When I was younger I loved sharing my room with my siblings and today, my two little ones are sharing, too. And while I do think that they’ll look back as adults and be grateful they shared their room, right now, they are not always happy about it. So what to do?
There are numerous reasons why our kids share a room. The two big ones are lack of space and the experience. The bedroom they share is nice and airy with plenty of room to play, no need for anyone to be in the very small spare bedroom (aka storage room). For us as parents, the experience of sharing a room is the big reason. They have the fun of bunk beds, building forts together and fight any monsters that may lurk in the dark together. They get to share and that’s one of the lessons for us as parents to convey.
The sharing lesson is great. But it’s not easy. “That’s mine!” “No, that’s mine!” “Muuuuuuuuuum!” I’m sure you know how this goes. Or how about this one: “Go clean your room, please.” “But it wasn’t me who made that mess….why do I have to clean it?” These conversations seem endless. They are worth it though in the end – I hope!
One downfall is the lack of personal space and the comfort of owning your own little things. This is important for kids, too. So there has to be a real balance. Some great ways of achieving this balance is to think about some clever storage options.
The easy fix is to go and buy some colourful storage boxes. One colour for each child. What’s in those boxes are their things and (although they should share, of course) they need to be asked if someone else may use what’s inside them. This is also handy to keep school books and other items like that separate. I can’t tell you how often I’ve grabbed the wrong child’s things in a hurry!
You can also consider getting creative with any storage unit you might have in the kids room. One idea is to replace drawers with colour coded baskets or if the wardrobe or chest of drawers is a little older you could think about painting them or working with stickers. We did this for a while and then actually built a custom unit. That helped save more space in the room and gave each child the same amount of storage space, that’s just theirs and a general toy storage space, too.
We are happy because everything has a space now and it’s tidy. The kids are happy because they have more room and their own little spaces, too.