Having to plan a kids room design because you want to make your kids share a room could sometimes be a very big challenge. Yeah we know about that one big family love where everyone is merry and plays lovey-dovey, however, we cannot deny the other instances where your toddlers want all the space in the room for themselves and their toys.
Just recently, I wrote a post about the best ways to help with the interior design of your teen boys or girls room, but in this case, it’s different. We’re dealing with toddlers here. One very important tip which is worthy of note is to be sure that every nursery set or furniture piece which you purchase for a toddler’s room should be a furniture piece which is in great shape.
Recently, a reader wrote in for advice, here’s what she sent to us:
We have two girls sharing right now, one is almost 4 and the other is 1.5. How do you organize clothes and toys when your kids share a room? I need details. Right now we have a small three drawer dresser that serves as a changing table and a decently sized closet.
I'd love to not have the changing table in there at all anymore in order to move toys out of the living room (we do have most toys in the basement, but we like to keep favorite books and smaller toys upstairs). We also have an Elfa system in the closet, so a number of the shelves could be switched out with the Elfa drawers. We have 3 in there already that were put in when just my oldest was using the room.
Now how do we react to this?
From kids room design experience and personal history, while I was growing up, I had to share a room with my brothers and we did what we thought was logical, we divided our room with chalk marks by drawing lines on the floor. We basically didn’t even mark out any walkway, such that you would seek for permission to get into the room from the door, as you would be walking through another person’s space… oh! Those days… hilarious.
Funny as that may sound, the easiest way to have your kids share a room is to have it divided to the last inch. How? Create a section for everyone. Divide the wardrobe, let each one know their own part of the wardrobe. Label the drawers so each one can know where to stuff their own goodies, and create an actual floor plan.
The floor plan is definitely very important. This is because it is the most contended space in the room. Jack could want to play just because he’s watching Jill play, and although this is quite ideal, sometimes, they may have different play interests, especially where age is a factor. Now this post is not about creating a line between your kids, NO! It is more about helping them reduce split-room chaos that will likely happen when you are not watching. Remember, we’re talking about ‘sharing’ and not ‘splitting’.
Now, the first rule of optimizing a shared room is to promote peace by creating as much space as possible for both of your kids, this can be achieved by PURGING.
Purging the room is a procedure which involves taking out everything that eats up space in the room with little benefit. You know that piece of furniture you have to ignore because you want it to ‘just stay there’, that’s exactly what we are talking about. Take it out.
Now plan the kids wardrobe, Designate shelves or drawers for each child in the closet and then plan out what will go in each. Label all the drawers and teach them to know what goes into what, where should they put their socks, and what the contents of the laundry basket should be. Make sure they learn to always put everything back where it’s supposed to go will help keep the closet cleaner and keep you saner.
For the clothes, I'd more or less divide the closet in half, and store each child's clothing separate from the other. If you have a central column of drawers, the top half goes to the bigger/taller one and the bottom half to the other.
Your Children's toy arrangements are also very delicate in a shared room, this is due to the possibility of diverse interests which your kids may have. Here’s the easies tip to solve this… move all the toys out of the kids bedrooms because they would think they could get out of bed and play instead of sleep. If by any chance, one of your kid wakes up in the middle of the night to pay with toys, instead of sleeping, it would instigate the other one.
Let them understand that the bedroom is a quiet place. Only sleeping, time outs, and in the future homework is done in the bedroom. All the toys went into the loft as a playroom so they are not underfoot of our guests in the living room.
Here are some other vital questions you should ask yourself about space management and storage…
Will this be their main play area, or just a place for toy storage?
Do they need a place to color and do crafts, which could turn into a homework spot in a few years?
Do you need to store all their clothing in their room, or is there space for out of season clothing elsewhere?
Where will you store the older kid's outgrown clothes until her younger sister is big enough to wear them?
Do they need a little, quiet reading nook, or a noisy play space (with the baby coming, it might work to have a shut door between the kids during nap time)?
What toys need to be stored in the room?
Big ones that need floor space?
Smaller ones that can go on shelves?
Will you need bins or boxes for things that have multiply parts?