Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Sharing Rooms

     We ALL share rooms at our house. Our two oldest boys (12) and (9) share, and our daughter (6) and baby boy (2) have a room together. Really, it is a wonderful thing. I do get the occasional, "When am I going to have my own room ?" But overall, the kids enjoy it. I think that it builds character and instills a sense of care and a spirit of giving. There is a lot of give and take having to work with someone else. Sure we would LOVE to lavish our children with their own rooms. It just isn't in the cards right now. So, why not make the situation work its best? Sharing will definitely not give them a complex as they age, it will not be a detriment to their psychological well-being, and there is a real bond being built between our children. I just love to eaves drop at night and hear what conversations are going on. I usually find the younger two curled up and nestled together reading...past their bedtime:0). The older two are constantly giggling about something or other. Giggling is good...good for the soul.

    I've tried to give each of the kids a space of their own in their rooms. I love buckets and baskets! They like to know that an area is off limits to the other sibling. The other person is expected to respect the other's property. We use a lot of the roll away bins under their beds for toys and other collections. Their rooms serve as not only a place to sleep and hang out, but the playroom as well. I totally adhere to the rule that when something comes in, another goes out! We also go through clothing, books, and toys at least once a month and donate what we are not using.  This really helps to keep down on clutter.

     I want their rooms to be a restful place, a place to dream and relax, and a place to just get away when they need to. We've been at this for a while, so through trial and error, I have discovered some great ways to create a space that kids LOVE!

Keep things easy to clean up. 
My kids hate cleaning their rooms, so if everything has a place it is much easier to keep it looking nice. I also encourage them to play with one thing at a time. The younger two like to get all of the doll clothes out, every train track and engine, and Lego's at once. Doesn't work too well! So, I really try and teach them that it is OK to make a mess, just clean it up once you are done playing. Then, take out the next toy box. We use the roll way containers with flip lids under their beds. They are great! We have one for doll clothes, one for baby things, one for Lego's, one for trains, etc., etc. The older boys have things like motorcycle gear and collectibles. In their closet we have plastic pull out drawers for small Lego's and things. Great when you have little ones still around who might try and eat small parts! 

Create lots of texture.
Kids love a room that is comfy. I use a lot of pillows, soft fabrics, and easy to clean surfaces. Everything has to be washable...otherwise I don't even try! The boys love flannel, so they have flannel duvet covers and flannel sheets. I love cotton. I think it is the coolest in the Summer and warmest in the Winter. I have slip covered a little chair in the boys' room in a paisley cotton. It is great...just slip it off and wash it when it gets dirty! Also, semi-gloss paint is a necessity! I LOVE it. Nothing else has held up. You can wash marks off the walls and I just keep a little to touch up holes and things.

Use colors that make your kids happy!
I always consult before choosing colors. Each person gets to pick at least one! Color really affects mood, so choosing colors that make them feel good is important.

Keep the clutter down!
I can't believe how much STUFF kids seem to acquire. We have tried to explain to our kids that stuff really isn't that important. You can't take it to heaven with you! Of course, there are those special keepsakes that need a space, but 10 million Hot Wheels aren't necessary. I have the kids keep the things that are the most important to them. When the get something new, most often I make them get rid of something old. This way, the rooms still feel airy and spacious. Having buckets, baskets, or other storage containers really helps, too.

Make it look special.
I want my kids to take pride in their space, so I really try and make it special for them. I am not an interior designer, but I don't think that you have to be to create something lovely. I try to stick to 3 colors that compliment each other. That way things don't look too crazy! I have the kids look through magazines to show me rooms that they really like. They love this! Then, we just try and add elements to create that overall look. I have never actually purchased any bedroom furniture new. Everything comes from a yard sale or is a hand me down. I paint, I sew, I name it to make it "perfect." After the room is completed, the kids want to keep it clean. They want to keep it looking its best because they had a part in it! We are constantly coming up with new ideas for storage and function. Adding new elements helps to keep the excitement rolling:0).

Create the illusion of more space.
It is pretty easy to make a room look more spacious. Our bedrooms are not that small {10'x12'}, but it can be tempting to overcrowd them with furniture and toys. I try to keep big furniture pieces to a minimum and toys hidden away under beds. I like to see clear wall spaces and floor space for play. Less clutter really helps when you are working with a small room. I also have the kids make their beds each day. Smooth clean surfaces really help give the illusion of more space. No rumpled beds:0). When your eye can flow smoothly from one thing to another, it seems more spacious. Best of all, when it looks like there is room to play, you kids will want to spend time in their rooms. In a small house, you need every inch accessible:0). 

Give them a comfortable bed.
We all love a wonderfully comfortable place to sleep. This doesn't have to be expensive! I have found all of my sheets on sale or at the thrift store {in perfect condition}. All of our comforters have come from Goodwill. I just wash them really well in hot water and then cover them. Fred's had a great sale on pillows this year, and I stocked up for the  $2.99 price. What a deal, and they have held up even through washings. Baby went to a big boy bed this year, and I actually found a brand new mattress at Goodwill for  $11. No, it is not the best, but we topped it with foam and it is perfect for him. It is actually the most fantastic bed in the house! Having a a soft place to end your day really helps them to get to sleep faster. Warm covers, puffy pillows, and smooth cotton sheets help, too:0) Keeps them comfy in their nest.



1 comment:

Anna said...

I saw this site on the Cotton Wife's blog. If she wins, I guess she can tell you which dress and size. Cute stuff on here!!

Blogging tips