A hundred years ago, large families were the norm. Parents routinely had ten or more children and homes were often extremely cramped, with parents, kids and elderly relatives all sharing the same room. Today things are very different. Families tend to have far fewer children and homes are a lot larger. However, if you have opted to have three or more kids, space can be an issue, especially if you don’t have the luxury of living in a spacious home. So what are your options?
There is no reason why kids can’t share a bedroom. They might not be too happy about it, but if sharing with their siblings is all they have even known, you are unlikely to have too many complaints unless your children fight like cat and dog.
Younger children usually enjoy sharing a bedroom. Having company at night is comforting, especially for kids who are afraid of the monster living in the closet. Kids who are close in age will usually chat to each other and be the best of friends (most of the time). A shared bedroom is a place for fun and games, not to mention naughty pranks.
As kids get older, they are more likely to crave their own space. It is also problematic if you have big age gaps between your kids. For example, a teenager is unlikely to be happy sharing a bedroom with a five-year old. One way to deal with this issue is to create separate spaces within a bedroom, perhaps divided by curtains or screens. This gives each child some extra privacy.
Make Every Inch Count
Bedrooms in smaller homes are often fairly compact. If this is the case in your home and you have three or more kids sharing the room, you are going to have to be extra creative. Storage is likely to be a huge problem. Children need space for their clothes, toys and school books. Maximize what space you have with plenty of shelving and storage space. Try and raise beds off the floor so you have as much floor space as possible.
Choosing the Right Bed
A number bed, adjustable bed is perfect for adults, but kids sharing a room usually benefit from smaller beds. Bunk beds are ideal for kids who share a bedroom. Younger children will be happy to sleep in a bunk bed, but if you have an older child or teenager, look for bunk beds with a double bed at the bottom and a single on top. This will also work if you have three kids sharing a room: two can share the bed at the bottom.
Space Saving Beds
Loft beds are an alternative to bunk beds. You can also combine a set of bunk beds with a loft bed, which will give you extra floor space. A further idea to consider if you don’t have a lot of space to work with is a pull-out bed. Some beds are designed to fold back into the wall when not in use. This is a clever way of maximizing space in a bedroom, although it won’t be suitable for younger children.
Casual Beds for Sleepovers
No matter how many kids you have, there will be plenty of times when you end up with extra kids as a result of a sleepover. Futons and camp beds are an easy way to provide extra sleeping space for kids on a sleepover. You could also let them sleep in the living room on a thick rug or extra thick duvet. Kids always enjoy spending the night somewhere different, although you may not get much sleep if they decide to watch scary movies or go on a midnight hunt for food in the kitchen.
Add a Bedroom
If you have space, it might be worth adding an extra bedroom to try and solve your lack of space. Extending into the attic is a relatively inexpensive option, although it will depend on whether your attic is suitable. Another idea is to convert a downstairs room into an extra bedroom for an older child. You will lose a room but gain a bedroom. This best bit about doing this is that it is easy to convert the room back into a study/dining room if you decide to sell at a later date.
There is usually a solution if space is an issue, but if you can’t make your home work for your family, perhaps it is time to consider moving to a larger one.