How to set up a shared bedroom for multiple kids

Posted on 19/07/2021 by Olivia Lowry
Children's Beds

As your family grows and new siblings join, there often comes a time when kids need to, or want to, share a bedroom. Whether it’s down to the number of bedrooms available, a downsizing, or a new baby arriving, there are many reasons why children may have to transition to a shared bedroom.

There are lots of benefits to having siblings and step siblings sharing rooms- it saves space in other areas of the house, siblings can provide emotional support to each other and really bond from sharing, and it encourages healthy social skills over time.

In this post we’ll take a look at some things to consider when setting up a shared bedroom for multiple siblings, whether they’ve already moved in together, or you’re thinking about doing so.

A 5 year old boy and a 5 year old girl play blocks together on the bedroom floor between two single beds.

What type of beds are good for sharing?

The type of beds you choose for your little ones when sharing a bedroom is really up to a number of things. Consider the size and layout of the room first and foremost. Is the room a standard box shape, or are there irregular walls? Where are the windows, doors and radiators placed? Are the ceilings high or low?

Once you’ve stepped back to have a look at the room and how you can best utilise the space, it’s time to choose the beds. For narrower rooms with enough ceiling height, a traditional bunk bed, or an L-shaped bunk bed are both great choices.

Where there is a bit more space, and if appropriate for their ages, a twin single setup works really well, with a shared bedside table in the middle for trinkets and belongings.

Make sure to measure up the kids space before committing to beds in a shared room. There should be enough space for the bed or beds, storage, and any other furniture you want in the room such as chest of drawers, wardrobes and toy boxes, as well as enough space to walk freely around the room and play.

How do I set a bedtime schedule?

We all know that well-rested kids are happy kids, and happy kids make for stress-free parents! If both children are of the same or a similar age, the same bedtime and wind-down routine will work. If sharers are different ages, you may want to leave enough time between bedtimes to settle the first younger child and get them to sleep, before getting the other ready for bed slightly later. Think carefully about what will happen in the hour before bedtime and experiment with what suits your kids- you know them best!

What age should children share a bedroom?

As a general rule of thumb, children of the opposite sex should stop sharing a bedroom by the age of 10 or before, if possible, as they start to transition into teenage life and need their own private space. Whilst it’s not always possible for every sibling to have their own individual room as they grow up, it’s a good idea to keep having regular chats with them to make sure their privacy needs are being met.

Think about setting up some designated “quiet time” for each sibling in the shared bedroom where they can play and relax alone to decompress and have the space to themselves, from time to time.

Should I set rules for bedtime?

For stress-free sharing, setting some ground rules for the shared space will make sure that each child’s needs are met. Before moving siblings into a room together, you could sit down and come up with some basic behaviour rules with them both, and create a wall chart of them to stick up.

Having rules won’t stop the kids from arguing or not getting along now and again, but it will help with mediating between them in the teething period before they settle into their individual routines and ways of doing things.

How do I keep a shared kids room tidy?

Nobody likes a cluttered room, and it can create tension with each child’s own toys and belongings. Kids are naturally messy, and a shared bedroom can quickly become a pain to organise every day. Where the space for playing is limited, it can really help to create a daily clean up game or challenge for the kids.

When it comes to storage, it’s a good idea to make sure each child has a box to put their own individual teddies and toys in. If the furniture has storage trundle drawers, or built-in chests, make full use of these for clothes, shoes and accessories and encourage the kids to help with putting away their own laundry, if they’re old enough to do so.  

4 woven children's storage baskets stacked on a bedroom floor.

Shared bedrooms for multiple siblings are a great way for related and non-related siblings to create amazing lifelong bonds with each other, play together more often and grow up even closer. Sharing a bedroom teaches problem solving, empathy and sharing and can be great fun.

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