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Spin off from the Housekeeping thread -- Shared bedroom for kids


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After a couple years where we have moved around a lot, we have decided to commit to staying with my FIL and GFIL for at least a year.   It's likely that it will be a permanent move.  As part of this move, we're going to bring over the furniture from their bedroom at the house that we own, and set up a real bedroom for them.   

Their room in the old house is quite small and doesn't have a lot of stuff in it.  The recent thread on Housekeeping reminded me that maybe we are outliers in that respect.  For example, my kids have never kept shoes, or toys, or books, or art supplies in their room, in part because their dad worked nights and was asleep upstairs during the day so I just kept them downstairs.  Their old room is also pretty small.  

But, at the new house Dad won't be working nights, and their new room is huge. It's the attic, so it's basically the size of the second floor which has 3 good sized bedrooms and 2 baths.  It's divided in half by waist high bookshelves, and each half is at least twice the size of their old room.  I plan to bring over their bunk bed, and set it up as two individual beds, and to bring their dresser over, even though there are some built in drawers under the eaves.  They'll each have their own closet, rather than sharing.  So, suddenly they'll have way more space to put stuff.  

Anyway, from reading recent threads, people had some really good points about helping their kids develop organizational skills, particularly in teenagers, and it makes me feel like I need to move stuff upstairs, or something, so they can develop the ability to organize their stuff.  But I'm not sure what stuff should go there?  I also think that some of this is that we keep stuff elsewhere, but some of it is that we just don't seem to own stuff. 

Also, if you move stuff into bedrooms, do your kids do things in their bedrooms, or do they go get that stuff and bring it back to the rest of the house, and do it around other people?  I like having my kids around, and they aren't asking to go off and do things in their bedroom.  So, I'm not sure how that would play out.  

Anyway, I guess this is just a long way of asking what you put in your kids' rooms, or what ends up in your kids' rooms, and how that impacts the time your kids spend in their rooms?  Also, do you set up their rooms so they learn skills and don't end up like me, totally overwhelmed by stuff?  

 

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12 minutes ago, Beth S said:

We did make the kids keep their toys in their bedrooms.
Especially ZERO Lego bricks were permitted outside their bedroom.
We called their bedroom the Toy Room.  🙂

So if they are building legos, do they go to their room?  

If you have more kids then fit in one room, are there legos in multiple bedrooms or do they just agree that the legos go in one kid’s room? 

I feel so clueless! 

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My DD has several related, but separate craft hobbies. Crocheting, needlepoint, painting, etc. Her stuff, in theory, "lives" in her room. In real life, she does her crafts in the living room or basement family room in front of the t.v. for the fiber stuff, or at the dining room table for the painting, near the family. If she's got a project in progress, I have no problem with her stuff being in those rooms, stored nicely in a basket or bag near her "work chair" when she is not using it. 

If the project gets abandoned for several weeks, or she has moved on to another project - crochet vs. needlepoint, for example, then the stuff she is not currently using goes back into her room because it may be months before she thinks about it again and the shared areas are not set up to store that much stuff. Her bedroom has a large craft supply furniture unit, a large table, and several smaller plastic drawer units to store the items.

Beyond that, each of the kids have some books, knickknacks, and most of their clothes in their rooms. Shoes and coats live in the coat closets and garage (boots/shoes).
 

Hygiene items are in the bathrooms. Most of the books are on the bookshelves in the basement family room. Extra art/craft supplies are in the basement storage room in more plastic drawer units.

** This all sounds very neat and organized when typed out. In reality, we just finally moved into our forever home in September after 20 years of moving a lot and renting, (often putting items in storage when moves were shorter term) so I have a massive amount of decluttering and organizing to do. I have corners/shelves that are "organized", but as a whole, the garage, storage, and laundry rooms are really messy "works in progress" with goat paths to walk in. The living areas are mostly OK and can even have guests over, but it is very far from perfect, or even good enough in the "storage" areas.

