We just had our third baby, and in our 3 bedroom house, that meant it was time for my oldest children to share a room. I asked my friends and read up on ideas and this list has been what's worked best for us to make moving them in together a smooth and easy transition. Here are some tips to help you kids share a room...
1. Introduce the idea ahead of time.
As soon as I found out I was pregnant I started talking to my daughters about moving in together. My oldest was sleeping in a queen size bed at the time and I had explained to her many times that the reason she had such a big bed was so she could share with her sister one day (I had lofty dreams of having them share and so I could maintain having a guest bedroom). After many discussions she conceded that she was willing to share a room, but not a bed. Our bedrooms are not large so getting bunk beds ended up being the best plan. My girls were a part of the process of picking the bed, painting the bed and putting it all together. We also moved them in together a full month before it was absolutely necessary to help them acclimate to each other.
2. Get all of the toys together.
I learned this from reading The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. I gathered ALL of the toys from everywhere in the house and did my sorting from there. That way all of the pieces to all of the things got put back together and decisions were made about how much room we really had between the shared room and family room. We downsized some toys and stored some toys away for later as well. Having a new baby was also the perfect reason to put away all of the "baby toys" and save them for the baby.
3. Cruise Pinterest
Pinterest can be the best tool ever when it comes to brainstorming how to decorate and organize any part of your house! I'm really into the Montessori method when it comes to organizing my girls rooms. My oldest attends a montessori school so having her room organized the same way promotes consistency for her. Basically all like things are grouped together (no large toy bins) and everything has a home. So far this method has worked fantastic and pinterest offered several more amazing ideas when it came to decorating!
MORE: 9 Clever Kids Room Ideas
4. Be Firm & Consistent
We made the mistake of letting one of our girls sleep in our bed initially to get them used to being together. Something about keeping them separate did not get them used to being together and instead of helping it started a bad habit. After doing some reading I realized how important it is to be consistent and stick with them sharing a room. Since then we've stuck to our guns and they've gradually gotten used to it. They still have rough nights ("she's shaking the bed!" "I can hear her breathing!") but when it comes down to it they've both accepted that this is their reality and ultimately they need to be ok with it.
5. Offer Private Spaces
The top drawers of our dresser have a special hiding place for our girls to keep their treasures. They each have their own drawer and they know their bed is also all theirs. Having these little things that they know belong to just them has really helped them transition to sharing. And they have ownership in keeping them clean and organized knowing that they can't blame the other one for the mess!!
Bedspreads: Land of Nod
Dresser, Nightstand & Frames: IKEA
Curtains & Baskets: Homegoods
Storage, Rug & Wastebasket: Target
6. Remember it Gets Easier with Time
This, which will help you survive all parenting phases, has been helpful to remember. As the months have gone by the blaming, fighting, and general upset has died down. They're getting less and less possessive of toys and realizing that when we say "clean-up" it means everything-not only the mess they personally have made. Bedtime is still hard...but does bedtime ever get better?
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