Making Room

Katie will be turning 4 in May, and as such she will soon be kicked out of the family bed.  In preparation, I’ve had to completely rearrange the big girls’ room to make room for Kate.  But I’ve also had to keep in mind that in two years, Sabrina will be four and moving in with them as well.  (We have a three-bedroom home, and my mother-in-law resides in the second small bedroom.)  I spent hours measuring every aspect of their room and researching on the internet before setting up a plan.

So, let’s take a tour of the girls’ new room.

Small Trofast Frame

Just inside the door we have the smaller of two Trofast frames purchased from IKEA.  This one has two medium size baskets (red) that are currently holding books and toys.  The smaller green box also has toys at this time, and the white one has diaper changing supplies. (Cost $43.99 not including tax.)

Bunk Beds and Large Trofast Frame

Bailey (9) and Piper (6) have been sharing a full-sized bed for a few years that I knew would have to go if we were ever going to fit four kids into this one small room.

I purchased this set of bunk beds (along with 2 mattresses) from Ashley Furniture for about $875 including tax, delivery, and set up.  I know that we could have found bunk beds and mattresses cheaper somewhere else, but I specifically needed some in which the ladder was flat against the bunks.  I also knew that I was not up to the challenge of putting bunk beds together myself.

In this picture you can also see the larger of the two Trofast frames from IKEA.  I needed something tall but slim to put next to the bunk beds so that Bailey could have a fan blowing on her at night.  It’s also an ideal place to keep her alarm clock and water cup within reach of the top bunk.

One of the perks of the Trofast frames is the versatility.    This large one has ten sets of rails that can be used with different-sized storage boxes sold separately.  On this one I put a shelf at the top to hold a tissue box and Piper’s water cup, out of reach of little hands that would make a mess.  Bailey and Piper each have a small basket (white or green) to keep personal items, and then the three medium pink baskets hold pajamas/leotards/underthings for Bailey, Piper, and Katie. (Cost $66.99 not including tax.)

Bailey's Bunk

The bunk beds have the added bonus of providing Bailey and Piper each with their own personal space.  I bought two Kusinar wall pockets from IKEA for $3.99 each.  Bailey keeps things like her bedtime reading, book light, and her sleep mask in hers.  Piper, as you can see below, has hers filled with stuffed animals; she’s also hung some sort of the toys from the bed frame.  Each girl also gets to decorate the wall in her area with whatever pictures or mini-posters she chooses.

Piper's Bunk

In two years we will need to get a second set of bunk beds (hopefully the same model), but right now we didn’t want to have an empty top bunk tempting dangerous horseplay.  Instead, I picked up this Sniglar childs’ bed from IKEA.  The size is in-between a twin and a toddler bed. It should hold Katie until she is at least six, and if need be, it should be fairly easy to dismantle and store away until needed again.  (The total cost for the frame, slats, mattress, and mattress pad was $149.66 including tax.)

Space Between the Beds

Even though we didn’t buy the second set of bunks yet, I tried to plan everything in the room around the space we would have once we do.  The second set of bunks will extend almost all the way to the storage baskets.  This is another reason why the Trofast frame was a perfect fit for that space.

One thing that you can’t see as well is the under-bed storage drawers holding most of the girls’ clothing.  Each bed frame has space for three under-bed storage drawers.  They fit perfectly under Katie’s smaller bed, but they are little short for the width of the bunk bed frame.  However, I was able to fit small storage boxes behind the drawers to keep them from sliding too far under the bed (and hide some junk stuff that some people weren’t quite ready to throw away yet).  There is also space for more junk/toy storage on either side of the drawers.

Under-bed Drawers for Bailey and Katie

Under-bed Drawers for Piper

I used simple sticker name tags to label each girls’ drawers and buckets.  I figured this would help me, the girls, and anyone else who might end up putting away laundry keep track of  where each person’s things belong.  At this point, all of Katie’s clothes will fit in one under-bed drawer, but I have a spare ready for when she gets bigger and needs more clothes storage space.  (3 under-bed storage drawers were purchased online for $79.98 including delivery.)

