We Played Musical Bedrooms… again!

posted by Andrea | 02/27/2018

Remember this past summer, when I spent hours upon hours (while 7-8 months pregnant) painting, moving furniture, installing closets, hanging decorations, and sewing bedding in an effort to transform our upstairs bedrooms into fun places for our children to sleep, play, and hang out?

If not, let me refresh your memory…

Here’s Nora fabulous bedroom before and after pictures.

Here’s the cute room I set up for the boys.

Seriously, their bedrooms were SO cute!

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Everyone loved their bedrooms, slept well, and we were all happy.

Then, around Christmas time, Nora started waking up frequently every single night, crying that she was scared to sleep by herself. Since Nora has always been our “worst” sleeper, we didn’t really think much of it.

However, after about a week of complaining she didn’t want to sleep by herself, we found her sleeping on the floor in the boys bedroom several days in a row.

At the same time, James said he wanted to sleep in a big boy bed; so Dave and I decided we would move the bedrooms around… again!

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Since Nora’s mini loft/bunk bed wouldn’t fit in the boys bedroom (their ceiling is even more sloped than her ceiling is) we opted to put all 3 kids in Nora’s room for now.

This way, James could sleep on the bottom of Nora’s bunk bed (which is essentially on the floor right now) so he won’t get hurt if he falls out of bed.

We moved the play kitchen out and replaced it with Simon’s bed and the boys’ dresser.

James sleeps under Nora’s bunk on his crib mattress.

We DO have the bottom bunk for Nora’s bed, and we plan to attach it soon. However, James just started sleeping with undies on, and crib bedding is much easier to wash if he has an accident — so we’re holding off on the twin bed for a little longer πŸ™‚

He LOVES sleeping under Nora’s bed and Nora loves having her brothers in her room.

Nora’s clothing is still in the left closet and dress up clothing is still in the right closet.

And even though most of the boys clothing is in the dresser, they still have a few things that need to be hung, so I put another rod in Nora’s closet for their dressier clothing.

The boys old room is now a gigantic play area!

Part of me is annoyed that we rearranged everything only 5 months after I put so much work into their bedrooms… but it is sort of sweet to hear them all talking together at night.

I figure it won’t be too much longer before Nora will want her own room again (or before Clara moves upstairs to share with her). So I’ll let them all enjoy their nightly bonding time for now!

Oh, and in case you’re keeping track, this makes NINE different bedroom set-ups in the two upstairs bedrooms over the last 2.5 years!

  1. Nora’s original bedroom
  2. Simon’s original bedroom
  3. Nora’s mini bedroom makeover
  4. Simon’s mini bedroom makeover
  5. Nora and Simon’s shared bedroom
  6. The playroom in the empty bedroom
  7. Nora’s new bedroom
  8. Simon and James’ shared bedroom
  9. All 3 kids’ shared bedroom (today’s post)

Good thing I really enjoy moving furniture!

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38 comments

  1. Liz C

    03/09/2018

    Our kids shared for years–they loved the cameraderie and “giant sleepover” feel of sharing a room all together. Even now, when our oldest daughter visits home, the little girls want her to sleep in their room (and will give up their own bunk to her and the baby… her husband gets a blow-up mattress in the living room. πŸ˜€ )

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    Andrea Reply:

    well isn’t that just the sweetest story ever! Glad her hubby is OK with an air mattress πŸ™‚

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  2. Summer

    03/01/2018

    I love that you always just use common sense and do what works for now! What you did wasn’t working, so you changed it. It’s totally darling that all the kids want to BE together and says volumes for you as parents.

    I get that you put all of the work in, but thankfully you didn’t spend a huge amount of money. You keep it so practical and real each day. Kuddos to all of you for making the best of each situation and moving forth to what works, over forcing small minor issues. I applaud your continual attitude to change and adapt, improvise and overcome. These are the secrets in life to succeed in all areas. That ability to change, as needed.

    Thanks for sharing!

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  3. Laura

    02/28/2018

    My brother-sister duo wanted to share a room at one point. Since they shared a bedtime it worked out fine. We moved them to the slightly larger room that accommodated both twin beds and moved the dressers to the other room, along with toys. It worked well for a couple years. Then we added on to our house and expanded one bedroom. At that point they decided to split up again. My daughter was ready for a pink girly room and my son for more privacy. Now my son will be leaving for college and his sister is planning to turn his room into a dance studio. Trust me when I say her brother is not fond of this plan. But we may actually flip flop the rooms since he wont be around as much to give her a few years in the larger room. All it would require is some new paint and a furniture swap! I might go with neutrals instead of the bright colors they now have so that we can flip again if needed.

