There are not enough bedrooms in your house for each of your children to have their own rooms, so as a solution to the space issue, you are considering: Bunkbeds. Ya, me too. You might have noticed by now that most houses...scratch that, most things are designed to perfectly fit a family of four. This can cause a lot of trouble when you’re trying to accommodate your family of five or more.
By now you’ve already come to terms with the fact that there may never be another quiet moment in your house until the kids are all grown, after all, you’ve clearly disrupted the status quo by reproducing more than twice. *eyeroll* So you’ve got your standard house and technically “large” family. Naturally, the kids are sharing rooms because there is no way those suckers are taking over the master suite. Not today.
Sometimes larger houses still only have three bedrooms, but they are usually bigger bedrooms. My house, not so much. We are sitting at a healthy, eleven hundred square feet so needless to say, the bedrooms aren’t very grande by any stretch of the imagination but we’re not complaining because they aren’t tiny either.
When we first moved our girls into a room together they were still very little, and so were their things. They had toddler beds, a toy box, a doll house, a dresser and even a chair in their room! Then they grew.
So we upgraded to two single beds and a bigger dresser (which was probably my favourite arrangement) but the toy box, doll house and chair were all moved out and the bigger dresser was stuffed into the closet while the small dresser behaved like a night table that would serve them both. And then they grew.
They grew, their stuff grew, the amount of stuff grew...their needs were changing and their bedroom was practically bursting at the seams when my husband suggested the (swear word to me) bunkbeds. The girls really needed more space and luckily, my son and my niece were growing out of their cribs at the same time so we moved one of the singles across the hall and drove the other one an hour down the road to my nieces house.
Enter bunkbeds. As a designer, I strongly dislike bunkbeds. I would much rather have two beds that are lovely to look at and easy to see. As a housekeeper, I hate bunkbeds. They are the worst to clean and dang near impossible to make. I break more of a sweat making that God forsaken bed than I do running 5k on a hot day...hahaha ok I don’t run 5k on a hot day but you get the point, right?
On the other hand, watch as I throw my hands in the air and cave in - as a mother, I believe that bunkbeds have a lot to offer people like us - with our abundance of children and lack of space.
Specifically, I think that bunkbeds offer children sharing a room 5 very important things:
1.) Privacy My girls are twenty two months apart, they are six and four years old. My oldest is in Grade One and it has become apparent that she would appreciate a little bit of privacy from her toddler siblings. She gets the top bunk and now anytime she needs a break from her kid sister, who she is constantly around, she can climb up top and claim her island.
2.) Space This one goes hand in hand with the point of privacy to a certain extent but since we are talking about small spaces, I am specifically referring to the actual amount of real estate left in the bedroom for the other things they need including the space to just play. With an entire bed out of the way, the girls no longer need to drag their toys out into the living room to find the room they need to play and to keep a safe enough distance from each other to avoid fighting. A win for this mama who now has much less crap to pick up off the living room floor since that shit is staying in their bedroom and there’s a little bit less fighting...but I don’t know if I’ll ever win that battle. Sisters, hey?
3.) Storage Having the beds stacked freed up enough room to pull the dresser out of the closet - so we got a handy dandy organizer for the closet and optimized the use of that bad boy as well. It’s much easier to get themselves dressed now that they can find their clothes and they’re not slap fighting each other to get into the closet at the same time - unless they’re looking for the toys which are all sorted out on the shelves in the closet (for now) and stuffed into those neat containers that just slide right under the bed - we’ve got two, no doubt.
4.) Maturity This one is tough to explain since bunkbeds are an incredibly juvenile piece of furniture - but hear me out. My oldest daughter is six, in Grade One, a competitive gymnast and she is in the process of building lasting relationships with her peers. Gaining possession of the top bunk is merely another feather in her chapeau.
My four year old daughter is not even interested in the top bunk but being a part of such a “big-kid” bed inspires her to be a tad more mature about it as well. In fact, she is so proud of her fancy bed that she puts in a real effort to make sure it’s made, most days. Maturity.
5.) FUN! Oh you betcha I saved the best, and certainly most important point for last! Bunkbeds are SO MUCH FUN! Every kid wants a bunkbed. They are legitimately like jungle gyms inside your friggin house. Being able to sleep on them is just a bonus, really. Why not indulge in the joys of childhood while your kids are still young enough to do it *tear* it doesn’t last very long...*all the tears*
Our girls’ room has evolved over the years from a crib and toddler bed, to two toddler beds, to two single beds to one bunkbed. I fought hard to avoid that bunkbed. I think they’re pretty ugly and my language gets mighty colourful when I have to make it but I will say that my husband was right. Don’t worry, he doesn’t read this stuff, he’ll never know I said it, ha! The bunkbed has proven itself to be functional - which I LOVE - it provides privacy, a sense of maturity, more space, opportunities for extra storage and it is a quintessential part of childhood. I am a happy mama, with happy kids. The bed is ugly but it works. Case and point.
P.S. In an effort to combat giving bunkbeds the stink eye for the rest of my life, I have put together a board of awesome bunkbeds on Pinterest, if you’re looking for inspiration, trying to put out the hate fire like me, or super bored or whatever - I’d love it if you followed along.