Edited by fraidycat
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Sorry.  We put all the boys (4!) in one room, the large bonus room over the garage.
We too had knee walls & had to work with the angled ceilings.
I was understanding you had 2 kids in one room.

Our boys always only built Legos in their bedroom.  There's actually a little alcove which was dedicated to Lego.
We bought a 3 drawer plastic dresser thing from WMart for the loose pieces, & a bookcase to display assembled items.

We also had separate plastic bins for other toys (we mainly bought them construction sets like Tinkertoys, Lincoln Logs, Brio, Magnetix, Knex).
LOTS of little pieces!
One tip is to rotate the toys (keeping some in the attic) so that they can just dump them ALL out at once.

I realize this is all Mom-led, but when you move, you have an opportunity to change the routine setup. 
(I watch lots of organization youtubers.  Minimal Mom just re-did her 2 sons' room & put their toys in Ikea square bins under their beds)

 

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I am going to be the odd man out. Like you we wanted our kids to be in the same room as everyone else. Rooms had beds and clothing only.  We had plenty of other cozy family areas for reading/playing/crafting and hobbies.  We never had a house with huge kids bedrooms and they always shared as well.

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If there are art supplies you think might ruin the walls/furniture in their room, and/or it's mainly used downstairs, keep it downstairs.  My dd did her carpet in with nail polish and acrylic paints.  (Secretly I was glad she did use them in there, as she was artistic and mom was probably going to say no to the extra art projects. haha.  It was worth replacing the carpet to me.)  All their toys were stored in their rooms.  Not to say they couldn't come out, but the main mess was in their room. 

I'm thinking whatever they have in their attic room will probably be used there most of the time.  Maybe you want to store board games and such downstairs so you play together more often.  Same with art supplies.  My kids each had their own bookshelf, but most books- which weren't really 'theirs', were downstairs where anyone could get them.

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1 hour ago, Beth S said:

Sorry.  We put all the boys (4!) in one room, the large bonus room over the garage.
We too had knee walls & had to work with the angled ceilings.
I was understanding you had 2 kids in one room.

i do just have 2 kids, I was just trying to get a better picture of what you're doing.  I feel like we made decisions that made sense for our old situation, where there were reasons why playing or working upstairs didn't make sense (tiny room, Dad sleeping, one kid who couldn't go upstairs for medical reasons), and now those reasons don't apply, and we need to figure out new space, so I just want to know what other people do.  

1 hour ago, Beth S said:

Our boys always only built Legos in their bedroom.  There's actually a little alcove which was dedicated to Lego.
We bought a 3 drawer plastic dresser thing from WMart for the loose pieces, & a bookcase to display assembled items.

We also had separate plastic bins for other toys (we mainly bought them construction sets like Tinkertoys, Lincoln Logs, Brio, Magnetix, Knex).
LOTS of little pieces!
One tip is to rotate the toys (keeping some in the attic) so that they can just dump them ALL out at once.

So, part of it is that we're pretty much past toys, although we do still have legos.  My youngest will turn 11 soon.  But even during the toy era, I feel like we had less stuff than most people except for sports equipment, and that doesn't go in bedrooms.  

1 hour ago, Beth S said:

I realize this is all Mom-led, but when you move, you have an opportunity to change the routine setup. 
(I watch lots of organization youtubers.  Minimal Mom just re-did her 2 sons' room & put their toys in Ikea square bins under their beds)

 

You've given me a lot to think about. 

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27 minutes ago, Tina said:

If there are art supplies you think might ruin the walls/furniture in their room, and/or it's mainly used downstairs, keep it downstairs.  My dd did her carpet in with nail polish and acrylic paints.  (Secretly I was glad she did use them in there, as she was artistic and mom was probably going to say no to the extra art projects. haha.  It was worth replacing the carpet to me.)  All their toys were stored in their rooms.  Not to say they couldn't come out, but the main mess was in their room. 

