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Ideas for small bedroom for 9 year old girl

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

My poor second child . . .she got the smallest room in the house. We have a 2 bedroom house with a small afterthought of an office. It is 10X12 and no closet, but double doors opening up to rest of the house. Bunk beds and tall loft beds don't work due to ceiling fan proximity.


Problem #1 lack of space. 

Problem #2 she has a lot of stuff. It probably would not seem like that much if she had a bigger room or it was stored better.


She keeps her room clean and organized, but it's just so small I feel like when I go in there I get claustrophobic.


Her current set-up is a mid-sized loft bed similar to this, minus fort. It's just open.



It has underneath it her "dollhouse." She's way into the American Girl dolls and knock-offs. She has made under her bed her doll world and has their house under the bed. It's all contained but has taken away from the storage I had planned to put under there. She loves it and won't negotiate this arrangement. 


She also still plays with Littlest Pet Shops. She has a coffee table that those are set up on against one wall, and the table has deep drawers to store the accessories. I have limited her playsets to three.


Both the Pet Shops and the dolls have been played with and well used from the time she was about 5, so although it looks like clutter they are well loved toys that feed her imagination. She plays with them daily, makes short films with them, etc, and takes good care of them. I have been pretty good about getting rid of other things once they are not used anymore.


She has an IKEA wardrobe against one wall with her clothes in it. One half is for hanging clothes and the other half has her folded clothes in drawers. She also has a small desk pushed up against one side of her bed and this is kept clean for school work. She has a tall wall shelf on the one remaining wall. Due to furniture crowding she can't open the double doors to the room, only one door is open. The other one has furniture against it. It's all rather overwhelming and I feel like I'm drowning in her room. There is very little floor space-- enough for a friend to spread a twin sized mattress for a sleepover and that's about all the floor space that's left.


I am overwhelmed.


And, a quiet feeling of panic is ensuing, as my inlaws are coming from India in the fall-- they stal a good long while. In the past the girls were much younger and fit into one room. Now my 12 year old will most likely be moving into our room (we have a couch in our room) for the duration of the visit. 

post #2 of 13

Do you think she would be open to rotating toys, or having some stored out of reach so she had to ask for them lifting down. I know for one of mine that works OK, the other is more "out of sight out of mind" and does not think to ask for toys he can't see.


If you could do some high wall cupboards they would add a bit of extra storage.


We've used fabric pocket hangers in all sorts of places, could you get one of those hanging from the bed?


I'd probably get rid of the coffee table, both mine are happy to play on the floor, or if it needs a table they have a desk. If she still wants something to play on could it be replaced with a storage box of the right height to play at.

post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 

I like the idea of the wall cabinets! The coffee table actually has lots of storage under it where she keeps her pet shops and she likes having it up off the floor. I hope she outgrows some of this stuff soon . . I think that will solve a lot of this.

post #4 of 13
I hope she outgrows some of this stuff soon . . I think that will solve a lot of this.


I know the feeling, I keep waiting for DD to outgrow some of the things she has with a million small (and not so small) pieces. So far just about when I think she's no longer interested they get a revival, though we did manage to put away quite a lot of books she hasn't ready for quite a long time this weekend.


ETA one thing I've done fairly recently is buy a load of small plastic storage tubs. I realised we were still using the same ones she had as a toddler. Now a lot of her toys have much smaller pieces we were wasting a lot of space using the larger boxes.

post #5 of 13
Ikea has a fold off the wall desk!
post #6 of 13

i just have to say my dd loves the little movies kids make with littlest pet shop on youtube. :)

post #7 of 13
A floor bed, something like this http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/00161837/ would make it feel a lot less claustrophobic and appear more spacious.
post #8 of 13
I think wall cabinets would make it feel more claustrophobic, I think the idea if rotating toys would be a great solution.
post #9 of 13

I hope I can say this without sounding critical at all - that is not my intention or feeling...


Is this your daughter's concern, or yours? I didn't get the impression from your post that the child is at all bothered by the current set-up. If she is mature enough to take responsibility for most cleaning (you said she keeps it generally neat), perhaps you could just avoid going in. It doesn't sound like she is overwhelmed by her possessions, or bothered by a feeling of claustrophobia. My DD, now 18, was much like this by age 7 or so. Even that early, she vacuumed her own room, changed her own sheets (with occasional reminders; I did the laundry), and I rarely went in there. She loved the privacy and independence. Still does. Now, she is the most organized member of our family! 


Unless I am missing something, I think I would let her have her room as she likes it. Maybe offer her great bins, baskets, or other storage solutions. Maybe look online or in catalogs together. I like the IKEA mesh fabric tubes with shelves that hang from the ceiling (sorry, I can't post a link right now). But it sounds like she is already pretty great at making the best use of a small space.

post #10 of 13

^^^^What she said. Also, 10x12 doesn't sound so small to me. I don't think I had a room bigger than that as a kid, except for the years where we lived in a 2-bedroom and I shared with my sister. The lack of closet can make a difference to that, granted. But it sounds to me like a reasonable amount of space.


Could you replace the ceiling fan with a regular light fixture, or are you really attached to having it? How about rewiring to reposition it a little so there is a part of the room that's unaffected? My husband replaced one of our ceiling fans and it was not too difficult or time-consuming; I think anyone could do it. To change the wiring to a different part of the ceiling you might need an electrician. 

post #11 of 13

10x12 also doesn't sound super small to me, as my kids were sharing a room that size at our old apartment ;)  Personally, I would get rid of the desk and coffee table.  My kids generally do their homework at the kitchen table and it works just fine.  If you got rid of the coffee table, you could put a tall bookshelf/storage shelf in its place, maybe like this:  http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/10196431/ and then get bins or baskets to put in it to store her stuff.  My DD is the same way with all of her stuff and I've got to figure out a solution, as she's now in the loft and has no closet and an overflowing small bookshelf that I tried to squeeze all of her stuff on to ;)  Good luck!

post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 

It bothered me mostly. Her room was so cluttered. When I cleaned it I found lots of dead bugs, hair, and nasty stuff. It needs to be able to be cleaned more often and more easily. 


Just wanted to update from this old thread. DD decided this summer she wanted a big girl bed. She settled on one that has two deep drawers under it and a pull out trundle bed option to boot. She also decided to cull her toys in exchange for the new bed and was happy to do so. I bought a storage cabinet with doors similar to what people put in their garages, and she has her doll house set up mostly in that now, with just a small part in one free corner. We can close the doors to make the room look tidier. I also got a small toy organizer table from IKEA that has slide out drawers. She can put her pet shop stuff on the table and the extra parts in the drawers. She still, at almost 10, plays with this stuff quite often and I'm glad she enjoys it.


We also have some rules that she's following pretty well most of the time. It's tied into computer time. ;-)

1) Everything off the floor before bedtime, except the doll house stuff in the one corner.

2) Desk can only have a pencil cup and a desk lamp on it, plus if she's doing a project or homework of course that can be on it. No playsets and massive toys and junk.

3) Once a week vacuum and dusting and changing sheets.

post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 

Oh, and by the way, my IL's are not coming until at least next spring. :-) Nice people but always stress to have houseguests for an extended period.

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