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  4. Angela

    02/28/2018

    Sounds like our family! We are always rearranging things with our four kids in our old farmhouse. I think it’s fun – I like to change things up and so do the kids. Just last night we were moving some things around to make a little reading nook in our hallway and I wondered to myself “do people with newer homes do this, or is it just us with the old quirky houses?” πŸ™‚

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    Andrea Reply:

    haha –we love all the little quirks in our old house. So many different possibilities!

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  5. Tina

    02/28/2018

    Looks great! Don’t worry we are getting ready to do musical bedrooms too! Whatever makes it easier. Love how you did the names like a crossword- very clever!

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    Andrea Reply:

    thanks, I was sort of proud of myself for figuring out a way to do the crossword puzzle on such a small wall πŸ™‚

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  6. Jamie

    02/27/2018

    We used to have a 2 bedroom apartment with 4 kids. The 3 older boys all slept in the same room and our baby girl’s crib was in our bedroom. We moved about a year and a half ago into a much bigger house and now have 4 bedrooms. Our little girl has her own room and our oldest boy has his own room and the 2 middle boys share a room. Our oldest still “camps out” in the younger boys’ room on the weekends because he misses being with his brothers. I love hearing their little chatter even late into the night. I remind myself it won’t be many more years before they all start going their separate ways. You are blessed that your kids love each other, want to be with each other, and you have plenty of space to move everyone around in so many different ways. πŸ™‚

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    Andrea Reply:

    that’s sweet that the oldest still likes to be with the younger siblings!

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  7. Emily

    02/27/2018

    Ha! We do the exact same thing! We moved from our farmhouse to a larger home one year ago and now we split 3 bedrooms between six kids. It took us a few months to figure out a good sleeping arrangement. They still end up all in the same room some nights. (Except for the baby) πŸ™‚ Love that our kids have that bond with their siblings! And yes, we need sleep! Whatever works so we can sleep!! πŸ™‚

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    Andrea Reply:

    that’s sweet — also, congrats on #6, I’m not sure if I knew you had another one yet πŸ™‚ Or maybe I did know but just sort of forgot!

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  8. Linda

    02/27/2018

    So how is this arrangement working out with Nora getting ready for school while the boys are still sleeping?
    I think it is a great idea to have them all together. It makes for a good night of sleep for the whole family.

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    Andrea Reply:

    it’s going fine — our kids all wake up really early anyway, so we get her up at 6:30 and the boys are usually awake by 6:45-7:00ish. If they DO wake up with her at 6:30, they are usually fine!

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  9. Tara

    02/27/2018

    You are definitely NOT alone in this. Not long after her younger brother was born our oldest girl turned four. As a big girl birthday gift we moved her out of the nursery, decorated a new room with a fun new dollhouse style bed with trundle and all kinds of fun decor for her. She loved the room but rarely wanted to sleep alone there. We worked with it on and off for awhile and then as her brother was a toddler crib escape artist we moved him to sleeping on her trundle and from there we’ve switched them back and forth between their two bedrooms numerous times with their beds in bunk bed formation and separately (convertible bunk bed set from Craigslist for the win). You just do what works. She’s now nine and he’s 5 and they still share a room. Often times they still end up in the same bed before morning light. I couldn’t care less. At some point they’ll be too big for this, but in the meantime I think they bond so much being close together and I know for sure we’re all getting more sleep.

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  10. cathy

    02/27/2018

    One good thing about moving furniture is you get to clean under it. What a great feeling for a few days. I love a “new” room and it is the most frugal.

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    Andrea Reply:

    exactly! I actually really do enjoy being able to thoroughly clean the rooms whenever we move furniture around!

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  11. Jessica

    02/27/2018

    Sounds like my family growing up!

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  12. Rachel

    02/27/2018

    You’ve probably posted on this before… but where did you find the wall cling lettering? Which I assume is removable… cuz you’ve moved them all a few times πŸ˜‰

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    Andrea Reply:

    yes, they are removable… here’s the link to the post where I talked about them: https://andreadekker.com/pop-and-lollie-shop-credit/

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  13. Jolynn

    02/27/2018

    Oh Andrea! I can TOTALLY relate! We have 4 bedrooms upstairs and when the 6 older kids were all still up there, I think we had EVERY combination possible – tried. I wouldn’t have changed a thing – except maybe doing more neutral paint on the walls – I cannot even remember how many layers of paint are on those walls upstairs!
    We’re looking at changing them all up again this summer!
    It’s all good though! Love doing it!