I'm thinking whatever they have in their attic room will probably be used there most of the time.  Maybe you want to store board games and such downstairs so you play together more often.  Same with art supplies.  My kids each had their own bookshelf, but most books- which weren't really 'theirs', were downstairs where anyone could get them.

So, I guess I'm trying to figure out where they'll do things in the new house.  They're past the age where I worry about things on the wall/furniture, etc . . . 

But we've never had a ton of art supplies.  My one kid doesn't really do art, and the other kid has one of those kits that's like a little wooden suitcase.  Plus there's scissors and tape on my desk in my current house that he can borrow.  

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We never had that type of setup, but in most houses, legos were in the bedrooms. They had plastic containers that slid under the beds, and would routinely have big set-ups on the Lego boards in the floor of their bedrooms. If I were in your new setup, something like that in their bedroom with a large table or work area is exactly where I would keep them. Generally, art supplies, board games, etc., were in an easily accessible cabinet near our school work area, which was the dining table/living room. Books were in the main area as well, other than personal books that were in their bedrooms. This worked well for us, and followed the natural work patterns of their play/projects.

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1 minute ago, Jaybee said:

We never had that type of setup, but in most houses, legos were in the bedrooms. They had plastic containers that slid under the beds, and would routinely have big set-ups on the Lego boards in the floor of their bedrooms. If I were in your new setup, something like that in their bedroom with a large table or work area is exactly where I would keep them. Generally, art supplies, board games, etc., were in an easily accessible cabinet near our school work area, which was the dining table/living room. Books were in the main area as well, other than personal books that were in their bedrooms. This worked well for us, and followed the natural work patterns of their play/projects.

I'm not questioning, just curious.  I'm still thinking this through.  My younger kid spends a lot of time doing legos with other kids.  Right now, it's just his cousin, because we aren't having other kids in the house, but hopefully in the fall it will include friends and neighbors. But the cousins are at the house 5 -6 days a week right now for childcare.   One of my concerns with putting the legos in the bedroom is that if they're up there playing, then my older kid doesn't have a private place to go.  Maybe I'm just imagining that would be an issue though.  

In the old house, because upstairs wasn't an option, we basically turned the dining room over to legos.  The new house is much bigger though, so we could have legos in the basement.  

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For our kids the majority of toys are in their bedroom. The toddler does have a few things downstairs since he’s usually where I am. So for Legos they do each have their own sets in their rooms.  
 

Although there are Certain toys that stay in their rooms to be played there only, they will often migrate around the home when they play. I’ve been okay with that as long as the toys end up back in their home (in the bedrooms). 
 

All. Video games and board game stay in the common areas. 

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DS's drum set, indoor toys, and books are in his room.

Keyboard is in the living room. Art supplies stay in the school area (part of the living room). (DSIL was known to make art on her bedroom walls as a child, and I was not keen on DS doing likewise.) A laptop used for gaming is in the living room.

Board games have usually been in the dining room.

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My boys are all in one big room. We built our house so this was by design. Their beds are cabin style beds, with a side desk and with most of their clothes storage underneath. There is also a rail for clothes hanging.

One side of the room is the play room section. It has bookshelves & board game shelves and a couch. They have a lego building table, which is basically a repurposed tv unit - low and wide - with drawers underneath for aaaaaaall the Lego. I do not abide Lego outside their room for long, I threaten to vaccuum it up.

They are just okay at keeping it clean, not great...

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1 hour ago, BaseballandHockey said:

I'm not questioning, just curious.  I'm still thinking this through.  My younger kid spends a lot of time doing legos with other kids.  Right now, it's just his cousin, because we aren't having other kids in the house, but hopefully in the fall it will include friends and neighbors. But the cousins are at the house 5 -6 days a week right now for childcare.   One of my concerns with putting the legos in the bedroom is that if they're up there playing, then my older kid doesn't have a private place to go.  Maybe I'm just imagining that would be an issue though.  

In the old house, because upstairs wasn't an option, we basically turned the dining room over to legos.  The new house is much bigger though, so we could have legos in the basement.  

