Thursday, January 21, 2010

Making a shared bedroom successful

I am posting this because I wish that someone had told me before my boys moved in how difficult it would be to have them share a room successfully - especially at first. Before they moved in someone gave us bunkbeds and so not knowing any better we put them up. Their room looked like this

This is the main part of their room before they moved in, bunkbeds, a table and on the other side there is a place for clothes, a couple of treasure shelves and places for toys. This set up worked at first and then the bunkbeds started to cause problems and we had to keep switching who was on the top bunk in an attempt to maintian some sanity. Having writing tools in the room caused everything to be written on. Having toys in there had Calvin sneaking out of bed at night to play with them. Some parts of this were not optional as they need to share a room and we did not have the playroom/family room built yet. As things were discovered I changed things as best I could. There was a lot going on and I really wanted to just make it work the way it was, I realised a few months ago it was not worth the hassle any longer. After the 30 days of Christmas I started looking for some used furniture. I found 2 very different but fun beds and got good deals on them
This is Fudge's bed, he puts his head at the open end and loves that he has a "cave". I put their bookshelf underneath it with a lamp attached, a carpet and some pillows so that they have a reading nook. They enjoy  it and read quietly before bed.

This is Calvin's bed. It has a desk undeneath it and he is working towards being trusted at bedtime so that he can have curtains to make a cave too - (they both had them on the bunkbeds at one point but they came down for a variety of reasons) We went to the dollar store and got all the frog and dino stickers so he could make it his own space. Fudge has space stickers. There is a space to climb behind his bed as well if you go under the desk but I am not encouraging this nor am I forbidding it... we'll see.

The table is still there but there are only colouring things when they are asked for. Behind the table they each have a shelf for things that are special, a variety of little boy "treasures" live there and there are no toys in the bedroom unless they made it/built it ( wooden cars and such).

All of their clothes are here, they are organized and put out by season. Each of them uses a different colour hanger to make things easier for Fudge to manage. There is no closet for things to be hidden in and now there is no under the bed hiding places either.

Although it took awhile to get all the pieces in place the boys can now successfully share a room because they both have their own space and their are few temptations left. I imagine it would be really hard to sleep with your angry sibling tossing and turning below or above you - bunkbeds are not a good thing with kids like mine - to bad no one told me that before.


Lisa said...

Love this set up! Fun & functional!

mcl said...

fudge has Ri & Gabe's bed. You should note that the top ledge IS wide enough to walk along --your vote to ban that before or after the accident. Also, we put a table bumper (call me) along the top/bottem corner and the side of the ladder as they're sharp if your moving fast enough--guess who figured that out. And we have great attached Iowa lights that are SO dim, it's great. Can you make my house big enough for no toys in their room?

Dia por Dia said...

I'm right there with you. We have had every single one of your issues (writing implements, sharing bunk beds, toys) plus a few others. We are on plan #10 or #12 with setting up the boys' rooms and we may be closer to an optimal setup (keeping fingers crossed.)

Keep us posted on how this works!

Mama Drama Times Two said...

Love the cave and under the bed reading nook! I want one! We recently had Bobby move in AK's large room and are now struggling with how to equitably divide the wall/floor and stuff space between the two boys.

Essie the Accidental Mommy said...

Ha, you made me snort with the bit about writing implements *sigh*. My girls have bunk beds too. At first it was a single bed and crib. Then we got bunks and Per state law we could not have a special needs foster child on a top bunk so Teena went up there, it was our only choice so thankfully it worked out.
I like the second set up though. It must be fun for the boys to have cool bed set- ups like that now!

BT said...

That memo missed us too, so we started out with bunk beds as well. Sigh. Fortunately, they were the kind of bunk beds that could be converted to stand-alone beds, and fortunately there was space/layout for the beds to be separated. Been there done that with respect to writing implements and toys. Fun times. About 1.5 years ago, we finally seemed to reach an equilibrium, and now everyone's even gaining bed-related privileges.

I am coveting that cave bed with reading nook! That was a great find.

marythemom said...

We were told our new daughter had never slept in her own room and neeed to share so we put her (11 yrs) and our bio daughter (10) in a small room with bunk beds. The girls fought bitterly. We switched them to a bigger room with loft beds. The fighting continued to escalate and became physical. We finally separated the girls (bye bye sewing room/study *sigh*), and things mostly calmed down, but my girls were dealing with puberty/ hormones/ and one was severely emotionally disturbed (RAD, ADHD, bipolar...) so it was a little different. My adopted daughter is doing much better with her less overwhelming stripped room (no toys, few books, less "stuff").

So glad it's working out for you guys! The room looks cute.

Mary in TX