siblings sharing a bedroom: Tips for Success

Two young girls sitting on bedroom floor.

For many families, it's just not possible to give each kid his or her own room.

(I think lots of times kids are secretly glad to be sharing a room with a sibling anyway.)

When kids are very young, you may want them to share sleeping space and use the other bedroom as a playroom.

That way, they can comfort each other in the dark and have more space to play in when it's light. To keep the peace, here are a few ways to help siblings sharing a bedroom.

Create Separate Bedroom Space for Each Child 

With siblings sharing a bedroom, it's essential to give each child his separate space and privacy. If possible, divide the room into halves. Try a folding screen by each bed or a curtain or bookshelves bisecting the room for really rocky sibling rivalries.

Siblings Sharing A Bedroom Works Best with Younger Kids

Consider ages when doling out room assignments to your kids. Shared bedrooms work better for younger children. Tweens and up want their own space.

Siblings Sharing a Bedroom Need Rules

Set rules for sharing the room, such as who can (or can't) touch what; never borrow each other's stuff without asking, etc.

Let Each Child Decorate Her Area

Let each child decorate her area of the bedroom the way she wants. This helps make the room a place where each child has ownership.

Assign Closet Space For Each Child

Give each child her own closet, even if it's a closet in another room. A rolling wardrobe works well for tight spaces.

Designate Sole Ownership Time 

Designate sole ownership time of the room for each child. Let each child have the room to herself for 30 minutes each day. It's the easiest way to prevent squabbling.

Tips for Siblings Sharing a Bedroom and Bathroom

When siblings share a bedroom, chances are they're sharing a bathroom too.Keeping the peace between siblings sharing sink space, and getting everyone out the door on time in the morning, can be challenging.

Siblings sharing anything, let alone a small space like the bathroom, can easily lead to World War III if you don't have a battle plan for keeping each kid's stuff separate (like you did in the shared bedroom).

Boy and girl brushing teeth in bathroom.

So you'll have an extra step here, creating separate areas in the bathroom for each kid.

Divide and conquer. Start by dividing and assigning separate areas: his sink, her sink, his drawers, her drawers, etc. Then grab the kids and have them lend a hand in organizing their areas.

Color their world. Plastic caddies, in different vibrant colors, are the perfect solution if drawer, sink, or shelf space is at a premium. Have each child choose a color and place personal shampoo and grooming supplies inside the caddy. You can keep the caddies in another area out of sight, perhaps in their shared bedroom.

Keep the peace by assigning a color for everything from toothbrushes to towels for each family member. Not only will this reduce sibling squabbles, but it will also help solve the mystery of who "forgot" to hang up her towel.

Create kids' kits. Divide each kid's toiletries in her own toiletries bag. Include toothpaste, floss, cleansers, contact lenses and glasses, and manicure supplies.

Start off sparkling. Once you've tossed what you can and organized what's left, clean up goopy cough syrup or other spills on shelves to give your counter and cabinet a healthy new appearance,

Wipe down shelves, drawers, and counters before you return items to their new homes in clutter-busting groups, containers, or bags.

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