Oh, yeah, I could see the legos in the basement as a good option as well. It might depend on how often you think they will be using them, how long they like to leave the creations out, etc. If it is for group activity more than for solitary, I would probably prefer it in the basement, reserving the bedroom for solo/quiet activities. 

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6 hours ago, BaseballandHockey said:

  For example, my kids have never kept shoes   

 

I'm stuck on this detail - so where did they keep their shoes? 

My kids had lovely organization skills, but my teenagers forgot everything and we just shut the door to their rooms. I'm hoping these young adults hanging around start remembering all the lost skills, lol. 

When my kids were little, they shared a room with bunk beds and the other room was a toy room. They still had books in the bedroom because we always had an insane number of books. And stuffed animals. Craft items were in my craft room. Homeschool supplies and overflow books in the enclosed garage. 

When they were tweens, we split the bunk beds and they each got their own room. They went with almost all of the toys/plushies/notebooks in one bedroom and almost all of the books in the other. Craft items still in my craft room. Homeschool supplies and overflow books still in the enclosed garage. 

Then dorms for a while, but they both bounced back home due to Covid. They RE bunked the beds in one room so they could turn the other one into a den, a project that got delayed and delayed and stuff has been everywhere but finally it is painted, the furniture they're waiting on is marked off with tape, and we can start putting it together. dh is going all in, partially bc he loves a good project, and partially bc I think he's hoping a fabulous den will keep them home a good while, lol. That's not super relevant to you, but I'm super happy and sharing my joy. 

We did a lot together in the open floor plan front area when they were teens: games, coloring, crafts, and so on. But the were like most teens in that they also wanted to spend tons of time burrowed in their room, and it didn't really matter if all the 'good stuff' was in other rooms. So that may happen, and it's natural enough. They were still generally happy to come up front and do stuff, but I had to be much more intentional about it, like actually somewhat planning game night. 

If you want to keep most of their stuff in the main areas, then just fill up some of that vast space with the stuff that would normally be downstairs. Lesser-used household items, holiday decoration totes, memorabilia, whatever. Look at your space as a whole. Store boring stuff in their room and enticing stuff in the common areas. 

We've had those long-suffering bunk beds since they were 2 & 4, and they've already asked if they each get to take their bed when they leave home for good, lol. I told them they could fight over all of the furniture in their rooms. 

 

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Lego, art supplies, board games, nerf basically any group toys are in the basement.  Rooms have personal things finished Art projects or  finished Lego kits, stuffed animals, dolls etc are kept in the room.

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7 minutes ago, katilac said:

I'm stuck on this detail - so where did they keep their shoes? 

They each have a pair of sneakers and a pair of closed toed sandals, they take off when they come in the house, and leave them in a basket by the door in both houses.  In the winter, they'll change that pair of closed toed sandals with a pair fo snow boots.

They both have a church outfit and a pair of church shoes that are in my closet with the two dresses I own, and my one pair of dressy shoes.

Sports specific clothing -- like soccer or baseball cleats, or snowboarding boots, live in the garage in the old house.  I'm not really sure what we're doing in the new house.  I think the basement?

7 minutes ago, katilac said:

My kids had lovely organization skills, but my teenagers forgot everything and we just shut the door to their rooms. I'm hoping these young adults hanging around start remembering all the lost skills, lol. 

My kids don't have organization skills, because they don't have anything to practice with.  This is basically what I'm concerned about.  My teen would lose his head if it wasn't attached, and then wouldn't notice it was gone.   I think that's why my strategy of just not having stuff works.  Like in @lauraw4321's thread with all the coffee table stuff?  I could just get rid of it, because he wouldn't remember that he once had BSA merit badges, and slime, and some dollar coins. 

Other than the sports clothing that lives in the garage, and he church clothes, my kids have enough clothes to fit in one laundry basket that they share.  Well, they also have some things like winter hats, and if it was winter they'd have winter coats, but I put away last year's and haven't gotten next year's.  

