It all began…. with a simple need. To somehow eek additional space out of what is really not a very big bedroom, in order to accommodate a child who is not only growing like a weed, but whose clothes no longer fit in the dresser that once held itty bitty onesies and eensie little socks quite easily.
I had good intentions – and a plan. Where in Hannah and Becca’s room the clothing storage issue has been dealt with by utilizing plastic bins that slide underneath the beds, Abby’s bed was too low to the floor for that idea to work. A few weeks ago I had purchased a (cheap) floor sample of a large ‘under the bed’ type drawer (kind of like a trundle – the size of a twin bed, on castors so that it can roll underneath the bed frame) that I hoped would fit.
But, it didn’t.
So on to Plan B, which was to somehow either modify Abby’s bed frame so that the drawer would work, or to find a way to (cheaply) replace her bed with something higher where the legs were further apart so that the drawer would fit.
This whole issue had gone from a head-scratcher of a “hmmm, we’ll deal with it at some point” kind of thing to suddenly a huge priority last week due to the shift in weather we’ve had, which has turned the end of August from the usual scorching heat and humidity to what truly feels more like October – cool and wet. Pants-wearing weather. And poor Abby had nowhere to keep her pants.
I searched for a while online to see if I could find a (cheap – sense the theme here…) used replacement bed, with no luck. So I finally decided to take the money that we’d made from our garage sale a few weeks ago and use it to solve this problem (so much for a new front walk – that will have to wait until spring). And when I started shopping around and looking at new beds, one thing jumped right out at me.
Now we have a set of bunk beds that we used when Abby and Hannah shared one of the smaller bedrooms (see above photo). We un-bunked the beds last summer and they’re currently being used as two twin beds in Hannah and Becca’s room. They work perfectly in there, so I really didn’t want to mess with them. But even though we don’t actually have a concrete need for four beds right now, I realized that there are a lot of benefits to having a bunk bed in Abby’s room.
- She’s eight years old now. Can you say, ‘sleepovers’? LOL
- Abby and Hannah like to ‘sleep together’ in the same room every so often but have had to sleep either in the same bed (doesn’t work so well now that they’re bigger) or on the floor (doesn’t work too well period). This would give them each a bed to sleep in – which means that they may actually sleep on those occasions.
- Abby’s room is where Mary and her kids sleep when they visit. Having two beds in there means that both Mary and Emma will have an actual bed to sleep in and there’s still floor space to set up the pack ‘n play for Eric.
- Going ‘up’ creates additional play/storage space on that bottom bunk that was missing before.
And, of course, the originally planned-for benefit – the bed would be higher off the ground so that the under-bed drawer would (hopefully) fit and we’d gain the extra clothing storage as well.
There was one somewhat unanticipated thing that this plan also helped with – Abby’s had a horrible time sleeping in her own bed/room lately. A little incentive never hurts however, and in anticipation of our shopping trip to buy the bunk bed, Abby actually fell asleep in her own room, in her own bed, with no crying, begging, hysterics, etc. It was rather refreshing, actually.
Purchasing the bed was easy (it helps to shop with highly motivated kids who are totally excited about what you’re buying). Putting it together became just about an all-day event on Sunday when Ron had the day off.
Abby and Hannah were conscripted to help carry the pieces inside…
And Ron set to work, with three very interested little bystanders.
Not to be left out, Hannah did gain something from all of this too. We took the mattress off of Abby’s original bed (because we knew from past experience that it is too tall to be safely used on a bunked bed) and moved it to Hannah’s bed. She was starting to outgrow the thin bunkbed mattresses we’d been using anyway and was very proud of her new ‘bed’ after she got it all put back together…
While Ron finished up the bunk bed, Becca and I made a mad dash run to buy one additional (shorter) mattress for Abby to sleep on, arriving a whole five minutes before the store closed. Phew! But it was worth the nail-biting drive to see the girls all excited about the new bed…
And for Abby to be able to sleep on it that night. Tantrum-free, as she has been ever since. Oh she’s still concerned about the dark, and definitely doesn’t want to be the only one awake upstairs, but she has been sleeping in her own bed as long as I stick around upstairs until after she falls asleep.
Here’s the final look of Abby’s room with the new bunk bed completed:
Oh yes, and the under-bed drawer? The original reason for this whole idea in the first place?
Doesn’t fit. It’s about 1 inch too wide to fit underneath the bottom bunk.
So I guess I’ll be shopping for more bins to store under the bottom bunk to hold Abby’s clothes, just like we’re using in her sisters’ room.
And for someone else who might be able to use a large twin-sized wooden drawer thingy.