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    Andrea Reply:

    haha — well at least I went with white paint, so we hopefully won’t have to repaint them every time we switch up the furniture!

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  14. Bridget

    02/27/2018

    My girls are well into tween/teen years and they still sleep together even though they have their own rooms. I think it’s nice they like each other and like to be together. As long as everyone is safe and getting sleep, go for it.

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  15. Michelle

    02/27/2018

    That’s great you found a solution and everyone’s happy.

    Just curious….why did you remove the door from the boys’ bedroom?

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    Andrea Reply:

    haha — one less door for them to slam!

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    Michelle Reply:

    I have to admit….I chuckled loudly at your answer.

    But, boy do I understand that one.

    I have a gate the grandbabies love to open and shut continually. It works good for dogs but not children. πŸ™‚

    I have to park the vacuum in front of the gate to prevent insanity. Mine….not theirs.

    When I noticed you had removed it, I wondered if it was to save little fingers from getting smashed.

    That’s another fear of mine.

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    Andrea Reply:

    yes, fingers too — but mostly just slamming!

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  16. Laura

    02/27/2018

    I wish I had been as practical as you when I was a young mother, Andrea. I love that you do what works for your children and your family, from room setups to food to schedules (meaning not overscheduling). I send so many of your blog links to my daughter as she raises her daughter to encourage her to remain true to what works best for her, her husband, and their child!

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    Andrea Reply:

    we want sleep — and giving in on these types of things means more sleep for everyone in our whole family! it’s a win-win for now πŸ™‚
    Thanks for passing my blog along to your daughter!!

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  17. Ruth

    02/27/2018

    In many countries, kids all sleep with their parents, it’s highly unusual to leave small children in rooms alone to sleep. I find big dark rooms scary too!

    Our first house had three bedrooms and everyone said it was too small cause each child wouldn’t have their own room. I told them all three of my kids shared a room and people couldn’t believe it.

    I’m glad to see how receptive you are to your children’s needs and not worried about what is “normal”…and then you put it on the internet for everyone to see! πŸ™‚

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    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Ruth! Yes, I’ve heard that other countries all sleep together. Not sure I’d get Dave on board with that one!! But at least the kids are happy all together πŸ™‚

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    maggie Reply:

    We get the same thing…7 kids plus one on the way with 4 bedrooms. How do we possibly fit?! Boys in the basement bedroom. Baby in the main floor bedroom and the 4 girls in upstairs bedroom. We may get some interesting moments in the teenage years (oldest girl is 10)…but they’ll have to deal! We do have a fan running in the room to block out the noises the seem to annoy each other.
    you can make anything work πŸ™‚

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    Andrea Reply:

    wow…. congrats to you on the soon-to-be little one!!

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    Tara Reply:

    Yes Ruth! My husband is Korean and he grew up sleeping in one bedroom on mats with his whole family. He had a bunkbed that he never slept on in another room. To this day he often brings out a big stack of blankets and pillows and he, the kids and often his grandma and sister will all spread out on blankets in the living room when we have them over for visits. It feels familiar for all of the adults and my kids are in heaven having a sleepover with their favorite grownups like that. They fall asleep quickly and without drama. I’ve often awakened to realize the dog and I are the only ones who slept in an actual bed! As long as we all slept…awesome.

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    Andrea Reply:

    aww, that’s sweet! And yes, our kids would LOVE having a big slumber party with their aunts and grandma!

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  18. Brenda

    02/27/2018

    This is a perfect example why it is good to not go crazy with wall paper borders, paint, etc when decorating rooms (especially kids’ bedrooms). You could switch it all around and it still looks neat and polished. Imagine if you had painted the walls purple or pink in Nora’s room and then put the boys red/blue stuff in there. Both rooms still look nice after their little switcheroo, which, you are right, may only last for a few months and Nora might decide to kick them out!

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    Andrea Reply:

    yes exactly! ALL of my bedrooms are painted the same color white, so I can mix and match whatever and whenever we want to switch it up (which apparently is often at our house!)

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  19. Naelle

    02/27/2018

    That is the sweetest story!

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