So, I'm wondering if I need to let them have things in the room to practice with.  

7 minutes ago, katilac said:

When my kids were little, they shared a room with bunk beds and the other room was a toy room. They still had books in the bedroom because we always had an insane number of books. And stuffed animals. Craft items were in my craft room. Homeschool supplies and overflow books in the enclosed garage. 
 

When they were tweens, we split the bunk beds and they each got their own room. They went with almost all of the toys/plushies/notebooks in one bedroom and almost all of the books in the other. Craft items still in my craft room. Homeschool supplies and overflow books still in the enclosed garage. 

Yeah, we don't really have a lot of that stuff.  We mostly read on kindle app, or library books before covid.  When we homeschooled we did everything on the iPad.  Literally, everything, because of our circumstances.  As I said above, they have one of those little artist suitcases with the pencils and water colors and markers all in one.  That's the sum total of "craft supplies".

7 minutes ago, katilac said:

Then dorms for a while, but they both bounced back home due to Covid. They RE bunked the beds in one room so they could turn the other one into a den, a project that got delayed and delayed and stuff has been everywhere but finally it is painted, the furniture they're waiting on is marked off with tape, and we can start putting it together. dh is going all in, partially bc he loves a good project, and partially bc I think he's hoping a fabulous den will keep them home a good while, lol. That's not super relevant to you, but I'm super happy and sharing my joy. 

We did a lot together in the open floor plan front area when they were teens: games, coloring, crafts, and so on. But the were like most teens in that they also wanted to spend tons of time burrowed in their room, and it didn't really matter if all the 'good stuff' was in other rooms. So that may happen, and it's natural enough. They were still generally happy to come up front and do stuff, but I had to be much more intentional about it, like actually somewhat planning game night. 

I think that personality, covid, and grief have all kind of slowed down my oldest's turning into a "teen".  Like he's officially one, but I do't see things like the burrowing in his room yet.  

I'm fine if he initiates that, but I don't want to push it on him, if that makes sense.  

7 minutes ago, katilac said:

If you want to keep most of their stuff in the main areas, then just fill up some of that vast space with the stuff that would normally be downstairs. Lesser-used household items, holiday decoration totes, memorabilia, whatever. Look at your space as a whole. Store boring stuff in their room and enticing stuff in the common areas. 

Umm, I don't really have much of that stuff.  Is that totally weird?  I think that's what this is really about, that my dislike of stuff is maybe extreme, and maybe possibly I am depriving my kids.  Luckily they are already in therapy.  

I also have a whole other house.  I mean, it's a small house, but we are not, yet, selling or renting it.  DH is doing some work on it before we decide.  So, the stuff that I do have, which is mostly hand me downs that I'm waiting for my youngest to grow into and a few things from when they're little, will just stay there.  

7 minutes ago, katilac said:

We've had those long-suffering bunk beds since they were 2 & 4, and they've already asked if they each get to take their bed when they leave home for good, lol. I told them they could fight over all of the furniture in their rooms. 

 

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5 minutes ago, rebcoola said:

Lego, art supplies, board games, nerf basically any group toys are in the basement.  Rooms have personal things finished Art projects or  finished Lego kits, stuffed animals, dolls etc are kept in the room.

Ooooh, we have nerf guns!  Finally something we have!

We have kept the lego things my two youngest built together, and we'll figure out how to display those or leave them in the other house, I'm not sure.  But otherwise, when they finish a lego kit, DS takes a picture and then takes it apart so he can build other things.  

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1 hour ago, BaseballandHockey said:

They each have a pair of sneakers and a pair of closed toed sandals, they take off when they come in the house, and leave them in a basket by the door in both houses.  In the winter, they'll change that pair of closed toed sandals with a pair fo snow boots.

They both have a church outfit and a pair of church shoes that are in my closet with the two dresses I own, and my one pair of dressy shoes.

Sports specific clothing -- like soccer or baseball cleats, or snowboarding boots, live in the garage in the old house.  I'm not really sure what we're doing in the new house.  I think the basement?

