Okay, well neither had I, until three months ago, when we moved into a two-bedroom condo while trying to find the perfect house. I've always been super intrigued with maximizing the use of small spaces (think IKEA showroom), so this was a great chance to figure out how to make a small space function comfortably for a family of six.
The biggest challenge was figuring out how to fit all four of our kids in one room--without it feeling totally crammed. So in addition to sleeping, I also really wanted a little play space, and a (semi) quiet place to escape to for homework or reading all contained within this room. Since the second bedroom was too small to realistically sleep four of them, let alone all that other hoopla, we decided to use the smaller second bedroom as the master bedroom, and the master bedroom became the kids room.
Bunk beds are the obvious solution when trying to sleep a lot of people in one room. Plus it gives each child their "own" little space; albeit small.
Two tips for bunkbeds:
1. When using multiple bunkbeds, choosing a light/white finish to keep things light and bright. (And don't fall into the trap that white doesn't work for boys. So not true.)
On one wall in their bedroom is a row of four very sturdy hooks. Each child has a hook to hang their backpacks and lesson bags on (like their dance bag or piano bag). This helps keep all the clutter off the floor. Under the hooks is a red bench (not pictured) with a large basket tray perched on top for collecting all their school papers; things like field trip permission slips and log-in information for homework.
A small white metal table tucked right up next to one of the bunkbeds takes up minimal space, but still give the kids a spot to do a little homework or color in a coloring book.
The drawers under the bunkbeds hold things like stuffed animals and baby dolls. Before we moved, each child chose two sets of toys they wanted to bring.
Cam chose legos and blocks. Andy chose train tracks and knex. Ashlyn chose her american girl dolls. Ava chose littlest pet shops and her baby dolls. Almost all of these toys are stored on shelves inside the closet. Honestly, I don't think they have even missed all their other stuff.
I'm sure they'll be happy to see it again when the storage is all unpacked, but they've been pretty content with what we've got here. It actually kind of seems like they play with their toys more now that they have fewer to choose from.
A basket full of our favorite children's books and a few throw pillows tossed on the floor make a comfy little spot to get cozy with a story. Andy and Ava Carmel love to snuggle up here and look at books.
You can't really see it in any of these pictures, but right here, we also have three large bulletin/magnetic boards hung, one right above the other, to pin any special art projects onto, as well as our weekly calendar.
There is no overhead lighting in the bedrooms here, so we need lots of lamps. A lamp next to each bunk bed gives off just enough light for reading stories in bed, right before the lights are turned out for the night. Which apparently is their signal to talk and laugh for the next two hours. Oh serenity now.
In the beginning it took forever for them all to fall asleep, but finally instead of banning talking (ineffective), we made a rule that if they "must" talk, it has to be in such a quiet whisper that we can't hear it outside their room. For some reason, whispering that quietly makes them sleepy and they usually end up falling asleep pretty fast now.
Andy working on getting a game all set up for us to play. He and Cam are always busy building or creating something! Recently they have been discussing the possibility that they may not become astronauts. Instead they are leaning towards pilots. So yesterday they transformed their beds into private jets. :) They always make me smile.
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