When my ex and I separated, we were forced to downsize. The kids and I ended up in a little cottage that is 900 square feet on a good day, has two bedrooms, and one bathroom. I'd thought we'd stay for a year until we got on our feet and then relocate into a larger, three bedroom home. That was almost two years ago and a three bedroom is still not in sight which means the kids are still sharing a small bedroom.
I've had a few mums ask me how that works out so here are five tips I've discovered that have helped us.
1. Bunk beds. I can't stress enough how much bunk beds have helped save space and give each child their own area. Two simple curtains transform a bunk into a nook, a retreat, and a space to get away from each other. In a small-ish house, that distance is important.
2. Colour coding. While their interests are varied, the number of tiny toys expands every month. I keep Elizabeth's Lego sets and dolls in purple trimmed bins while Joseph's are in green, their respective favourite colours.
3. Neutral palate. Even though their sheets and pillowcases reflect their own tastes of Star Wars and daisies, their comforters are plain gray, brightened by fluffy blankets. With all the colour and business in the room, a neutral shade on their beds along with white shelving has toned down the chaos.
4. Shelving. Each child has a shelf at the foot of his or her bunk. When something is on that shelf, it's off limits to anyone else in the house. Joseph's taken to keep his special projects and books on his shelf while Elizabeth puts her jewellery and dolls on hers. It's all about having some private space.
5. And finally: relax. I worried sharing a room would be difficult. What I should have remembered is that kids don't always have the same boundaries as adults. They're perfectly content to be in the same room so I need to be perfectly content to let them.
Do your kids share a room?