Simple (and small) Living vol.13

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Moving three children into one bedroom was one of our most challenging tasks when we downsized into our 900 square foot home. Our children simply had more toys and games than would ever fit into their new room.

It was important that they each feel like the room was theirs.

I have one boy and two girls so I was particularly sensitive to making sure my son didn’t feel like he was shoved into a corner of his sisters’ room. I also wanted each child to have their own designated places for their belongings, all the while keeping the space uncluttered and tidy.

I certainly had my work cut out for me.

My Five Tips for organizing three children into one bedroom:

Stacked Beds

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Bunkbeds are a universal solution when putting multiple children in one room without sacrificing floor space.

My husband custom built a triple bunk bed that perfectly fit in a space between two windows on their longest wall. He also included a built-in shelf at the head of each bunk which gives the kids a special place to store their most prized possessions.

We purchased small battery operated push lights to use as reading lights.

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Neutral Bedding

I love pink and my girls’ room in our old house was filled with bright feminine colors. But for the purpose of sharing, I chose grey and white bedding. The girls have cheerful red polka dot pillows and my son has plaid, which coordinates but is slightly more masculine. The girls have also feminized their bunks with their favorite stuffies and dolls.

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Designated Storage

One bookshelf fit on a wall adjacent to the bunk bed so each child chose a shelf. There they store their cherished toys and trinkets. We encourage them to respect their siblings’ items and not grab things off the shelf of another without asking.

The back side of the triple bunk has a coat and backpack hook for each child. The metal pocket above each hook contains school papers and artwork.

Once a month we try to sit down with each child and go through their papers. They dispose of most of them and the few they want to save go in a three ringed binder.

Contain the Clutter

In my kids’ room I had to lower my clutter standards. While I longed to discard anything that didn’t fit my design vision I had to (and still have to) remind myself that this room is for them, not me.

While the goal is tidiness and organization, I try not to impose it on them in a way that makes their room a source of strife between us. Tiny earrings go on a wall hanging organizer and Legos in a rolling cart that can easily be moved to the garage.

Rather than discard everything come up with creative ways to store and organize it.

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Secondary Storage

To keep the kids’ room organized we store many of their toys in labeled bins in the garage. Legos, crafts and army men stay in bins in the garage and can easily be brought to their room.

My kids never play with the same thing every single day. They go through doll phases and Lego phases. We allow them to play with these but when it seems they’ve lost interest we move them back out to the garage until the next time they ask for them.

I’ve done this with varying degrees of discipline and I’ll say that it works very well if none of the toys are stored in their room. It helps to keep a handy menu of items for them to look through when they get bored because it’s easy to forget what you have. This also helps me discard certain toys that never get played with. If a bin stays unopened for a year, chances are it’s okay to discard it.

If you’re just joining me, check out my earlier posts beginning with Simple (and small) Living vol. 1. 

Don’t miss Lisa’s Cornell Chicken Marinade recipe  and some great Father’s Day ideas in yesterday’s post.

-Sarah

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1 Comment

  1. LauraR
    May 26, 2016

    I have been really enjoying this series. The question I have each week is what does your garage look like? Is it an extra large one and how do you keep it from becoming a catch all space?

    Reply

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