<snip>

Other than the sports clothing that lives in the garage, and he church clothes, my kids have enough clothes to fit in one laundry basket that they share.  Well, they also have some things like winter hats, and if it was winter they'd have winter coats, but I put away last year's and haven't gotten next year's.  

So, I'm wondering if I need to let them have things in the room to practice with.  

Yeah, we don't really have a lot of that stuff.  We mostly read on kindle app, or library books before covid.  When we homeschooled we did everything on the iPad.  Literally, everything, because of our circumstances.  As I said above, they have one of those little artist suitcases with the pencils and water colors and markers all in one.  That's the sum total of "craft supplies".

I think that personality, covid, and grief have all kind of slowed down my oldest's turning into a "teen".  Like he's officially one, but I do't see things like the burrowing in his room yet.  

I'm fine if he initiates that, but I don't want to push it on him, if that makes sense.  

Umm, I don't really have much of that stuff.  Is that totally weird?  I think that's what this is really about, that my dislike of stuff is maybe extreme, and maybe possibly I am depriving my kids.  Luckily they are already in therapy.  

I also have a whole other house.  I mean, it's a small house, but we are not, yet, selling or renting it.  DH is doing some work on it before we decide.  So, the stuff that I do have, which is mostly hand me downs that I'm waiting for my youngest to grow into and a few things from when they're little, will just stay there.  

I had the first girls after a long run of boys in my family, so everybody wanted to buy the cute clothes and shoes, and that has definitely continued, lol. We all have too many clothes, but hey, we don't have sports clothing! And we still have a rather ridiculous number of books and craft supplies, even though we've given away tons. To be fair, one of my kids is an art minor and they both like artistic and crafty pursuits. I'm just being supportive, she says convincingly. 

I wouldn't worry overmuch about organizational skills, certainly not to the point of rearranging things just so they learn them. Their version of organization might match yours: just don't have so much that you need to organize it! If it doesn't, they'll learn.  Your dislike of stuff is no weirder than my fondness for stuff. Vive la difference. 

Oh, yeah, it makes sense that you don't want to push the burrowing onto him, I just didn't want you to be disappointed or worried if he does do it, bc it's very common. 

 

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11 hours ago, BaseballandHockey said:

So if they are building legos, do they go to their room?  

If you have more kids then fit in one room, are there legos in multiple bedrooms or do they just agree that the legos go in one kid’s room? 

I feel so clueless! 

Here Lego are not allowed in the bedroom. We have bedroom toys and toys that get played in the loungeroom. Lego is one of those things that get lost so easily under beds.

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We built 2 good-sized bedrooms for my girls when they were 8yo.  Previously, they shared a really small room.

My girls do a lot of things in their bedroom.  One of them really only uses the rest of the house to eat and watch TV.  The other will bring her messy projects into the common areas at times.

Both of my kids are poor at cleaning.  I guess this is partly because I never expected them to really clean their previous room.  The size of the room x amount of stuff required an expert organizer (me) to keep it under control.  😛  And now it's too easy for me to ignore their mess and "pick my battles" most of the time.  For whatever reasons, my kids seriously resist tidying.  I don't understand it, as I actually like house cleaning.

For 6 years, I've been telling myself that I'm gonna go in their rooms and really get them 100% organized, so they can take over from there, no excuses.  I've gotten close a few times, but never close enough.  And now I feel like maybe it's too late.  They are just gonna be slobs until something makes them care.  (So far, having friends over doesn't make them care.  "It's OK, our friends' rooms are messy too.")

