Are you in need of space in your children’s rooms? If you are like most modern families the answer is a huge Y-E-S! It seems that in our modern society the accumulation of STUFF is almost out of control. This is largely a result of the industrial revolution finding ultra-cheap labor in Asia, particularly China. Our children are able to have a huge abundance of really nice things that have nowhere to go. The exceptionally large number of things, toys in particular, has led to space problems that generations before us seldom generally never have had to deal with. Modern homes are often larger, and families are often smaller than ever yet we still struggle to find space. Where do we put all of this stuff?
An Old Answer to a Modern Problem
Remember the old adage ‘a place for everything and everything in its place’? It is up to us as adults to give kids a place for everything that we provide them so when we tell them to clean up their rooms, they know what we mean, and they can follow our directions. Below are some practical solutions to help you find some room.
In order to help them we must find unconventional or under-used places to put things. Bunk beds, loft beds and trundle beds can offer a great deal of relief to this crowding. These furnishings are not a new concept, yet they are certainly more efficient than conventional beds. They too, are an old solution to a modern problem. Bunk beds and their kin, like bookcases, offer ways to convert horizontal space to vertical and free up huge amounts of floor space.
If stacking your children up in their sleeping arrangement is bothering you, please consider that modern bunk beds and loft beds are far safer than their predecessors. Most countries have adopted standards to make them safe for children ages five and up. Beds sold in the US have to meet federal CPSC guidelines for safety or face huge fines and liability. If that is not enough to convince you, we have six children and they all have slept in, or do sleep in bunk beds. We have never had an accident that is a result of using or sleeping in a bunk bed or loft bed.
If I haven’t lost your interest yet, let’s get back to the subject of finding storage space. You can find extra storage space beneath your existing beds even if they are not bunks. Most children’s beds have around 20 cubic feet of under utilized space beneath them! That is as much as a small closet or a large chest of drawers. You can make better use of this space by putting boxes under there but accessing them and getting the stuff out regularly may be a bit troublesome. If you need a cheap and fast solution, measure the space and go to the local Stuff Mart store and buy as many plastic boxes as will fit in that space (don’t forget your tape measure). Try to make them long enough to reach all of the way to the wall so that you can pull them out from the side of the bed without crawling under there. I would recommend that you remove the lids and put them somewhere else. That way youngsters can get their stuff in and out in a hurry. This space exists under a bunk bed as well. At our website, www.bunkbedsunlimited.com you will find a variety of plans that utilize this space. There are free plans for huge storage drawers that take up all of the under bed space. You can even find a free, easy to build plan for a trundle drawer that allows another child or adult to sleep in the room and it can double as storage. (A trundle bed is a particularly good solution for guests or little ones graduating from the crib that you want to stay close to the floor.)
Loft beds free up the entire space that one twin bed takes and make it available for other furniture like dressers, chests of drawers, sofas, daybeds, futons, desks, dollhouses and the list goes on. Sometimes a loft bed can seemingly work a miracle in an overcrowded room.
For example, let’s take a typical kids room with two twin beds, two chests and toys everywhere. With a bunk bed you can put both beds in the footprint now occupied by one twin bed and neatly tuck away 20 cubic feet of toys in storage drawers beneath the lower bunk. The toys are not out of reach, and if your storage boxes have wheels, the kids can pull them out easily. They now have a place for a lot more of their things.
In addition to the above reasons, there is another point you might want to consider. Kids love bunk beds! Every child loves to climb, and the thought of sleeping above the ground makes their bed just plain exciting. Sleeping can become an adventure. If you are considering buying a bunk bed or loft bed, I would recommend that you not buy the very cheapest thing that you can find. The cheap ones often do not hold up long to the rough use kids put them through. If cost is an issue, or you just want to build something nice as a family project, something durable that lasts, consider the plans on our site. We have some great designs that are easy to build. In addition, we have high quality furniture-grade hardware kits at very competitive prices. You can also just look for ideas here. We even have a triple bunk bed plan that is very easy to build.
In conclusion, when approaching the problem of space in kids’ rooms, arm yourself with the knowledge of what is available and then do some patient planning. You might need to just stand there and imagine awhile. Provide children with a place for everything and then you can reasonably expect them to put everything where it goes. Consider bunk beds, loft beds and trundle beds when you are making your plan, and don’t forget the space under the existing or new beds either. If you provide lots of space for all of their belongings and they still won’t fit, you may need to get rid of some stuff. But that’s the subject of another article.