I am thrilled to share the second interview for the Sharing a Kids Room series (first interview with lovely Em Morrice is here). We have been sharing the kids' room for about 5 months now and it's not without its challenges but overall it is working for us. I am still looking for all the advice and insights into room sharing especially as Mae and Theo grow and change.
I met Anna of @our_simplestory through Instagram years ago and am always inspired by her beautiful, minimal home that is never lacking in style. Her streamlined space is especially impressive knowing that she home schools her 3 daughters! There is a calm in her photos that I truly believe comes from minimizing possessions to only what is needed. Everyone has their own journey to minimalism and simplifying their life and for me Anna is an inspiration. Most recently, she moved all 3 girls into the same room of their small home. Below are her experiences with two kids sharing a room and now three. Thank you so much Anna for sharing this glimpse into your life.
Hi, I’m Anna and I live in Omaha, Nebraska with my husband and three girls (and one on the way) in a small, ranch-style home. I spend my days keeping the home and homeschooling the kids. We bought our 1950’s fixer upper six years ago and together, my husband and I have been remodeling it ever since. I’m a firm believer in simplicity, and am always looking for new ways to simplify our home and family life.
Can you tell me a bit about your kids? How many, what ages? Why did you decide to have them share a room? Was it by choice or necessity?
Our girls are ages 8, 6, and 2. We’ve always preferred to put our infants in their own room, so having only three small bedrooms and a baby on the way, we decided to move our youngest in with her sisters (who have already been sharing a room for the past three years).
What ages were your kids when you put them in the same room? And what is the current set up ie) bunkbeds, side by side beds, cribs etc?
They’ve all been in the same room now for about three months. Currently, we have a set of bunk beds and a toddler bed. Initially, I had our youngest sleeping on a trundle bed that pulled out from under the bunk bed, but it looked messy and she didn’t really have a “zone” to call her own during the day. So, we replaced a desk with the toddler bed, and she is much happier to have her own defined space.
Were there any initial challenges to them sharing a room you can share ie) nap schedules, noise, sneaking out of bed?
The biggest initial challenge was space planning. The room is only 9 feet by 11 feet, so we had to think of a way to arrange the space in a way that was comfortable, uncluttered, and functional. Besides the beds, the only other substantial pieces of furniture are a bookcase that holds their books and special belongings, and a dresser that has been pushed into the closet.
Are there still challenges to them sharing a room?
Bedtime has been a big challenge. My youngest has a lot of energy at night and wakes up early, while my older two are completely opposite of her schedule. We have a sound machine that helps a bit with disruptions, but regardless, their quality of sleep has been affected. This arrangement is far from perfect, and definitely a work in progress. They’re learning pretty quickly though, how to function as a team in a shared space.
What are the good parts/benefits you see in your kids sharing a room? Any advice or tips you can share for other parents considering sharing rooms?
There are many benefits to having our kids share a room. Since they don’t have a lot of extra room for their things, we have had to keep it simple and streamlined. They keep just a few items that mean the most to them. This way, there isn’t much clutter to be shoved in corners, closets, and under beds. Having less makes cleanup easier, too.
Most importantly, sharing a small space has fostered patience, understanding, teamwork, and bonding. While there are obvious challenges, the benefits far outweigh the negatives. We’ve seen such a special bond develop between our oldest girls over the past three years sharing the same room. With the youngest in there now, we’re starting to see her come alongside them in a similar way, and it’s largely attributed to, at least I think, room sharing.
If you’re considering having your own kids share a room, I personally think it’s a wonderful idea. Even if you find it to be challenging in the beginning, stay the course, because the results can be very special - and I’ve heard, it’s an experience with your siblings you’ll never forget.
Thanks again Anna!
If you would like to share your experience with sharing kids rooms in a small space please send me an email!