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Oh, I should mention about what my kids don't keep in their rooms:

  • Coats and shoes.  We have a closet by the front door for those.
  • Clean socks.  I recently dedicated a bin near the coat closet for all of their socks.  They would always forget about socks until they were getting ready to put on their shoes, and then they'd have to run back upstairs and make us late.  Socks near the shoes makes more sense.
  • Dirty socks - or, many of them.  They come off shortly after the shoes, so they go in the downstairs laundry bin.
  • Certain family games and similar.
  • Sports equipment.  We have a shelving unit halfway down the basement stairs for such things.  I also keep some in my bedroom and in my car trunk.  I've always kept track of these things for my own sanity.  I know I should transition this to them.
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10 hours ago, katilac said:

I had the first girls after a long run of boys in my family, so everybody wanted to buy the cute clothes and shoes, and that has definitely continued, lol. We all have too many clothes, but hey, we don't have sports clothing! And we still have a rather ridiculous number of books and craft supplies, even though we've given away tons. To be fair, one of my kids is an art minor and they both like artistic and crafty pursuits. I'm just being supportive, she says convincingly. 

One of my kids is crafty too, it's just that the crafts he chooses are the crafts the adults in the family chooses.  So, he cooks, and he does woodworking.  I guess, come to think of it, he's getting some practice organizing as he works in the kitchen and workshop.  The new house has much more stuff in both the kitchen and the workshop.  Those aren't my spaces to redo. 

My other kid is a semi-competent cook and woodworker, but they aren't his things.  His thing is music.  

10 hours ago, katilac said:

I wouldn't worry overmuch about organizational skills, certainly not to the point of rearranging things just so they learn them. Their version of organization might match yours: just don't have so much that you need to organize it! If it doesn't, they'll learn.  Your dislike of stuff is no weirder than my fondness for stuff. Vive la difference. 

Oh, yeah, it makes sense that you don't want to push the burrowing onto him, I just didn't want you to be disappointed or worried if he does do it, bc it's very common. 

I think that if he does get to the burrowing phase, then he's going to want the bedroom to be a space that he can retreat to.  My nieces will be here every weekday for the next six weeks, and once they stop coming we'll probably start allowing indoor playdates, unless covid surges, and he might want to escape that.  That's a pretty strong argument for no legos upstairs. 

You guys are really helping me sort this out.  I think that ordinarily, you'd think by the time my youngest was 10, I'd have sorted this out, but what made sense when Dad was asleep upstairs, might not be what we want to do now. 

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19 hours ago, BaseballandHockey said:

 

Anyway, I guess this is just a long way of asking what you put in your kids' rooms, or what ends up in your kids' rooms, and how that impacts the time your kids spend in their rooms?  Also, do you set up their rooms so they learn skills and don't end up like me, totally overwhelmed by stuff?  

 

So I'd say that with ours it was a gradual slope of increasing self responsibility? Our 6 yo has NOTHING in his room but bed, stuffie, a beanbag,and Legos.  He'd never keep it picked up and we'd be in conflict.  He drags enough in and has laundry and that creates enough issues.  

Our 11yo keeps books, art supplies, etc., in her room but her 9yo sister doesn't.  What one can handle, another cannot. And it isn't right to expect an older sister to keep her room neat if her roommate is messy.  By the time my kids are 13+, "their" stuff is in their room.  My 13yo does paint in her room because it keeps others from touching or fussing with things but will often bring her sewing here because she likes input and help.  It's very individual and needs to be tweaked from time to time.  Don't feel like you need to make some sort of permanent proclamation.  Give them some, see how it goes.......  

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I have not yet read this whole thread.  However, FWIW, my three sons share a not-large room.  They don't have a lot of clothes so all of their clothes fit in one closet (oldest two share the top bar, youngest has the bottom bar, and we crammed a few of those plastic drawer things in there for underwear and socks).   The've divided up the bookshelf space for currently-being-read books and a few most-cherished possessions.   The LEGOs used to be downstairs but then we got a puppy so DS10 moved them upstairs into the bedroom so the puppy wouldn't eat them.  They keep it reasonably neat but once a week we clean the whole house so everything MUST be off the floor and surfaces and put away.  

DS16 would love his own private space but alas, our house isn't large enough for that and we're not moving.  The only person in our family who has his own 'room' is the dog, who commands a section of the downstairs cordoned off with a pen 🙂

 

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