dining room, is the sewing room. I have a quilting business, ans I have outgrown the use of the dining room. Plus, Mom needs to keep her sanity, you know? ;)

    ReplyDelete

I so much appreciate your time and effort in leaving a comment, and I try to respond to as many as time permits. :-)