At the end of Katie’s bed you can see a Asa storage box from IKEA ($14.99 not including tax).  While there won’t be space for it once we get a second set of bunks, for now it was a cheap and space-efficient storage unit that has the extra bonus of being a prime place to set a fan for Katie if she needs it.  The fan you see pictured is the one Piper uses at night; I keep it on a decorative storage box (turned upside down) that someone gave us as a present years ago.  I move it closer to her bunk at night, and then I move it back in front of the electric outlet when I unplug the nightlight in the morning.  The leopard-print laundry basket was purchased at Big Lots last fall.

Katie's Bed and Asa Box

In order to make room for Katie’s bed I had to remove two large book cases that previously held Bailey and Piper’s nick-knacks and trophies.  However, we only really used the top shelves in order to keep the grabby hands of toddler sisters off their stuff.  A lot of the space really went to waste.  I replaced the two large book cases with a Stuva shelving unit from IKEA.

The Stuva system is another versatile storage option like the Trofast.  You can choose from three or four different-size frames and customize them with different colored doors, drawers, shelves, wire baskets, legs, or even a clothing pole.  I opted for a medium frame, three shelves, and two sets of doors (blue and white);  I also bought legs to give it just a tad more height.  ($154 not including tax)

Stuva Frame, Window, and Closet

You can’t really see them because of the glare from the sun, but the window has Guardian Angel window bars on it.  We had those professionally installed last summer.  Since we live in a three-story town home, they have given us a lot of peace of mind since being able to open the windows is a really necessity.  I also use thick black-out curtains to keep the kids from waking up with the early morning sun and losing heat through the thin windows during the winter.  The top of the Guardian Angel bar has perfect places to tie back the curtains during the day.

Bailey's and Piper's Nick-Knack Shelves

Bailey’s sports trophies and Bailey’s, Piper’s, and Katie’s piggy banks are kept on top of the Stuva frame.  The two shelves in the top half of the unit belong to Bailey and Piper.  The shelves are really deep, so I picked up two cheap wire pantry shelves from Wal-mart to maximize the space.  You can see Bailey’s new jewelery box on her shelf, and Piper has her snow globe collections, (more) stuffed animals, and her Fijit Friend on her shelf.  The doors keep their things out-of-sight and out-of-mind from Sabrina, who has become creative about standing on things to get whatever looks interesting.

The bottom half of the unit (behind the white doors) is used for toy storage.  There is also space between the unit and the window where I have three storage boxes with Barbies and other toys.  At this time Katie and Sabrina don’t really have many nick-knacks, but as they get older (and we hopefully need less space for toys) they can each take one of the lower shelves.

The Stuva frame does block one half of the closet, but I already had that blocked off with a different shelving unit previously.  I just use that half of the closet for “deep storage”, mainly boxes of outgrown kids clothes.  You can see all of Bailey’s, Piper’s, Katie’s, and Sabrina’s hanging clothes in the closet.  The three-drawer cart has (even more) of Piper’s stuffed animals in the bottom drawer and all of Sabrina’s other clothes in the middle drawer, but the top drawer is being kept empty until I need to start filling it with clothing for Baby #5 (due in August).  Some day soon I will have to get Piper to pare down her stuffed animal collection, because I might need that extra drawer for Sabrina or the new baby.

All total I invested about $1400 from our tax return into redoing the girls’ bedroom.  I really tried to think long-term as far as the needs for now and in the future in hopes of getting a lot of use out of all the purchases.  The space is clean and efficient and actually somewhat matches, which is more than I can say for any other room in the house.

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3 Comments on “Making Room”

  1. laurke Says:

    great job!

  2. I just love all these great ideas — especially the wall pockets. Thanks so much for sharing!

  3. Sharonda Hewitt Says:

    Another tip that helps when trying to find a sleep mask is that you want a mask that has a mid to high level of light blocking. Look for a layer of what is know as blackout material. It ought to be sewn into the mask. And, look for the contour of the mask. Check the mask for high quality padding that should be around the entire mask. Masks differ in their contour and just how much of the mask covers the eyes and component of the face. Still yet another important feature to look for is the weight of the mask. Some masks are heavier than others as a result of the type of material that is used. Additional padding will make the mask a bit heavier however it will work much better to keep the light out.”

    My current web-site

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